An important report has been released by Allianz, a leading global financial service provider, and WWF, a leading global environmental NGO. Both do work (commercial and conservation respectively) in India. The report is titled: 'Major Tipping Points in the Earth’s Climate System and Consequences for the Insurance Sector'.
In 12 states there are 299 districts which have been declared by their state governments as affected by drought.
We know which districts these are, and the central and state governments have announced repeatedly since September 2009 what measures are being taken to lessen the impacts of crop losses and livelihood shock.
Certain species of Opuntia are spineless and could be used as fodder for cattle and sheep particularly during times of drought. The high water content of cactus pads offers an added advantage. Feeding cactus resolves the problem of watering animals in arid environment.
The IMD seems to have at last been galvanised into organising and delivering more data. The Met Dept has suffered from paranoia for years, guarding its numbers like they're state secrets. Two days ago, they began posting district rainfall data organised state-wise. This is useful. The first set of numbers inexplicably leaves out West Bengal, but we hope they'll correct that omission soon.