30 September 2009

Carbonate Surprises

Suvrat Kher, geologist, interviewed on the Reef Times
One excerpt:

Tell me about some of the “water crises” you’ve blogged on (like India) and why they are happening. 
India is facing a multitude of water problems. First there is the problem of water quality. Environmental regulation is new to India and is weakly implemented and that means that almost all the major rivers and lakes are polluted to unacceptable levels. Wetlands are disappearing through uncontrolled and unplanned development. Even an iconic wetland like the famous Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is threatened.
Second is the impact of climate change on surficial water. If trends observed in the decline of Himalayan glaciers hold over the next couple of decades it would affect the summer runoff of Himalayan rivers that are a lifeline to hundreds of millions of people in northern India.
Finally there is the crisis facing groundwater. Unregulated extraction of this resource has lead to aquifer overdraft in many regions. This is a catastrophe in the making since groundwater irrigates over two thirds of arable land in India.

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