Water…

A couple of days ago, I was reading this article about the severity of China’s Water crisis. The Week, or Business World, can’t remember exactly which one. Made for rather grim reading. Apparently, the Yellow River is now just over half it’s size. I remember reading in my Geography books when I was at school that the Yellow River (Huang Ho) was called The Sorrow of China because it flooded so much and so often. How ironical, that.

The article also mentioned that the Indian Defence circles are already concerned that China might be looking at building dams in Tibet (which is where almost all the Indian rivers flowing up north originate), and divert these rivers. God forbid, if something like that does happen. As it is, we seem incapable of resolving our inter-state water disputes. China damming the Brahmaputra and the Ganges is the last thing we need.

Probably Vandana Shiva was right about “Water Wars”. I think I will see one before I touch 40.

Chew on this

As an aside, I also have this “conspiracy theory” that one reason the state govt. has been dragging it’s feet on the Banerghata Road repairs is because they want the residents there to agree to the Rs. 10,000 or so per family required to pay for the partially World Bank funded Rs. 500 crore Kaveri water supply project. The municipality even got Ramesh Ramanathan(of Janagraha) to come down & address the resident association representatives once, but that didn’t work. As of now, none of the resident associations have agreed to that, I think.

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Posted on February 22, 2005, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

    • Interesting…I vaguely remember this article. I was just talking to a colleague today afternoon about the chinese water crisis, and he had mentioned almost the same thing about The Great Bend.

  1. That was a superb article… And the depressing thing is that this will not lead people to rationalize consumption of water and food, but will instead drive them to find new technologies for manipulating both…

    We’re already breathing recycled air, and using recycled water for irrigation. The day is not too far off when we’ll be drinking recycled…

  2. Water and Land

    Caught up with this entry just now. I heard Sainath yesterday and got a chance to talk with him for a couple of hours. Though what he had to say about the farmer suicides in Andhra is depressing, it rang very true..If you havent read it, I recommend his book: Everyone loves a good drought.
    Given the recent Cola protests, proposal to privatize water (which has met with disastrous consequences in other parts of the world) and interlinking of rivers, I wonder what the future holds out for us with regard to this basic need…

    • Re: Water and Land

      I have the Sainath book you mention. Read about half of it, before I stopped. It was too depressing, and I was already way too confused then, to pile more agony on myself.

      I saw this documentary called “The Source of Life For sale”, many months ago. Shot by a Malayamlam film-maker (Sasi, I think), it chronicled the Cola protests, and other anti-water privitization movements in India. It was quite interesting.

      What the future holds? One can only hope for the best, I guess. And try & do our own little things to make it turn out so.

      • Re: Water and Land

        Yeah, Sainath’s writings are dark. So was his talk. Last night, I told him that I had left the hall day before with a very nagging feeling and asked why he hadn’t talked about any of the solutions that have might be out there. He felt that till recently, he had always returned with hope because he saw people fighting back. But after the farmers suicides in Andhra and other parts of the country, he felt quite shaken, because these were an ultimate surrender to the forces that be. Maybe that’s what is coming out in his books.

        What the future holds? One can only hope for the best, I guess. And try & do our own little things to make it turn out so

        I’m a bit confused as well, and one thing that continues to churn my mind is whether these little efforts will measure up enough. That in no way means we stop doing these little efforts, but what is the real situation? If the Sainaths, and Sasis of the world are to be believed, it seems quite a challenge. And they are amongst the few who are really studying and recording these issues. So, will distributed little efforts help tackle some of these forces?

      • Re: Water and Land

        Oh, I am hopeful. Lots of people are recognizing these issues. I think I will see a change in the way corporations work in my lifetime. It’s already happening. Unfortunately, however we tend to respond slowly. So whether the changes happen soon enough to avoid a real catastrophe in at least one area (water, global warming, energy, war etc) is something only time will tell.

        Btw, where/what do you study? And does Sainath teach? Or was it some guest lecture?

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