Author Archives: shahishaharyar

About shahishaharyar

Chartered civil engineer,Fellow institution of engineers India, Member Indian road congress,Member American society of civil engineers, Presented over 40 papers in various seminars,published books on environment,history,genealogy.

2014- Major Flood in Kashmir after over half a century

Standard

2014-  Major Flood in Kashmir after over half a century

In 1959 I, along with my six colleagues had to travel to Madras for joining our Degree engineering courses for which we were selected by Public Service Commission. The valley was passing through a major flood, due to several days of incessant rains, as at present and road communication to Jammu was cut off. We chose to fly, but the sky was so densely overcast with clouds that the Dakota plane could not take off for seven consecutive days and we used to report at the airport everyday and return disappointed, after having a lunch carried from our homes. It was on the eighth day that the pilot found some gap in the clouds and we had a bumpy flight and touched the Pathankot air port to have our usual lunch there carried by us. In the evening, when we boarded the jam packed train bound for Delhi, it was full of the tourists who had escaped from the valley after a long wait of so many days and were all averse to their visit to the valley, saying: “Kashmir Kala Pani Hai” naming Kashmir as Kala Pani, which was a name given to the notorious prison of Andaman islands established by Britishers for punishment to the freedom fighters of India. These tourists had sold all their belongings for their survival. On our return in 1963, we had to witness many more floods during our forty years service tenure till 2003, but it was never so worst as that of 1959. The flood duties would give us many sleepless nights, but we were told that a major flood visits the valley after almost every 50 years. However this year’s major flood marks 55th  year from that of the 1959 flood.

The history of floods in Kashmir valley is perhaps the oldest one. Recent discoveries of age old monuments have proven that before formation of Satisar Lake, Kashmir valley has been a valley inhabited by people. It began with the closing of mountainous gorge below Varmul, due to some catastrophe that the valley got flooded to form Satisar Lake. Later on with the puncturing of the outlet down below Varmul the receding of hundreds of feet deep  Satisar Lake, perhaps a hundred million years ago, people roaming on the mountain tops began to settle on the exposed lake bed. Floods continued to inundate the low lying areas frequently thereafter and the formation of Dal Lake is ascribed to flooding of Talni Marg during the reign of Raja Parvarsen in sixth century AD, who constructed an embankment from Dalgate to Rainawari (now a road) to block the drainage of the newly formed lake. In ninth century in the reign of king Awantiwarman, when the low lying areas of the valley were inundated due to blockade of river Jhelum down below Varmul, Er. Suya devised an ingenious method of removing the blockade by dropping gold coins into the river bed, which was got cleared by the local divers and subsequently releasing the dammed up waters on the upstream side with a gushing force to push down the rocks to allow the drainage of the flooded valley. Sir Walter Lawrence in his “Valley of Kashmir” gives us account of frequent floods in the Valley, touching the period of 19th century, when in absence of river embankments even Lal Chowk would get submerged. The tourists ke Younghusband liwould enter the first floor of Nedou’s Hotel by boat only, when the ground floor would remain submerged.

The second half of last century has testified concussion of low lying areas with residential colonies both authorized and unauthorized with the result that the new Master Plan of Srinagar city had to concede the abuse of the earlier one on account of the mushroom growth of housing colonies in flood basin areas of river Jhelum. Now even the low lying agriculture lands are getting urbanized despite existence of legislation against it. The threat of floods is looming large almost every year for which a separate Flood Control Department has been functioning to face any adverse situation. Besides we often hear the formation of disaster management committees and training for the volunteers but the affected people are full of complaints against the timely help from the administration.

In my book ‘Environment in Jammu & Kashmir’published M/S Gulshan Books in 2013, besides other topics on water management there is a topic on cost effective measures for flood management besides engineering disaster mitigation in which the subjects have been analysed with the expected unforeseen disasters due to climate changes.The write-ups still hold good for future planning and precautions.

Er. Ashraf Fazili (retd. Chief Engr)

THE BIRTH OF HIMALAYAS

Standard

     THE BIRTH OF HIMALAYAS

He set on earth  mountains standing firm lest it should shake with you…… (Holy Quran Verse 10 Ayat 31)

—  Compared to older mountain ranges like the Aravallis in India and Applachian in USA, the Himalayas are known as Youngfold mountain, being the youngest range, with world’s tallest peak of 8,848m. These extend for 2,500 km in length & 50-100 km in width in a series of parallel ridges of folds.

—  About 250 million years ago, the earth’s land was a single super continent called Pangea, which was surrounded by a large ocean.Around 200 million years ago (known as the middle permean period) an extensive sea stretched along the longitudinal area presently occupied by the Himalayas. The sea was named The Tethys. Around this period the super continent began to  gradually split into different land masses & move apart in different directions.

—  Rivers from both the northern Eurasian land mass (Angara) & southern Indian land mass (Gondwana) deposited large amounts of sediments into the shallow sea that was the Tethys.

—  There were marine animals called ammonites living in the sea of the time. The present fossil finds on peaks, point to their coast dwellings.

—  The two land masses, the Eurasia and the Indian subcontinent moved closer and closer.

—  Indian plate-one of the fastest moving tectonic plate in the world- was moving north at the rate of about 16 cms/6.3 inches per year.

—  About 70 million years ago (upper cretaceous period) the initial mountain building process started, when the two land masses (or plates) began to collide with each other.

—   As a result the already shallow seabed rapidly folded & was raised into longitudinal ridges & valleys.

—  After about 65 million years ago (upper Eocene period) came the 2nd phase of mountain building.

—  The bed of Tethys started rising again.

—  The sea retreated and the sea bed was elevated into high mountain ranges.

—  Later about 25 million years (middle Miocene period) came another mountain building which led to the formation of low Shivalik ranges.

—  Next; the mountain building phases occurred as the Indian plate pushed against the Eurasian plate which led to the Himalayan ranges rising further.

—  The last major phase occurred 600,000 years ago.

—  Although the phase of major upheaval has passed, the Himalayas are still rising albeit at a much slower rate.

—  The Indian plate is continuously moving north at the rate of about 2 cms. every year, which raise Himalayas by 5mm per year=5km per million years (being world’s highest rate of uplift )

—  This means that  Himalayas are still  geographically active & structurally unstable.

—  Some of the greatest earthquakes have occurred in history due to tectonic forces released by the interaction of the two plates.

—  For this reason, earthquakes are a frequent occurrence in the entire Himalayan region.

—  There is a recent prediction of an imminent major earthquake in Hidukush mountains.

—  For this reason, earthquakes are a frequent occurrence in the entire Himalayan region.

—  There is a recent prediction of an imminent major earthquake in Hidukush mountains.

—  Area covered in North Western Himalayas: snow clad peaks, glaciers & dense forest cover  = 33 million ha=10% of the total geographical area of the country

—  Rural Population:  J&K 75.20 %, HP 90.20%, UK 74.30 %    against the national average of 72.20%

—  It is impossible to detect the movement of the plates and uplifting of the Himalayas by casual observation.

—  However Global Positioning System (GPS) has made it possible to measure even such a slow movement of plates.

—  The Alps in Europe is another example of a mountain chain that formed due to the collision of tectonic plates.

—     Praise be to Him who left His signs for us all around ………               

—  The Continents 180 million years agoThe continents 65 million years agoThe continents today

 

.

 

 

 

 Tectonic plates of the world

 

                The world plate movement

International boundaries of Himalayas: Pakistan,Nepal, China & India

                         The Snow covered peaks of Himalayas.

Natural Resources of the North Western Himalayas-Threats, Evaluation and Conservation.

Standard

National Seminar on Natural Resources of the North Western Himalayas- Threats, Evaluation and                  Conservation (March 26th-27th 2014 ) at Sri Pratap College Srinagar J&K State

            Natural Resources of the North Western Himalayas-Threats, Evaluation and Conservation.

                                                                  (A power point presentation)

                                                                                       By

                                                                Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili FIE

                                                                        (Retd. Chief Engineer)

 

                                                           A view of north western Himalayas

                                                                     Himalayan terrain

                                                                             Map of Himalayas

    

                                                                     TECTONIC PLATES OF EARTH

                 

                                                                Indian plate pushing Eurasian plate

INTRODUCTION

  •  About 40 million years ago Indian plate crashed into Eurasian plate, at the geographically breakneck speed of 4 inches per year to form Himalayas-
  • The collision created Himalayan mountains welded together by warped and shattered rock interlocking to form the highest chain on earth.

               States touched

  •  Area Covered

 North Western  Himalayas  comprise of three states viz. J&K, Himachal Pradesh (HP) & Uttrakhund (UK), covering an area of about 33 million hectares, forming about 10 % of the total geographical area of the country.

Map of Himalayas

HIMALAYAN TOPOGRAPHY

Location & Cover

  • The region occupies the strategic position in the northern boundary of the nation and touches international boundaries of Nepal , China & Pakistan.
  •  Most of the area is covered by snow-clad peaks, glaciers of higher Himalayas & dense forest covers of mid Himalayas.

 

Population

 

  •  The region comparatively shows  a thin and dispersed human population due to its physiographic conditions and poor infrastructure development.
  • The rural population  in HP, J&K and UK constitutes  90.20, 75.20 and 74.30 % respectively as compared to the national average of 72.20 %.

 

Livestock population

 

  • The livestock population in the region has increased substantially during last three decades and is 21.33 million against human population of 29.53 million (1: 1.38)

 The Dominant Sector

  • The agriculture including livestock continues to be the dominant sector despite the fact that the area is exposed to adverse and harsh geographical and agri-silviculture conditions.

The Climate

  • The Himalayas exhibit  great diversity in climate,physiography,  soil & vegetation between the outer and inner Himalayas, ethnicity, resource availability and agricultural practices controlled by altitude.
  • The region experiences coldest temperatures in the world during winter. Mostly the hill stations of the Western Himalayas like Srinagar, Pahalgam, Shimla, Manali (Kallu valley), Kangra, Dharamsala, Maclodganj, Chambra & some regions in UK like Kamaon, Garhwal experience monsoon showers.

Major natural resources

  • The major natural resources of Western Himalayas are  water, forests, floral and faunal biodiversity.
  •  Forests constitute the major share in the land use of the region covering more than 65 % of the total geographical area of the region.

 

Largest Concentration of Glaciers

 

  • The Himalayas have world’s  largest concentration of glaciers outside the polar regions in spite of being the youngest mountain ranges on the planet with substantial growth occurring in just last million years.

Snow peaked tops

 Mountain ranges

The mountain ranges in this region are usually 50-100 Km wide and 1000-5000m high. Dhandhar range in HP, Pir- Panjal in J&K and Mussorie in UK are some of the important hill ranges.

Soil loss

The estimated annual soil loss from north western Himalayas  is approximately 35 million tons, which is estimated to cost around US $ 32.20 million.

  Fodder need

  • Strategies by planting fodder trees or grass in the waste/degraded lands (representing 7.9, 9.8 & 11.5 % of the geographical area  in HP, J&K &UK respectively) is  needed for enhancing the fodder production.

Growing plants

  • Climate of the region is conducive for growth of a large variety of plants ranging from tropical to temperate due to different altitudinal ranges varying from 100m above msl to more than 4000 m amsl i.e. sub tropical to cold temperate alpine  zone.

Medicinal & Aromatic plants

  • The region is the natural abode of large number of medicinal and aromatic plants and the value of medicinal herbs from forests is enormous.

Hydrological Potential

  •   The hydrological potential of these states consists of vast & rich water resources as glaciers, rivers & lakes. The high altitude areas of lesser and greater Himalayas are covered with glaciers and snow fields & are the origin of a number of perennial  rivers, which heavily drain into Indus and Gangetic basins & form a most fertile Indo-gangetic region of the country, known as “food bowl of India”.

Hydro power potential (HP)

  • Catchment area & hydro power potential of different rivers in Himachal Pradesh:

 Major Basin Tributary- Area (sq,kms)-Hydropower pot.(MW)

  • (A)  Indus

    Chenab                         – 7,500               – 3,032

     Ravi                             – 5,451               – 2,159

     Beas                             – 20,402             – 4,604

     Sutlaj                           – 20,000              – 10,355

________________________________________

     Total                             – 53,353             – 20,150

(B) Ganga

     Yamuna                         – 2,320               – 592

__________________________________________

TotalA+B                          – 55,673             – 20,742

__________________________________________

  © Mini-Projects                                           –     750

____________________________________________

GT                                      – 55,673            – 21,492

 Hydro power in J&K

  • Potetial assessed by Dr. Ramshoo : 25,000 MW
  • Potemtial assessed by PDC           : 20,000 MW

  Chenab                  – 10,654 MW

  Jhelum                    – 3,141 MW

  Indus                       – 1599 MW

  Ravi                         –    417 MW

_________________________

Total                           – 15,811 MW

__________________________

Exploited                    -2327 MW

Lakes in J&K State

  • A unique culture emerged on the banks of lakes surrounded and protected by Himalayan mountains on all sides. In Srinagar in Dal Lake entire community living in boats depends on lake for subsistence. These hospitable people claim their decent from Prophet Noah. In Ladakh a small community of nomads still herds yaks along the shores of giant Pangong lake. In the northern part of the state in Baltistan, a series of high altitude lakes exists in the high mountain valleys above Skardu. J&K abounds with such natural treasures. Various lakes  of the State include : Dal  (8 x 6.4 km),Nigeen , Anchar (8×3 km), Manasbal (5x1km), Wullar (16×9.6km), Hokersar(5×1.5km), Konsarnag (5x3km), Gangabal,Sheshnag, Neelnag, Tarsar Marsar, Sherasar, Sukh & Dukh- the two frozen lakes at Harmukh.

Dal Lake Srinagar

A Houseboat in Dal Lake

Wullar Lake (the largest fresh water lake in South Asia)

Sheshnag Lake

Mansar Lake

Threats to Water bodies

  • With deforestation, increasing tourism & steady urban growth along the shores of some lakes and rivers, the centuries old balance between man and nature has been disrupted and desperately needs to be restricted.
  • Deforestation  and the consequent erosion of the top-soil is having a devastating effect on the rivers & lakes. The silt & the soil being washed off of the barren mountain sides is rapidly  transferring the Himalayan water ecosystem while hastening the shrinkage of large lakes

Dal Lake endangered

  • Runoff of chemical fertilizers from the vast drainage basins around the lake, sewage and other oxygen demanding wastes, which bring in 15 tons of phosphorous & 300 tons of nitrogen every year combine to place the lake’s internal life process under severe stress.
  • Oxygen levels fall, the fish die out & the lake loses its aesthetic appeal. Decaying organic matter produces disagreeable odors & unsightly green scum of algae and weed infested waterways.

KEWA report

  • Although Dal has not reached such an advanced level of eutrophication, the process has begun to set in. Tourism has added increased pressure on the delicate environment of the Dal, for instance the number of house boats around the Dal lake has grown to 1400 from 400 in 1975.
  •  If current trends continue, the experts opine that the Dal lake will be destroyed within 80 years-Brar- Numbal mini lake in the heart of the city is a living example of this.
  • The upcoming KEWA report concludes with a series of suggested solutions for safeguarding of J&K lakes & waterways including the possibility of eco-tourism & environmentally sound urban planning. It is hoped that this report will bring about awareness in the administration and among inhabitants of J&K with the hope that the threat to J&K lakes can be averted.

Lakes in HP

  • Water from Beas & Sutlej rivers has been stored in Poong Dam & Bhakra Govind Sagar reservoirs having capacity  of 7290 & 9621 million cubic meters resp. for irrigation & power generation. It is major source of irrigation to Punjab, Haryana & Rajasthan.

Hydropower/lakes in Utrakhund

  • Water from Beas & Sutlej rivers has been stored in Poong Dam & Bhakra Govind Sagar reservoirs having capacity  of 7290 & 9621 million cubic meters resp. for irrigation & power generation. It is major source of irrigation to Punjab, Haryana & Rajasthan.
  • The catchment area of Ganges in India is approx. 8,63,000 sq. kms., which covers 26,20 % of total geographical area of the country, particularly of northern states of India & is considered most fertile region of the world.

Soil Conservation & Ecosystem

  •  The growing stock of trees outside the forest land (ToF) under agro forestry or social forestry  has played a significant role  to enhance the GDP of the country from 1 to 1.70 %. However the tree cover in J&K received a great set back in last three decades. The tree cover increased significantly during last 3 decades when ICAR initiated  All India Research Project on Agroforestry (AKRP-AF) during 1982-83 & farmers were encouraged to grow fodder trees & enhance their income & to meet their domestic demand.

Other renewable resources

  • Amongst other renewable resources are deposits of Boron, lead, lithium, coal, chromium,  ores of iron, copper, tungsten, zinc and deposits of building materials like limestone, dolomite & marble

Cement Industries

  • These deposits occur across length and breadth of Himalayas cutting across international boundaries. Due to mineral deposits many cement industries have come up during last 3 decades.

Biodiversity

  • The Himalayas present a store house of biodiversity, where flora and fauna vary extensively with climate diversity from one region to the other and this biodiversity is used for developing new varieties / hybrids in agriculture and horticulture crops to enhance the productivity.

Intensive Agriculture

  • Intensive agriculture is practiced in Kangra, Kullu in HP & Kashmir valley in J&K and Doon valley in Babhar and Tarai region in UK. In these low hills, agriculture fields are terraced in some parts except plain areas and fruit plantations are raised along with several arable crops such as paddy, maize, pulses, wheat, oil seeds, potatoes and vegetables etc. Cultivation is practiced upto 2500 m elevation.

Floriculture

  • Floriculture is also fast emerging as an important cash generating activity of the production systems in certain areas. Fruit orchards of several species are found in the hills of HP, J&K and UK. Plantation on agriculture lands was not common in the past as enough forests were available in the vicinity.

Firewood

  • However after clearing the forests for plantation of fruit trees as orchards in the hills during last 4-5 decades has created acute shortage of firewood and fodder and has compelled the farmers  to grow trees on their farmlands as a part of their farming systems to meet their daily needs of fuel, fodder and timber

Indigenous Agro-forestry Systems

  •  Various indigenous agro forestry systems occur in different agro climatic zones of the region. A homestead (Kyaroo) is operational  farm unit in which a number of tree species for fodder, timber, and fuel wood are raised along with livestock, poultry and/or fish to satisfy the farmer’s  needs.

Kyaroo crops

  • In kyaroo multiple crops  are present in a multitier canopy configuration. The fodder trees & bamboo for both timber & fodder are managed in upper storey, whereas  middle storey is constituted of bushes like medicinal plants etc.

Plantation

  • The fruit trees like pear,plum, lemon & citrus etc. are grown  for domestic use. Wide variation in the intensity of  tree cropping is noticeable in different places.
  • Plantation  crop combination play a major role in national economics. The important plantation crop of the Himalayan region is tea.

 What Saints Visualised

  • Over 650 years back Shaikh-ul-Alam (RA) said:

 “Food is Subservient to Forests.”

              ان پوشہ تیلہ یلہ ون پوشہ

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY- 5th JUNE 2014 : RAISE YOUR VOICE NOT SEA LEVEL

Standard

SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES (SIDS) & CLIMATE CHANGE
________________________________________
The UN General Assembly declared 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). World Environment Day (WED) 2014 was celebrated under the theme of SIDS, with the goal of raising awareness of their unique development challenges and successes regarding a range of environmental problems, including climate change, waste management, unsustainable consumption, degradation of natural resources, and extreme natural disasters.
________________________________________
Climate change is a major challenge for SIDs, as global warming is causing ocean level to rise. Due to their small size and isolation, SIDs are more vulnerable to natural & environmental disasters, climate change & sea level rise. However some of these islands have also been successful in overcoming their environmental problems. From Palau to Puerto Rico, the stories of resiliency and innovation abound. For instance, Tokelau recently began producing 100% of its energy from solar sources. In Fiji, lacking the resources to make new drainage systems and seawalls, local residents are restoring mangroves and coral reefs to help prevent flooding and erosion. These stories and solutions can be applied to environmental concerns all over the world. The problems that they face are: climate change, waste management, unsustainable consumption, degradation of natural resources, extreme natural disasters in most of over population and continuing industrialization.

The effect of climate change was witnessed by us too in J&K State, with an elongated winter this year with frequent rains and snowfall in hilly areas even in the month of May. This has adversely affected our agriculture, horticulture, floriculture causing late sowing of seeds/saplings, late pollination of fruit trees, late blooming of flowers like tulips etc. respectively. Even in the month of June we still feel comparatively lower temperatures in the mornings & evenings. Besides the other threats of pollution of our water bodies, air & noise pollution, inadequate solid & liquid waste management, forest denudation etc. persist despite Kashmir being branded as heaven on earth.
Stop killing our oceans:
In her book “The Sea Around us” Rachel Carson saw the oceans as one last haven safe for ever. How it could be otherwise, when the oceans are so vast that continents are mere islands in their midst, so deep that a Mount Everest could be lost beneath their surface? How does one pollute a volume of almost 320 million cubic miles? How poison an environment so rich that it harbors 200,000 species of life?
Even though the oceans blanket three fourths of earth, their productivity is limited mostly to the narrow bands of undersea land existing from coastlines which comprise the continental shelves. 80% of the world’s salt water – fish catches taken from these shallow coastal waters, which make up only a tiny fraction of the total sea. In addition almost 70% of all usable fish & shell fish spend a crucial part of their lives in the estuaries- the coastal bays, tidelands & river mouths that are 20 times more fertile than the open sea, seven times more fertile than a wheat field. Cut the chain of life in these areas, destroy the myriad bottom organisms, pollute the continental shelf waters & you will also eliminate the vital ocean fisheries.
Already pollution or overfishing & sometimes both have gouged fisheries around the world. Meanwhile in a headlong rush to create more land , vital coastal tidelands are being filled for highways, industry, bridges and water front homes. At the same time the remaining estuaries are fed billions of gallons of sewage & industrial waste every day. These poison fish choke our oyster & render the bays & tidelands unfit for anything.
Pressure also builds on the oceans beyond, for instance in 1968 some 48 million tons of solid wastes were carried out by barges and ships& dumped in ocean waters of the USA. These wastes included garbage, waste oil, dredging spoils, industrial acids, caustics, cleaners & sledges, airplane parts, junked automobiles & spoiled food. During the two papyrus boat trips across the Atlantic, author explorer Thor Heyerdahl sighted plastic bottles, squeeze tubes, oil & other trash that had somehow been swept by the currents to mid-ocean. On some days the crew hesitated to wash because of the amount of pollution. Ugly brown raw sewage is piped from Miami beach Florida that sprawls over blue green waves. Fishermen, divers & others report similar situations all along US coast lines & many other parts of the world.
Steps needed:
” Stop dumping of wastes in to the sea, the big & small lakes & coastal areas, our rivers & bays except for treated liquid wastes equal to natural quality of the ocean waters. Instead recycle wastes back in to economy.
” Set tough controls before undertaking new ocean activities such as buildings, off shore jet ports & drilling off shore oil wells in new areas.
” Halt the reckless dredging & filling of priceless tidelands & carving of ocean front in the name of progress.
With the present trend the marine biologists predict that it will put an end to significant life in the sea in 50 years or less. This would be a catastrophe posing grave consequences to a world dependent on these vital resources for food, raw materials, recreation & in the near future, probably living space.
The largest island in the world is Greenland. Australia is considered a continent because it has unique plant and animal life. Antarctica also is a continent – larger than Europe and Australia. Greenland, although quite big, shares the habitat features of Northern America.
The smallest island in the world – according to the Guinness Book of Records – is Bishop Rock. It lies at the most south-westerly part of the United Kingdom. It is one of 1040 islands around Britain and only has a lighthouse on it. In 1861, the British government set out the parameters for classifying an island. It was decided that if it was inhabited, the size was immaterial. However, if it was uninhabited, it had to be “the summer’s pasturage of at least one sheep” – which is about two acres.
A lot of standing room – not much else. This is Bishop Rock, the world’s smallest island.
Going by the above parameters, most of the 179 584 “islands” around Finland and the almost 200 000 around Canada would not match Indonesia as the country with the most islands. In fact, Indonesia consists only of islands – 13 667 of them, 6000 of which are inhabited.
The remotest uninhabited island is Bouvet Island in the South Atlantic. The remotest inhabited island in the world is Tristan da Cunha. It is in the South Atlantic, 2575 km (1600 miles) south of St Helena, which is an island a few hundred kilometres (miles) off the coast of South Africa. Tristan da Cunha has no TV but it has one radio station. The population totals 242 and they only have 7 surnames (last names) between them, so they are all related. Tristan da Cunha does have a capital, called Edinburgh of the South Seas.
The smallest independent island country is the Pacific island of Nauru. It measures 21,28 sq km (8.2 sq mi). (Only the Vatican City and Monaco are smaller countries.)
Of the 6 billion+ people in the world, one out of ten lives on an island (600 million). Which is not so hard to imagine when you consider that more than 240 million people live in Indonesia alone – and some 61 million live in Britain, the only island connected to a continent through the chunnel (tunnel under the sea).
Here I would like to reproduce the extracts of the report of Mr. Ronny Jumeau Seychelles Ambassador for Climate Change and SIDS issues on Expert Group Meeting on Oceans, Seas and Sustainable Development: Implementation and follow-up to Rio+20 at United Nations Headquarters 18-19 April 2013 and here I quote:
“While oceans play a key role in everyone’s lives, no one is more dependent on them than the small, vulnerable and isolated island developing states surrounded by the seas. Oceans are now firmly established on the global agenda after taking center stage at Rio+20 last year. However, the SIDS’ unique dependence on the marine environment means the oceans have commanded center stage in our development since humankind has been on the islands. We are the ocean people, so to speak: we live off and by the oceans and to varying degrees on and for them as well. The oceans define who we are and the coastal and marine environment is an integral part of our island lifestyle. Our islands may be small in land area, but we morph into large ocean states when our exclusive economic zones are factored in. Tuvalu’s EEZ for example, is 27,000 times the size of its land. The Republic of Kiribati, the largest small island developing state in terms of ocean territory, has the 13th largest exclusive economic zone on Earth. SIDS are the custodians of no fewer than 15, or 30 per cent, of the 50 largest EEZs.
Dependence on oceans
In the case of many islands, Seychelles, our no 1 pillar of the economy is marine-based tourism. It provides 26 per cent of GDP, 30 per cent of jobs and 70 per cent of foreign exchange earnings in a country where more than 80 per cent of what we consume is imported, mostly by sea. Fisheries, our second biggest industry, add another eight per cent to our GDP. Such a heavy dependence on oceans is repeated across the SIDS. Oceans are central to our sustainable development, to poverty reduction and achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and to our post-2015 development agenda. And yet, despite our best efforts to help ourselves, the lack of technical, institutional, technological and financial support means we are still to benefit to the fullest from our marine resources. Where we do benefit, it is not necessarily in the most sustainable manner.
Rio+20 :
It is no surprise therefore, that the small island developing states formed the loudest cheering section when the oceans won big at Rio+20.There definitely needs to be an international instrument regulating the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. SIDS therefore welcome Rio+20’s call for a United Nations General Assembly decision to develop such an instrument under the Convention on the Law of the Sea by next year.
Marine Pollution
Nowhere are the effects of marine pollution more deeply felt and damaging than in the small island countries entirely surrounded by the ocean. This is especially so in SIDS like mine whose economies are heavily dependent on the state and indeed the attractiveness of our beaches, coastal waters, coral reefs and fisheries.
Sea Level Rise
The most serious long-term threat to SIDS is of course sea level rise which threatens to cover many of us with the oceans, thus turning the blue planet even bluerナthat is if we are not swept away first by coastal erosion which will be made worse by the slow collapse of dying reefs.
Ocean Acidification
Ocean acidification is the single greatest threat to coral reefs which provide SIDS with food and income. They also protect us from the ocean waves and tidal currents which, as extreme weather events such as storm surges and abnormally high tides intensify, threaten to sweep away some islands before they are covered by sea level rise.
Coral Reefs
Rio+20 drew attention to the important economic, social and environmental contribution of coral reefs, especially to islands and other coastal states, and the high vulnerability of coral reefs and mangroves to such impacts as climate change, ocean acidification, overfishing, destructive fishing practices and pollution, among others. Indeed, the growing pressures on coral reefs may cause them to be the first marine ecosystem to collapse.
Marine Protected Areas
SIDS thus see conservation measures such as marine protected areas not just as a way to protect our ocean biodiversity and resources, but also as a tool for sustainable development, because for us marine biodiversity has significant socio-economic and cultural value.
Fisheries
Finally on fisheries, I would like to return to the Rio+20 outcome document The Future We Want, specifically paragraph 168. In it we commit to intensify efforts and take measures to meet the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation’s 2015 target to maintain or restore stocks to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield in the shortest time feasible. Once again the effect of illegal, unreported and unregulated or IUU fishing is most felt in those countries that depend most heavily on fisheries like the small island developing states. We place strong emphasis on paragraph 174 of The Future We Want. This urges that by next year there be strategies to further help developing states, especially the least developed and SIDS, develop their national capacity to conserve, sustainably manage and realize the benefits of sustainable fisheries, including through improved market access for their fish products. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of this to small island developing states. In the Pacific
SIDS, for example, the tuna fishery alone contributes more than 10 per cent of GDP and in some islands more than 50 per cent of exports. It is estimated that fish contributes at least 50 per cent of total animal protein intake in some SIDS. There certainly is no lack of international instruments in fisheries: they cover straddling and highly migratory fish stocks, responsible fisheries and IUU fishing. What has been lacking is the political will to effectively implement and enforce them. As I showed in the examples I gave earlier, SIDS certainly do not lack political will or innovative thinking: what we lack is capacity – technical, institutional, technological and financial” -en quote.

The Street Dog Menace in Srinagar city

Standard

It was during last seventies that the city people started to move towards the peripheries of Srinagar, which were mostly covered with paddy fields or orchards. Though a Master Plan was approved for the future growth of the city and zonal plans were also prepared for a few areas, yet it was not implemented for one reason or the other. It involved demarcation of properly planned internal road network with provision for services like drainage, sewerage, parks, schools, health centers, mosques, temples, play fields, recreation sites, graveyards, cremation sites etc. Perhaps the Govt. was short of funds for investment besides having lack of political will, the plans could not be implemented. Instead the local land brokers and property dealers emerged to sell the land in patches, leaving narrow unplanned lanes with no space to accommodate surface drains or garbage dumping sites. Those days there was a very thin population of dogs around, however the sound of jackals would resonate during night hours. With the increase in migrant human population from the city centre, the population of dogs increased abnormally as truckloads of surplus dogs would be brought from police/army/village habitations and unloaded in thinly dog-populated suburban areas, which have got multiplied substantially over the years and have became a cause of serious concern of local public, who fall victim to frequent dog bites. The incidents have increased recently as dogs find little to eat in absence of garbage dumps due to improved collection system of SMC. However in view of the legal protection of the street dogs, their population is on the rise along with their increased frequency of attacks on pedestrians. It has become impossible to walk during the night hours, as the local group of dogs seem to be on guard not to allow any intrusion in their territory. Even attending the prayers in mosques in the early mornings and late evenings has become risky. The proposal of sterilization of dogs by SMC too seems to have run in fiasco. Hospitals bear witness to the recently increased incidents of daily dog bites. In our area of Bachpora, Ilahibagh, recently a school going child, a female teacher and a beggar were bitten raising a strong public resentment. The authorities need to give serious thought to this vexing issue and come up with immediate solution. In my visit to gulf country, I  found there the total absence of the street dog along with that of the garbage dumping site or a beggar or even the frightening appearance of a police man on a road side.

Here I would like to reproduce the article on the harmful effect of dog bites that appeared in India today.

Rabies stalks India with its 30 million stray dogs

 

India’s cities and towns are home to about 30 million stray dogs.

In 2012, the WHO estimated that India accounts for 20,000 rabies cases each year, though the government and experts have disputed this figure.

The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), a statutory body under the Environment and Forests Ministry, is struggling to rope in NGOs and animal welfare groups to implement the recently-approved National Rabies Control Pilot Project. But due to dearth of funds and outdated policies the government’s two-pronged programme to control their numbers through sterilisation and to prevent the spread of rabies has been hanging fire.

One major handicap is the Centre’s failure to revise the cost of sterilising dogs – the amount doled out to NGOs is the same as it was a decade ago and experts contend the funding is unrealistic.

The health ministry recently approved the implementation of the pilot project in Haryana for mass sterilisation and vaccination of street dogs. The plan is to implement the project in other states if it proves successful in Haryana. However, so far only two NGOs have responded to government tenders.

“We have been begging the Central government to provide us with funds for carrying out a dog census and massive vaccination and sterilisation drives but all we have is a small pilot project in Haryana,” said Dr R.M. Kharb, chairperson of AWBI.

“We had been seeking expressions of interest from NGOs and other animal welfare organisations (for the project in Haryana) since last year but we got only two responses after two deadlines for the open tenders passed,” he said.

Animal welfare experts said the cost of sterilising dogs had increased with time but the Centre is sticking to a decade-old estimate of Rs.445 per dog. At some places like Delhi, funding for sterilisation was hiked to Rs.770 per dog but even this is meagre, experts said.

Kharb said it was proving difficult to rope in NGOs to carry out surveys and sterilise dogs. Many NGOs working with the government withdrew because the basic cost of their work was not covered.

“We have been working for many years to curb the menace of street dogs and rabies. In a few states, animal husbandry departments cooperated with us. Sikkim will soon be the first state to become rabies-free while close control has been done in Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan,” said Kharb.

According to several reliable estimates, the total number of street dogs in India is between 25 and 30 million. But the over 10-year-old scheme for dog sterilisation and vaccination has an annual budget of only Rs.3.5 crore.

“This is a huge challenge – controlling this large population with such a small budget. Moreover, rabies control is not only about sterilising and vaccinating dogs because not all dogs cause rabies. It takes a lot of effort to control the disease,” said Kharb.

“The dog has to be caught in a humane manner. The sterilisation surgery should be done by an expert because a wrong surgery can hurt the dog.”

There is no official Indian data on rabies deaths though the ongoing Million Death Study reported there were 12,700 symptomatically identifiable rabies deaths in the country in 2005.

 

The Dreaded Disease

What is rabies?

Rabies is a zoonotic disease (a disease that is transmitted to humans from animals) that is caused by a virus. The disease affects domestic and wild animals, and is spread to people through close contact with infectious material, usually saliva, via bites or scratches. Dogs are the source of the vast majority of human rabies deaths. The rabies virus is usually present in the saliva of the rabid animal. Once inside the body, the virus affects the central nervous system. It develops in two stages. The first stage lasts up to 10 days during which the patient will show symptoms like headache, fever, decreased appetite, vomiting and general malaise, along with pain, itching and tingling at the wound site. In stage two, the patient will have difficulty in swallowing, disorientation, paralysis, and coma. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), rabies continues to kill thousands of people in India each year, more than in any other country.

Treatment

If bitten by a dog, one should immediately and thoroughly wash the wound as soon as possible with soap and water for approximately five minutes. The first dose of rabies vaccine should be given as soon as possible after exposure.

Vaccine dose

One vaccine for prevention and five injections after exposure to the disease. One dose of human rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG) and four doses of rabies vaccine over a 14-day period.

Cost of rabies injection

Municipal hospitals in the national Capital charge Rs.100 for rabies vaccine. However, the treatment may range from Rs.1,000 to Rs.2,000 in private hospitals.

 Sonya Ghosh, founder of the Citizens for the Welfare and Protection of Animals says: “The government created a mess in controlling the dog menace in Delhi. There are 74 medical units for animals with the government that were handed over to the animal husbandry department but there are only 35 doctors. These units can easily sterilise at least 20 dogs a day but they are underutilised.”

 Meera Bhatia, a lawyer who represents NGO Common Cause says: “Cases of dog bites in India are increasing. The dogs should be kept away from streets because they stop people from going for walks. Government has largely failed in controlling the population of stray dogs because their sterilisation programme didn’t work. Dogs are still multiplying on the streets.”

Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili (Retd. Chief Engineer)

About some rare Books and Manuscripts

Standard

About some rare books and manuscripts

It was a great experience to attend the seminar organized by The Anjuman-i-Himayatul Islam & Gulshan Books Publishers jointly on “The history of publishing books in Kashmir and the responsibility of media in the present scenario”; also suggestions were invited for “planning the publication of rare manuscripts that are falling victim to moths and are lying in different homes/ libraries” in the valley.

Since the topic was of my interest as with the same objective in mind, I have recently submitted to Allama Iqbal Library KU, about 300 printed books of past about two centuries, besides about 6800 pages of handwritten manuscripts in Arabic and Persian languages; out of which they selected only those that were in a complete form from start to end. These books had been published in Lahore, Luknow, Kanpur, Delhi, Deoband, Bombay and Allahabad etc., when there was no press here. These books included Tafsir-i-Husaini (the first ever Persian commentary on Holy Quran), Masnavi Moulana Rum, Asrar-i-Sura Fatiha-all of voluminous size; Shams-ut-Tawarikh, Hasn-i-Hasin (with translation), Bahr-ul-Irfan, Takshif-ul Hikmah, Ruqat-i-Alamgiri, Qisas-ul-Anbia Farsi, Mukhtasar Waqaya etc. Among handwritten manuscripts were some handwritten pamphlets of Mir Sayid Ali Hamadani(RA) dated 1136 AH,  Tajwid-ul-Qirat, Diwan-i-Faizi,  Persian travelogue of Central Asia –the author seems to be a contemporary of Hazrat Jami (RA) having common Murshid. There are some rare manuscripts worth conducting research like: (a) Description of the burial of Sayid Baqir at Thune village near Kangan in 655 AH, who had come from Iran along with 1200 Sayids; ie about 100 years earlier than the arrival of Hazrat Bulbul Shah (RA); (b) A page on the commentary of Sura Fatah with a pamphlet in Arabic language prohibiting smoking hand written by Sadr-ud-Din Mohammad Ibni Abil Safa AlHusaini in 691 AH-again about half a century earlier than arrival of Hazrat Bulbul Shah (RA); (c) Awrad of Hazrat Baha-ud-Din Zakaria Multani (RA) (d.666AH)-about 300 pages, (d) Qawaid-ul-Mashaikh written by Kh. Azam Dedamari (Historian)(d.1165 AH); (E) Shajra Mubaraka of Mohammad Murad Naqshbandi in five silsilas written by Kh. Azam Dedamari; (e) Shajra Mubaraka in five silsilas written by Shaikh Abdul Haq Muhaddis Dehlavi (d. 1052 AH)for his disciple Allama Haidar bin Feroz Kashmiri (d. 1057 AH). The library has taken up the digitization of these books under Central scheme and hope that these will get preserved for posterity as our heritage lies buried in such rare books/manuscripts lying in many homes for deterioration.

It is one of such manuscripts that I found getting moth eaten in the home of Jenab Mohammad Afzal Fazili of Gamroo village, from whom after great persuasion, I obtained it, got copied, translated from Persian verse to Urdu language and got published its first edition in 2007 under the title “Majmooa Maktoobat se mustafid kitabHamare Aslaf aur Mashaikh-i-Kashmir” with addition of Volume 1 describing the introduction of Islam and various Sufi orders in Kashmir and Vol. 3 describing the biographies of the saints mentioned in the book proper Vol 2, named Majmooa Masmooa authored by Pirzada Ghulam Rasool Shaiva (Zunimari) (d.1288 AH) -father of Pir Hasan Shah Fazili Khoihami (historian).The book found a great appreciation among the readers and researchers and on their persistence a second updated edition is under publication titled “Salikin-i-Kashmir” all in one volume, with M/s Gulshan Books and shall be available shortly. Besides, its English translation is also in process.

In short what is needed is, as rightly said by Mr Fida Hasnain in the seminar that there is plenty of material available in our Archives Deptt and University Libraries for conducting research. We need to get preserved whatever written material of the past is lying in various homes. Besides we need to develop patience to hear others point of view/ criticism, which is lacking as stated by Justice Kirmani.  However despite all tall claims, there appears to be a conflict between our word and action, which is the main cause of our present scenario.

 

 

Water and Energy (Seminar on World Water Day-2014)

Standard

  The Institution of Engineers India, J&K State Centre Srinagar

 

              WORLD WATER DAY-2014

 

                   WATER AND ENERGY

                           By

               Er. Mohammad Ashraf Fazili FIE

It is an established fact that the origin of life is aquatic and we are here because of water, otherwise we would be nonexistent. Water is the elixir of life and the fuel or the energy that sets us in motion. It is the water that has made earth the only so far known living planet in the universe. Water exists here in three forms: solid, liquid & vapor. The global interchange system of glacier-ocean-atmosphere maintains a comfortable environment that supports life forms, from the polar-bear to tropical orchids. Nature is so benevolent that 72 % of the surface area of the globe is covered with water. We have held many seminars in this centre deliberating on water as the subject and recently I got a book published namely “Environment in Jammu & Kashmir” from Gulshan Publishers Srinagar having 35 chapters mostly dealing with water.

Ancient people regarded four elements as basis for sustenance of life; these were: water, soil, fire and air (Aab-o-Khak-o-Atash-o-Bad-yehi char anasir hain jin se hay jahan abad) but on analysis we find that the other three basic elements are also subservient to water.

As we observe, water and energy are closely interlinked and interdependent. Energy generation and transmission requires utilization of water resources, particularly for hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal energy sources. Conversely, about 8% of the global energy generation is used for pumping, treating and transporting water to various consumers.

In 2014, the UN System – working closely with its Member States and other relevant stakeholders – is collectively bringing its attention to the water-energy nexus, particularly addressing inequities, especially for the ‘bottom billion’ who live in slums and impoverished rural areas and survive without access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, sufficient food and energy services. It also aims to facilitate the development of policies and crosscutting frameworks that bridge ministries and sectors, leading the way to energy security and sustainable water use in a green economy. Particular attention will be paid to identifying best practices that can make a water- and energy-efficient ‘Green Industry’ a reality.

Objectives of World Water Day in 2014

Raise awareness of the inter-linkages between water and energy

Contribute to a policy dialogue that focuses on the broad range of issues related to the nexus of water and energy

Demonstrate, through case studies, to decision makers in the energy sector and the water domain that integrated approaches and solutions to water-energy issues can achieve greater economic and social impacts

Identify policy formulation and capacity development issues in which the UN system, in particular UN-Water and UN-Energy, can offer significant contributions

Identify key stakeholders in the water-energy nexus and actively engaging them in further developing the water-energy linkages

Contribute as relevant to the post-2015 discussions in relation to the water-energy nexus

Facts and figures

The Facts and Figures in this section are drawn from the edition of the World Water Development Report on Water and Energy that has been published in March 2014 and launched on the occasion of World Water Day celebrations in Tokyo, Japan.

Hydroelectricity

Hydroelectricity is the largest renewable source for power generation and its share in total electricity generation is expected to remain around 16% through 2035. (Our J&K State has a potential of generating about 16,000 MW, the surplus power could be exported to earn revenue for the State.)

 

Hydropower and water use

Most of the water used for hydropower generation is returned to the river though some evaporates and there are important impacts on timing and quality of stream flows. (After over six decades J&K State has woken up to charge water-usage charges from Hydropower generating agencies. Better late than never.)

Industrial water use

Roughly 75% of all industrial water withdrawals are used for energy production.

Financing water

For developing countries alone $103 billion per year are required to finance water, sanitation and wastewater treatment through 2015.

Energy for water

Energy is required for two components of water provision: pumping and treatment (before and after use).

 Waterborne transportation

Waterborne transit is one of the most energy efficient. Inland towing barges are more than 3 times more energy efficient than road trucks and 40% more efficient than rail. ( Here I must admit that It is unfortunate that our Inland water transport project on river Jhelum, framed by SDA with M/S Rites, at a cost of Rs.25.00 Lakhs has run in fiasco.)

 Biogas produced from sewage

In Stockholm, public buses, waste collection trucks and taxis run on biogas produced from sewage treatment plants. ( I have seen Sulabh International having electrified Patna streets with biogas from a community type latrine in eighties. In J&K UEED initiated introduction of biogas plants in eighties in individual houses in certain rural areas and survey of certain areas was also got conducted. However the programme was later taken up by Rural Development Department.)

 

Access to water and sanitation

In 2011, 768 million people did not use an improved source of drinking-water and 2.5 billion people did not use improved sanitation. (Kashmir was once known for its purest form of water, but today we are importing drinking water from outside. The water quality of our lakes & rivers is deteriorating with the passage of time. Most homes have installed water purifiers. Regarding sewerage schemes for the capital city of Srinagar, no substantial achievement has been visible so far. Most of the wetlands like Bemina, Hyderpora (lately even Dood Ganga Channel has overflowed due to blockage by its filling) ;serving as absorption basins  have been filled up & urbanized; whave lost over thirty wetlands in past half a century, and water bodies are shrinking, hence we have witnessed worst kind of flooding of the city roads in this March & April due to excessive rains, attributed to the global warming.)

Access to electricity

More than 1.3 billion people still lack access to electricity, and roughly 2.6 billion use solid fuels (mainly biomass) for cooking. (Again I like to draw your attention to the fact that despite an estimated hydro-potential of about 16000 MW in J&K State, we have exploited so far only about 2300 MW, the rights of ownership of the most of which have been sold permanently to NHPCC against the normal practice of other states and this very power is sold back to us at a much higher cost. )

Wind power

Wind power is the most sustainable source of renewable energy, mainly because of its low greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption. (We need to explore this source, besides the solar energy. I have witnessed Masdar City in Abu Dhabi being built where solar energy shall be used for generating electricity, heating, driving vehicles and absolutely no petroleum products or biofuels. shall be used.)

Theme, Key Facts and Events around the World

World Water Day 2014 was observed on 22 March, which we are celebrating today the 26th April.  (Der ayad drust ayad) The United Nations, which instituted the practice in 1993, has said this year’s theme is “energy and water”.

 

World Water Day 2014 theme

According to the UN, energy and water are interdependent. Generation and transmission of major energy sources such as hydroelectric, nuclear, and thermal power require water resources. Conversely, about 8% of global energy is used for pumping, treating and transporting water.

The 2014 theme addresses inequalities in this water-energy nexus, the UN said.

The focus is especially on the “bottom billion who live in slums and impoverished rural areas and survive without access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, sufficient food and energy services,” it said in a statement.

With this year’s theme, the UN also aims to facilitate the development of policies in water and energy sectors that “can achieve greater economic and social impact.”

Observances

Several events were/are being held around the world to mark the UN World Water Day and highlight the theme that water and energy are interlinked.

An annual conference was held in Zaragoza, Spain, in January to discuss the role of both the sectors in the conceptualization of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) after 2015.

The main UN event marking the World Water Day 2014 was held on 20 and 21 March in Tokyo, Japan. The World Water Development Report 2014 on Water and Energy was released there.

Besides, this year’s World Water Week is scheduled to take place in Stockholm, Sweden, from 31 August to 5 September, and it will be held under the same theme as that of the World Water Day.

Water and Energy: Key facts and figures

Marking the World Water Day, the UN has released some key facts and figures based on this year’s theme. They are below:

  • Roughly 75% of all industrial water withdrawals are used for energy production
  • By 2035, the global energy demand is projected to grow by more than one-third
  • 600 million Africans do not have access to energy
  • 2.5 billion people have unreliable or no access to electricity
  • In Stockholm, public buses, waste collection trucks and taxis run on biogas produced from sewage treatment plants.
  • In 2011, 768 million people did not use an improved source of drinking-water and 2.5 billion people did not use improved sanitation.
  • More than 1.3 billion people still lack access to electricity, and roughly 2.6 billion use solid fuels (mainly biomass) for cooking.
  • Approximately 15–18 billion m3 of freshwater resources are contaminated by fossil fuel production every year.

 

       WORLD WATER DEVELOPMENT REPORT (WWDR)-2014

 

Water and energy are closely interconnected and highly interdependent. Choices made and actions taken in one domain can greatly affect the other, positively or negatively. Trade-offs need to be managed to limit negative impacts and foster opportunities for synergy. Water and energy have crucial impacts on poverty alleviation both directly, as a number of the Millennium Development Goals depend on major improvements in access to water, sanitation, power and energy sources, and indirectly, as water and energy can be binding constraints on economic growth – the ultimate hope for widespread poverty reduction.

The Report provides a comprehensive overview of major and emerging trends from around the world, with examples of how some of the trend-related challenges have been addressed, their implications for policy-makers, and further actions that can be taken by stakeholders and the international community.

 

The WWDR 2014 on Water and Energy is the first that follows the new “formula” agreed by UN-Water in 2012. Indeed, the WWDR is now an annual and thematic report with a focus on different strategic water issues each year. It is shorter – in the order of 100 pages – with a standardized structure and data and case studies annexes related to the theme.

Starting in 2014, the theme of the World Water Development Report and that of World Water Day will be harmonized in order to provide a deeper focus and in-depth analysis of a specific water-related issue every year.

 

 

 

 

 Highlights of the World Water Development Report (WWDR-2014):

 

Part I. STATUS, TRENDS & CHALLENGES

 

The Water-Energy nexus:

  • Whereas energy is required mainly for the provision of water services, water resources are required in the production of energy.

 

Water: Demands, Energy requirements & availability:

  • Consumer demand and increasing standards of living are driving increased demand for water, most notably by middle income households in developing and emerging economies through their greater demand for food, energy and other goods, the production of which can require significant quantities of water.
  • The global demand for water is expected to grow significantly for all major water use sectors, with the largest proportion of this growth occurring in countries with developing or emerging economies.
  • An interesting and notable flip side of the water–energy nexus is that wastewater is becoming recognized as a potential source of energy rather than as a mere waste stream. In several countries, water supply companies are working towards becoming energy neutral.

 

Energy’s thirst for water:

  • There is clear evidence that groundwater supplies are diminishing, with an estimated 20% of the world’s aquifers being over-exploited, some massively so. Globally, the rate of groundwater abstraction is increasing by 1% to 2% per year. There is evidence that demand for all types of primary energy will increase over the period 2010–2035
  • Approximately 90% of global power generation is water intensive. Water is used directly for hydropower generation as well as for all forms of thermal power generation schemes.
  • Globally, electricity demand is expected to grow by roughly 70% by 2035. This growth will be almost entirely in non-OECD countries.
  • Wind and solar PV consume negligible amounts of water, yet they provide an intermittent service that needs to be compensated for by other sources of power (which do require water) to maintain load balances on larger grids.
  • In the transportation fuels sector, much of the world is moving away from conventional petroleum based fuels (petrol and diesel, relatively water-lean to produce). Many nations are selecting more water intensive options, such as unconventional fossil fuels (from hydraulic fracturing, coal-to-liquids or oil sands), biofuels and electricity. Even electric powered transportation is water intensive because of water requirements at the power plant.

 

Data challenges & opportunities:

  • For water resources, monitoring availability and use represents an immense and on going challenge, especially given their variable distribution over time and space.
  • Top-level annual estimates for energy consumption by fuel exist at the national level for most countries, allowing for informed decision-making in terms of energy policy.
  • Lack of data puts water resources management at a political disadvantage in terms of priority decision-making.

 

Part II. THEMATIC FOCUS

 

Infrastructure:

  • Funding gaps threaten economic growth and could lead to an increase in the number of people living in poverty. Regarding energy infrastructure, the IEA has estimated that nearly $1 trillion in cumulative investment ($49 billion per year) will be needed to achieve universal energy access by 2030. It also concludes that in a business as- usual scenario, one billion people will remain without access to electricity by 2030.
  • Investment requirements for water infrastructure are even higher [than for energy infrastructure. For developing countries alone, it has been estimated that $103 billion per year are required to finance water, sanitation and wastewater treatment through 2015.
  • When assessing the needs of the energy sector, water planners and decision-makers must fully understand the requirements of electricity generation and fuel extraction technologies and their potential impact on the resource. Similarly, energy planners and investors must take into account the complexities of the hydrological cycle and other competing uses when assessing plans and investments.

 

Food & Agriculture:

  • As groundwater irrigation, in general, provides greater flexibility than other types in responding to fluctuating water demands, its relative importance is likely to increase in the future.
  • For both large and small systems, any means of avoiding food wastage should be encouraged and can result in considerable savings in the energy, land and water used to produce this food that no one consumes.
  • Market trends, technological innovations and the availability of cheap (but not necessarily energy efficient) equipment can increase the use of energy in agriculture.

 

Cities:

  • Many experts agree that abstracting freshwater from a surface or groundwater source, using it, and disposing of it – known as a ‘linear approach’ – is not sustainable. Future urban development requires approaches that minimize resource consumption and focus on resource recovery.

 

Industry:

  • In developed countries, industrial water use may be stabilizing due to increased efficiency and the move of some manufacturing plants to low income countries yet, at the same time, lack of access to water may hinder such moves, especially for water-dependent industries
  • As industry is primarily focused on production, its interest is to secure water and energy at the lowest prices and not necessarily within a programme of water and energy efficiency. This provides an opportunity for policy intervention.
  • Enforcement of regulation can be a challenge, especially in countries with limited resources. The goal is that regulations must be clear and based on the latest information and science.
  • In the short term, investments may be perceived as a high and risky cost in the light of longer term gains such as lower operation and maintenance costs. But many investments in water productivity have shown positive returns in as little as three years.

 

Ecosystems:

  • Ongoing degradation of water and land resources in river basins threatens energy provision. It could be reversed through protection and restoration initiatives.

 

Part III REGIONAL ASPECTS

 

Europe & North America:

  • Improved energy and water planning will require better coordination among national/ federal agencies and other stakeholders as well as consideration of impacts to both resources

 

The Asia & the Pacific:

  • Coal is the most prevalent energy product within the region, with China and India together extracting more than half of the world’s total output. There is also a growing market for renewable sources such as biofuel, with China, India, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand among the leading regional producers. Both coal and biofuel require vast amounts of freshwater, and some areas within the region are already deemed water-scarce.

 

The Arab region:

  • With the exception of Iraq and Lebanon, the low to middle income countries in the region have an annual per capita share of renewable water resources that falls below the water poverty line and are struggling to achieve energy security; many are seeking to reorient their energy mix towards renewable energy sources to meet growing demand for water and energy services.

 

Latin America & the Caribbean:

  • Given intense competition for limited water supplies and the predominant role of hydropower in river basins, conflicts increasingly arise between hydropower and consumptive uses

 

Africa:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in which the absolute number of people without access to electricity is increasing.

 

Part IV RESPONSES: FOSTERING SYNERGIES & MANAGING TRADE-OFFS

 

Creating an enabling environment for change:

  • National energy and water policies need to be compatible and coherent.
  • Research into how much of a reduction in energy demand can be achieved from increased water efficiency and vice versa would support policy-makers and investors in making more resource efficient strategies and investment choices.
  • Each domain has been traditionally expected to focus on a narrow mandate in meeting its own aims and fulfilling its own targeted responsibilities. As a result, there is often little or no incentive to initiate and pursue coordination or integration of policies across sectoral institutions.
  • Although there is scope for synergies and win–win results, there is also an array of situations where competition for resources or genuine conflict between water and energy aims can arise, requiring some degree of trade-off
  • Economic pricing of energy and water services can more closely reflect the economic cost of their provision; provide sufficient revenues for continued operation and maintenance; and avoid waste and distortions due to under-pricing

 

Response & Practices:

  • Energy audits to identify and reduce water and energy losses and enhance energy efficiency can result in substantial energy and financial savings, with savings of between 10% and 40% reported.
  • Chemically bound energy in wastewater … can be used for domestic cooking and heating, as fuel  for vehicles and power plants, or for operating the treatment plant itself.
  • In terms of manufactured goods, considerable achievements have been made in the design and formulation of products specifically aimed at reducing the water and energy content or consumption of products and appliances.
  • Thermal power generation development involves the increasing potential for serious conflict between power, other water users and environmental considerations
  • Support for the development of renewable energy will need to increase dramatically in comparison to support for fossil fuels in order to make a significant change in the global energy mix and by association, to water demand.

 

 A poet has said about water as:

Element – Water                                                    

Water an elemental

Water a fundamental

Building block of life
Water of Life
Water of Death

Water in all religions
Water in all living things
Water in all countries
Water also used for barter

No life without water
No rife with water
No respect for water
Willful neglect of water

Water, for cooking
Water, for cleaning
Water, for drinking
Water, for living
Water, for dying

Water is the same
In all languages
Water is the same
To all living beings 

Anand Dixit

 

Life Is Like Flowing Water

If It Stops, It Gets Stagnated,

If It Flows It Turns Into A Waterfall,

A Stream,A River And Ocean

Similarly Life Has Joys And Worries,

But It’s Like Sunrise After Night

So After Each Sad Event There Is A Happy Event

So Live Life To Its Fullest

Enjoy Each Second Of Life

Life Is Precious , Respect It

Thank Thou For It