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The Cauvery delta: An economy under threat

By Lalitha Sridhar

Thousands of farmers in the Cauvery delta are being forced to come to terms with a new reality: perennial water scarcity. The lack of water in the rain-fed Cauvery is destroying livelihoods and disrupting communities

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Village committees manage water supply scheme in Rajasthan

By I M Shah

Two hundred villages have so far participated in the planning, construction, operation and maintenance of the Aapni Yojana scheme in three districts of arid Rajasthan. A water and health committee in every village is responsible for fair distribution of water, water conservation, health education, payment for services and sanitation

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Monsoon showers wash away rainwater harvesting initiatives

By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

With the start of a good monsoon, everyone seems to have forgotten about water harvesting as a means to ensure healthy supplies of water even after the rains

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The hidden impact of riverlinking: widespread waterlogging and salinity

By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

It's imperative to put the facts about India's ambitious riverlinking project before the people before politicians permanently alter the geography of the country. How many people know that 246,000 hectares of land in Rajasthan became waterlogged and salinised as a result of the Rajasthan Canal Project?

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Women's participation in irrigation management reaps rewards in Gujarat

By Advaita Marathe

The myth that women have no role to play in irrigation management has been shattered, as the Gujarat government's Participatory Irrigation Management policy clearly shows

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Water wars

By Anuradha Sengupta

Shaken by the magnitude of water stress, and the conflicts surrounding it, award-winning filmmaker Urmi Chakraborty has made a hard-hitting new documentary on water

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Participatory water management requires the involvement of millions

By Mohan Dharia

Vanarai Bunds, erected at virtually no cost by using empty cement bags across nullahs and rivulets, have proved most effective in watershed management, writes Mohan Dharia. Around 36,000 such bunds have been constructed in Maharashtra by local communities since the monsoons of 2002

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The costs of river-linking

By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

External funding for the ambitious river-linking project has been rejected. Instead, industry has been called upon to support the costliest endeavour that the country has ever undertaken. But, by opening up the floodgates to private sector investment, the government could be bargaining away the traditional rights of people over water resources

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River Inc

By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

Following on Chhattisgarh's heels Kerala has been planning to give easy access to groundwater to private operators. And some 30 Indian cities are inviting bids for their municipal water supplies from a handful of multinational corporations specialising in water

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Water vending is a booming business

By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

Farmers in Goa and Tamil Nadu are abandoning their farms for the more lucrative business of extracting and selling groundwater. The groundwater trade is close to Rs 30 billion today, with 50% of the urban and industrial demand met through groundwater. And yet, there are no regulations to prevent this dangerous over-exploitation of groundwater resources

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Dying wisdom: The tanks and stepwells of Ramtek

By Anu Kumar

For centuries the people of Ramtek managed their traditional water harvesting systems, thrived and prospered. The community decided on water distribution. In 1950, water management became the responsibility of the state. Today, the area is drought-ridden. Revitalising the tanks and stepwells could be the best solution

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Rainwater harvesting in Bangalore

By S Vishwanath

With groundwater levels fast depleting, rooftop rainwater harvesting makes sound ecological and financial sense. Bangalore seems to have taken the lead in this form of water harvesting and has even set up a special Rainwater Club

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To privatise, or not to privatise, water

By Jaya Jose

Watershed management expert Vijay Paranjpye sorts out the tangle over water privatisation, and insists that privatisation of public utilities can be resorted to only if the government completely fails to manage the utility, and if private management is going to make the utility cheaper for the people

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Water wars in the US: Lessons for India

By Devinder Sharma

Taps are running dry, water tables are falling, crops are shrivelling and cattle dying as America faces its worst drought since the '30s. Strangely, America's hi-tech model of precision farming has crumbled under just one year of severe drought. What does this say about the wisdom and efficacy of industrialised farming versus India's subsistence farming methods?

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Harvest from the skies

By Teresa Barat

Five model rainwater-harvesting projects in Delhi show how the city's fast-depleting groundwater table can be recharged and how the acute water scarcity could be tackled

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