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Water is one of the pre-requisites for life on earth. No living creatures or plant can exist without it. It is also essential for the preservation of the environment. The United Nations has designated the year 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation. Water and Biodiversity is also the theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity in 2013. This provides a platform for the parties to the convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as also the world community in general to be seized of this matter and take pro-active steps to not only create awareness about this vital issue, but also to take positive measures to solve this problem. CPREEC, for its part, is bringing out a quarterly Newsletter entitled “Eco News” that focuses on these vital issues affecting our water security as well as the environmental challenges facing our community.
Chennai city has been facing a severe water crisis since the 1980s and there is an urgent need for an immediate urban renewal programme that will tackle the problems of urbanization and pollution. Dr. T. Sundaramoorthy has written about the importance of the restoration of the ancient temple tanks as also the cleaning up of the Chennai rivers through the Chennai River Restoration Trust (CRRT), M. Lakshmi Sree discusses the Cooum, once a fresh water river and now a stream of sewage, in Chennai, while
M. Amirthalingm writes about Chennai’s shrinking wetlands. P. Sudhakar makes a case for preserving the biodiversity of the parks of Chennai and the importance of protecting these green patches that act as the lungs of Chennai city. Following this, M. Kumaravelu has highlighted the Benagudi Shola sacred grove of the Nilgiris and the cultural and spiritual values that they help to preserve even today. Finally, there is an article on the toxicity of the Musi River in Hyderabad and the spread of Zoonatic diseases through the food habits of birds.