Keeladi – Life, Death and Water in Ancient India

Back to the Future: Keeladi and the centrality of water in an ancient Indian city. About 13 kilometres east of Madurai, on the spanking new Rameswaram highway, one turns right and heads through a sleepy village to a set of coconut farms. In between the coconut trees are patches of cleared ground with neat squares …

Continue reading Keeladi – Life, Death and Water in Ancient India

How India lost the hydro-disciplining battle against Pakistan – the road from Partition, War, Drought and the signing of the Indus Water Treaty.

Why did India deactivate its own hydro-disciplining tool against Pakistan? Travel from Partition, through the Cold War, China's takeover of Tibet, Drought to the signing of the IWT.

The Story of the Indus – Can the Indus Waters be turned off?

The Indus Valley provides a fascinating and disturbing example of what geopolitics, colonisation, finance and climate can do to a region. This vulnerable land, which the British transformed with philosophy, canals, land and tax reforms into what it is today - a fault-line between two nuclear nations. Today, with tensions rising, the question asked is “can the tap on the Indus waters be turned off?”

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 Data needs to be unavailable, hard to access, or outdated.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, …

Continue reading Climate Change and India’s water

Two glaring symptoms of global warming: Drought & Heatwaves

(Image from thehindu.com) Time to spend money and attention on adaptation Price water. Please. We do not have the luxury to waste water on growing low-yielding rice varieties and sustaining 300 million cows & buffaloes. However, the current machinery extracts significant rent from crises. Emergencies give procedural checks and balances a go-bye making an already leaky …

Continue reading Two glaring symptoms of global warming: Drought & Heatwaves

Daily Reading: 03/10/2014

Climate Change is a classic case of "Tragedy of the commons". Briefly, when a group of individuals (persons, companies, countries) have shared access to a common resource (think "air"), each person will behave in a manner that maximizes his return at the cost of the groups. In climate change, there's a twist. Developed nations who …

Continue reading Daily Reading: 03/10/2014

Today’s reading list

the business of water: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/8e42bdc8-0838-11e4-9afc-00144feab7de.html#slide0 Some quotes from the article: Since 2011 companies have spent more than $84bn worldwide to improve the way they conserve, manage or obtain water, according to data from Global Water Intelligence, regulatory disclosures and executive interviews with the Financial Times. The $550bn global water market – which covers everything from water …

Continue reading Today’s reading list