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Can Water Dissolve Geo-Political Boundaries? Part 2

Transboundary Water Conflicts

Transboundary Water Conflicts are different from Water Conflicts. Water Conflicts are commonest of social and territorial disputes between ‘users’ of water in history. You can imagine the definition of ‘users’ as extensive as you want. Water is required for consumptive use (drinking, sanitation, washing, agriculture etc.) but it is also required for fishing, drainage, navigation, industry and ecology. The list of beneficiaries can be massive and for rivers at least the context of river basin can extend far from the flowing rivers. It is easy to understand that for such a valuable resource, different groups of people on account of their strategic locations of varying degrees of benefits will have differing interests which may conflict. Read more >>

Can Water Dissolve Geo-political Boundaries? Part 1

Water can dissolve material boundaries – well known

Water is known as universal ‘solvent’ as it can dissolve a lot of substances. This is a scientific fact but even if not very clearly realized, this scientific fact works subtly in our cultures and societies since prehistory. The whole idea of cleaning things by washing and letting the dirty water flow into streams or seas works on the idea that given sufficient ‘dissolution’ the ‘dirt’ will be rendered harmless. This is not untrue so to say, as it is easily understandable that when the concentration of a solute becomes negligibly low, the solution is considered effectively harmless and suitable for human use. For less scientifically oriented:

Solution = Solvent + Solute Read more >>

Climate Change – A New Narrative

The world is yet again looking at Durban, a coastal city in South Africa as UNFCCC is meeting for COP17. Looking, yet not expecting much. The world is expecting things to change and doubting it too.

Climate Change and how we deal with it is an ongoing story. It started with a doubt and continuing with doubts.

Doubt 1. Climate Change? Is it happening really? We cannot look outside our windows and see it. We moved on. I guess nobody seriously doubts Climate Change and our responsibility in its causes. Read more >>

My Crazy Idea

In a few days from now world is going to witness yet another attempt to address to reduce, mitigate and thwart the impending vagaries of Climate Change in the form of a summit meeting, COP 17 in Durban, South Africa. There is a great interest and speculation about whether the meeting is going to deliver us some kind of solution or if it is fated to fail like Cancun.

The more I follow Climate Change Movement of the world and come to be aware of the emerging new order of scientific philosophies, the more it appears to me that a strange coincidence is taking place slowly, possibly still too subtle for mass acceptance and belief, and I increasingly feel that we are in a state of transition of a paradigm shift of our collective world view. Read more >>

To Drink Water From Air

The picture shows an atmospheric water generator, commercially known as Yeti AC-12, which can sit snugly in the corner of a room and generate as much as 10 gallons of pure drinking water per day just from atmospheric moisture. It runs on electricity and the power consumption is well within affordability of most people. If you are interested look up Everest Water here .

Though our water planners largely neglected the unseen Green Water (or more fashionably White Water, which is that part of the vertical unseen water that large water bodies evaporate away into atmosphere, you are not stealing from plants’ water so do not need to feel bad at all), human ingenuity saw this source right from antiquity and tapped it with innovation, as and when required. It’s just that this common wisdom was not trumpeted big time in the name of TECHNOLOGY, as our modern planners love to do. Read more >>

In The Name Of Governance

Admittedly, the social, environmental and developmental scenario in South Asian region leaves a lot to expect despite plethora of NGOs, International funding agencies and individual governments slogging hard. What emerges as a basic question from this tug-of-war is: who dictates the demands – the beneficiary or the donor? K.N. Vajpai shares his insight on the question.

Based on my understanding of various social and environmental developmental issues and processes in South Asia, I feel that the governance system in this region, in general, is going through a very critical phase. This has led to disrupted ecosystem and various social developmental issues. Read more >>

The Holy Grail Of Water Security

Water Security is a situation of reliable and secure access to water. When we project this definition on a national perspective things start to get really complex. Reliability of water source is dependent on few factors:

  • Population growth
  • Food production
  • Climatic change and variability
  • Land use
  • Water quality
  • Water demand
  • Sectoral resources and institutional capacity
  • Poverty and economic policy
  • Legislation and water resource management
  • International waters
  • Sectoral professional capacity
  • Political realities
  • Sociological issues Read more >>

Darjeeling – The Fallen Queen

Though some British East India Company officials stayed in the village of Darjeeling in 1828 and considered the place suitable for a sanatorium for British soldiers, the remote hilly village might not have turned into a hill city of international repute had the Sikkim Chogyal not imprisoned the British East India Company Director Arthur Campbell and explorer botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker in 1849. This ensured a rescue operation by the British and a renewed interest for this ‘home-like’ territory and by 1866 it came to exist in its present shape and form as a hill station. Read more >>

Wayside Story

The News

Men have always been the ones who are supposedly genetically and psychologically geared for a no-strings-attached sex life. And there’s a reason why ‘getting lucky’ is usually something a guy boasts about in the locker room. But things are changing and today’s Indian woman is slowly moving away from the ‘touch me not’ syndrome, where even if she did indulge in a physical relationship, she had to assuage the ‘guilt’ by assuring herself that the man in her life was there for keeps. “Now, sex is not taboo anymore. Everyone’s indulging in it. In this scenario, young girls, too, are talking about sex and initiating casual encounters quite unabashedly,” notes Mumbai social psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty. Read more >>

Climate Change And Future Of Technology

“There can be no absolute reality, there can be no absolute truth”.                                  -Kevin Warwick

While we discuss the Climate Change mitigation through economic, social and political options available to us and also on being innovative to embrace a new life-style to lower our carbon foot-prints, technology, or more accurately low emission technology becomes one important aspect of that discussion. I do not personally feel that a blind faith on a technological ‘cure’ of Climate Change is wise, but science and technology have always remained one great window of human ingenuity and they can certainly come handy for effectively combating Climate Change. Read more >>

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All opinions are solely those of the author. Reader's discretion necessary for using any of the contents of this website. (c) Pabitra Mukhopadhyay 2011
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