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Less snow, rain could lead to drinking water crisis during summer months

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Less snow, rain could lead to drinking water crisis during summer months

B.D. Kasniyal

Pithoragarh, Feb 29

Scanty snowfall in higher reaches and less rains in lower valleys of Uttarakhand Himalayas  this year might result into reduced water flow in natural springs during summer months this year.

“Except in the month of February this year, the western disturbance remained weak this  winter, from the month of October last year has resulted into less rainfall for crops but also might result into less percolation of  ground water leading to drinking water crisis  in summer,” said Vikram Singh, Director of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Dehradun.


Five districts of Kumaon region of Uttarakhand witnessed 52 percent less rainfall this season counted from the month of October 2023 till February 2024. Nainital district, that used to receive an average of  90 mm rainfall during this period, received only 20.2 percent rainfall in said months.

Urbadatt Chaube, a farmer in Lohaghat sub-division of Champawat district, sais that due to 63 percent less rainfall in the district this year, his wheat crop has destroyed.” Despite four  spells of western disturbances in February this year, the deficiency of winter rains could not be compensated and our 90 percent wheat crops got destroyed,” said Chaube.

Not only rain in lower valleys but snowfall in upper Himalayan valleys also remained less this winter.” While the year 2022 witnessed 59 percent more snowfall in higher reaches of Himalaya, it was 63 percent less in the year 2023,” said Vikram Singh, Director at IMD, Dehradun.

According to local residents in Munsiyari, the snowfall usually used take place on the peaks of Panchachuli mountains from the month of October every year and by December and January, the entire mountains ranges used to be fully covered with snow.”This year the peaks were dry till last date of January,” said Devendra Singh Deva, a resident of Munsiyari.

The effects of less snowfall in higher reaches of Himalayan region have resulted into less water in the natural springs in lower valleys.”It could also result into high temperature, and less growth of fruits, vegetables and forest plants during coming summer months,” said Deva.



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