South Asia

India and Israel join hands to develop solutions to desertification and living in the desert – India

“As part of our growing partnership with India, Israel is keen to work together and share all its experience and cutting edge technology in our joint fight against desertification, including a strategic partnership on water management and water security,” said Dr Malka.

Israel has been working in depth in the field of desert technologies and methods of dealing with desertification.

With over 60 per cent of its territory being a desert and another 20 per cent semi-arid land, Israel has been working to develop solutions to desertification and living in the desert, including: desert agriculture, irrigation, desalination, aquaculture, afforestation and management of water resources.

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Madras HC pulls up TN govt over water crisis, asks for report on measures taken – India

Even as the state of Tamil Nadu is in the throes of a severe water crisis, the Madras High Court has pulled up the state government on measures it has taken. The state government has been directed to file a report on how it has addressed the issue by June 17. 

According to a report in The Hindu, the court was hearing cases filed against the commercial exploitation of groundwater from the outskirts of the city. In particular, one public interest litigation (PIL) from a resident of Vellore district had alleged that sewage was being allowed to flow through into a water channel.

A division bench of Justice S Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad also sought details of the number of sewage treatment plants (STPs) present. 

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Tamil Nadu to approach A.P. for Krishna water – Chennai

The Tamil Nadu government is likely to approach Andhra Pradesh for seeking its share of Krishna water as soon as the latter starts getting heavy inflows in its reservoirs after the southwest monsoon progresses.

The availability of Krishna water has become critical to Chennai, which is in the midst of an acute water shortage. Even though Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board is making efforts to tap every conceivable source, this will, at best, sustain the water supply of around 500 million litres a day (MLD).

Without Krishna water, the supply cannot be restored to the normal level of 830 MLD – 850 MLD.

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Running dry: Competing for water on a thirsty planet – India

In India’s ‘Silicon Valley’ tech hub of Bangalore, where gleaming office complexes and apartment blocks have sprouted faster than the plumbing to serve them, only 60% of the water the city needs each day arrives through its water pipes.

Much of the rest is pumped from groundwater wells and delivered to homes and offices by a fleet of private and government tanker trucks that growl through the streets of the city of 12 million.

But Bangalore’s groundwater is running dry. A government think tank last year predicted the city – like others in India, including New Delhi – could run out of usable groundwater as early as 2020 as aquifers deplete.

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Mini-desalination plants to quench thirst of 5 lakh Chennai residents soon – Chennai

CHENNAI: Faced with the onerous task of quenching the thirst of a city that’s being whittled down by a rising population and failing rain, the government has unveiled a plan to set up five mini-desalination plants of one million litre capacity each.

The plants, costing Rs120 crore, will start operation at Kasimedu, Thiruvottiyur, Triplicane, MRC Nagar and Thiruvanmiyur within the next six months, said a Chennai Water Supply and Sewerage Board proposal.

“Everyone knows Chennai is facing a water crisis. Since we lack perennial sources, we decided to set up minidesalination plants that will cater to specific areas.

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Chennai: Acute water shortage puts hotels in crisis control mode – Chennai

CHENNAI: Acute water shortage has affected the hospitality industry, with hotels welcoming guests with caution notice and restaurants replacing plates with plantain leaves. Being one of the largest water guzzling sectors, hotels and restaurants largely depend on private tankers for sourcing water.

While the hospitality industry has taken contingency measures to tackle the looming crisis, hotel associations are raising concern over a possible shutdown if tankers cut down the supply. South India Hotels and Restaurants Association (SIHRA) secretary T Natarajan said that hotels urge guests to conserve water.

“In the welcome letters, we appeal to our guests to be prudent over water usage in the light of prevailing water shortage. So far, private water tankers have been supplying water — at a huge cost,” he said.

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Spanish-Chinese consortium lands $700mln deal for UAE desalination plant – UAE

Spain’s Abengoa announced on Monday that it has received an order, as part of a consortium with Chinese EPC contractor Sepco III, to start work on a 909,000 cubic metres per day (m3/day) desalination plant in Taweelah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In a stock exchange filing, the Spanish engineering and construction firm said the desalination project is valued at more than $700 million, with the company’s share being approximately $243 million over the next three years.

In November last year, a Reuters report, quoting a statement by Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, said the department was studying tenders for developing the Taweelah desalination plant.

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Mumbai faces fourth water cut of 10 per cent in a decade – Mumbai

This summer, Mumbai faces a water cut of 10 per cent, its fourth in a decade. The average rainfall that Mumbai receives every year has been steadily dropping. In 2008, we received 2,508 mm of water. Last year, that figure dropped to 2,009.45 mm.

It wasn’t sufficient to fill to capacity the seven lakes which store the water supplied to the city. Until May 9, the lake levels had only 15 per cent of live stock water — 2,21,265 million litres. An additional 1,70,000 million litres is in reserve which the state government has allowed us to use.

Yet, this situation could have been avoided if only the BMC and the state government had implemented their own plans. In 2008, the then state government had considered setting up desalination plants in the city. However, nothing was done.

In 2016 — after the current government appointed a high power committee to look at the feasibility of the project — the plan was struck down owing to high costs and huge land usage.

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Metrowater taps all resources to quench Chennai’s thirst – Chennai

Aware of the grim water situation facing the city, Metrowater has initiated about a dozen measures, including erection of new borewells with power pumps, setting up additional filling points and extending operation of tanker lorries. The most serious problem surrounds the level of water in the reservoirs at Poondi, Cholavaram, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam.

Cholavaram, the smallest with a total capacity of 1,081 million cubic feet, on Friday had a mere 9 million cubic feet of water. Officials had stopped the drawing from its dead storage level since a few days ago, said Metrowater executive director T Prabhushankar.

A visit by TOI showed cattle grazing on a large swathe of the lake bed.

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Chennai: Metrowater starts to draw from farm wells – Chennai

Metrowater has started drawing 15 million litres a day from 300 wells on agricultural land it has leased in Tiruvallur, Tamarapakkam and Minjur to meet the city’s water needs.

Metrowater managers say the supply situation isn’t too bad with 180 million litres a day piped from Veeranam lake and an equal quantity from the two desalination plants too, but cause for worry is the depletion of the groundwater table in the city.

If needed, more water could be drawn from the wells. Water drawn from these wells is pumped into the Puzhal reservoir. After treatment, the water is piped to Anna Nagar, Kilpauk, Kolathur, Korattur, Ambattur and up to Nungambakkam lake area in the heart of the city, a senior officer said.

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