How to get voters to care about water?

A broken service to give the local politician a role, the importance of caste as a means of access, and the ensuing bribery to act as a lubricant. We have an equilibrium in place. Going deeper, lack of competition is one reason for the poor quality of services continuing. But it is not the only one. There is also the lack of data. Data needs to be unavailable, hard to access, or outdated.

Climate Change and India’s water

(A version of this appeared first in Firstpost on Sep 19, 2018) Undoubtedly, the water situation of India, which asks about a fifth of the world’s population to survive on less than 1/30th of the world’s water, is precarious. This is now. What about the future? India’s population is growing, getting wealthier, and, oh yes, …

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India’s Water Crisis. Part 2. Losing India’s Water Storage – A Tale of Tanks in the Temple City

The Niti Aayog Composite Water Management Index states, “54% of India’s groundwater wells are declining, and 21 major cities are expected to run out of groundwater as soon as 2020, affecting ~100 million people.” While some claim the situation is not quite so dire, such a strong statement from the leading government policy thinktank cannot …

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India’s Water Crisis. Part 1. How did we get here?

(This first appeared in Firstpost on Aug 08, 2018: https://www.firstpost.com/india/indias-water-crisis-tracing-the-countrys-history-of-water-management-and-crucial-destructive-shifts-in-policy-4895721.html) India's water crisis: Tracing the country's history of water management and crucial, destructive shifts in policy This past week, I, like many parents across the country, was revising history with my son for his test, which happened to be on the kingdom of Mesopotamia. More …

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Plastic in Daily Life – Birthday Party edition

I was at a birthday party a few days ago. In a kid's party - getting away from plastic is hard. First, is the ubiquitous Flex - because it's cheap, light, quick-to-customize and the kid is super excited in seeing his/her face on it, it is de rigueur decoration at a party (or any event, …

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Plastic in Daily Life – Day 3

Today is Gandhi Jayanthi. The Mahatma said 'The Earth has enough to satisfy our needs but not our greed'. Being a holiday, it's usually a time to tidy forgotten corners. And what turns up. Used sketch pens. Lost-and-now found plastic caps. Medicine strips with no tablets inside. Cellophane wrappers of books. Used chapstick containers. And …

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Plastic in Daily Lives – Day 2

One of my pleasures (dare I say, rituals) in my everyday living is my tea. I'm looking at my tea tray, as I write and asking myself how much plastic is on it? To begin with, the tray is plastic. We used to have a wooden tray - but it stained too easily in the …

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