Rice is the world’s third-largest crop after wheat and corn; by some estimates it accounts for fully one-fifth of the total calories consumed by the human race. Given these facts, it’s not surprising that countries that have historically struggled with devastating famine would do whatever it takes to ensure strong production of the grain, even if it meant promoting growing practices that would ultimately prove unsustainable.
Floods, volcanoes, earthquakes–really, very little good news comes out of this sort of thing. Maybe the occasional feel-good story about, say, a child miraculously dug from the rubble days later, tired but unharmed and in good spirits, having survived on a cache of crackers and Coke. Actually, says John Mutter, an Earth Institute professor of sustainability studies, disasters can sometimes [...]
In 2000 Drs. Sachs and Bajpai called for a ‘Decade of Development’ in India. Now in 2011, a new working paper reflects on progress and propose strategies for strengthening India’s growth in the next 20 years.
The Uncertainties of Groundwater and Climate in India: An Interview with Chandra Kiran Krishnamurthy
Since he arrived at the Columbia Water Center at its founding in 2008, Chandra Kiran Krishnamurthy has been unswervingly focused on two questions. First, how will groundwater depletion and climate change affect agriculture in India? And given the dire nature of the crisis, what can we do to help people adapt?
After working with over 500 farmers last year to conduct a field experiment on the use of tensiometers to reduce irrigation in rice fields, this year they will be working with about 5,000. As part of this expansion, our program partners at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) are working with Cooperative Societies, a network of which reaches some 3,000 villages in the state.
In honor of World Water Day, Columbia Water Center is releasing a new White Paper: Addressing the Water Crisis in Gujarat, India. The paper presents the results of Columbia Water Center’s study of the severe groundwater crisis in the Mehsana region of Northern Gujarat, India. The study concludes that the current pattern of groundwater exploitation is both costly for the state and unsustainable for farmers, and could lead to the complete failure of agriculture in the area within a few years if left unchecked.
The Earth Institute is pleased to welcome the the Aditya Birla Group and the EDF Group into the Corporate Circle, a collective partnership of leading corporations from across the globe committed to pursuing sustainable development objectives. The Aditya Birla Group, the Corporate Circle’s newest Strategic Partner, is a $29 billion corporation in the league of [...]
As explained in a recent blog post, falling groundwater levels in the Northern regions of the state of Gujarat, India, are reaching dramatically dangerous proportions. Columbia Water Center (CWC), however, believes that there are numerous technologies and practices that could save significant amounts of water and energy. Farmers have shown interest in applying them, but [...]
For more than three decades, the farmers in Northern Gujarat State, in India, have produced abundant food crops, and have had a thriving dairy industry. In order to make that happen, they have been using once plentiful underground water resources.
Because local aquifers are being replenished more slowly than the water is being withdrawn, groundwater tables have been falling throughout the period, and the situation has become so serious that North Gujarat’s future agricultural success is now in jeopardy.
The annual American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting is an all-you-can-eat buffet of the most current scientific knowledge available on the planet. Name your pleasure: space, climate change, geomagnetism, nonlinear geophysics, volcanology, biogeosciences, etc. You have to be careful to indulge in moderation over the five-day event, or risk unseemly bloating.
The Columbia Water Center contributed its own tasty dishes to the feast, mostly under the hydrology section of the menu.