Overview | Centre for Science and Environment

Overview


Mercury: Heavy Toxin

Mercury is a very toxic and dangerous substance. It is  poisonous in all forms - inorganic, organic or elemental. Mercury is a proven neurotoxin. Inhaling mercury vapours can severely damage the respiratory tract. Sore throat, coughing, pain or tightness in the chest, headache, muscle weakness, anorexia, gastrointestinal disturbance, fever, bronchitis and pneumonitis are symptoms of mercury toxicity. Health concerns should be reason enough for us to properly manage its imports and disposal. On the contrary, mercury has come to severely contaminate land, water, air and the food chain throughout India.

Work Overview: Water Management

The fundamental principle underlying CSE’s water management programme is that the looming water crisis facing the country is not primarily due to a lack of water, but rather arises from mismanagement of water resources. The centralized management paradigm has kept the citizens out and taken away their sense of responsibility towards managing their water.

Work Overview: River Pollution

With growing urbanisation and industralisation India faces the challenge of providing clean and safe drinking water to all citizens. In the name of economic growth most rivers and streams are turning into sewers. As more and more rivers are getting polluted, the municipalities are finding it difficult to treat river water to safe levels and supply it to citizens.

CSE/Down to Earth Feature Service

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) offers a free feature service to media organisations across the country. This service has been operational for more than four years now, and is steadily being accepted as a trusted source for topical news stories and opinion pieces on hotly debated issues of environment, science and health.

Overview

CSE’s work on Urban RWH

The first step: To make households, industries, institutions, and urban mohallas, all recognise the importance and value of rainwater harvesting for their own lives.

Overview

CSE started its work on water issues way back in the 80s, when it was becoming apparent that the water management paradigm based on exploitation of surface and groundwater resources even as it neglected capturing rain to recharge or for direct use would lead the country to a huge water crisis. CSE first focussed on pushing for policy reforms in the water sector to mainstream harvesting rainwater in both urban and rural areas.

Front Page Teaser: 

CSE started its work on water issues way back in the 80s, when it was becoming apparent that the water management paradigm based on exploitation of surface and groundwater resources even as it neglected capturing rain to recharge or for direct use would lead the country to a huge water crisis.

Lake Overview

Traditionally, water was seen as a responsibility of citizens and the community collectively took the responsibility of not only building but also of maintaining the water bodies. Since independence, the government has taken control over the water-bodies and water supply.

Work Overview

Based on our years of work in the field, we realised the ineffectiveness of the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) in their regulatory function.

In order to understand the specificities and to recognise the very issues, we carried out a questionnaire based survey of the various SPCBs. The survey helped us pin-point the specific problems and needs of the state boards. We now plan to develop a Regulator's Training Institute which can help build capacity of our regulators.

About Rural RWH

Community based rainwater harvesting - the paradigm of the past - has in it as much strength as it ever did before. A survey conducted by CSE of several drought-struck villages found that those which had undertaken rainwater harvesting and/or watershed development in earlier years had no drinking water problem whatsoever and even had some water to irrigate their crops.

About Food Safety & Toxins

The programme relies on a two pronged strategy of doing laboratory research to generate empirical data on issues of toxins and food safety and secondly, doing policy research and advocacy to bring about changes in the regulatory and enforcement framework.

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