Troubled Waters: Understanding and Addressing Water Issues in India
Last summer a 11 year old girl died of heatstroke while spending close to four hours in 42 degrees Celsius collecting water from a village pump in the western Maharashtra state.
256 districts saw this extent of water scarcity and drought affecting close to 330 million people. Both ground and surface water crises beckon our attention.
Water availability in India’s 91 reservoirs is at its lowest in a decade, with stocks at a paltry 29% of their total storage capacity, according to the Central Water Commission.
In the same year we also saw floods in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
The large scale developmental activities on flood plains and river fronts have endangered the health of the rivers in an irreversible manner.
Despite such a scenario the State response has been to continue pushing ambitious, financially nonviable and socially and ecologically disastrous projects like inter-linking of rivers.
Loosening environmental controls and tightening the spaces available to communities and civil society to assert their ownership and rights over water resources has only worsened the condition of our water resources. What are the contemporary water issues of our time?
How do we assess the breadth and depth of the crisis and what could be points of intervention vis a vis the key water crises today?
Sambhaavnaa Institute, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh.
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Shripad Dharmadhikary is an activist, researcher, and coordinator of the Manthan Adhyayan Kendra that studies water and energy policies.
His interests include dams, rivers, environmental flows, water privatisation and coal-water nexus.
A graduate engineer from IIT Bombay he was earlier an activist for 12 years with the Narmada Bachao Andolan.
KJ Joy is a founding member of and a Senior Fellow at Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management (SOPPECOM), Pune.
He has been an activist-researcher for more than 30 years and his areas of work/interest include people’s institutions for natural resource management, drought and drought proofing, participatory irrigation management, river basin management and multi-stakeholder processes, watershed based development, water and sanitation, biodiversity, water conflicts, and people’s movements.
He coordinates the national level network on water conflicts, “Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India”
Apart from the above we will also have other resources persons who are also likely to participate in the program.
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