North Kashmir Himalayas

Study highlights significant hydropower opportunities in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.

Worldwide, the demand for energy has risen significantly and quickly, leading to serious impacts on environmental sustainability and hindering global efforts to mitigate climate change. Hydropower, a leading renewable option has the additional benefits of water storage for agriculture and other uses.

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Himalayan glaciers could lose two-third mass by 2100

This photo essay illustrates how the historic river offers sustenance to the residents of the high Himalayas. Could 'development' end its age-old relationship with the people of Ladakh?

Flowing through Tibet, northern India and Pakistan, the Indus is the western-most major river of the Indus-Ganga-Brahmaputra basin. This basin extends over most  of South Asia from the Himalayas to the Vindhyas, excluding Peninsular India, and carries the rain that falls in this region to the Indian Ocean. From its source to the sea, the Indus travels 3,180 kilometers, and drains 1,165,000 square kilometers. From Tibet, the river flows through Ladakh, where it meets its first major tributary- the Zanskar river.

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A monastery, a village, rare bird species and a high altitude lake in Ladakh - this is the beautiful setting of Tso Moriri.

This brackish lake is located 4,595 metres above sea level, an altitude to tax the lungs of the most dedicated trekker. With two wetlands - the Nuro Sumdo on the North, and the Pare Chu on the South - the lake is a breeding ground for many rare bird species. It is a day's travel from Leh and a popular destination for the avid birdwatcher. 'It' is Tso Moriri, home to the residents of Korzok, the closest village. 

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The rice fields of Kulgam district in Kashmir have provided the people of the state with sufficient harvest of this staple. However, illegal appropriation of farmland for construction has led to a state-wide rice shortage,says IndiaUnheard.

Video courtesy: VideoVolunteers

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This paper compares the management of irrigation systems by farmers and government in Kashmir.

Kashmir was originally home to an elaborate network of farmer owned and managed canal based irrigation systems. Gradually, with the increase in planned development, several irrigation canals were taken under the control of the irrigation department. This paper compares the management of irrigation systems by farmers and government. 

Image of community desilting a canal

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This paper in Journal of Earth System Science presents a study on Manasbal lake, which is one of the high altitude lakes in the Kashmir Valley, India.

The study of the hydrochemistry of the Manasbal lake was done to find out whether the lake water was fit for drinking, irrigation and other purposes.

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This study in Current Science on lake outburst in the Indus valley of Ladakh Himalaya deals with the specific case of a paleolake record of outburst discovered at approximately 3245 metres above mean sea level in the Spituk–Leh valley of the Indus river, Ladakh Himalaya.

Interdependence of glacial fluctuations to hydrometeorology and sediment transfer in the connected river basins is well recognized in the Himalayan region. Considering the increased rates of glacial recession during past few decades, possibility of creating new lake basins by glacial melt and damming of rivers followed by lake outbursts and related flash floods is likely to increase.

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Ladakh is known as the cold-desert and has severe conditions and is barren and arid. The region has seen unusual floods in July 2005 and August 2006.

It is in Jammu Kashmir and is bordered by the Himalayas and the Karakoram mountain chains. Ladakh and its water sources are almost entirely dependent on the glaciers and snow-melts and changes in water systems can be directly attributed to changes in the glaciers and thus climate change.

The glacial lakes of Tsomoriri and Yaya Tso are already experiencing rising levels.


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