The Mission and the Mangoes is a work of fiction that sets its premise around a dystopic, water-starved Earth where unrestrained mining, drilling and the exhaustion of earth’s resources is rendering the planet unlivable. The young author of the book, 12-year-old Hena Parveen, tries to marry a futuristic setting where technological advancements such as humanoid robots and regular space exploration are a reality, with the Earth’s ecosystem that is hurtling towards an inevitable collapse. Interestingly, all this does not take place in a far-fetched future...
In summers this year, some European rivers had dried substantially, causing drought in many parts of the region. It revealed to their surface, some ancient stones with intricate engravings on them. Their markings used to indicate the water-level of these rivers, which served as a common forecasting tool for famines. Such stones were called hunger stones. One such is disclosed at the banks of the Elbe River. Dated to 1616 AD, its rock is etched with a warning in German...
Salem is one of the largest cities in Tamil Nadu, India. More than 1 million people live here. Piyush Manush is the convener of the Salem Citizen's Forum (SCF). SCF is an informal group, involved in protecting Salem's environment. The lake was built by the British for irrigating nearby farmlands. The lake is spread across 58 acres and used to be a major water body of the city. But gradually it became a dumpsite for Salem's municipal solid waste. In 2010 SCF took over the work of cleaning the lake. But first, they had to get rid of the garbage and then desilt the waterbody.
Carrying water by trains could be an emergency measure. Chennai has a strong tradition of water harvesting. But the problem is that most of these structures are either defunct or poorly maintained. Chennai which had 19 major lakes covering an area of 1130 hectares. But these waterbodies have been heavily encroached upon reducing their spread to just about 645 hectares. Its time that we understand the importance of water harvesting.
Froth belongs inside our washing machines. So, what is it doing there on the surface of our water bodies?
Water molecules prefer their own company, so they tend to stick together in drops. We call it surface tension. To make water wash better, we have to reduce its surface tension. The surfactants, that is, the surface active agents in detergents do the job.
Wetlands purify water through natural processes where aquatic plants act as bio-filters. Plants absorb phosphates and nitrates from the water and roots help to put back oxygen into the water.
Constructed wetlands are a cost-effective method of treating wastewater and polluted water bodies. These are low cost solutions and can be easily made or replicated.
It is said that when the British Governer General Warren Hastings brought the water hyacinth to India in the 18th century, thinking it was a flower, he couldn't have imagined that was actually a deadly weed.
Can we control the ongoing water crisis all by ourselves? It's not about whose responsibility it is, but what we are doing about it.
“When water became a commodity, I lost my freedom. More importantly, it put a financial burden on those who couldn’t afford to buy it. Today, water companies sell drinking water and advertise it being rich in minerals and full of vitamins. Big corporates such as soda companies have been buying rivers for industrial purpose and farmers have no water to irrigate their fields. As the rivers dry up, animals also start wandering and enter villages in search of water, with a threat of getting trapped or killed.
Children have taken it upon themselves to clean the historic ponds in the holy city of Varanasi