You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.

Coastal Waters

Churning the earth: The making of global India – Ashish Kothari talks about his recent work at a book release event in Udaipur, Rajasthan

At a book release event organised jointly by Dr Mohan Singh Mehta Memorial Trust (MSMMT) and Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development (SPWD), Udaipur on 23 March 2013 at Vidhya Bhawan Auditorium, Udaipur, Ashish Kothari, founder of the environmental group Kalpavriksh spoke on his recent work ”Churning the earth: The making of global India”. Co-authored with Aseem Shrivastava and launched in May 2012, the book presents evidence on the predatory nature of India’s economic rise and questions its political and ecological sustainability.

The book urges a “fundamental shift towards a range of policy, grassroots and conceptual alternatives that are necessary to forestall the descent into sociological chaos”. Amitav Ghosh in an advance praise of the book notes that it “cuts through the hype to tell you what is going on… the only work I know of that provides a comprehensive account of the enormous social and environmental costs of the developments of the last fifteen years… substantiated with a great deal of data”.

cover page

Read More

Living on water: An architect constructs homes, offices and even a golf course as floating buildings, using water as a workable layer

Imagine looking out of your window onto the blue sea, living in a building in the midst of water! Koen Olthius, a Dutch architect’s passion for water has transformed this magical image into reality.

Water is the latest frontier to act as a habitable space. Koen Olthius, an architect, creates floating buildings in water that are both flexible , sustainable and practical. He has found a solution that helps cities to respond flexibly to climate change and urbanisation.

Floating apartment Complex, Amsterdam

Floating apartment complex, Amsterdam ( Image courtesy: www.waterstudio)

His water based structures float on concrete and foam foundations that are stable and heavy. These bodies are then connected to the sea bed with cables, so that they are anchored and don’t drift away.

Golf course in Maldives

Floating golf course in Maldives ( Image courtesy:

His vision of such large scale floating projects in an urban environment opens up the door for endless possibilities. With 90 % of the worlds cities located on the waterfront, this innovative strategy will help people to respond positively to scarcity of urban land and space.

Sea Tree

Sea Tree: A floating park ( Image courtesy: www.waterstudio)

His firm ‘Water Studio’ specialises in architecture, urban planning and research related to living, working and recreation on water. Some of the projects already commissioned and developed include: Sea Tree: a floating park, a haven for wildlife and marine life; White Lagoon: A watervilla with beaches, roof terrace and swimming pools, the future of tourism.

Glass Tunnel Golf Course

Glass tunnel golf course ( Image courtesy: www.waterstudio)

Korail in Bangladesh, houses the largest wetslum in Dhaka, where a population of 40,000 inhabitants  jostle for space. Streets are used for public functions, as playgrounds and even restaurants. The needs of sanitation, toilets and garbage disposal will be met by installing containers on floating foundations in this project, which aims at upgrading this wetland as shown in the video below.

Source of video: waterstudionl


Upgradation of wetslum in Korail, Bangladesh, by using floating foundations ( Courtesy : waterstudionl)

With expected rising sea levels, these projects promise to keep buildings and hopes, both afloat !

To read the complete article, please click here.

For more videos on floating buildings by Waterstudio, please click here.

Everything you wanted to know about rivers in India - Compilation of all videos from the "Living rivers, dying rivers" series of talks organised by India International Centre and Centre for Policy Research at New Delhi over 2011-12

The India International Centre launched a series of talks titled ‘Living Rivers, Dying Rivers’ in collaboration with the Centre for Policy Research. The attempt was to join the crucial debates surrounding the alarming increase in environmental degradation, especially of rivers and river systems, without which the very survival of all species is in jeopardy.

A certain number of rivers, some sick or dying, some living and healthy, and some showing early signs of sickness, were taken up for presentations and discussion, and an attempt made to understand what has gone wrong in many cases, what has gone right in some, and what needs to be done to revive and restore dying or sick rivers. The series has been conceived and carried forward by India’s foremost expert in the field, Prof. Ramaswamy Iyer.

Read More

Videos: Lovraj Kumar panel discussion focuses on the challenges to biodiversity conservation, livelihoods and ecological sustainability

Guest post: Amita Bhaduri

The manner in which biodiversity contributes to poverty reduction and development had recently become a subject of heated debate at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CoP-11) at Hyderabad.  As a curtain raiser to this event, SPWD’s Lovraj Kumar panel discussion on 28th September, 2012 at IIC, New Delhi focused on the challenges to biodiversity conservation, livelihoods and ecological sustainability.

The discussion was chaired by Sunita Narain, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). The panelists included Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh; Ravi Chellam, a renowned wildlife scientist and Ligia Noronha, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). The panelists agreed that environmental sustainability is a fundamental development objective and deliberated on the opportunities that are available for concrete action.

Talk by Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh at the Lovraj Kumar Panel Discussion

Read More

Climate change adaptation in water management for food security - A consultation meeting by India Water Partnership

Guest post: India Water Partnership

A consultation meeting was held by the India Water Partnership with the purpose of presenting a draft research paper on “Climate change adaptation in water management for food security: Recent developments in India”. The meeting held on 22nd November, 2012 at the Institute for Human Development, New Delhi was followed by a discussion which included comments and suggestions of the experts and participants.

The meeting was chaired by Prof. S R Hashim, President, India Water Partnership who was accompanied by Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Adviser & Head, Climate Change Programme, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and Dr. A D Mohile, Former Chairman, International Commission for Irrigation and Drainage & Central Water Commission as the main panelists. 

IWP meeting photo

Consultation meeting on "Climate change adaptation in water management for food security"

Image: India Water Partnership

Read More

Caste discrimination in disaster situations in India - Reports by National Dalit Watch

The National Dalit Watch (NDW), an effort spearheaded by the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights has prepared a number of  reports on rampant caste discrimination and the urgent need for protection of human rights, particularly Dalit human rights during disaster situations. 

Dalits in disasters – The forsaken ones

Video courtesy: Lee Macqueen, National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights

Read More

Download these documents : Size
A preliminary assessment of caste discrimination in Cyclone Thane (2012)1.19 MB
Exclusion of Dalits in the flood rehabilitation in Bijapur district, Karnataka (2010)16.01 MB
For a morsel of life! - A ‘Dalit Watch’ report on the flood relief camps in Bihar (2008)849.26 KB
Making things worse – ‘Caste blindness’ in Indian post tsunami disaster recovery (2007)954.48 KB
Bihar floods - The affected and the relief & rehabilitation (2007)671.62 KB
The excluded in relief and rehabilitation - Post-flood situation of Dalit victims - AP floods (2009)3.38 MB
The uncertainties of life… living through waters of dejection (2010)1.29 MB

Rivers of Gujarat: Many variations, contradictions – A lecture by Himanshu Thakkar at the “Living rivers, dying rivers” series, IIC, New Delhi, February 29, 2012

Guest post: Amita Bhaduri

The ninth lecture in the ten-part series titled "Living rivers, dying rivers" was delivered by Himanshu Thakkar, South Asia Network on Dams, River and People (SANDRP) on the subject “Rivers of Gujarat”. The series coordinated by Prof. Ramaswamy R Iyer aims at understanding what has been happening to rivers across India and in drawing appropriate lessons.

The lecture held on February 29, 2012 at the India International Centre, New Delhi began with an account of the variations in water availability in Gujarat and the typical problem of excessive groundwater use leading to increasing salinity ingression in its coastal areas. The poor management of existing large dams in the state was discussed through the analysis of the dam operation and rainfall pattern in the catchment of the Ukai reservoir. Just how the man-made mishap of 2006 could have been avoided was talked about.

The case of the Sardar Sarovar Project, built at huge social, financial & environmental costs and how its waters are being used for the Sabarmati riverfront project was dealt with. The lecture concluded with an account of the cases of river revival and sustainable water management in the state.

Talk by Himanshu Thakker on "Rivers of Gujarat"

Read More

Download these documents : Size
Rivers of Gujarat - A presentation by Himanshu Thakkar - March 20129.02 MB

Towards ruin: Regularisation rather than regulation has become the norm in our coastal policy at present, which is actively undoing one of India’s most significant environmental regulations - Claude Alvares

Article and Image courtesy: Outlookindia
Author: Claude Alvares

MV River Princess Stranded for 10 years now, the grounded ship has been wreaking ecological havoc on Candolim beach in Goa

MV River Princess Stranded for 10 years now, the grounded ship has been wreaking ecological havoc on Candolim beach in Goa

Indira Gandhi’s concerns about protecting the ecology of India’s coasts, which held sway for almost 20 years, are being subverted under a regime supervised by her daughter-in-law and grandson. Claude Alvares—who has been involved with coastal ecology issues for decades—provides a stinging critique of the way the present dispensation is actively undoing one of India’s most significant environment regulations.

Read More


Sustainable water management initiatives in Konkan under threat - A report

Guest Post by: Parineeta Dandekar

At the first sight, Daarche Paani (‘water at the doors’) appears unreal.. on a small flat plateau called ‘Sadaa’ in konkan, an elegant cobbled walkway leads a puzzled visitor to stairs carved in stone, which go down to an ancient grove, and here is an intricate system of tanks, channels and falls which supplies water to the Panderi village and goes down as a free flowing stream, to irrigate a plantation of arecanut, pepper and mangoes in a village called Gudaghe. When I visited the place, I could see three eminent visitors, a silent lady washing her load of clothes, a fairy bluebird splashing at a tank and a huge moonmoth in one of the trees.

Stone walkway and ancient mango trees leading to Daarche PaaniStone walkway and ancient mango trees leading to Daarche Paani.
Photo: Parineeta Dandekar

Read More

Syndicate content
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 India License.