Reservoir levels increase to 85 percent of overall capacity this year
According to the latest report of the Central Water Commission (CWC), the live storage available in the 113 reservoirs monitored by it, is 85 percent of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage is around 26.5 billion cubic metres (BCM) higher than what was available last year in September and 24.25BCM higher than the average of the last 10 years. Moreover, the highest storage has been recorded in the eight reservoirs of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan while the reservoirs in the west and south have also recorded storage higher than their capacity. Also, the ongoing monsoon conditions over central India and states along the west coast have led to higher storage in rivers due to the rising water levels.
"The monsoon is not over yet, so we need to be careful. Parts of the country are still receiving widespread rains. Ganga, Yamuna have breached their danger marks at some places. So, better planning is needed to ensure that these dams do not become reason for flooding, if monsoon maintains its strength over the next week," said Himanshu Thakkar of SANDRP.
Mobile app to map Ganga water, aquatic life launched
Under the Biodiversity and Ganga Conservation project of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has launched a mobile application Ganga Data Collector. The aim of the app is to provide field researchers with a complete data entry solution to monitor the aquatic population of rivers. The android-based app will allow scientists of WII, Ganga Prahri volunteers and forest department staff in the 11 states of the Ganga Basin to quickly collect more authentic and accurate data on water quality and aquatic life in the Ganges through their mobile phones. (The Indian Express)
Hilsa migrating to Bangladesh waters, thanks to high siltation and overfishing
Hilsa catch in Bengal’s rivers has dropped by 56 percent within a decade and a half while during the same period the catch in Bangladesh has increased to 160 percent. High siltation and virtually unrestricted fishing in the Hooghly River is being blamed for the change in migration route of the hilsa stock. Moreover, due to the Farakka barrage and lack of proper dredging, the Hooghly estuary mouth is fast losing depth which has led to unfavourable conditions for the Hilsa shoals to enter the river. In 2013, the Bengal government had declared five areas as hilsa sanctuaries along with several other bans on fishing of Hilsa. However, none of the bans were implemented. (The Times of India)
Coke, Pepsi, Bisleri collaborate to set up plastic waste management entity
In view of the likely impending ban on single use plastic, beverage makers Coca-Cola India, PepsiCo and Bisleri have partnered to set up a packaging waste management entity, aiming to create an efficient value chain for collection of plastic waste and optimise recycling processes. The entity is being developed by the industry body Packaging Association for Clean Environment (PACE). As per the representatives of PACE, the participating companies will invest over Rs 1,000 crore on mobilising and converging assets and resources for plastic waste management. Further, the entity will bring together 60 percent of the plastics value chain in India and bring convergence to multiple solutions by producers individually. (The Economic Times)
Invasive species pose a threat to the Shola vegetation in Nilgiris: Report
As per an expert committee report, expanding plantations like tea and eucalyptus along with exotic and invasive species in the Nilgiris can wipe out Shola vegetation. The change in vegetation, which is already leading to massive landslides, will have a serious impact on the water sources of the region. The data presented by the state government during the January 11 hearing in the High Court revealed that the domination of invasive species in the Western Ghats was between 65 and 75 percent. Moreover, no secondary or fresh growth of indigenous trees, plants or grass was seen in areas occupied by invasive species. (Down to Earth)
This is a roundup of important news published between September 17 - 23, 2019. Also read policy matters this week.