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Old methods to usher in a new dawn

FARM POND

Too many people, too few resources. Too many of us, not enough food, water and the basic necessities of life. Every day, a new species is dying out, a forest is being razed to the ground, a river is being polluted, just so us humans can march on.

For some reason, humans seem to want to wage a war against Nature and bend it into submission, instead of living along with it, like the rest of the animal and plant kingdom does. But where has that got us today? With rapidly dwindling resources and a worsening world. Up the creek with no paddle – that’s a colourful way of saying we are in such a pathetic situation with no solution in sight. Or, is there?

Many enterprising folk are coming up with creative ways to use sustainable, reusable and Earth-friendly ways to combat out space, energy and water shortage. The rest of us must take their examples if we are to move forward without killing the world.

Farm ponds as a long term solution

The devastating effects of the drought is still being felt across the country. Instead of wringing their hands and waiting for someone to drop in with a solution, a bunch of farmers decided to be proactive. The district of Dewas, in Madhya Pradesh, decided not to just bet on the erratic monsoon but hedge it by coming up with alternate, long term solutions. And, for the past decade, they have been successful!

It was in 2006, the then District Collector Umakant Umrao along with agriculture department officials and those from NGOs working in the sector convinced almost 40 big land holding farmers to dig a farm pond. Reason: in case of a remote possibility of failure, these farmers should be able to withstand loss of crop for that piece of land turned into pond.

……

Dewas has black cotton soil which runs up to 10 feet deep; followed by a 15-20 feet layer of yellow soil (pili ghumat in Hindi) and then sandy loam. This allows almost nil percolation of water, best to harvest and retain rain water. The very first year, farmers witnessed how from single rain fed crop, they could go in for second, winter crop using the water that was harvested in these ponds. Soon, more and more farmers were inspired to replicate success of farm ponds as witnessed by large land holding farmers.

Farm ponds are not a new-fangled concept. They are a traditional and ubiquitous feature in every village since time immemorial. But the advent of deep bore wells have put paid to this vital water feature and changed it for the worse.

As more and more farmers across the country are finding out, farm ponds can save the Indian farmer. Just like the farmers of Dewas, these Karnataka farmers from Dharwad too have found that embracing our age old practices is definitely the way forward.

Farmers in around 20 villages have constructed about 800 ponds, which provide them an ability to store water during an occasional rain, and use the same to feed water to crops during the dry spells. And the success is contagious. Seeing their neighbours thrive, more farmers are going for farm ponds and it is becoming a movement of sorts at the grassroots. They have also started cultivating water-intensive but more profitable commercial crops like papaya, beyond the traditional cotton, onion, jower, etc.

As these farmers clearly demonstrate, success is contagious. All it needs for a method to become widespread is for it to be visibly successful in one place, in a sustainable fashion. We need to remember our collective farming knowledge and spread it. This includes age-old, tried and tested methods like crop rotation, use of farm bunds, as well as planting crops based on factors other than market diktats.

With a large population and an economy that relies heavily on the agriculture industry, we’d be foolish to not take care of it with greater diligence and attention!

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Water Woes

WATER WOES

Another day, another watery tale of woe. Day after day, the media is filled with dismal stories about the misery resulting from an abject lack of water in parts of our country. The plight of the people worst affected is heinous. With the worst of summer yet to come, the harsh reality of our situation is that, this tale of woe has no end in sight yet.

Due in major parts to our own greed and lack of forethought, the drought that has gripped the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana as well as the water scarcity that is being felt in other parts of India, is more a man-made tale of woe than nature’s perfidy.

Our very own special brand of “it is every man for himself” type of thinking gone haywire that has contributed to our sorry state. So, it is time to think of the greater good. Like the students of this school in Pune – they are collecting the left-over water from their bottles at the school, so that it may be used for watering the school plants or for keeping the wash rooms clean.

“The school has around 1670 students, and if each child has 1/4th of water left in his bottle, it would amount to nearly 1 lakh litres of water been wasted everyday, which is a huge loss. Taking this thought into account, we had a discussion with the students and their suggestions were taken” – Ashwini Kulkarni, school Director

Every drop counts and small changes like this all add up to make a big difference. For once, those with star power are coming to the aid of the common man. Actor Nana Patekar started an amazing trend by adopting whole villages to support and offered his aid; other actors like Akshay Kumar and Aamir Khan are following suit. A slow trickle of support, but if it grows into a deluge, that will be the start of a wonderful situation!

But… let’s not get ahead of ourselves; let’s look at the cause of this abysmal situation and see what brought us here in the first place. According to news reports, the severity of the drought in Maharashtra is one of its own making – the usual ingredients of greedy politicians and unsavoury methods are to be blamed for this. To that, we must add short-sightedness to the list of crimes. According to Huffington Post, apathy for the poor is the number one cause of the grand scale of this misery.

While the frequency of extreme weather events is rising because of climate change, experts say that the prevailing crisis is a combination of governance and policy failures which go back decades, and the apathy of the Indian state to the suffering of the poor.

Rajendra Singh, the famous water conservationist from drought-hit Rajasthan, who won the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize, said that India’s “manmade drought” is the result of the Indian government’s non-seriousness about water security.

As long as short term monetary gain of a few trump the long-term prosperity of many, this sort of crisis will keep revisiting us in different forms, each time worse than the previous. By then, saving a few drops will likely not help in saving our hides.

So, what is the way forward? How are we to rise over this and prevent future such incidents from occurring?

According to N.C.Saxena, former secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development, there is no “carefully considered” policies in place or preventative strategies that can be put in motion in times of crises such as these. From cultivating crops that aren’t water guzzlers to “papering over the deep-rooted problems” with short-term solutions, our government has been guilty of not being proactive and forward-thinking.

 

Instead of pushing dole-oriented schemes, Saxena said that the government needs to engage with people, teach them water harvesting, contour-bunding and agroforestry, and then make them responsible for maintaining these resources.

The time for short-gap solutions to plug in the cracks has long gone. Now is the time for the government to rally round think tanks and NGOs, pool in the collective knowledge and start implementing longterm solutions for the good of the land. Until then, catchy slogans will not be worth the paper they are printed upon.

 

 

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Water: Every Drop Counts!

Water- Every Drop Counts!

Let me tell you a story. True story!

So, three days back, my old neighbour who lives abroad with her daughter, came back to the country for a visit. Opened up her apartment that had remained shut for more than 18 months, but thanks to the neighbours, was maintained in decent condition, with an extra round of cleaning thrown in so the lady and her offspring didn’t get enveloped in dust the minute they stepped in.

That night, at about 2:30 am, the old lady’s son-in-law, who seemed like a senior citizen himself, woke up to answer nature’s call. Went in to use the Indian style toilet. Of course. having lived abroad for three decades upwards, the man was out of touch with squatting. He couldn’t get right back up and put his weight on the pipe to give him some leverage.

Next moment he was caught in a major deluge! The old pipes, unused to such manhandling, burst right open, soaking him in seconds. Within minutes, the whole household was in an uproar. They woke up the flat secretary, the watchmen and any other stray insomniac that happened to walk past at that ungodly hour.

The poor secretary ran two floors up to the terrace, located their inlet pipe after an exhaustive search and turned off the mains. Only snag was, the inlet pipe didn’t just feed into the bathroom with the burst pipe but of everyone on that line. Including mine! It made for a frantic morning, when the kids woke up unable to use their bathroom and all of us had to share one, making the rush hour even more of one.

That same time, the Site Administrator of one of the residential complexes which had our VenAqua system installed, had a similar incident. At 2.00 am, his phone pinged with a message that flat X was showing an unusual amount of water usage. He puzzled over this, as that apartment was lying empty currently. Still, he followed protocol and informed his counterpart at the residential complex. Who walked inside the empty apartment to find the cause of the water leak: an open tap in one of the bathrooms.

He quickly turned the tap off and delved further into the matter. Turned out, the flat was shown to prospective tenants by a realtor, who had opened the taps and not closed one off completely. The tanks were empty then but as they filled, the water started leaking through the open tap. The residential complex’s administrator called our offices later that morning to share the results of his investigation and thank the stars for our product. As without it, they might have lost much more water – at least till the next time the apartment was opened and someone went into the bathroom to find out where the sound of water was coming from!

Sometimes, it is great when a system comes together, isn’t it?

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How To Celebrate Holi Without Destroying the Environment

HOLI

Today’s Holi in India, the festival that celebrates Spring and all of its glory. Holi is synonymous with colour and up and down the country and among the diaspora worldwide, there’s this sense of joy and pure fun that only Holi can bring.

But, on the flip side, it is also a festival that is not very environment-friendly. Apart from throwing the colours over each other, there’s also the gallons of water that’s used to mix the colours and spray them all over the revellers. Not to mention the gallons yet that are needed to wash the colours OFF the brightly pink and yellow (and the other colours of the rainbow!) people after the fun’s done.

Not a great thing when there are people desperate for water in many parts of the world, right? I mean, think of the poor mum washing her newborn off in front of her makeshift tent at the refugee centre, using the water from the puddles nearby? Or the child that is

According to the WWF, around 1.1 billion of the world’s populace lack access to clean water and 2.7 billion people run out of it at least once a month.

So, how not to be a killjoy and celebrate the arrival of spring, responsibly? We have some ideas…

  • Holi – and spring – are all about colours. So, bring them in in other ways. Make colourful food – decorate a doughnut with sprinkles, make rainbow cupcakes – and throw a massive street party. Get the whole neighbourhood together and feed the kids and old people who don’t have any and just have a massive picnic together. It is spring for them too!
  • Know what else is full of colours? And nature? Fruits! Make up a whole bunch of fruit juices and lollies and share with your friends. Get the kids of the neighbourhood around and set up a Lolly Stand and distribute it to everyone! Healthy AND fun!
  • Even if you do play Holi, do keep it a dry one. Use organic colours and natural products, like wild turmeric (kasthuri manjal) for yellow etc, products that will wash off easily and will not harm you or the soil.
  • Just so you know we are not anti-fun around these parts, here’s a top tip for those of you that are playing holi, WITH the requisite colours – massage some oil onto your hair and skin first thing. This way, even when you get covered in colours, they won’t seep into your skin and will wash off easily, with a lot less water used in the process.

Happy holi and remember:

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Of leaky taps and water shortage

Leaky taps

The past week, a heart-rending image of an emaciated Nigerian toddler has been doing the rounds on the Internet. The starved, painfully thin child was seen gratefully sipping from a bottle of mineral water, held by the aid worker that rescued him was enough to tug on the heart-strings of the most hardened person.

The reasoning behind how the situation came about aside, the image of this toddler, not much bigger than that bottle of water, drinking water from a safe, clean source is an arresting one. Because, more than a billion of the world’s children are unable to access the same. Clean, safe drinking water, the basic right of any living thing, is denied to these most vulnerable of our species. The same holds true for sanitation, as well.

1,00,00,00,000 children. No water. Or sanitation.

Not-so-fun fact: A person in a developed country having a five-minute shower uses more water than the average person in a developing country slum uses for an entire day.

I shall pause for a bit to let that sink in.

Let me elaborate on the discrepancy. When I was a little girl growing up in Madras, summers meant desperate shortage of water, which meant rationing. Street after street, the wells dried up and the residents had to buy water from the Metro Water tankers. At the end of every street, Metro Water installed a blue rectangular tank (this was upgraded to the black Syntex tanks a few years later), from which the water for a whole street would be dispensed. This tank would be topped up every couple of years so a family had to survive on 3-4 buckets of water, regardless of the number of members.

When you had one mug of water for your morning ablutions, you learn pretty quick to not waste a drop. The day’s washing up was done with minimal wastage of water, as well as the rest of the chores.

Now, though, the water situation is not so dire, especially where I live and I see my maid happily keeping the taps open as she cleans the sink and around. Reminding her to do so is a regular task but the important detail is that the need to be aware of how much water one is utilising and wasting has slipped in its importance.

Turning every tap off in your home may seem like a small thing but everything adds up. It is the little drops that get together to make an ocean.

Next time you are tempted to let your water run over, thinking of the little kiddies around the world that are dying for lack of water.

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7 Ways To Show Our Planet Some Love, on Love’s Day

7 Ways To Show Our Planet Some Love, on Love's Day

So. Are you the pink heart-shaped balloons and chocolates-type person? Or the one that runs away from those things kind? Whichever camp you fall into, it cannot have escaped your notice that the day ardently looked on by the starry eyed is almost upon us. What was that? What has that got to do with us, you ask?

Well, nothing. Exactly. Just that it is never the wrong time to talk about our depleting natural resources, including water and what better day than the Day of Love, to show some love to our beloved Planet Earth?

How do we do that? Let’s start, as with the best things in life, with some simple stuff and build it up.

1. Turn those taps off. A little drip-drip adds up to many litres of water lost. Make sure you leave no tap dripping in your home, workplace or where ever you may be. If there is a leaky tap in your vicinity, be the Water Ninja and turn those pesky dripping taps off real tight.

2. Keep your taps turned off when you and your family brush your teeth. Better still, fill a glass with water and use just that amount of water to complete your brushing teeth ritual. You would be amazed at how much water this saves you!

3. Be mindful of how much water you expend. When we had to queue up on the streets to get our daily rationed water of 4 buckets per household, we made sure that not one drop was wasted. But what with water flowing out of our taps 24/7 and the ubiquitous water tankers, we have lost sight of what a precarious situation we are in, with respect to the availability of clean, potable water. Say goodbye to endless showers and say hello to mindful usage of water.

4. Again, having a finite quantity of water goes a long way in ensuring none of it gets wastage. Put away the hosepipe and use a bucket-and-mug combo to water your plants.

5. Ditto, car / bike washing. Just fill a bucket and start taking the grime off. Rely more on elbow grease to clean your ride, instead of an abundance of water.

6. Do not throw plastic waste anywhere except in the garbage bins. Ensure that they get disposed off properly. Else, they will come right back to us, bringing along more of their friends and fellow bags and choke us.

7. Most of all, teach the children how wrong it is to waste water, litter on the streets or participate in any kind of activities that harm the environment and foul the surroundings. Never forget: what goes around, comes around.

Show some love to our planet, this Valentine’s Day! You will be the biggest beneficiary!

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Smart Plans for Clean Water

Smart Plans for Clean Water

The government made an announcement last week, listing the 20 smart cities that are going to be built as a part of the PM’s vision for the country and Chennai, the capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu, made the list. Along with Coimbatore, these two cities will get Rs 500 crores each from the Centre for their upgrade from regular cities to smart ones.

So, what is on the agenda?

Water. Yes, this life-giving liquid ranks among the top priorities of this smart-city-in-waiting. Safer water, cleaner ways of getting it and making it all more sustainable is where the city wants to go next. The first initiative that has been announced is that of a desalination plant to be built in T.Nagar, to take care of that prime area’s water needs.

Right now, T.Nagar’s homes and businesses get their water from the plans in Nemmeli and Minjur. With the installation of the Rs 173 crore desalination plant in and for T.Nagar, a great deal of pressure would be let off the two plants, freeing them to provide water to other, needy areas. By introducing smart meters, a tight reign can be kept on the water usage and eliminate needless wastage.

As per the govt’s announcement, this is the pilot project and upon its success, the model will be replicated throughout the state. Here’s hoping it is!

Other projects that will be highlighted include rain-water harvesting and flooding measures as well as completion of the laying of storm water drains in all parts of the city.

In both Chennai and Coimbatore, the other smart city designate, water, sanitation and waste management, with sustainability as the key ingredient, are the prime areas of focus.

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After Swacch Bharat, it is now time for Tandarust Bharat. Say hello to Jaldaan. Say what?

Jaldaan is a new initiative launched by the government to encourage the citizens to donate water to those in need. Literally, daan = donation, jal = water. According to the small print, each person taking the pledge must donate 5 litres of water to someone that has no access to clean drinking water. To make this more attractive to the denizens, there’s Madhuri Dixit, exhorting the masses to join in and donate water, just like her.

You know, in case altruism isn’t enough reason for you to start doing something nice.

 

 

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Of Flooding and… more flooding

Image courtesy: Manchester Evening News, Chennai Trekking Club

Image courtesy: Manchester Evening News, Chennai Trekking Club

 

“Please join us this weekend for a cleanup of the Adyar river. Assembly point: X. Time: Y am”

As recently as two days prior, I got this message. Despite many weeks having passed since, the effects of the colossal floods that hit TamilNadu are still being felt, with many areas still lying under water or the mountains of filth the waters threw up. Yes, the same garbage we mindlessly chucked around, now found its way back to the people! Go, Nature!

Weeks after the devastating TN floods, yet another part of the world suffered from similar events. Cumbria, in the north of England, home to the picturesque Lake District, woke up to knee deep water the day after Christmas. Things just got worse from there, with many people chased out of their homes at one of the coldest times of the year.

How did the two countries deal with their very similar disasters and what lessons can we learn from this, going forward?

1. The Home Team, Chennai

Cause: Despite the fact that a month of deluge really soaked the ground up completely, it was the release of the water from the local reservoir at supersonic speeds that upset the applecart.

Effect: Widespread floods along the banks of the river Adyar, many people losing their belongings and homes and more woe than you can bear. Grim was the outlook.

The immediate aftermath: Chaos. The city and the state were totally unprepared for this level of destruction and the Common Man swinging into action mode was what saved the day. Regular people prepared food by the tons, packed and took it to the starving masses. Local adventure sports schools took to rescue by putting their boats and kayaks to use.

And after? Once the army and the special forces entered the game, things started speeding up. Helicopters dropped food rations off for people waiting for them at the top of their buildings and rescued pregnant ladies from precarious situations.

2. The Away Team, England

Cause: The cause was rain and more rain. Typical for England, “more than a month’s worth of rain fell in a day”, across the part of the country that already receives a great deal of rain. A great deal of water + too little time = a massive flood.

Effect: People woke surprised to see water inside their previously warm houses. Widespread flooding, with more flood warnings put into place.

Immediate aftermath: The affected were moved to the local community halls whilst the local councils went about inspecting the flood defence systems and inspecting damage.

In both cases, “record” amounts of rainfall fell on the areas, setting up the situation for a crisis event. What differed massively was the difference in the approach to combat it. In both countries, the officials swung into gear straightaway, assessing damage along the line and inspecting the affected areas. But the major difference was the bulk of the citizens that swung into action in Tamil Nadu, trying to help their fellowmen. They, the volunteers, became an army, collecting money, basic essentials, clothes and even arranging for vital textbooks and reached it to the needy. Shockingly, there were many reported cases of politicians subverting their efforts and trying to put their stamp on it but the volunteers just stepped up their efforts.

In England, the elected officials and the council workers, whose job it was to do these things, arrived with the big machinery, cleaned up and supplied aid, till the affected could move on.

That, my readers, is the difference between the developing word and a developed one. And that is why, the locals are still relentlessly cleaning up the river banks and beaches, clearing up the garbage so life can return to normal, for man and animal. Or, in many cases, better than it was before.

 

 

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2015: The Year in Posts

venaqua

Our VenAqua blog is a fledgling. It came into existence just a few months back, out of a need to tell and share water stories, about conservation, sustainability and so on as it was related to our product, the VenAqua water meter. Our product is there to help you show you how much water you consume and thereby, help you save it.

And so, it made sense to talk about water. Quite a bit. Let’s see what all we spoke about this year, shall we?

The first ever post written on the blog is about saving Perumbakkam Lake in Chennai. This was a crowd-funding event and apart from contributing to the cause ourselves, we highlighted it and hoped it brought in new donors. “By tapping into the generosity of the people, both local and elsewhere, EFI aims to save the Perumbakkam Lakeand is looking to raise Rs. 5,00,000 for it. Let us all dig deep and contribute to this vital clean-up operation. Let us welcome back the lost birds and other fauna before they are lost to us forever.”

Another first, a curated post, was published on occasion of Earth Day. We shared some vital facts on this day, especially those that had an impact on the state of the world’s water and the state of conservation. I hope by the next Earth Day, we can see some positive change in the world around us, at least a few steps forward in the right direction.

Summertime stories for most of us that grew up in the erstwhile Madras is full of water – the utter lack of it, the fight to get more of it. Maybe we stood in a queue to get some, or had some hairy story wherein we nicked a few precious cans from a nearby stash! What’s your water story?

Summer also brought with it this delightful story of a bunch of children doing their bit to alleviate the thirst of the passers by, by setting up a free juice stall in their neighbourhood. As their squeaky voices rang out “juice! juice!”, none that walked past left without a big smile – and a cup of cold drink! And a reminder not to chuck the empty cup on the streets!

Environmental causes were one of the biggest topics for us, obviously. We asked if our thoughtless actions towards our planet has cost us too much, or do we have time yet. A drive around the neighbourhood with its towering cranes brought it home to us how much water would be needed to quench the thirst of these new families but where was the water?

One of India’s favourite festivals, Ganesh Chathurthi, or ‘Ganpati‘, rolled around, showing us exactly what our love for pomp and splendour was doing to our waters, our oceans, and the other lives that call it home. I wonder if the good Lord himself, a lover of simplicity, is happy at the amount of wastage and kill that is being carried out in his name?

Mars was in the news a lot this year. The Indians managed to launch the “Mangalyaan”, the Mars Orbiter Mission, for a fraction of the cost of all the other space launches. Then of course came the movie, The Martian and the news that water was found on the Red Planet – many moons ago. And then turned out Pluto might have the life giving stuff too! If we exhaust the earth’s supplies, maybe that’s where we should get our next lot of water tankers filled!

We threw a lot of facts at you: of water and wastage and then, later, about El Nino. The latter proved positively prophetic as Chennai almost drowned soon after the publication of that article, after a month and a bit of unprecedented rains, while other parts of the country suffered due to a decided lack of water.

One of the last posts of the year was also the most difficult one to write, as it was about the Chennai floods. The non-stop rains were just one of the reasons for the near calamity that followed. We listed a few reasons for this, what we consider might be the major contributors to the floods. Did you agree?

2016 is going to be an awesome beginning for all of us. We plan to delve deeper into sustainability, talk to some people doing interesting things in the field and learn more each day. Do stick around and bring your friends too!

We wish you a very happy new year 2016! Do let us know what content you would like to see in the new year.

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2015: A Look Back At Water Conservation

waterstories

Another year draws to a close. A year that began full of promise, as it does every year. A year that has brought a series of highs and lows. If water and the lack of it were the talking points in the beginning of the year, too much water and the resultant flooding in Chennai, while droughts ravaged Uttarakhand is how we are closing down this year. As if we needed more proof that water is the central need of every life!

Here’s a list of just some of the interesting articles published this year on water conservation. Here’s looking forward to a better and more sustainable year in 2016!

  • Leave it to the Americans to never give up, instead to hit winners even when the odds are so heavily stacked against! While everyone is talking about the drought in California, how it is just getting worse, the natives are just getting stuck in, setting records for water conservation! “The water board has assigned each community a mandatory conservation target between 4 and 36 percent, depending on how much water residents used last summer, that will be tracked between June and February. Cities that don’t meet these targets face fines or state-imposed restrictions on water use.”
  • About time too! Considering the majority of the state is a desert, you would think the government of Rajasthan would think long and hard about establishing a robust water conservation programme, but hey, better late than never, right? “”Taking the Maharashtra experience as the backgrounder, the state government has prepared a preliminary report on the guidelines to be adopted for execution of the plan,” Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Minister Surendra Kumar Goyal said while addressing a workshop in Jaipur.”
  • I first saw this at a Facebook-friend’s urban garden – when she had gone on holiday for a week, she ensured her beloved plants didn’t lack water by setting up a basic drip irrigation system. And here is ‘wick irrigation‘, a marvellous way to make a little bit of water go a long way. “‘Wick Irrigation’ (termed Thiri Nana in Malayalam) reduces the water consumption for agriculture to a great extent. It is specifically designed for terrace cultivation, of mostly vegetables, in grow bags.”
  • One of the most astounding news stories in this genre from earlier this year was the “Global Water Walk for Peace” held by Rajendra Singh, a.k.a “Waterman of India”, in order to raise the awareness of of the need for conservation of water. “The march, a part of the ongoing CMS Vatavaran Film Festival began in the morning from the Rajiv Chowk Metro Station culminating at the NDMC Convention centre, where the festival is being held.”
  • Even as Tamil Nadu was in the midst of the wettest November since records began,  a pilot project for conserving groundwater was being rolled out in the two districts in Karaikal. Upon the successful completion of the pilot, the project will be extended into the “problem areas of nearby Puducherry”. “Mr. Subburaj said that as of now, there was not serious exploitation of groundwater in Karaikal.
    However, there was a strong case for setting up rainwater harvest structures in all the 6,000-odd domestic and commercial complex in the district for long-term benefit on the lines of the Tamil Nadu.”
  • Saving energy saves water  “The United Nations forecasts that 1.8 billion people will live in regions of “absolute water scarcity” by 2025. In India water access is expected to worsen as the overall population is expected to increase to 1.6 billion by 2050…. According to current estimates amongst the regions which are most vulnerable to water scarcity in the next 20 years, India comes number second after Middle East followed by Mexico and the American Southwest.”
  • After the huge floods that nearly decimated villages in interior Tamil Nadu while many in the North were in desperate need of water, experts in the field got together at Manipal University to talk about conservation. “K. Narayana Shenoy, an expert in water issues and conservation of the water, warned that unless the country and the people adopt water conservation methods and take up the recharge of the groundwater levels seriously, the future would be bleak with an acute shortage of drinking water.”