2020 Hyderabad Floods: Reviving Lakes and Reforming Water Education

2020 Hyderabad Floods: Reviving Lakes and Reforming Water Education

In August 2000, the city of Hyderabad in central India recorded a total of 469 mm of rain in one day. It led to one of the worst floods in the city since 1908 when the Mosi River was severely flooded. As many as 90 residential areas in the city were underwater. Fifteen people were […]

Community-Centred Flood Early Warning System in Nepal

Flood disasters cause significant loss and damage in Nepal. In an effort to minimize the impacts of flood disasters, strategies for risk reduction, including community-based flood early warning systems (EWSs), are being developed. Over the last 15 years, such EWSs have been established in over one dozen rivers in Nepal. Many individuals, communities, and government […]

Covid-19: A Clarion Call for Conscientious Capitalism

A century from now, historians would see Covid19 and the year 2020 as a turning point in human history; a moment of reckoning when the philosophy of human progress itself would have evolved to dismantle the ‘God of GDP’ and seek reconnection with Nature. In a sense, 2020 marks the year the world completes the […]

Buddhist Economics

Right livelihood’ is one of the Buddha’s noble eightfold paths. But what does that mean for a Nepali, and can such concepts hold any relevance in these difficult times brought about by COVID-19? The human disaster brought about by the Pandemic, political bickering amongst our leaders, and Nepal falling prey yet again to geopolitical whims, […]

Scarcity in Abundance: Addressing Drinking Water Woes in Flood-prone Zones in North Bihar

The beginning As called for in agreements between India and Nepal on the tributaries of the Ganga River such as the Sarada (1920 and later included in the Mahakali Treaty 1996), the Koshi (1954) and the Gandak (1959), barrages have been built in and embankments along rivers largely to derive irrigation and flood mitigation benefits […]

Two Water Manifestos of the 1990s

South Asia’s waterscape faces worrying trends in public health, infrastructure development, and climate change, posing major challenges for the people and governments. Here we present two documents, produced in the mid-1990s, that had already identified trends in public health and infrastructure development as problematic for the region then and which have gotten worse since. In 1997, Imtiaz Ahmed (a […]

Valuing Water from a Transboundary Perspective in South Asia

Transboundary water governance in South Asia is often described as a “wicked problem” — a problem that is nearly impossible to solve — because of its inherently contradictory and changeable nature, one which makes solutions difficult to identify and implement. It is not hard to see why. South Asia’s major transboundary river systems — the […]

Building the Green City of the Future: Inclusive Technologies and Inclusive Materials

Our houses and our cities: Built to exclude nature Humans began building houses to keep rain, moisture, wind, heat, and cold out and to keep themselves safe from other animals. As we evolved and moved to cities, we began to pave the ground with water-impervious materials and pipe water to our homes. We also began […]

A Reflection on South Asian Rivers

Gift of Nature Rivers are creations of nature and living entities. From its origin to its end in a sea, a river connects landscape, boulders, sand, silt, aquatic beings, and humans. Rivers and water bodies like ponds, lakes, streams, groundwater, and oceans are intrinsically linked together, maintaining the planet’s ecosystems and supporting all life on […]

Localizing the Integrated Water Resource Management Approach

As somebody who was born and raised in an urban setting and had the privilege of running water at home, I had little appreciation of the difficulties people in rural areas faced in terms of getting safe drinking water. Since 2004, however, when I began to explore the issue, I have seen many domestic water […]

Do Not Blame the Water

Do Not Blame the Water It was the evening of July 11, 2013. I was in a guest house in Dhaka waiting for a rented car to arrive to take me to a social gathering organized by friends of my university years. It was raining heavily. In fact, in the 36-hour period between 6 a.m. […]

Reflections on Floods, Droughts, and Irrigation

Reflections on Floods, Droughts, and Irrigation Early agriculture It is said that the human race started growing grains about nine thousand years ago.  If that is so, our ancestors might have shed their nomadic pattern of life and begun sedentary living in a particular place, one no doubt near a river offering advantages like availability […]

Rivers, Habitats and Biodiversity: Foundations for Sustainable River Management

  Healthy freshwater ecosystem is essential for human welling     Rivers, Habitats and Biodiversity: Foundations for Sustainable River Management Longitudinal Continuum Rivers are not just flowing waters but a longitudinal continuum[1] of WEBS (water, energy, biodiversity, and sediment)[2]. They are complex ecosystems where thousands of organisms interacting with instream water, mineral habitats, and associated […]

What Have I Learned About Water

What Have I Learned About Water Ajaya Dixit, a friend, colleague, and mentor approached me the other day to ask me to write a short piece reflecting upon the journey we’ve had as South Asian water researchers. It turned out to be a harder enterprise than I had imagined. There are so many places I […]

Exploring the Need for Improved Communication between Research Organizations and the Government: A Case from Uttarakhand, India

Exploring the Need for Improved Communication between Research Organizations and the Government: A Case from Uttarakhand, India The gap between research and implementation has been a constant mulling point in academia. Traditionally, researchers/research organisations publish their work, which mostly remains restricted to the academic world. Through this article, I wish to explore the issue of […]

Rethinking Transboundary Water Governance

Rethinking transboundary water governance Regional and transboundary water conflicts within and between nations are widespread all over the world, but such conflicts are not always a priority issue in the political agenda of the various governments that share a waterscape. In almost all countries in South Asia, water management is fraught with inefficiency and complacency, […]

Weathering Ecological Disruptions

Weathering Ecological Disruptions Increasing Risks In its 2019 assessment, the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development suggested that a rise in average global temperature of 1.5°C by 2100 would mean that the Hindu Kush Himalayan region would be warmer by around 1.8° C. In this scenario, the study continues, the glacier volume in the Himalayas […]

The Increasing Heat: An Unfolding Disaster in South Asia

  Ken MacClune and Atalie Pestalozzi write that heat (rising temperature and humidity combine) is an impending disaster for millions of South Asians. The effort to minimize irreversible impacts from this disaster must begin with dialogue for systemic actions than piecemeal and jerky responses.   The Increasing Heat: An Unfolding Disaster in South Asia “There […]

Holistic Approach for Integrated Water Governance

Holistic Approach for Integrated Water Governance 1. The Imperative of an Integrated View of Water Over the last several millennia, river basins have been the cradles of many human civilizations. That dependence continues today. However, with economic growth becoming the paramount objective of the present uses of water,  river basins have become an open playing […]

Water Challenges in South Asia

Water Challenges in South Asia Some of the most pressing problems facing South Asia’s waterscape relate to worrying trends in public health, infrastructure development, and climate change. These trends exacerbate already-existing threats that plague South Asia: flooding, water scarcity, groundwater overdraft, pollution, degradation of rivers, and abject poverty. Public Health Not only has COVID-19 exposed […]