Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sikkim government gives fresh lease of life to dying Himalayan springs, lakes

Truthdive via ANI: The Government of Sikkim has given a fresh lease of life to its dying mountain springs and lakes with an objective to ensure water security in the Himalayan region. About 65,000 rural households in Sikkim are hugely dependent on these springs for drinking water and irrigation needs throughout the year.

Funded under the MGNREGA national flagship programme, the state government launched the ” Dhara Vikas Scheme”, or “Spring Shed Development Scheme” in 2008 in active collaboration with WWF-India, People’s Science Institute, Dehradun, ACWADAM, Pune and others by using rainwater harvesting, geohydrology and GIS techniques.

Principles of geohydrology, watershed and GIS were integrated to conceptualize this new initiative which was launched through the Rural Management and Development Department to revive and restore 50 Himalayan water springs and four lakes mainly located in drought-prone areas.

Factors responsible for the drying up of these springs and lakes were climate changes, population increase, erratic rainfall and unrestricted developmental activity, all of which created a hydrological imbalance. An independent assessment by IISc, Bangalore observed that the Dhara Vikas Scheme has shown encouraging results and has led to a significant 15 per cent enhancement in the spring discharge...

Crow's Lake is one of hundreds in Northern Sikkim. Shot by Carsten.nebel, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

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