Category Analysis

Family planning critical to climate change adaptation

World Population Day 2018 theme can help build resilience to climate change and ensure it gets the status of a ‘human right’ By Arjuna Srinidhi The battle for water amidst a growing population and heightened weather variability in India For 29 years, the World Population Day has been celebrated on the 11th of July, to […]

Agriculture and sustainability – understanding the commonly used terminologies

By Shreya Banerjee In order to deal with the consequences of climate change, the unsustainable nature of conventional agriculture, and the tremendous stress on the world’s limited and rapidly depleting natural resources, various new practices have been coming up in the field of sustainable agriculture. The blog explores the different terminologies that have come up and […]

Beating plastic pollution in agriculture – World Environment Day special

WOTR urges state and union governments to go beyond ban on single-use plastic bags and bottles, and look at its growing use in agriculture also. This practice, plasticulture, is extensively used in lining of farm ponds, green houses, micro-irrigation (drips and sprinklers) and plastic mulching and can threaten soil health and potentially enter food chain.

A conversation with Dr. Suresh Kulkarni, Secretary, Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority on Water Governance issues in Maharashtra

As WOTR embarks on its 25th year, we are celebrating and disseminatinginformation on all the thematics we are working on . In the month of February 2018, we were disseminating information on Water Stewardship. Our team members, Eshwer Kale and Mandar Sathe, recently ­ interviewed Dr. Suresh Kulkarni, Secretary, Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA).  Dr. Kulkarni shared his thoughts on diverse issues in the water sector and his insights to improve the level of water governance in the state, specifically focusing on challenges and opportunities in the Maharashtra Groundwater (Development and Management) Act 2009. MWRRA has given an important mandate of ‘State groundwater Authority’ in the 2009 Groundwater Act

A quarter of India’s lands turning into deserts

-By Arjuna Srinidhi More than a quarter of the country is turning to desert, including the degradation of agricultural areas (ISRO, 2016).  Analyses of satellite images show India has about 32% of its land affected by degradation, of which desertification is a major component. New areas in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir and eastern […]

One Million Farm ponds: A Revolution?

This week Eshwer Kale, a researcher at WOTR appeared on NDTV India’s Prime Time with Ravish Kumar to discuss the implications of the government’s emphasis on farm ponds in the budget. On the show Eshwer explained that the implementation and use of farm ponds Maharashtra, where farmers fill huge farm ponds, lined with plastic, by pumping groundwater is a cause for worry. This practice, rather than reducing the vulnerability of rural communities, may result in declining groundwater levels and the de facto privatisation of what was once a shared resource.

GROUNDWATER-A DISTURBING DIP

As many parts of Maharashtra continue to be inundated with rain it is easy to forget that at this time last year much of the state was reeling under drought. While the rains this year will recharge groundwater tables, given current groundwater usage patterns it is unlikely that this water would contribute to help farmers tide over the next. KV Maitreyi looks at the root causes of water scarcity and what the state is doing to overcome it

A nudge in the right direction: Using agro-advisories to encourage sustainable agriculture

Mobile telecommunications are increasingly being used to deliver weather forecasts directly to farmers in the form of regular advisories. These advisories are also used to introduce farmers to sustainable and innovative agricultural practices that can contribute to improving yields and reducing costs. In this blog we turn to insights from behavioural research to understand how and why advisories can be used to encourage the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices and the implications of this for scaling up these services

COMBATING DESERTIFICATION THROUGH COMMUNITY STEWARDSHIP

Desertification is seen as one of the most pressing issues affecting the lives of millions across the arid and semi- arid regions of the world. It is a consequence of a series of land degradation processes, where water acts as a limiting factor for land use patterns of the ecosystem. However, owing to the current rate of human activities, this natural process has accelerated in its timeline and is posing serious risks of decreased productivity and food insecurity. This post underlines the causes and impacts of desertification. It also traces the initiatives taken by Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR), in combating desertification and ensuring sustainable livelihoods for the communities.

Natural Springs in the Western Ghats – a vital natural resource, but completely neglected

In the Western Ghats, natural springs are a source of drinking water for many vulnerable rural communities. The springs serve as an essential component for the functioning of our forest cover and dependent ecosystem, yet their conservation is a completely neglected affair. Neither the Maharashtra state policy nor our national policy framework for natural resource management address this issue. There is an urgent need for a paradigm shift from source exploitation to resources management, especially in lieu of climate change. In this post we take a look at springs located in the hilly regions of Akole and Sangamner in Ahmdednagar district. Spring sources that we have surveyed are on a declining trend (both in terms of numbers and discharge), wherein some of the perennial springs have dried up or have been encroached upon, contaminated or destroyed – making it a serious issue for water resource management.