Sayantan Bera reports: Data from the ministry of water resources show that in end March, water levels in 91 major reservoirs in the country was at just 25% of capacity—30% lower than last year, and 25% less than the average storage in a decade. The situation is acute in the western parts of the country.

Met Department predicts monsoon will be above normal this year
The Indian Meteorological Department on Tuesday predicted above-normal to excess rainfall in the 2016 monsoon. IMD chief LS Rathore said the distribution of the monsoon should be fair across the country, but the Northeast and Southeast regions may receive slightly less-than-normal rain, reported PTI. Rathore added that the drought-affected Marathwada region in Maharashtra is likely to receive good rainfall.

Maharashtra farm crisis deepens as output of cereal and pulses falls considerably
Prachi Salve,
The production of cereals is projected to fall 41%, and pulses 11%, as agricultural growth in Maharashtra is set to decline 2.7% for the year 2015-’16, after deficient rainfall in 278 of 355 talukas (sub-units of districts), according to the Economic Survey of Maharashtra 2015-’16. In 2015, the rainfall in Maharashtra was 60% of normal, and so the state’s farmed area for the winter crop (rabi) declined 16% between October 2015 and March 2016, according to the Survey. This is the second successive year of below-normal rainfall.

India’s potable water crisis is set to worsen
Sayantan Bera, Live Mint
Data from the ministry of water resources show that in end March, water levels in 91 major reservoirs in the country was at just 25% of capacity—30% lower than last year, and 25% less than the average storage in a decade. The situation is acute in the western parts of the country. Water stored in reservoirs in Maharashtra and Gujarat was at 21% of their capacity, compared to the usual decadal average of 44%. In southern India, covering drought-hit states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, water levels were at 17% of reservoir capacity, compared to decadal average storage levels of 29% of capacity.

These women said they could protect their local forests better than the men in their village. The men agreed.
Sam Eaton, PRI
Today, as many as a quarter of India’s districts may be embroiled in conflicts with local communities over land rights. Sarin said the Forest Rights Act gives those same communities a much bigger stake in fighting to keep their forests standing. And she said it is women who are taking the lead. In forest-based societies like Ghunduribadi, a woman’s status is closely linked to her role in the common property of the forest.

Melting ice sheets changing the way the Earth wobbles on its axis, says Nasa
The Guardian
Global warming is changing the way the Earth wobbles on its polar axis, a new Nasa study has found. Melting ice sheets, especially in Greenland, are changing the distribution of weight on Earth. And that has caused both the North Pole and the wobble, which is called polar motion, to change course, according to a study published on Friday in the journal Science Advances. Scientists and navigators have been accurately measuring the true pole and polar motion since 1899, and for almost the entire 20th century they migrated a bit toward Canada. But that has changed with this century, and now it’s moving toward England, according to study lead author Surendra Adhikari at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Lab.

New Report Details Big Oil’s $500 Million Annual Climate Obstructionism
Common Dreams
The dark channels through which corporations influence legislation are notoriously hard to trace, but a new detailed report estimates that the world’s largest fossil fuel companies are spending upwards of $500 million per year to obstruct climate laws. Published Thursday by the UK-based non-profit InfluenceMap, the report (pdf) looked at two fossil fuel giants (ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell) and three trade lobbying groups, discovering that all together the five companies spend $114 million dollars a year to defeat climate change legislation.

‘Unprecedented’ Youth Climate Case Against Government Moves Forward
Common Dreams
A federal judge in Oregon on Friday ruled that the lawsuit brought against the U.S. government by a group of youths last August can go to trial—a huge victory for the case climate activists are calling “the most important lawsuit on the planet right now.” The lawsuit, filed by 21 plaintiffs ages 8-19, and climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, states that the federal government is violating their right to life, liberty, and property, as well as their right to public trust resources, by enabling continued fossil fuel extraction and use.

Why Low Oil Prices Haven’t Helped The Economy
James Hamilton, Oil Price
For a net oil importer like the United States, the direct dollar gains to consumers exceed the dollar losses to domestic producers. Even so, multiplier effects from displaced workers and capital in the oil sector could end up eating away at some of those net gains. When oil prices collapsed in 1986 we saw no boom in the national U.S. economy, and in fact Texas and other oil-producing states experienced their own recession.

IMF Again Cuts Global Growth Forecast As It Warns Of “Secular Stagnation”
Zero Hedge
The IMF has once again admitted its forecast of world growth had been too optimistic, and as a result in its just released quarterly World Economic Outlook report, it cut its forecast for 2016 global GDP growth from 3.4% to 3.2%, and from 3.6% to 3.5% for 2017. Indicatively, back in July 2014 the IMF was forecasting 4.0% GDP growth in 2016. It is now 20% lower.

Humans an Invasive Species Heading for a ‘Crash,’ Study Says
Common Dreams
Human population growth has followed the trajectory of a typical invasive species, says a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, and that suggests there may be a looming global population “crash.” “The question is: Have we overshot Earth’s carrying capacity today?” said Elizabeth Hadly, a professor in environmental biology at Stanford University and senior author of the paper, in a press statement. “Because humans respond as any other invasive species,” Hadly continued, “the implication is that we are headed for a crash before we stabilize our global population size.”

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