Global Groundwater Footprint
Groundwater is a life-sustaining resource that supplies water to billions of people, plays a central part in irrigated agriculture and influences the health of many ecosystems.
Most assessments of global water resources have focused on surface water, but unsustainable depletion of groundwater has recently been documented on both regional and global scales.
It remains unclear how the rate of global groundwater depletion compares to the rate of natural renewal and the supply needed to support ecosystems. The groundwater footprint is defined as the area required for sustaining ground water use and groundwater-dependent the net global value is driven by a few , ecosystem services and shows that hu- heavily overexploited aquifers.
mans are overexploiting groundwater The groundwater footprint is the
in many large aquifers that are critical first tool suitable for consistently evalu‑
to agriculture, especially in Asia and ating the use, renewal and ecosystem
North America. requirements of groundwater at an
The size of the global groundwater aquifer scale. It can be combined with footprint is currently about 3.5 times the water footprint and virtual water the actual area of aquifers and that calculations and be used to assess the
about 1.7 billion people live in areas Potential for increasing agricultural
where groundwater resources and/or yields with renewable groundwater. The groundwater-dependent ecosystems are method could be modified to evaluate under threat. This means, 80 per cent of other resources with renewal rates that aquifers have a groundwater footprint are slow and spatially heterogeneous,
that is less than their area, meaning that such as fisheries, forestry or soil.
Green Signal Needed for Projects
Green Nod For 2,040 Projects In Last 3 Years
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), has been under pressure to fast-track green clearances to send the right signals to attract investments. The Prime Minister’s Office had recently held a review meeting on coal projects being held up due to green clearance. After recent power outages, the Ministry also came under fire for stalling of power projects, which it refuted as factually incorrect.
In the past three years, the highest number of projects that were granted environmental clearance was in Gujarat, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Of the total 2,040 projects cleared in the past three years, 273 are in Gujarat, 230 in Andhra Pradesh, 200 in Maharashtra and 156 in Orissa.
Interestingly, among the smaller States, the highest number of projects that received the green nod is in Chhattisgarh at 115 and Jharkhand at 112, both mineral-rich areas. And as on August 13, 2012, a total of 593 project proposals were awaiting environment and forest clearance. To fast-track clearances, the MoEF has now decentralised work, assigning some of the work to States and Union territories. Regular meetings of the expert appraisal panel, updating of project status on the Ministry’s Website and uploading of sector-specific manuals are some of the other steps.
According to the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, there is a time of limit of 105 days from the date of receipt of complete information for grant of environmental clearance.
Ocean Health Index
Oceans Suffering From Sea Sickness, Says Study
According to the new Ocean Health Index, Seychelles and Germany have the healthiest seas of any inhabited territory, while Sierra Leone has the unhealthiest. Topping the list with a score of 86 out of 100 was the uninhabited South Pacific territory of Jarvis Island, owned by the United States, as well as a clutch of other unpopulated Pacific Ocean islands.
The Seychelles, one of only two developing nations in the top 12, ranked fourth with a score of 73 out of ‘100 — the same as that of Germany.
Nearly half of the world’s seven billion people live near the coast. Developing countries in West Africa, the Middle East and Central America generally scored poorly, while richer nations In northern Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan had higher scores.
There were some notable exceptions, with developing country Suriname joining Seychelles in the lop 12 while Poland and Singapore from the first world were ranked among the worst performers. The lowest score of 36 went to the West African state of Sierra Leone. The researchers measured the oceans in 10 categories including food provision, their ability to support coastal livelihoods and economies, clean water, coastal protection, artisanal fish.- ing, carbon storage, tourism and biodiversity. The index is an important tool to assess where we’ve been and where we want to go.
The index was devised by researchers in the US and Canada who measured whether the world’s oceans are able to provide food and recreation while also sustaining sea life. They examined the overall condition of 171 exclusive economic zones (EEZs) — sea areas managed by coastal countries and stretching up to 200 nautical miles into the. ocean.
|OCEAN HEALTH INDEXThe Ocean Health Index is the first broad, quantitative assessment of the critical relationships between the ocean and people, framed in terms of the many benefits we derive from the ocean. Instead of simply assuming any human presence is negative, it asks what our impacts mean for the things we care about. Rank Score Country1 86 Jarvis Island
80 USA Pacific Uninhabited
77 Clipperton Island