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Engineer, activist, Mahant, 'Hero of the Planet' Veer Bhadra Mishra is no more

Prof Veer Bhadra Mishra passed away on Wednesday, 13 March at the age of 75.  India Water Portal salutes a true crusader for our rivers.

Veer Bhadra Mishra on tre banks of the Ganga

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River Bagmati: Bounties become a curse – A book by Dinesh Kumar Mishra

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In this book, Dr. Dinesh Kumar Mishra has tried to put all the available information about the river Bagmati in one place. He has explained not only about floods but also about politics of embankments and its relevance. He reviews events from ancient time to the present based on historical review and first-hand knowledge of the ground realities and social conditions by visiting most villages in the basin and engaging with the local people. He has also suggested some alternatives about how to manage the river so that people of the area can be saved from deluge.

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"My Ganga, my dolphin" - WWF-India's initiative to map the Ganges River Dolphin throughout 2800 km of the Ganges from 5th-7th October, 2012

Article Courtesy: WWF India

WWF-India, one of India’s leading conservation organizations with programmes and projects spread across the country, in partnership with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department and under the aegis of the HSBC - supported “Rivers for Life, Life for Rivers” program is conducting a three day awareness program, “My Ganga, My Dolphin” in and around Uttar Pradesh from 5th to 7th October 2012. The campaign, being launched to survey the number of Ganges river dolphins present across a 2800 km stretch of the river Ganga and its tributaries (Yamuna, Son, Ken, Betwa, Ghagra, and Geruwa) will also look at raising awareness among local communities in and around the banks of the Ganga about the presence and conservation of the national aquatic animal as well as help in capacity building of stakeholders associated with the conservation of the mammal. The total number of dolphins found in the stretch will be announced by Shri Akhilesh Yadav, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on 7th October 2012. The campaign will be flagged off on 5th October 2012 by Shri Raja Mahendra Aridaman Singh, Hon’ble Minister of Transport, Uttar Pradesh.

A Ganges river dolphin seen from above the water

The Ganges river dolphin (Image courtesy: Sandeep Behera/WWF-India)

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My Ganga, My Dolphin- WWF-India's initiative to map Ganges River Dolphin throughout 2800km of Ganges from 5th-7th October,20121.12 MB
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Supreme Court’s Order on Tiger Reserve Buffers encourages illegalities - A press release by Future of Conservation Network

Guest post: Future of Conservation Network 

The interim order of the Supreme Court on the matter of tourism in core areas of Tiger Reserves, has created a situation of serious illegalities. In their rush to notify buffer areas, which the Court directs should be done within three weeks, state governments are bypassing and violating the processes laid out in the Wild Life Protection Act and the Forest Rights Act. The Amicus Curae (Raj Panjwani) does not seem to be adequately informing the Court on these violations.

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Arghyam announces transition in leadership - Jayamala Subramaniam to take over from 1st June, 2012

Guest post by: Rohini NilekaniArghyam

Dear friends of the India Water Portal,

Seven years after Arghyam began its work on water and sanitation issues in India, Sunita Nadhamuni who has led the organization from a standing start to an entity with values, commitment, varied experience and a reach which spans not only across India but internationally, is leaving to rededicate herself to the cause of development but in new areas of endeavour. She has been supported for the past few years by Arghyam's partners, well wishers and her team, all of whom have recognized her skills and her dedication.

Taking up the leadership from the 1st of June, 2012, will be Jayamala Subramaniam who comes to Arghyam with a background in the corporate and not for profit sectors, both in India and abroad; a record of achievement in taking initiatives to scale in the financial and education sectors and substantial experience as a coach and mentor.

I am confident that Jayamala will build on Arghyam’s strong foundation to take Arghyam to the next stage, enable a deeper engagement with the sector, and further the goal of safe, sustainable water for all.

I hope that you will give Jayamala and Arghyam, the support and encouragement that you have given, over all these years.

Rohini Nilekani

Chairperson

Arghyam

Brief bio of Jayamala Subramaniam

Jayamala Subramaniam comes with over two decades of experience in strategy and execution in the Banking, Education, Agro-technology, IT-Enabled Services and the Not for Profit sectors, in various countries. She has proven expertise in identifying and establishing transformational processes for scaling standalone start-ups and start-up environments in established organisations. She is a certified Executive and Business Coach. She holds a management degree from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.

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Central Water Commission and ISRO launch Water Resources Information System (WRIS), a comprehensive solution for accessing data on water in India

Guest post by: Dr. J.R. Sharma, Indian Space Research Organisation

Dear India Water Portal readers,

I am happy to inform you that the web-enabled Water Resources Information System of India (WRIS) has been launched on March 22, 2012 (World Water Day) by Shri R.C. Jha, Chairman, Central Water Commission, New Delhi.

This is a joint venture of the Indian Space Research Organisation and Central Water Commission, and is still a work-in-process. It will have more data and tools, as we progress towards the completion of this project.

Please register on the portal to get updates and to get full access to data and facilities of the WRIS Web-GIS.

www.india-wris.nrsc.gov.in

We would appreciate your feedback and comments based on your experience and use of this product, in order to help us improve it. Please contact us at the address below with your suggestions, or post your reply in the comments section below.

With best wishes,

Dr. J.R. Sharma
Project Director, India-WRIS &
Chief General Manager,
Regional Remote Sensing Centers,
National Remote Sensing Centre
ISRO, Department of Space
Balanagar, Hyderabad- 500625

Email: wris.india@gmail.com, jrsharma50@gmail.com

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Photos of the launch function - WRIS Web GIS2.61 MB
WRIS Web GIS Brochure - Central Water Commission (2012)4.96 MB
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Peoples' Science Institute’s new calendar-planner for 2012

Forwarded to the portal by: Peoples' Science Institute

Peoples' Science Institute’s (PSI) activities are spread all over India with a focus on the central-western Himalayan states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and the poverty-ridden districts of western Orissa. Its operational headquarters are located in Dehra Doon, Uttarakhand.Read More

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PSI Calendar 2012504.87 KB
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National Alliance for People’s Movements condemns arrest and harassment of anti-dam protesters in Assam – A press release demanding scrapping of big dams in Brahmaputra River Valley

Content courtesy: National Alliance for People's Movements

On the 26 December, 2011, at 2:15 am, Assam Police in collusion with other security forces swooped down on the protesters at Ranganadi who have been blockading the Highway since December 16 and thwarting state’s attempt to carry turbines and dam materials to project site of Lower Subansiri Dam. Nearly 200 people have been arrested and earlier also security forces have been harassing the protestors. In past too, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti fighting against the big dams on Brahmaputra have faced government’s ire and often been attacked and jailed. NAPM stands in solidarity with KMSS and other students groups of the region who have been consistently opposed to the big dams in highly sensitive seismic zone. We condemn the sustained action and harassment of KMSS and their activists and targeting of Akhil Gogoi for constantly opposing the destructive development policies and corruption of the government machinery.

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Creation of a village spring atlas for the conservation of Himalayan springs and adapting to climate change

Guest post by: Dr.Sandeep Tambe, Special Secretary- RM&DD, Sikkim

Image courtesy: http://sikkimsprings.org/

Mountain springs emanating naturally from unconfined aquifers are the primary source of water for the rural households in the Himalayan region. With impacts of climate change, manifested in the form of rising temperatures, rise in rainfall intensity, reduction in its temporal spread and a marked decline in winter rain, the problem of dying springs is being increasingly felt across this region. 

These discrete aquifers drastically increase the challenge of monitoring water availability and managing recharge measures. These challenges are compounded by the lack of data concerning springs. A laudable step in the direction has been taken by the Government of Sikkim. The state has an extensive program for the conservation of its springs. As part of this program mapping of springs and collection of discharge data has been carried out resulting in the creation of a village spring atlas for the conservation of Himalayan springs and adapting to climate change. The importance of this project was acknowledged when it won the Special Jury Mention at the 'eNorth East Awards 2011' recently.

home page of sikkimspringsThe objective of this initiative was twofold, first to create a database of these mountain springs by undertaking resource mapping of the springs on a GIS platform to better understand this valuable resource, and the preparation of a village spring atlas. The data collected from the extensive component of the study has been made accessible online in the webportal http://sikkimsprings.org. This online database provides information on the location, GPS coordinates, land tenure, catchment status, dependency, discharge (supply / demand) of nearly 400 springs of Sikkim and is also linked to google earth. Secondly in action research mode we show that these dying springs can be revived by rainwater harvesting. Impact assessment is done by recording monthly spring discharge data along with rainfally and preparing hydrographs using this information. It is expected that the results will help to better design the revival of mountain springs and to also mainstream this approach as a climate change adaptation intervention across the Himalayas.

Feature List:

  • Springs database
  • Springs conservation
  • Springs atlas
  • Research and studies
  • Educational resources
  • Press release, photographs and videos

Coverage area:

  • Online data entry from Block level
  • Online monitoring of progress
  • Monthly update on conservation status of key springs
  • Linkage to Google Earth
  • Automatic Weather Station (AWS) weather data is also made available

Deliverables:

  • Springs database: This database on springs provides valuable information on the spring resource. Authorized personnel can also upload/edit information in online mode, and would manage and monitor all the administrative controls which are to be updated on timely basis.
  • Spring conservation: This module helps to provide information on springs where conservation initiatives are on. Specially current information on lean period discharge compared to the baseline.
  • Spring atlas: This module linked to Google Earth shows the springs in map format overlaid as a point layer on the Google Earth platform
  • Research and Studies section: Compilation of studies, reports, field surveys with effective charts and graphs in the field of groundwater recharge, rainwater harvesting and spring conservation.
  • Educational resources section provides a collection of training material for a basic understanding of springs and their conservation which is very useful especially for students.
  • Block level weather data from AWS: 18 Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) have been installed at the Block level with the support of Department of Space, Government of India. The rainfall data from these 18 locations is provided regularly on this website

Impact of the project: The strength of the program lies in creating inhouse capacity at the Village, Block, District and State level with the help of collaborations with national institutes of repute and academic NGOs.  More than 26 awareness programs were organized since 2008 which includes training programs, exposure visits and classroom and field sessions having 1,100 participants. Also village level resource mapping using PRA tools was organized covering all the 165 Gram Panchayats of the State having as many as 8,000 participants. So this combined effort of specialized technical trainings for the staff, extensive general awareness programs for the local community and Gram Panchayats along with wide media coverage resulted in high levels of awareness of this new program in both rural and urban areas. 

Benefits of the spring atlas:

  • Better understanding of the spring water resource by providing details of various studies and reports online in one location. For students resource material is provided to know more about the springs, their typology, origin, threats and ways and means of reviving them by taking up ground water recharge
  • Extensive survey of the springs in Sikkim by providing their location superimposed on Google Earth platform along with basic information of the spring. Basic information like dependence, location, elevation, discharge etc help in identifying critical springs and thereby prioritizing them
  • Findings of experiment on reviving critical springs in various drought prone areas is also provided along with hydrographs. This learning will help in upscaling and expanding this initiative in other locations
  • Weather data from spatially disaggregated datasets is also provided for use. This data is updated from the Automated Weather Stations located in the blocks
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Draft Jharkhand Industrial Policy (2011) – What does it say on water?

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Image courtesy: Jharkhand State Industrial Development Corporation

The Jharkhand industrial policy (draft) 2011 has been formulated with the basic objective of optimally utilizing the available resources in planned and systematic manner for the industrialization of the state. It is aimed at enhancing value addition of the natural and human resources in an efficient manner to generate additional employment and resources for growth and development of the state.

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Jharkhand - Industrial Policy (Draft) - Sections on water (2011)525.21 KB
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