Himachal Pradesh Faces Severe Water Crisis Amid Rising Temperatures

Himachal Pradesh is experiencing a severe water shortage affecting 478 drinking water schemes due to scanty rainfall and rising temperatures. Solutions include lifting water from alternatives and installing hand-pumps, but the situation could worsen if temperatures continue to rise. Measures are being taken to ensure water quality and manage supply.

PTI | Shimla | Updated: 22-05-2024 16:50 IST | Created: 22-05-2024 16:50 IST
Himachal Pradesh Faces Severe Water Crisis Amid Rising Temperatures
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Scanty rains and snowfall coupled with rising temperatures are causing water resources to dry up in Himachal Pradesh affecting 478 drinking water supply schemes in the state, officials said on Wednesday. ''As many as 478 schemes have been affected of which 32 schemes are in Dharampur area of Solan region. Reduction of water at the source was more that 75 per cent and with no alternative source, water is being supplied after three to four days,'' Engineering-in-Chief, Jal Shakti Department Anju Sharma said.

''We are trying to meet the demand by lifting water from Giri water supply and interlinking the small schemes and have made request to the administration for supply of water through tankers,'' she said, adding that the situation is under control and not critical so far but it can worsen if temperatures continue to rise.

There are 10,067 functional schemes giving water to about 3,500 panchayats in the state.

Five to six villages are also affected in Kaza in tribal Spiti valley but there is demand for more water for irrigation and use of drinking water for irrigation has led to this shortage, Sharma said. She appealed to people to refrain from using drinking water for irrigation purposes to overcome this challenge.

As hand-pumps are very successful in the Kaza tribal area, more hand-pumps are being installed to provide drinking water, Sharma said.

The situation would ease if rains occur as demand for irrigation would decrease and more water would be available for drinking and the situation is being tackled by curtailing the duration of water supply at places where reduction at source was between 25 and 50 per cent, she added.

Sharma said that all possible measures were being taken to brace the situation and besides cancellation of holidays of the staff, release of new water connections and connections for construction have been put on hold till July 15.

Special attention is being paid to ensure quality of water and testing is being done at all levels to ensure that there is no outbreak of any pandemic and sufficient stocks are available for chlorination of water.

Besides Solan, there are pockets in some other districts where supply was being given on the third day, she said, adding that areas where reduction of water at source was 25 to 50 per cent, situation is being tackled by reducing the duration of water supply.

Shortage of water during summers was a major problem and the situation became worse in tourist destinations like Kasauli and Shimla as a large number of tourists visit hill resorts in summers.

In 2018, Shimla ran out of water for several days. Water availability had dropped to 18 MLD against an average of 37-38 MLD back then. The crisis worsened to the extent that residents and hoteliers turned to social media advising tourists not to visit Shimla till the problem was resolved.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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