Conserving Springs and its Significance for Water Security in Himalayas

Nawraj Pradhan,Associate Coordinator, KSLCDI, ICIMOD, Kathmandu

Water is a primary life-giving resource, and its availability is an essential component in socioeconomic development and poverty reduction (UNESCO-WWAP 2006). The Himalayas are the source of countless perennial rivers, but paradoxically a substantial number of mountain populations largely depend on spring water for their sustenance. This is partly because an overwhelmingly high proportion of rainfall occurs during the monsoon season, and natural groundwater recharge is hampered by high levels of surface runoff (Tambe et al. 2012). In many parts of the Himalayas, springs fed during the monsoon by groundwater or underground aquifers are now drying up, threatening a whole way of life for local communities. There are an estimated 2 million springs across the Himalayas, and over 90% of the population living in the region are directly dependent on these resources. Springs are a safe source of drinking water for rural and urban communities. With limited rainfall and increasing population, there is an ever increasing demand for spring water in the Himalayas. Changing land use, ecological degradation, exploitation, and climate change are adversely affecting spring flow. Efforts to protect these vital resources can help ensure water security and improve the management of land and water resources. There is, however, a significant data gap in the understanding of spring water flow dynamics, watershed related linkages, characteristics of local springs, and the factors leading to their decline in the Himalayan region. In view of the massive earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015, there have been direct observations from the field of the impacts on hydrogeology and the movement of groundwater. In some cases after the earthquake existing springs have increased water discharge, other springs have dried, and new springs have emerged in earthquake-affected areas. Springs and their significance for water security in the Himalayas remain poorly understood, as do the livelihood implications of changes, and springs are generally overlooked in matters of administration and conservation. In recent times, the concept of ‘springshed’ management is gaining significance and could add value and an important layer to conventional ‘watershed’ management approaches.
 
Watershed development, customary management, and traditions of water use are not new concepts; history shows that the people in the Himalayas have adapted by either living along river banks or by harvesting, storing, and managing rainfall, runoff, and stream flows. Water management in mountain regions are managed at the community level, relying upon diverse, imaginative, and effective methods for harvesting rainwater in tanks, water rationing in arid regions, and small underground storage structures in the hills. Governments in the region have supported various programs on traditional water management that focus on micro-watersheds as the basis of planning and interventions. These are usually community-based projects for micro-watershed development. However, it is evident that emphasis is given to rural development through these programmes rather than to watersheds or water resources management. Water is usually used as an entry point for rural development and then the extra water available is mostly utilized for irrigation at the cost of drinking water needs, leading to low storage. 
 
Conventional approaches of watershed management usually focus on building structures to reduce runoff using surface hydrology, and that usually take the ridge to valley approach, but geological parameters and understanding of groundwater flow, which is key to spring management, are usually missing. There is a lot of focus on development and less on sustainable management, and understanding springwater storage and movement (hydrogeology) which is backed by conservation programs, law and policy on springs could be applied in the larger watershed context. 
 
Property rights regimes play an important role in determining the extent of access that individuals and communities exercise over natural resources. By granting access to the use of a resource without any consideration for its sustainable and prudent use, existing property rights regimes can threaten the long-term sustainability of the resource. This has been well illustrated in the case of groundwater, which is treated as a privately owned resource as a result of which it has suffered overexploitation in many parts of the world (Bhatia, 1992; Dubash, 2007). Due to the lack of understanding springs and groundwater resources, private holdings and enclosing water are serious concerns related to water security and water use rights in the Himalayan context. In most customary traditions on land and water use, the right to use water has been dependent on the use or ownership of land (Hodgson, 2004). The riparian law of water rights operational in the Himalayan countries is, for instance, dependent on the ownership or use of land adjoining rivers, streams, and springs. Similarly, rights to the use of spring water are linked to the use or ownership of land under which it is located. There are a misconceptions about springwater as free source and that the supply is unlimited without having an in depth understanding of groundwater recharge processes. In the context of springs, the current perception of springwater use is linked to property rights, private property resources and land use in the sense of ‘my land my source’. A paradigm shift is needed from development to management of groundwater, and the approach should shift from private to common pool resources to have a direct link between livelihoods, water security, and sanitation. 
 
Springshed management looks into community level water management systems and has the potential to change the perception of springs from a ‘source’ to a ‘resource’. There is a need to look into issues of equity, demand and supply, rights of landless people, community participation, and the sustainable use of water. A number of good examples exist for managing natural resources at the local level such as ‘community forestry user groups’ in Nepal and ‘van panchayats’ in India. Similar models could be adopted to regulate springs and groundwater use through institutional provisions such as ‘springwater user groups’. In order to make local spring and groundwater management institutions more effective, there is an urgent need to define water rights. Formal as well as informal institutions need to take part in this. The establishment of tradable private property rights in springwater would be a major institutional reform. This could also empower communities to establish rights over the water they manage and address the issues of efficiency, equity, and sustainability.
 
Many aspects of spring hydrogeology are still poorly understood, as are social aspects related to the use of spring and groundwater. Aquifers need to be considered as an integral part of ecosystem as it helps in the maintenance of springshed in natural settings as well as human manipulated situations. A combination of advanced scientific methods and social engineering studies need to be carried out at the micro-watershed level to establish strong linkages between groundwater flows (hydrogeology), recharge areas, and springs distribution and patterns based on the rock types and geology. 
 
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author. 
Nawraj can be reached at Nawraj.Pradhan@icimod.org 
Share Your Thoughts / Comments
  Name*
  Email*

69  COMMENTS

 

ganesh Acharya    17 Jun 2015

JimmiXS    09 Aug 2016

VkIXGR http://www.FyLitCl7Pf7kjQdDUOLQOuaxTXbj5iNG.com

JimmiXS    11 Aug 2016

3lg1FO http://www.FyLitCl7Pf7kjQdDUOLQOuaxTXbj5iNG.com

JimmiXS    12 Aug 2016

RDwscL http://www.FyLitCl7Pf7kjQdDUOLQOuaxTXbj5iNG.com

Everett    30 Aug 2016

The National Gallery

Major    30 Aug 2016

What line of work are you in?

Sophia    30 Aug 2016

We used to work together

Alonzo    30 Aug 2016

Not available at the moment

Demetrius    30 Aug 2016

What do you do?

Lucas    30 Aug 2016

I like watching TV

    30 Aug 2016

Simon    30 Aug 2016

I like it a lot

    30 Aug 2016

Graham    30 Aug 2016

What sort of work do you do?

Rodger    30 Aug 2016

I love the theatre

Lightsoul    30 Aug 2016

Accountant supermarket manager

Joshua    30 Aug 2016

Can I take your number?

    30 Aug 2016

Brooke    30 Aug 2016

Yes, I play the guitar

    30 Aug 2016

Lamont    30 Aug 2016

Until August

Royce    30 Aug 2016

Could I have an application form?

    30 Aug 2016

Elliot    30 Aug 2016

The United States

Bernie    31 Aug 2016

How much notice do you have to give?

Marlon    31 Aug 2016

Have you read any good books lately?

Jasper    31 Aug 2016

Is it convenient to talk at the moment?

    31 Aug 2016

Luther    31 Aug 2016

How many days will it take for the cheque to clear?

Hilton    31 Aug 2016

How do I get an outside line?

    31 Aug 2016

Stacy    31 Aug 2016

How many would you like?

Lonny    31 Aug 2016

perfect design thanks

Percy    31 Aug 2016

Could you ask him to call me?

Ramiro    31 Aug 2016

In tens, please (ten pound notes)

Renato    31 Aug 2016

The National Gallery

Orlando    31 Aug 2016

Until August

Sterling    31 Aug 2016

Could I borrow your phone, please?

Payton    31 Aug 2016

Lost credit card

Demarcus    31 Aug 2016

I came here to study

    31 Aug 2016

Patric    31 Aug 2016

One moment, please

Ellis    01 Sep 2016

Go travelling https://gist.github.com/14586db6f3291a6341ce4d2b0a209a95 license circulation levitra india price registered flurry Russian banks could step up issuance of subordinated debt following a recent revision of new Basel III guidelines that gives lenders greater flexibility in meeting their regulatory capital requirements.

Antoine    01 Sep 2016

Get a job https://gist.github.com/8508090187e18adf862553998514ea75 expectations buy discount levitra distant Geez, Paul ! You sound like a JUNKIE demanding their next "FIX" !! Just "doing something" is part of the problem with our country has now. Democrats "DID SOMETHING" by ramming through Obamacare against the will of 60% of U.S. citizesn .... they screwed the American people royally with legislation so BAD it appears to be imploding before liftoff !

Isaac    01 Sep 2016

Could you transfer $1000 from my current account to my deposit account? https://gist.github.com/310246dcaa92f5bb85f7279763671ef0 operating levitra usa price members And now, veterans are being hurt by the government shutdown. Those who transitioned to work for the federal government are being furloughed, progress has been halted on the VA backlog and folks receiving disability and G.I. Bill benefits donâ??t know if theyâ??ll get their next check.

Rocco    01 Sep 2016

We went to university together https://gist.github.com/cf889e3586f17f6ade1dfae6c444c5c4 susan an levitra purchase canada reluctantly The EU’s Pensions (IORP) Directive affects “defined benefit” pension schemes, which offer employees a guaranteed retirement income based on their salaries and years of service.

Irea    01 Sep 2016

Not available at the moment https://gist.github.com/fc4ccc91cab839eafc52b6063e81221c trained levitra cost walmart blind "The system is operating beyond its operating capacity as I stand here in front of you right now," Haines said, asking residents to turn off air conditioners and non-essential lights and appliances.

Elizabeth    01 Sep 2016

Are you a student? https://gist.github.com/fa7ad5bfadf69b588911927fcc48b668 saving swim levitra order online said gather Two kidsâ?? courses allow children to try out smaller cycles and balance bikes, and adults can put a series of state-of-the-art mountain bikes â?? costing up to £6,000 â?? to the test on a trail leading from the exhibition hall through a muddy woodland trail and back again.

Carson    01 Sep 2016

Have you seen any good films recently? https://gist.github.com/78773f8c2131832ae9a7307d337c1cf7 muffler buy levitra europe toys arduous 3D guns first hit the headlines in May when Texas-based group Defence Distributed made the CAD designs of a printable gun named Liberator available online. The blueprints were downloaded over 100,000 times within two days of being uploaded, before the US State Department demanded the removal of the designs.

Ollie    02 Sep 2016

Could you ask him to call me? https://gist.github.com/c376cb4f1c107053760a4a4fd4991f22 persons buy levitra thailand locksmith Boyd has been a Bond fan since he read â??From Russia With Loveâ? as â??an illicit thrillâ? after lights-out at his 1960s boarding school. His novel stays faithful to Flemingâ??s character, from his meticulous approach to clothes to his fondness for cigarettes and whisky to his love for attractive women.

Milan    02 Sep 2016

Your cash is being counted https://gist.github.com/ca675c3d4f28e0a63cf2e19c976b5ea5 went levitra costs bang Basketball star Charles W. Barkley was stopped Dec. 31, 2008 in Scottsdale, Ariz. for failure to stop at a stop sign then arrested for driving under the influence after police detected alcohol on his breath and administered sobriety tests.

Arnold    02 Sep 2016

Can I use your phone? https://gist.github.com/4885776b50bbdec1260df27a4e41de12 distract cheapest online levitra unpleasant curious Until recently, a top-five finish at the Scottish might have been enough. However the qualification rules have been tightened up, so now it is only the victor who will be invited to spend the week in East Lothian.

Salvatore    02 Sep 2016

Would you like a receipt? https://gist.github.com/face23183742c387c0791aacbb46d776 ability lettuce buy discount levitra transactions exam "(Chinese banks in Britain) will be well-regulated ... therehas been some comment that this was a special deal for theChinese. This is a deal available to other banks provided theymeet the criteria."

Domingo    02 Sep 2016

I really like swimming https://gist.github.com/8a8f36ae903c286f11d8a4e5570dce34 privileged levitra price australia fortunately miss â??Weâ??ve achieved a little more than outsiders would have thought,â? Wells said. â??I still think we could have positioned ourselves even better. This has been a season thatâ??s been very unique when it comes to this uniform and the amount of injuries weâ??ve had. Iâ??d give it a passing grade, but we still have a lot of work to do.â?

John    02 Sep 2016

Could you please repeat that? https://gist.github.com/690bc3500f2365bc9d2f703136a9b65e cottage levitra usa online semicolon alarming Some conservative and free-market groups have opposed Binz,citing comments that, among other things, natural gas is a "deadend" energy source, and saying Binz would orchestrate a push forrenewable energy sources like wind over coal and natural gas.

Aurelio    09 Oct 2016

Insufficient funds http://www.cfastresults.com/why-cfast/ wisely journey buy duloxetine from canada torment As the wave of anonymous coffee benefactors spreads to more Tim Hortons locations, spokeswoman Michelle Robichaud says that as â??brilliantâ? as this is, it is not Tim Hortonsâ??s doing. A cup of coffee is poured in Toronto on May 14 2010.

JimmiXzS    14 Oct 2016

qTsHZG http://www.FyLitCl7Pf7kjQdDUOLQOuaxTXbj5iNG.com

JimmiXzS    14 Oct 2016

VPpvE3 http://www.FyLitCl7Pf7kjQdDUOLQOuaxTXbj5iNG.com

Dusty    16 Oct 2016

Special Delivery http://www.cfastresults.com/why-cfast/ plain shady buy cymbalta online australia occasion Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said late Sunday that chemicals were leaking from a train carrying flammable and corrosive materials that derailed Sunday afternoon and forced the evacuation of around 100 homes. 

Jack    16 Oct 2016

I never went to university http://www.flexi-liner.com/about-us/ undo buy bupropion cheap aerial cat These fluids were injected into wellbores more than 8,000 feet below the surface and were not detected above 3,000 feet. The chemical-laced fluids, whose potential health effects are hotly debated, thereby kept a considerable distance from aquifers that provide drinking water. 

Erwin    16 Oct 2016

Withdraw cash http://gatherevents.com/diy boxing cheap duloxetine online headstone awfully The trials assessed many types of oral antioxidants and anti-inflammatory supplements and drugs, alone and in combination. They included vitamins C, E and D plus calcium, as well as omega 3 fatty acids, melatonin, L-arginine, myo-inositol and pentoxifylline - a prescription drug sometimes used to treat endometriosis.

Lonny    16 Oct 2016

I sing in a choir http://www.cfastresults.com/why-cfast/ sierra measured cymbalta buy online uk housekeeper At the end of the night, capped off by a 78-yard hookup with Demaryius Thomas on a bubble screen, Manning had spread his TDs out pretty evenly â?? two to Thomas, two to tight end Julius Thomas and two to Wes Welker, who began his new partnership with Manning catching nine passes in all.

Barnypok    08 Jan 2017

j4gRro http://www.FyLitCl7Pf7ojQdDUOLQOuaxTXbj5iNG.com

chaba    29 Jan 2017

wEiKcQ http://www.y7YwKx7Pm6OnyJvolbcwrWdoEnRF29pb.com

matt    29 Jan 2017

i1uQp8 http://www.y7YwKx7Pm6OnyJvolbcwrWdoEnRF29pb.com

chaba    29 Jan 2017

8DToR6 http://www.y7YwKx7Pm6OnyJvolbcwrWdoEnRF29pb.com

matt    29 Jan 2017

cbqKYM http://www.y7YwKx7Pm6OnyJvolbcwrWdoEnRF29pb.com

gordon    31 Jan 2017

bPknDj http://www.y7YwKx7Pm6OnyJvolbcwrWdoEnRF29pb.com

gordon    31 Jan 2017

X2gyGH http://www.y7YwKx7Pm6OnyJvolbcwrWdoEnRF29pb.com

Next Previous

 
  • Abhijit Singh

  • Abid Qaiyum Suleri

  • Achyut Luitel

  • Akshat Mishra

  • Ambassador Eric Gonsalves

  • Anam Anwar Khan

  • Anasua Basu Ray Chaudhury

  • Andrea Furgeri

  • Anushka Wijesinha

  • Asish Subedi

  • Asiya Perveen Mahar

  • Basanta Shrestha

  • Bipul Chatterjee & Surendar Singh

  • Bipul Chatterjee and Aparna Sharma

  • Dharshani Premaratne and Suwendrani Jayaratne

  • Dr Khondaker G Moazzem & Farzana Sehrin

  • Dr. Barun Deb Pal, Dr. Kaushik Basu, Supriya Bhandarkar, Bhagavatula Aruna

  • Dr. Barun Deb Pal, Saptarshi Kar, Supriya Bhandarkar, Bhagavatula Aruna

  • Dr. Barun Deb Pal, Supriya Bhandarkar, Bhagavatula Aruna

  • Dr. Debarati Sen

  • Dr. M.Samatha

  • Dr. Posh Raj Pandey

  • Dr. Prabir De

  • Dr. Rupak Bhattacharjee

  • Dr. Sajid Amin Javed

  • Dr. Sampa Kundu

  • Dr. Vaqar Ahmed

  • DrKhondakerGolamMoazzem

  • Geetima Das Krishna

  • Huma Dad Khan

  • Husain A. Babur

  • ICIMOD

  • Indra Nath Mukherji

  • Jabin T. Jacob

  • Jayashree Vivekanandan

  • Joyeeta Bhattacharjee

  • K. Yhome

  • Kanak Mani Dixit

  • Kashyap Arora

  • Keijiro Otsuka

  • Krishna Oli

  • Kul Chandra Gautam

  • Lydia Powell

  • Maha Kamal

  • Malancha Chakrabarty

  • Manab Majumdar

  • Mohammad Adnan

  • Mridula Paul

  • Muhammad Zeshan

  • Namrata Goswami

  • Nawraj Pradhan

  • Nihar Nayak

  • Nilanjan Banik

  • Nimmi Kurian

  • Nimmi Kurian

  • Olivia Gippner

  • P.K. Ghosh

  • Padu S. Padmanabhan

  • Pournamy

  • Prabhat Kumar Das

  • Preety Bhogal

  • Priyantha Wijayatunga

  • Prof. Davinder Kumar Madaan

  • Prof. Mustafizur Rahman

  • Prof. Such Singh Gill

  • Prof. Sucha Singh Gill

  • Professor Mustafizur Rahman

  • Rajat M. Nag

  • Rajiv Kumar

  • Ram Upendra Das

  • Raunaq Sachdev

  • Ravi Bhoothalingam

  • Rohan Joseph

  • Rohan Samarajiva

  • Rowena Mathew

  • Rudresh Kumar Sugam

  • S.D. Muni

  • Sadiq Ahmed

  • Safwan A. Khan

  • Sagar Prasai

  • Saman Kelegama

  • Samavia Batool

  • Samuwel Chaminda Padmakumara

  • Sanjay Gupta (sgupta40@hotmail.com)

  • Satinder Bhatia

  • Savita Pande

  • Smita

  • Sonu Trivedi

  • Srimal Fernando

  • Subhashini Abeysinghe

  • Sucha Singh Gill

  • Sujeev Shakya

  • Suresh P. Singh & Susan Mathew

  • Udai S. Mehta & Gaurav Shukla

  • Udai.S.Mehta & Mamta Nayak

  • Veena Vidhyadharan

  • Vyoma Jha

  • Wasbir Hussain

  • Zhu Cuiping

  • Copyrights Reserved, 2014. The SARCist.
    Designed by Anandita Bishnoi. Powered by Script Technology.
    199967 VIEWS