November 21, 2019

Water day is decreasing day by day. On the

Water
is one of the most important natural resources of Himachal Pradesh. The state
is richly endowed with a hilly terrain having an enormous volume of water from
the catchment areas of Satluj, Beas, Ravi and Chenab rivers. As such, the state
has enormous potential of water resources in the form of glaciers and rivers
but ground water resources are limited. The major consumptive use of water in
the State has been for irrigation. The gross irrigation potential of the State
is estimated to be 3.35 lakh hectares, while the irrigation potential created
has reached 2.56 lakh hectares by September 2013 (Shalini Chauhan et.al, 2017).
The water resource availability in Himachal Pradesh is highly uneven in both
place and time. The rainfall is limited to only about four months in a year and
this rainfall varies from 600 mm in Lahaul & Spiti to3200 mm in kangra
district. Glaciers are located in higher Himalayan reaches (above 4000 m) in
Pir Panjal, Dhauladhar, Zanskar and Great Himalayan ranges. There are 800
Glaciers in the Himachal Himalayas which are 199 higher in number as compared
to the previous report of 601 Glaciers in the state reported in the State
Development Report in 1991. This variation is due to breaking of large glaciers
into smaller ones with the increasing temperature in past two decades.

     As there is an imbalance between the
supply and consumption of water, particularly by the poor and weaker sections
of the society, the traditional sources of water plays a significant role.
These include springs, Khuls, Baories, Ponds, Khaties and ditches particularly
in Himachal Pradesh. These systems supplement the water requirements of the rural
and urban areas. There are 10512 traditional sources of water in the state for
rural habitations. Very less sources of water are in good working condition,
and maximum sources are not in proper working condition and nearly going to dry
in near future. In Chamba district less than 1 % sources were found in good
condition and more than 99 % of them are in poor condition. Sirmaur district
shows a similar trend whereas slightly good than Chamba district. The
conditions of these traditional sources are quite good in Solan District which
is more than 53 %. A case study was done by State Council for Science
Technology & Environment to examine the good and bad condition of water
resources in the state. The surveyed districts were Sirmour, Hamirpur, Kullu, Kangra,
Chamba, Shimla, Solan. The increasing population is one of the major causes of
water resource scarcity in Himachal Pradesh. Due to increasing population water
availability per capita per day is decreasing day by day. On the other hand,
global warming is resulting in breaking of glaciers and rapidly melting of
glaciers. Industrialization is also a key factor affecting the water quality in
the state. (Directory of water resources, Himachal Pradesh, 2014).

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