Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bridge over troubled waters

Gargi Parsi in the Hindu: A new report on water sector options in the face of changing climate has called for fresh approach to studying alterations in the patterns of rainfall and snowfall, availability of surface and ground water and the existing water infrastructure.

The report—Water Sector Options for India in a Changing Climate-- laments the lack of studies in the country on the impact of climate change in the water sector, but at the same time is optimistic about the situation offering a `unique opportunity’ for revisiting the sector for better understanding, planning and management.

Dedicated to communities around the world whose lives have been disrupted by climate change brought about due to high consumption lifestyle of the elite, the report, published by the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People, reviews the situation in the context of the international framework of climate change vis-a-vis adaptation, mitigation, technology and economics.

India needs to immediately come out with a report on the state of impact of climate change in the water sector, it says. Trends in quantum, peaks and pattern of long-term annual rainfall, resultant impact on river flows and ground water recharge are crucial issues for equitable distribution of water and its management. Transparency and sharing of data is the key to finding solutions.

Seeking top priority to rain-water harvesting, ground water recharge and incentives for changing cropping patterns and methods, the report points out that the irregularity in monsoon rains is hugely impacting farmers, particularly the rain-fed ones who form 60 per cent of the entire farming community...

A rice field in India. Author information missing, but Wikimedia Commons says the source is, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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