Climate change key suspect in the case of India’s vanishing groundwater

first_imgArticle published by Maria Salazar Since the Green Revolution, Indian farmers have depended on groundwater to grow enough crops to feed the country’s 1.3 billion people, but groundwater is vanishing in many parts of the country.The combination of overpumping and climate change – resulting in weaker monsoons – has resulted in social disruption in many parts of India, including violent protests and suicides.India won’t be able to solve the problem with just water legislation: the country also needs to take a look at climate change as well. Local farmers and cattle herders gather to withdraw water at a well in the Marwar region of western Rajasthan, India. Courtesy of Dr. Trevor Birkenholtz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.In three short months during monsoon season, India historically receives 75 percent of their annual precipitation. Imagine awaiting this promised, bountiful rainfall and receiving 14 percent less than average. This is what happened in 2015 – and it compounded decades of drought. India is suffering a water scarcity crisis but, until recently, most people believed that over pumping groundwater was the number one reason behind it. Now, a new study published by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar in Nature Geoscience, shows that variable monsoon precipitation, linked to climate change, is likely the key reason for declining levels of groundwater.India’s rainfall has decreased since the 1950s. When rainfall decreases, so does the water table. By observing climate patterns and well depths, researchers found that groundwater storage dropped in northern India about two centimeters per year between 2002 and 2013. Today, groundwater irrigates over half of India’s crops, but aquifer levels are falling, threatening both water and food security.“We find that climate has much bigger impacts on groundwater resources than we previously thought,” said Dr. Yoshihide Wada, contributing author to the study, senior researcher at IIASA’s Water Program and research scientist at NASA. When groundwater is pumped, it can take years to replenish. In the throes of record-breaking drought, India feels that loss.India’s groundwater problem is detectable from space. From 2002-2013, a satellite from NASA mapped aquifers around the world. The Gravity Recovery Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite detects the Earth’s mass below it and uses this data to measure groundwater pumping. GRACE reported that 54 percent of 4,000 measured groundwater wells are declining, some dropping by more than three feet per year.A warming world has made India’s monsoon season less predictable. During the past century, the Earth warmed 1.5 degrees, largely due to humans’ unprecedented burning of fossil fuels. What appears to be a small change in temperature is causing drastic upheavals in natural patterns. Increased atmospheric temperatures are changing wind currents and causing more frequent and intense storms. In some cases, this is also redistributing rain and intensifying drought.In India, warmer air over the Indian Ocean has altered the path of monsoons – leaving Indian farmers high and dry the past two years in a row.There is no singular definition for water scarcity that takes into account the availability, accessibility, and quality of potable water. However, the Falkenmark Indicator (FI) is a popular tool that measures water runoff and population to determine levels of water stress. According to the FI, a country is considered ‘water scarce’ when they have less than 1,000 cubic meters of usable water per person annually. In 2015, analysis using FI categorized India as having ‘absolute scarcity’, with less than 500 cubic meters of water per person annually.So little water affects security. Last September, protesters set 56 busses on fire in Bengaluru when the Supreme Court ordered that Karnataka must release more water from Cauvery Dam to be used by a bordering state. Retrofitted oil trains deliver millions of liters of water to Lature, a district east of Mumbai. Madhya Pradesh, a state in Central India, deployed armed guards to protect one of its reservoirs after farmers from a neighboring state attempted to steal water last year.Farmers are on the frontlines of the water crisis with India seeing a serious uptick in farmer suicides. Some estimates put the number of related suicides at 500 in 2015, but the central government only publicly acknowledges that 13 farmers’ suicides were related to water shortages. According to the Government of India, 52 percent of agricultural households were in debt in 2014. Heavy debts have resulted in an exodus of farmers, who are now seeking daily labor in large cities.“In spite of the challenges of the agrarian life in India (as with elsewhere) Indian farmers and farming households are some of the most generous that I have ever met,” says Birkenholtz. “They are also innovative; India is full of ‘makers’ – people who see a problem and are determined to find a solution.” Photo from the Marwar region of western Rajasthan, India Courtesy of Trevor Birkenholtz.“Farmers invest their own borrowed money for sinking bore wells to develop agriculture,” said Secretary R.H. Sawkar of the Secretary, Geological Society of India (GSI). Bore wells are similar to tube wells, long shafts that are drilled into the earth. Electric pumps are used to draw the groundwater through the tube to the surface. Most rural farmers pay a flat fee for unlimited electricity to pump from tube wells, leading to over-pumping.But farmers don’t have the money, tools, or know-how to drill deeper wells that can access sinking water tables. This creates a serious dilemma in areas where levels drop by almost a meter per year.“Only rich farmers can effectively pump groundwater from deep aquifers and the urban rich can buy extra water for their luxuries like car washing, [maintaining] lawns near their residence and [using] bottled water for drinking purpose,” said Sawkar.There are over 20 million tubewells in India today, a technology that enabled the Green Revolution in India. The Green Revolution was a global shift in agricultural production, beginning in the 1930s; it mechanized farming for developing nations and utilized new technologies, like pesticides and genetically modified crops, to feed a booming population. Developing countries could suddenly grow more food on the same amount of land.When India gained independence in 1947 the central government – along with the Rockefeller and Ford foundations –brought the Green Revolution to India. This meant cultivation of genetically adapted, high-yielding seeds, a deluge of fertilizers, and flood irrigation. Tube-wells proved to be the best way to irrigate more land, since they reached untapped groundwater. But today, annual groundwater pumping removes at least 24 times what was consumed in the 1950s.“India also inherited Britain’s water policies that were based on water abundance. Any landowner had the right to pump as much groundwater as they wanted… India doubled ag[riculture] productivity between 1972 and 1992 under this system,” said Trevor Birkenholtz, political ecologist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Chapmaign. “In short, there was no groundwater law.”Laissez-faire pumping is today reflected in the fact that farmers pay a single flat fee for electricity to power tubewell pumps.India solidified their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions when the Indian government ratified the Paris Climate Agreement last October. Climate change is a key driver of changing monsoon patterns which exasperate drought conditions across India. Above, Indian women and children collect groundwater in Marwar region of western Rajasthan, an area affected by climate-exasperated drought.The same revolution that once sustained India’s growing population is partly to blame for the cracked and barren landscape that farmers try to cultivate today. According to the World Bank, India’s population tripled since the 1960s, hitting 1.3 billion in 2015. As India continues to battle climate change and overpumping, an equitable distribution for groundwater, if it ever comes, will take considerable intervention.“This requires strong political will to address this issue, which is lacking,” Sawker said.Groundwater law and rulemaking falls under the purview of individual states in India. Researchers say that the central government will have a difficult time overcoming this decentralized system, if they wish to establish national water laws. To date very few politicians have fought to limit water pumping.“No politician wants to be the one that tells farmers – who vote at rates upwards of 85 percent – that they can no longer pump groundwater at current rates,” said Birkenholtz.It’s more likely that authorities will mandate drip irrigation or restrict the supply of electricity, perhaps through metering, to limit pumping. Using drip irrigation and gaining “more crop per drop” is an efficient alternative to flood irrigation.In parts of India like Marwar region depicted above, some village women spend hours each day collecting water. They enlist the help of their female children, who are taken out of school. When a family must choose between education and water, it’s nearly impossible for them to rise above poverty.Unfortunately, groundwater pumping is only half of the problem. Taking on climate change is equally important in solving India’s water scarcity. Climate change weakens monsoons, groundwater fails to recharge, wells run dry, and families go without water. The future of India’s water security, in part, rests on international agreements to combat climate change like the United Nations Paris Agreement.“Weather is uncertain by nature, and the impacts of climate change are extremely difficult to predict at a regional level,” explained Wada. “But our research suggests that we must focus more attention on this side of the equation if we want to sustainably manage water resources for the future.”Today, India accounts for 4.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Under the Paris Agreement, the country has committed to generating at least 40 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and decreasing carbon emission intensity related to GDP by 33-35 percent by 2030. This means India’s emissions will likely rise, depending on the level of its economic growth.Citation:Asoka, A., Gleeson, T., Wada, Y., & Mishra, V. (2017). Relative contribution of monsoon precipitation and pumping to changes in groundwater storage in India. Nature Geoscience. Agriculture, Cattle, Climate Change, Drought, Farming, food security, Global Warming, Interns, Water center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Harbour View for inaugural CONCACAF Under-13 Championship

first_img The squad includes 17 members from Harbour View, Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA)-based clubs and clubs outside Kingston. It is coached by Noel McLaren and assistant Sydney McLaren, while the team’s captain is Rojaughn Joseph. Meanwhile, KSAFA president Stewart Stevenson said: “I know Harbour View; they always give of their best, and I expect excellent performances.” Participating teams: CD Chatelango (El Salvador), Herediano (Costa Rica), Chepo FC (Panama), Harbour View FC (Jamaica), Montreal Impact (Canada), DC United (United States), Toluca FC (Mexico), Aguilas UAS (Mexico). Though not national football champions in almost three seasons, Harbour View FC’s pedigree and history continues to impress, with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) nominating the east Kingston club to represent Jamaica at the inaugural Scotiabank CONCACAF Under-13 Champions League. The youth showpiece will be held at the Cruz Azul Acoxpa Stadium in Mexico from August 4-8. The revelation was made on Friday at the JFF Academy at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona. “I commend Scotiabank for this initiative to help develop our football in Jamaica,” said JFF director of football, Vin Blaine. “It will also enhance our programme at the national level, as travelling to Mexico is special, as they are the top CONCACF team,” he outlined. Blaine is also Harbour View FC’s technical director. Harbour View are two-time Caribbean Football Union club champions, plus four-time winners of the national league. Club chairman, Carvel Stewart, congratulated Scotiabank for taking their novel idea. “We have toiled over many years to have significant interest in young players. “We look forward to the success of these young players as the years go by,” he added, describing current Reggae Boy, Kemar ‘Taxi’ Lawrence as the club’s latest role model. As title sponsors of the Gold Cup, the Champions League and the Caribbean Nations Cup, Scotiabank has turned its attention to youth development. “One of Scotiabank’s core mandates is to support the development of youth through sport,” said Heather Goldson, regional marketing director at Scotiabank. “The Scotiabank CONCACAF Kids’ Champions League allows us to remain true to our drive to encourage youth development,” she added. squad memberslast_img read more

Hope still alive for Inukshuk of pucks

first_imgPhoto: Chris Brandmann poses with one of his Inukshuk creations – submitted.A local man’s dream might come true, if he can secure sponsorship as soon as possible.Last December, Chris Brandmann asked permission from Fort St. John City Council, to build a six-foot tall Inukshuk – made entirely from hockey pucks. His artwork would be on display at the North Peace Arena during the 2010 Allan Cup and Olympic Torch Relay.- Advertisement -He initially asked council that the Inukshuk be freestanding. He said he didn’t want to glue the pucks together, so that he would qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records. But, due to liability issues, council denied that request and continued to negotiate with Brandmann.At Monday night’s City Council Meeting, Council granted approval for Brandmann to construct the Inukshuk, providing he glue the pucks together and that he acquire funding to construct a display case for the structure. The Inukshuk will also be the property of Brandmann’s and that he is responsible for the removal of the structure when needed.A glass case for the Inukshuk costs around $4,700.last_img read more

Forecasting Accuracy Theres Always Room for Improvement

first_imgAs much as we’d prefer to pretend otherwise, there’s no such thing as a perfect sales forecast.A forecast is, after all, a prediction — even if it is backed by quantitative and qualitative data. In fact, according to a 2010 Aberdeen Group report, even best-in-class organizations average just 80% forecasting accuracy 30 days out, and 84% immediately prior to close. While such stats theoretically let you and your reps off the hook for delivering 100 percent accurate forecasts every single time, it certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.In fact, until you’re consistently coming within 5 percent of your forecast, you should always be focusing on the continuous rapid improvement of your accuracy. Ultimately, doing so will lead to greater justification of scaling in headcount and of scaling in capital.And let’s face it: At the expansion stage, scaling these two precious resources should be the top priority. So, let’s dig a little deeper and discuss a few ways you can continually improve your forecasting accuracy and, as a result, better position your business for growth. First up, you’ll have to debunk one mother of a cliché.Under-Promising and Over-delivering is INACCURATE, and Won’t Help Your Business ScaleIt’s easy to understand the motivation behind sandbagging forecasts, fudging numbers, and underestimating potential. It can help sales reps feel like they’re protecting themselves. If they underperform, they’ll still hit their forecast. If they close all the deals they really should, they’ll look like a sales superstar.Isolated cases of under-promising and over-delivering may not always be a major cause for concern on their own, but repeated instances have the potential to amount to a bigger problem.  Consistent inaccuracy can make it more difficult for a management team to make the right decisions regarding budgeting and growth. At the highest level, it can even impact a company’s valuation and attractiveness to outside investors.Put Everything on the Table: Surprises (Even Good Ones) = InaccuracyWhen kicking off a forecast meeting, the most important thing a VP of sales can do is make one point very clear to his or her reps: “I don’t like surprises. I won’t accept surprises. Whether you are up or down, I want to know the truth.”Because their job security is often tied to their ability to meet their quotas, sales reps can sometimes feel compelled to lie. That’s as big a problem for the company as it is for each of them, individually. After all, management can’t make effective decisions without reliable information, and sales reps can’t ask for help if they don’t feel comfortable mentioning they’re under quota.To avoid that situation, sales managers should meet with reps every week to ask them pointed questions about their forecasted opportunities. Managers should also take the opportunity to reiterate how important it is for reps to be open and honest. Explaining why it is important should help the cause.Again, the goal is to stress accuracy. It should be made absolutely clear that pipe-dream or sandbagged forecasts are much more damaging than underwhelming forecasts that are honest. Reps who understand how accurate forecasts benefit both them and the company are much more likely to deliver reliable estimates.What Resources From Your Own Organization Can You Use to Improve Accuracy?One of the best resources that sales managers or reps at expansion-stage companies can leverage to improve forecasting is executive sponsorship. The reason is simple: An executive can help push deals along and keep them on track to close with more authority than any single rep.So, who are the members of your organization who might serve as an effective executive sponsor? Here are four to consider, although this list may vary considerably depending on the size of your company and the willingness and personality of specific executives within your organization:CEO: If a customer is concerned with the business strategy, stability, scalability, and/or financials, the CEO can bring credibility and validation to the table.Head of Product Development: If a customer is trying to better understand the product strategy, this sponsor can provide much-needed clarity.Head of Customer Service: If a customer needs reassurance that they will get the necessary support to launch your product/service efficiently within their organization, who better to provide it than the person most responsible for that guarantee?CFO: If a customer wants to be certain that your company is in good financial standings, the CFO can be an authoritative source — without giving away sensitive information.The key is to understand the customer’s needs and, for that matter, your sales rep’s potential shortcomings. If you get the sense that a deal might die because the customer lacks faith in something, don’t be afraid to call in the big guns to address it.Editor’s Note: These are just a few ways in which you can move toward more accurate forecasts. For more tips as well as practical guidance and tools you can use to develop and improve your own forecasting process, look for OpenView’s upcoming eBook, “Sales Forecasts: A Question of Method, Not Magic.”And for more sales tips and advice from Ori, read his OpenView Blog posts here.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis1last_img read more