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Himachal Pradesh’s water crisis

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Himachal Pradesh’s water crisis:


Context:

Himachal Pradesh is likely to face an acute water scarcity this summer. Many water schemes may reach the brink of closure. The state might have to go through the toughest times because of drinking water shortage.

Why is the state with perennial sources of water staring at a water crisis?

  1. Less snow and rain this winter.
  2. This has affected groundwater as well as other downhill water sources such as springs, wells, bawries, lakes, rivulets, streams and rivers.
  3. Demand for water has been growing due to increasing population in the state, with people now relying more on piped water supply schemes rather than traditional sources such as springs and bawries.

Impact:

Water shortage is also likely to cause crop losses and reduced fodder availablity.

What are the proposed solutions?

  1. Installation of hand-pumps and borewells has been stopped in view of depleting water table.
  2. Water harvesting tanks will be built throughout the state.
  3. In future, the Jal Shakti department will try to explore the option of “snow harvesting” in the higher reaches.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

Important rivers and tributaries in Himachal Pradesh.

Mains Link:

Discuss why despite being in the Himalayan region Himachal Pradesh is going through a water crisis.

Sources: Indian Express.