Sandeep Tambe

The solution to water scarcity due to the shrinking monsoon season & the resultant declining discharge of natural springs lies in storing water. For this the forestland needs to be conserved.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report predicts large scale changes in temperature and precipitation over the Asian land mass. In the mountains, this translates to less snow, more intense but shorter episodes of rainfall and insufficient groundwater recharge, thereby resulting in the drying up of water sources.

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With mountain communities dependent of springs for both domestic uses and for irrigation, conservation of these springs is crucial. However several factors, of which climate change is one, are leading to a drying up of springs. This paper reports on Sikkim's experience with using geo-hydrological knowledge to plan recharge structures. It concludes that this increases the efficiency of recharge measures.

Introduction

The paper begins with a description of Sikkim. The sources of water in the Himalayas and the geology of the area are also described.

Literature review of spring related studies

Spring discharge as a function of the rainfall pattern, the recharge area characteristics and the nature of the aquifers that feed these springs. There is evidence of springs drying up either entirely or seasonally, which is attributed to several causes. Developing the spring catchment area has some effect in recharging springs.

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An article by Dr.Sandeep Tambe, Special Secretary-RM&DD, Sikkim on creation of a village spring atlas for the conservation of Himalayan springs.

Image courtesy: http://sikkimsprings.org/

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