Hydropower in the Himalayas: Potential and risks
Study highlights significant hydropower opportunities in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. Amita Bhaduri posted 2 years 5 months ago

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.

Hydel project near Kullu (Image: Nadir Hashmi, Flickr Commons)
Shimla school goes from students bathing every other day to swimming daily!
Bishop Cotton School in Shimla tides over water scarcity by harvesting rainwater, setting an example for other residential schools located in hilly regions. Manu Moudgil posted 6 years 4 months ago

Mathew Jacob, estate supervisor at Bishop Cotton School (BCS) in Shimla, remembers when he took his students walking in single file to the nearby stream to wash and bathe

Four storage tanks are linked to 1350 sqm of rooftop area at Bishop Cotton School in Shimla.
Who's to blame for Shimla's water shortage?
It isn't just the tourists or its hilly terrain but a 140-year-old leaking water distribution system set up by the British in 1875 which is leading to heavy losses and contamination. Manu Moudgil posted 6 years 6 months ago

Most tourists visiting Shimla won’t know that they are walking on a water tank when they wait to get their pictures taken or go horse riding on Ridge road but they will know that the city faces water shortage -- their hotel bathrooms have messages asking them to use water judiciously. 

The Ridge houses Shimla's first underground water tank
A case against small hydropower
Small hydel projects are often hailed as sustainable models of power production but they spark an equal number of contentious issues much like the bigger projects. Manu Moudgil posted 7 years 3 months ago

As Hari Singh led me towards his fields, I wondered if he was trying to play a joke on me. Large rocks were scattered in the area and there was no sight of any arable land, neither was there any clue of the irrigation channel which Singh claimed ran through his farm.

The Mani Mahesh hydel project near Saho village.
Kuhl, kohli and a lost tradition
Kuhls, the community-owned irrigation channels of Himachal Pradesh, have lost their importance over time. Is it because the state has begun managing them causing a disconnect with the people? Manu Moudgil posted 7 years 5 months ago

Ranjit Singh is elated that someone has come to his village enquiring about his work. He says not many people recognise the worth of traditional occupations like his. “This is especially true of government officials and policy makers who feel everything old is useless”, he points out.

Ranjit is the kohli of Mjately village in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.

Kuhls carry glacial melt to fields for irrigation
Holi-Bajoli hydropower project shifts banks
A group of women in Himachal protest the shifting of a hydel project from the right bank to the left of the Ravi river. While it may seem like a simple 'side' issue, the truth is far more complex. Manu Moudgil posted 7 years 6 months ago

I could just about see a small makeshift shelter with a yellow canopy. As I made my way through the small stream and climbed uphill, I saw a JCB machine trying to clear a path. Further up the road, female voices speaking the local dialect started to emerge. A small hearth surrounded by utensils and jars of tea, sugar and lentils greeted me at the entrance.

Himachal women protest Holi-Bajoli hydel plant
Drilling the hills to devastation
Thirty hydroelectric projects have been planned in Kinnaur district, Himachal Pradesh. There is an immense cost to the environment and to the residents but the government isn't letting up. Manu Moudgil posted 8 years 1 month ago

Clear blue skies, natural springs and glacial peaks-tranquility. Falling stones, landslides and debris-chaos! Kinnaur, located on  the northeastern side of Himachal Pradesh, lets you experience both. It falls in seismic zones IV and V, which means it runs the the risk of damaging and destructive earthquakes.

100 MW Tidong-I project, Kinnaur HP
Sanawar school makes good use of its sewage
The Lawrence School, Sanawar, couldn't meet its water requirements until it implemented a wastewater recycling program within its campus. It is now water-surplus. Manu Moudgil posted 8 years 4 months ago

If you visit Shimla during the summers, you will notice people being asked to use water judiciously. You will likely see tankers queue up around residential areas as the supply from the municipal corporation declines. Why would a hill station that is fed by mountain rivers and overlooked by glorious snow peaks face water scarcity?

The Lawrence School, Sanawar. Source: Pankaj Sapru
Negotiating participatory irrigation management (PIM) - A research study from the Indian Himalayas
A research paper detailing a case study of a Himalayan village that explores the inter linkages between socio- cultural, institutional & ecological factors in derailing Participatory Irrigation management (PIM) reforms. ashis posted 11 years 11 months ago

This research paper published in the Journal of Agricultural Water Management draws on a case study from a village in the Shiwalik region of the Indian Himalayas and identifies the role of diverse actors in exploiting historic and ecological factors to derail the Participatory Irrigation management (PIM) reforms to frame water management problems. The paper explores the inter-linkages between socio-cultural, institutional and ecological factors in derailing the PIM reforms. Participatory irrigation management (PIM) reforms are implemented in India to facilitate farmers’ participation in irrigation management, through water user groups.