A guest blog by Nigel Cowburn. Nigel is a landscape architect based in New Zealand. I recently attended the New Zealand Irrigation Conference. One topic that came up often was aquifer recharge. NZ is undergoing a rapid shift from government funded irrigation to private sector schemes. The government-led approach resulted in over-allocation of many […]Read More Groundwater recharge through irrigation losses in New Zealand
Traditionally, communities all over the world have relied on fresh surface water to meet their water needs. Thus, with the advent of urban centers and rapid development, one of the first thrust areas was to control and store surface water resources so that the population of an area can reliably survive on it. Investment in […]Read More Is groundwater a reliable source of water for communities?
It has been seen all over the world that while the land cover is changing rapidly, the effect it is having on groundwater and it’s recharge is becoming more and more significant. This is especially true in places that rely solely on groundwater to meet their water needs. As groundwater extraction is increasing around the […]Read More How does LULC change affect groundwater recharge?
Almost every accessible piece of land today is being utilized for some or the other purpose directly affecting human needs. Not only is the land being used intensively, but is also evolving and changing with time. What was agricultural land 10 years ago, is most likely to be urban land today. What was forest land […]Read More LULC: Land Use, Land Cover studies and it’s growing importance
I’m on a study tour through South India, visiting different National Parks and scientific institutes. Today was my first day, and already, the lectures we had were extremely interesting… One of the lectures I really found fascinating was given by Amit Jose Kurian, a research scholar at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and […]Read More Why is shifting cultivation being blamed for land degradation?
Every ecosystem, at the end of the day, is governed by the environmental factors that exist there. This, I’ve mentioned time and again. How intricate is this relationship? Take a look! One single dam can alter the geomorphic (or landscape or environmental) factors of the entire floodplain. These changes are immediately seen in the ecology […]Read More The connection between living and non-living: A look at dams in floodplains
(This is the fifth post in the “feedback loops” series.) Climate is weather, over a long period of time. Unlike weather, climate is predictable. It has a number of factors like solar insolation, rainfall, temperature and latitude/altitude that controls it in a particular place. Also, climate encompasses a large area. Because of the spatial and […]Read More Positive feedback loops: Controlling global climate
(This is the fourth post in the “feedback loops” series) Imagine a world where nothing interacted with anything. Each entity, molecule and atom remained in isolation. They could not feel or touch each other, directly or indirectly……. That would be a dead world.Read More Disturbance: Driving changes in the universe
(This is the third post in the “feedback loops” series) Ever used a bad eraser in your life? One that has been used so much that it’s become completely black? What happens when you erase something with that eraser? Instead of cleanly removing everything you have written on the page, it just makes your page […]Read More Positive feedback loops: Creating more of what’s already there!
Have you ever wondered why floodplains host such a variety of life? Why fishes tend to congregate in estuaries for spawning? Why humans have thrived for so long along floodplains? In nature ecosystems transition from one to another gradually as well as abruptly. I have gone into detail about the gradual transition of ecosystems in Across a gradient: […]Read More Ecotones and edges: Explaining abrupt changes in ecosystems