Dr. Kurian Baby visits one of the recharged wells. Photo: The Hindu
A new video highlights India’s largest  well recharge programme in Thrissur, Kerala. The Mazhapolima participatory well recharge programme was initiated in May 2008 and aims to (eventually) recharge about 450,000 dug wells in the district, through community awareness and action. It was set up by former Thrissur District Collector, Mr. Kurian Baby, who now works as Senior Programme Officer, South Asia & Latin America Team at IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre.
 S. Vishwanath, Preparing for the monsoon rains, The Hindu, 26 May 2012
Read the programmme concept note and process document.
For more information on recharge well case studies and technology go to the India Water Portal.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will invite around 400-500 participants from its stakeholder groups to discuss water sector issues, technologies, and emerging priorities around the theme “Securing Water for All”.
Topics: climate change, water-food-energy nexus, disaster management, civil society, financing, leveraging, private sector participation, governance, water supply and sanitation, water resources and environment, agriculture/irrigation, regional and national focus groups; and technical presentations.
The ADB Water Prize 2013 award will also be presented.
For more information go to: www.adb.org/news/events/asia-water-week-2013
Lake House Chairman Bandula Padmakumara presenting the Randiya tabloid to Water Supply and Drainage Deputy Minister Nirupama Rajapaksa. Editorial Director Seelaratna Senarath is also in the picture. Photo: Dinamina
The Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage has launched the Randiya tabloid paper to raise public awareness on water conservation. Randiya will be published every third Wednesday as an insert in the Dinamina newspaper published by Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL), also known as Lake House.
Related web site: Sri Lanka – Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage
Source: Priyanka Kurugala, Daily News, 24 Nov 2011
The government is planning to regulate over-extraction of groundwater in agriculture and industry which is seriously affecting drinking water supply in rural India, new Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said.
“80 per cent of drinking water supply schemes of rural India are depending on groundwater sources and these sources are drying up due to unregulated over-extraction of water for industry and irrigation,” Ramesh told PTI. “It is a serious issue. We are planning to regulate over-extraction of groundwater for irrigation and industry”.
Drinking water supply schemes are being affected as perennial water sources are becoming seasonal. They are also face pollution by naturally occurring arsenic and fluoride, and by leaching or fertilisers, untreated industrial effluent and sewage.
Source: PTI, MSN News, 17 Jul 2011
More than five projects aiming to augment water supply for the growing Mumbai metropolitan region are facing opposition from locals and the tribal population in rural areas. They are demanding that they get water first before going ahead with the projects. The projects, financed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), involve extending dams or building new ones and the displacement of villages.
In early April 2011, there was a mass protest against the state government’s move to divert water from the Surya irrigation project in Thane to the extended western suburbs of Mumbai.
“We have no issues with Mumbai getting water, but what about the tribals here who do not get water despite having dams in the region. The Surya dam was constructed from the funds meant for tribal development. The state government is spending Rs 1,000 crore [US$ 222 million], but is not ready to invest Rs 20 crore and provide water to the tribals,” said Chintaman Vanga, BJP MLA from Vikramgadh, who is spearheading the agitation here. Almost every dam that will provide water to Mumbai is being built in these tribal belts, but the water woes in the region continue.
Read more: Prashant Rangnekar, Indian Express, 08 Apr 2011
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is helping water-scarce Shandong Province to rehabilitate and improve the efficiency of nine ageing dams with a US$ 29.8 million technical assistance loan. The Risk Mitigation and Strengthening of Endangered Reservoirs in Shandong Province Project will “set the standard for efficient, safe and cost-effective reservoir operation and management nationwide”.
“This initiative will reduce the risk of reservoir failure as well as protect lives, property and livelihoods downstream where poverty levels are high. It will also provide more water for agriculture and household use, improve the quality of reservoir releases, preserve water quality and improve groundwater resources,” said Yoshiaki Kobayashi, Water Resources Management Specialist in ADB’s East Asia Department.
About 90% of China’s reservoirs were built between 1958 and 1976 and are in poor condition. Since 2001 China is carrying out a phased rehabilitation programme. In Shandong Province (pop. 94 million) water scarcity and saltwater intrusion into coastal catchments are severe problems.
“ADB’s assistance will give the provincial and local governments access to international expertise in rehabilitation and management, and establishing models which can be replicated throughout the PRC,” Mr. Kobayashi said.
The ADB loan makes up around 33% of the total project cost of almost US$ 90.1 million. The Chinese Government, the Provincial Government of Shandong, and county governments will finance the remainder.
Source: ADB, 22 Nov 2010
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is launching its second video competition which is open to all aspiring filmmakers across the globe.
The video contest – My View H2O: The Asia-Pacific Video Contest – promotes awareness of the causes, implications and solutions to Asia’s looming water crisis.
Over $10,000 worth of prizes are being offered for the best videos (between 1 minute and 5 minutes long) about water issues in the Asia and Pacific region in three categories:
Among the judges are: the father of Philippine digital filmmaking Khavn dela Cruz, Japanese filmmaker Momoko Ando, Indonesian director Joko Anwar, American film curator Christopher Beaver, Chinese documentary maker Du Hiabin, and Pakistani filmmaker Samar Minallah.
To register applicants need to complete a short online registration form, and upload their videos to YouTube.com or Youku.com.
The deadline for submission of entries is 31 January 2011.
The launch comes in the lead-up to a five-day international conference “Water Crisis and Choices: ADB and Partners Conference 2010” to be held at ADB Headquarters from 11-15 October.
Source: ADB, 07 Oct 2010
A ground water resource conflict culminated in a mass protest as nearly 3,000 villagers besieged a power plant in northern Bangladesh. The villagers threatened to cut the electricity supply to the water cooling system of the Barapukuria power plant in Dinajpur. They claimed that the plant’s excessive withdrawal of groundwater had left hundreds of village tubewells dry.
Fourteen pumps at Sherpur village, around one kilometre off the plant, lift 1,300 tonnes of underground water every hour for operation of the 250 megawatt plant, insiders say.
The villagers now have to collect drinking water from distant areas and use tainted water released by the power plant for shower and washing, they claimed, adding that skin diseases are spreading in all the nearby villages.
A meeting between the villagers and the plant’s Chief Engineer failed to yield an agreement. The villagers now plan to stage another protest on 26 October 2010.
The chief engineer of the power plant said he formed a five-member committee in late August  to conduct a survey over the persisting water crisis at the surrounding villages.
After completing the survey he would send the report to the ministry concerned and Bangladesh Power Development Board for a possible remedy, he added.
The water released by the plant is harmful to public health and is widely spreading skin diseases, say health officials. But the authorities claim they are releasing water after treating it inside the plant.
Source: Daily Star, 15 Aug 2010
Stopping private investments in borewell digging and institutionalising community level participatory groundwater monitoring systems are two suggested measures to halt unsustainable groundwater use in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The Special Commissioner for Rural Development proposes these measures in “Managing Groundwater with Sustainability and Equity” a draft discussion note.
Alarmed at the unsustainable groundwater usage in farming and the resulting public distress, the Andhra Pradesh government is working on legislation to remedy the situation. The legislation is likely to be in the form of an upgrade to the current AP Water Land and Trees Act (WALTA).
Another background discussion note is an “Inventory of Norms and Other Regulatory Instruments for Groundwater“.
See also: Rene van Lieshout, Andhra Pradesh: shift to adaptive managing water demand needed, Source Bulletin, Aug 2009
Source: India Water Portal, 31 Jul 2010
A study conducted by a strategic policy group has blamed the overlapping functions of at least 12 major government agencies over the management of water as the main cause of a looming crisis that has already hit Metro Manila and other areas of the country.
Forensic Law and Policy Strategies Inc. (Forensic Solutions) – a think tank offering services in the fields of policy, law reform, advocacy and governance – said that despite the abundance of water, the country is now suffering from a water shortage due to fragmented management of available resources.