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Report of Working Group I - Inventory and Revival of Springs in the Himalayas for Water Security; Contributing to Sustainable Development in Indian Himalayan Region

  • Gupta, A.
  • Kulkarni, H.
  • Summary

Springs are the main source of water for millions of people and their livestock in the 10 States and 4 hill districts of the Indian Himalaya Region (IHR). Both rural and urban communities depend on springs for their livestok and for the drinking, domestic, and agricultural water needs. There is increasing evidence that springs are drying up or their discharge is reducing throughout the IHR, and indeed, throughout the entire Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region stretching from Afghanistan all the way to Myanmar. Erratic rainfall, seismic activity and ecological degradation associated with land use change for infrastructural development are impacting mountain aquifer systems. It is reported that half of the more than three million perennial springs in IHR States have either already dried up or become seasonal, resulting in acute water shortages across thousands of Himalayan villages. There are also concerns about the quality of spring water. There is dearth of scientific studies that estimate contribution of springs to base flow of large Himalayan rivers. It is evident that springs contribute a large share of base flow, and possibly more than glaciers, ice and snow.

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  • Published Year:
  • Publisher Name:
    NITI Aayog India
  • Publisher Place:
    New Delhi