Context: Meghalaya is facing a severe water crisis, with a significant decline in rainfall and depleted water sources.
Reasons for the water crisis:
- A significant decrease in rainfall, climate change, deforestation, and unsustainable water management practices.
- Meghalaya heavily relies on monsoons for its water supply, power, and agriculture. The decline in rainfall has led to depleted water sources, particularly in urban areas.
- Operational concerns within the Public Health Engineering department, such as water losses and unaccounted-for water, also contribute to the crisis.
- Insufficient rainfall has also caused a power crisis (using hydropower), with the main power source at risk of being shut down, further compounding the water crisis.
Why meghalaya is called the ‘abode of clouds’?
Meghalaya is called the ‘abode of clouds’ because it receives heavy rainfall throughout the year, leading to a cloudy and misty atmosphere.
Meghalaya receives rainfall throughout the year due to its geographical location and topography. The region is surrounded by hills and mountains. It is influenced by the southwest monsoon winds that bring moisture from the Bay of Bengal. The hilly terrain and dense forests of Meghalaya act as barriers, causing the moisture-laden clouds from the Southwest monsoon to rise and condense, resulting in continuous rainfall. This geographical setup creates a unique microclimate in Meghalaya, making it one of the wettest places on Earth.
Mawsynram, in Meghalaya, receives the highest rainfall in India. It is reportedly the wettest place on Earth, with an average annual rainfall of 11,872 millimetres. Mawsynram lies in the funnel-shaped depression caused by the Khasi range in Meghalaya.