Water Stress on Springs of Lesser Himalayan Region

Water Stress on Springs of Lesser Himalayan Region

The lesser Himalayan range dominantly consists of tectonic setting that is characterized by multiple deformations  resulting  in  superimposed  folding  and  repeated  faulting  and  thrusting.  The  rocks  of lesser Himalayan are highly weathered and immensely fractured that helps them to act as filter and regulates the groundwater paths for the springs as conduit (rapid) or diffused (slow) flow. Springs of Uttarakhand, India are back bone for domestic water availability during rainy and especially during non rainy season even though they are highly ignored. A study was taken up at Chandrabhaga and Danda watersheds in the mountainous region of Garhwal, Uttarakhand to analyse rainfall and spring flow  pattern  and  to  suggest  water  transfer  plan  to  supplement  the  water  availability  during  lean season. Regular spring flow and automated hydro-meteorological data were collected for July 1999 to June 2010. The second order polynomial relationship is found best fit between annual rainfall and annual average spring flow. Spring wise water availability was compared with required domestic water demand and actual domestic water uses for identification of springs under water deficit /surplus for three scenarios of spring uses such as 24, 12 and 06 hrs in a day. Based on water availability of the springs,  the  water  transfer  plans,  working  under  gravity  for  springs  has  been  suggested.  Study suggested a temporary storage of spring water, water transfer plan among the springs and planning to increase the infiltration and water retention power of soil.It  is  also  recommended  to  promote  horticulture  along  with  animal  husbandry  for  effective  socio-economic  development. The  average  water  availability  through  all  springs  is  266766  l/d  in Chandrabhaga and 262055 l/d in Danda watershed, which is always greater than required domestic water demand. On the other hand the minimum water availability through all springs is always less than the required domestic water demand but is greater than actual domestic water use. It suggests that the water availability is limiting factor for water use and there is a need to increase the minimum water availability through springs. Water transfer plan in collaboration with the existing social laws, from “excess” spring to “deficit” spring, through gravity flow are suggested for both the watersheds.

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