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Devp think-tank to discuss water management

By EMN Updated: Mar 21, 2014 12:00 am


POLICY-makers, technocrats and developmental think tank will be converging in Kohima on World Water Day, on March 22, to study the position of water resources in the state, and examine ways to mitigating what is gradually becoming a growing concern – water management. National Forestation and Eco-development Board of the government of India, the state’s departments of Power, and Soil and Water Conservation, and nongovernmental organization Sustainable Development Forum of Nagaland are hosting a conclave in Kohima on March 22, in commemoration of World Water Day. The conclave is to be held in Hotel Japfu in the capital town.
The resource persons include director of RFRI NS Bisht and Gautam Banerjee, also of the RFRI and officials of the Power and Soil and Water department. The conference will have two sessions, one each in the morning and afternoon.
Local visual media group Hornbill Productions will be screening a documentary highlighting the problems and challenges of water shortage in Nagaland, particularly in Kohima town. “It focuses on how people have to deal with water shortage and the challenges therein,” the press release informing about the event states. The documentary is produced and directed by Vikeyielienuo Chielie of Hornbill Productions.
NS Bisht and Gautam Banerjee will be speaking on the topic ‘Economic Valuation of the role of forest in providing water supply to the people of Kohima town.’
“Water supply for Kohima the capital of Nagaland comes from Dzuna River and Peshama streams, both of them originate from forests. People of Kohima town suffer from acute shortage of water especially during winter months,” a synopsis of their presentation states.
“Water supply system in Kohima is unique in the sense that besides Public Health and Engineering Department, which covers around fifty percent of the total households, water is supplied by the private suppliers through overhead water cables and tankers”.
The study estimates the economic value of the role of forest in providing water supply to the people of Kohima town based on their “willingness to pay for improving the condition of forests so as to improve the supply of water”.
The total economic value of water retention and water supply function of catchment forest was estimated at Rs. 1, 81, 07, 584.40 per year for the entire population of Kohima town. Accordingly, per household and per capita values of this function were estimated at Rs. 914.14 and Rs. 182.83 per year, respectively. Besides this, attempts were also made to explore their willingness for rewarding the catchment communities for keeping the forests in good conditions for ensuring water for future generations.
Also, Dr Limatemjen Longchar, Asst Professor of Kohima Science College will offer a discourse ‘Water and Biodiversity’. According to the synopsis to his topic, “Aquatic ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to environmental change and many are, at present, severely degraded”. Ironically, it says, the vulnerability makes aquatic ecosystems good sentinels and indicator of environmental change at scales ranging from local (e.g. extinctions of endemic species) to global (e.g. climate change).
Soil & water department officials Vengota Nakro and Lochumi Venuh will be speaking on he topic ‘Rainfall Trends in Nagaland – A case study of Kohima’.
“Of the total rainfall received, about 90% pours during the monsoon period and scanty rainfall received during the lean period – October to April, makes the state water stressed – an annual feature,” the synopsis to their work states.
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“Soil erosion caused by runoff surface water in the upstream and catchment areas during the peak rainfall, is the major cause of sedimentation and siltation in the riverbeds and streams, siltation of dams and damage to installed infrastructure downstream and stream bank erosion devastating prime agriculture land”.
From the Power department Superintendent Engineer Keviletuo Yiese will present the activities of the department of Nagaland and highlights issues and challenges in meeting the demand for power, and issues about generation gaps. “Nagaland has significant untapped hydropower potential with extensive plans to expand the hydropower production capacity of the State,” his synopsis says.
The total installed capacity Hydro Projects in the state is 28.858 MW only whereas the peak demand at 110 MW is likely to touch 350-400 MW by the end of the 12th Plan.
“This means that currently almost 70% of power is sourced from outside the state and from centrally allocated CPSUs. The paper then discusses the proposed power generation for the state, as well as the benefits and issues and challenges related to hydropower generation in Nagaland”.

By EMN Updated: Mar 21, 2014 12:00:54 am