Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Great Message in a kids book

Found this as I was reading my daughter a story. Rain, downpipes, collection. Nice, quiet message in a book (from "Skiddle-de-daddle - A first book of Noises" - My Wonderful WORDBOX)

Friday, September 28, 2007

The growth story and h2o

Water Scarcity Threatens China's Future - Environment - New York Times

I guess this is true of many Indian cities too. Huge suburbs in Bangalore have no water connections - they either sink their own borewells or get the water from suppliers who do that - all of this leading to rapid depletion of groundwater.

Whats the solution ? Official water supply agencies can handle only so much growth, and are hard pressed to generate enough water for current demand levels itself.

Recharge ? Its a solution that may have no immediate benefit for those doing the spending - but would lead to sustainable groundwater if done by every house, every apartment. Tough ask - who's to implement and monitor this ?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Hurtling down a cliff....

Indian rivers heading for disaster- Hindustan Times

The "cost" of not being able to treat all the sewage has to be higher than treating it. No rivers is a very scary scenario to imagine.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

CO2 -> flooding. New variable

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Climate flooding risk 'misjudged'

Apparently, leaves reduce the stomata size with increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere - and hence release less water into the air. Lesser groundwater gets pumped into the air this way, and with a severe rain - this can cause more flooding since the ground's closer to saturation already.

But is this an isolated cause-effect relationship ? Aren't there so many more factors in play ?

  • there just are fewer trees
  • groundwater's getting pumped out pretty fast on most of the planet
  • the rains themselves are more severe (and if the trees releasing less water is a major enough amount, won't the rains reduce too?)
  • This is likely to be a localized cause-effect, depending on soil composition, tree cover. Is this significant enough relative to the concreting/paving of large urban spaces ?
Of course, this may have an impact, but one gets the sense that this may be a little bit of barking up the wrong tree :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Think before you dump

Daily Dump - Compost at Home

Am not clear what happens to the compost yet - but sounds like a plan. If the garbage output of the city reduced by even 50%, it would solve a huge problem! Also, as a byproduct very rich topsoil might really improve yield. How does it get to those who need great topsoil, without being infinitely expensive ? No clue. Or is it sold in "retail size" packets ? Lotsa questions....

Friday, August 17, 2007

Recycled by BWSSB!

Deccan Herald - Thirsty Bangalore to get recycled water

This is both very encouraging, as well as a little scary. After all, BWSSB does only a just-about-ok job of treating relatively cleaner river water. Recycling is a great idea - especially at only 5% wastage - but running it efficiently is way more critical now, and way bigger a challenge for a governmental org.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Thinking outside the bottle

Kick The Bottled-Water HabitIt’s Not Just Daft, It’s Decadent. And Tap is Often Better. - CommonDreams.org

Wow. Of course, the comparison doesn't really hold in a place like India, where tap water is by and large unpotable. Of course, the ready availability of bottled/canned water may be a reason there's not enough of an outcry for improving tapwater quality.

Greener computing

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Oh Well

The Daily Independent - News

Indiscriminate sinking of borewells has depleted the water table all over India too. As the article hint, the well owners must be encouraged to keep the wells recharged. Here's a few ideas:

  • Have well ? Get disconnected from the grid, and get massive breaks on property taxes etc

  • Have well AND are on the grid ? Pay higher unit rates for water, or have it rationed

Of course, nothing works better than an aware audience, but a few sticks and carrots go a long way in encouraging that awarenes.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Conservation and the State

But whats the better route - local level micro-projects, or State sponsored mega ones ? I have little to back this up, but my intuition would go with the former. Yes some of the latter is needed since there are areas where there isn't any water to be conserved or harvested, and the state can help at that scale. But usually, the issues are local, and scale only adds cost, feasibility and management problems to what have, and should have been, grassroots level skills.

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

WaterBattle - everywhere

The Daily Independent - News

The focus, somehow, has to be on use less, not get more . If most of Karnataka and TN had been using water optimally for agriculture, and especially in the cities, the Cauvery might've sufficed. There's lots of rains, even flooding, at least once a year. And we keep looking at that one river, essentially fed by some of that rain in Kodagu, for all of our water.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Loktak Lake : the killer weed

Rapid weed-growth choking largest freshwater lake of northeast India

One sees this issue with numerous lakes around Bangalore too - hyacinth here.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Conservation, Business, Common Sense

Water, the Next Clean Tech Darling? - 2007-07-18 12:21:56 | Venture Capital News

Its probably one of the more satisfying and useful jobs in the world :) Water sit atop food, economic, social, cultural, survival issues, and its no surprise its demand vs supply drives a huge economy around it.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Main Stream - no pun intended


There are a lot of orgs out there doing good stuff. But somehow, to the major junta this is more of a coffe/cocktail conversation. Not really mainstream.

Therein lies a huge challenge. And water's kind of the tiger for ecological consciousness - a lot many other things follow.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Voices from the water..

The Real Next Big Thing

Fresh Water. 6 billion and counting. Drying. Warming. Desalinization. Price. Cost. Poor. Harvest. Scarcity. Unrest. Divide. Solve. Recycle. Opportunity. Need. Social. Skills. Money. Governments. Control.