Making springs a national priority: NGOs and Governments meet in Bhimtal

Conserving and protecting India's springs
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A community spring in Meghalaya

The Springs Initiative: making springs a national priority

The workshop brings together stakeholders for awareness building and training, as well as discussions on advocacy and research to improve community-based management of spring water resources. 

NGOs, government agencies, research institutions and community groups will meet this week to discuss the importance of springs and how they can be locally managed to improve water security in Uttarakhand and the region. Organized by the Springs Initiative and hosted by Chirag, organizations with extensive experience in spring management from the around the country are assembling to share experiences with local communities and government agencies. It is hoped that the week-long event will build local capacity and open opportunities for collaboration between responsible agencies. There will also be discussions on how to advance data collection and research to further scientific management of vital spring resources. 

The Springs Initiative is an association of implementing, knowledge, funding partners and governments who work on springs across India. From Tamil Nadu to Sikkim, this diverse group of stakeholders is developing models for the scientific and sustainable groundwater management. The Springs Initiative is working to promote awareness of the importance of springs, and to build capacities to protect and manage springsheds across the country.   

While there is no reliable estimates of the number of springs, experts suggest that there must be more than a million springs in India. These springs often form the only reliable sources of water for people living in dispersed mountainous habitations. However, springs are poorly understood and managed and are threatened by changing land use, ecological degradation and climate change. With the groundwater crisis across the country, it is important that springs are managed more scientifically with communities which have long traditions of living around springs being the champions of their protection and management. The Springs Initiative seeks to improve research, implementation and advocacy around better springs’ management in India.

As a part of its efforts, the Springs Initiative is holding a Training for Master Trainers on better management of springs in Bhimtal from 11th – 14th of May 2015. The training will generate expert trainers who can assist governments and civil society to manage their springs in a more scientific and participatory manner. 

Lessons from Uttarakhand and other states such as Sikkim and Meghalaya which have pro-actively protected their springs will also be shared with the Uttarakhand government in a consultation on 15 May 2015. 

The expert trainers head from here to Meghalaya in June to assist in the largest springs mapping exercise in the country undertaken by the Meghalaya government. 

Springs Workshop, Bhimtal, Uttarakhand

To follow stories from the Training and the Advocacy event follow the #springsinitiative on Twitter and @indiawater for live updates. For more details, please write to springsinitiative@gmail.com.

 






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