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The Challenges Ahead
|by Neelima Garg|
When we think of Uttarakhand the image that comes to our mind is that of a state which is full of glaciers, rivers, lakes and ponds and abundant of water. But the ground reality is totally different and the state is facing water scarcity in the months of summer. This hilly state is home to several glacier and rain fed rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna, Bhilangna, Mandakini and Kali with their tributaries like Pinder, Sarju, Gori, Dholi and Kosi etc. which form the lifeline of the people in this region. Water from the streams, natural springs and dug wells fulfill the agricultural, industrial and domestic water demand of the state. But due to the growing economic development and rapid urbanization, increasing water demand has resulted in immense pressure on the water resources of the state.
Water being one of the most essential necessities of life, becoming an increasing scarce resource, needs careful planning and management. Availability of safe quality drinking water is being reduced due to pollution from sewage and industrial waste. So water should be meticulously harnessed and carefully conserved. It should be economically used and safely disposed off after usage. The need of the hour is sustainable water management, specially in the context of meeting the demands of an increasing population
Uttarakhand State, whose glacial peaks and beautiful valleys hold age-old ecological secretes, is a measure water bank for North India. Its 1917 glaciers spreading over 3550 Sq.km, comprise a perennial source of water. The state is largely made up of mountainous areas full of forest, which cradle many rivers and natural water sources. These natural sources are nourished by rain water, which is the biggest source of water on this planet
International World Water Day is held annually on 22nd March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.
Considering the importance of water as a life sustaining resource we should launch intensive awareness campaigns for optimum water utilization and management. We should also use different techniques of water collection, conservation and harvesting, only then sustainable water management can be achieved.
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