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Development and implementation of science-based springshed management in the Indian Himalayan region


MS Teams

Date & Time

23 August 2021 to 24 August 2021

Co-organized by: International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Advanced Center for Water Resources Development and Management (ACWADAM), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, People’s Science Institute (PSI)

Supported by: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) under the Strengthening Climate Change Adaptation in Himalayas (SCA-Himalayas) Project


Concept note


About the workshop

It is estimated that nearly 50 per cent of the springs in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) are drying up, affecting thousands of villages and hill towns that depend on spring water for domestic use and agriculture. Springs also contribute significantly to base flows in rivers, and the drying and loss of springs will affect major river systems in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR). This two-day inception workshop is being organised to support the development and implementation of science-based springshed management in the IHR.


  • Introduce the initiative and explore opportunities for collaboration
  • Share learnings from past and current work on springs in the IHR and Hindu Kush Himalaya with a focus on challenges and impact assessment
  • Identify the real world needs on training, research, and decision support


Key areas of discussion

The workshop aims to have broader discussion with the state government and key stakeholders on the following key areas in springshed management –

  • Challenges and best practices
  • Scaling up interventions
  • Research and knowledge gaps
  • Decision support system (DSS)
  • Gender and social inclusion



Drying up of springs has increased water insecurity for many communities in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR), which is already facing water stress due to impacts of climate change, human activities, and demographic shifts. Spring water quality has also diminished. According to a NITI Aayog report (2018), 40% of the rural population in the IHR do not have access to safe and adequate drinking water. Drying up of springs also has consequences for the sustainability of Himalayan landscapes and river systems, ecosystem, and biodiversity.

ICIMOD, ACWADAM, IITR and PSI jointly with government and non-government partners are implementing an action research with the aim of advancing scientific knowledge, capacity building and developing a Decision Support System (DSS) for springshed. The initiative intends to develop and promote a scientifically robust participatory methodology for springshed management and implementation of socially inclusive springshed management plans that especially address the vulnerabilities of women and marginalised groups to improve the overall water security in the IHR. The initiative will contribute to the development and implementation of springshed management in the IHR under the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) supported project on Strengthening Climate Change Adaptation in Himalayas (SCA-Himalayas).



All timings are in Indian Standard Time (UTC+05:30)

Moderated by: Pratigya Silwal and Karishma Khadka, ICIMOD

Time (IST) Programme Speakers
10:00–10:30 Check-in
Session A.1 – Setting the context: Understanding the relevance and importance of springshed management
Inaugural session Pema Gyamtsho, Director General, ICIMOD
Remarks Corinne Demenge, Head of Cooperation, SDC India
Remarks Ajit Kumar Chaturvedi, Director, IIT Roorkee, India
Setting the context Himanshu Kulkarni, Executive Director, ACWADAM, India
Remarks Umakant, Joint Secretary, Department of Land Resources, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India
Remarks by Special guest Saloni Goel, Specialist, Climate Change and Himalayan Development, NITI Aayog, Government of India
Remarks by Chief guest B.V Umadevi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India
11:25–11:40 Group Photo and break
Session A.2 – Introduction to the initiative and links to the larger SDC project: A quick glance
11:40-11:50 Introduction to the SCA-Himalayas Project Divya Sharma, SDC India
11:50-12:05 Overview of the initiative Sanjeev Bhuchar, ICIMOD and Sumit Sen, IITR
12:05-12:30 Open Q/A session  

Time (IST) Programme Speakers
Session B.1: What are the issues and challenges concerning springshed management scalability, capacity building and decision support system?

Moderated by: Imran Siddique and Jayesh Desai, ACWADAM; Sukesh Bartarya, PSI

9:45-10:00 Check-in
10:00-11:00 State wise presentations (Q/A at the end of all presentations)

  • Basu Kaushal, Forest Department, Himachal Pradesh
  • Subash Dhakal, Rural Development Department, Sikkim
  • Neena Grewal, Watershed Management Directorate, Uttarakhand
  • Braja Kumar Singh, Directorate of Environment and Climate Change, Manipur
  • TBD, Soil and Water Conservation Department, Meghalaya
  • James Kharkongor, Meghalaya Basin Development Authority, Meghalaya
  • TBD, Department of Land Resources, Nagaland
11:00-11:10 Break
Session B.2 – What are the real world needs and opportunities for planning and implementing springshed management?

Moderated by: Sanjeev Bhuchar and Suman Bisht, ICIMOD; Jayesh Desai, ACWADAM

11:10-12:45 Discussion with key stakeholders –

  • Suresh Attri, Department of Environment, Science and Technology, Himachal Pradesh
  • Kshama Metre, Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development, Himachal Pradesh
  • Manish Kumar, International Water Management Institute, New Delhi
  • Abhishek Likam, Central Himalayan Rural Action Group, Uttarakhand
  • Debashish Sen, People’s Science Institute, Uttarakhand
  • Vinay Shankar Prasad Sinha, TERI School of Advanced Studies, New Delhi
  • Rajashree Joshi, BAIF Development Research Foundation, Maharashtra
  • Dipak Gyawali, Nepal Water Conservation Foundation, Kathmandu

Open discussion on challenges, opportunities, and solutions

Session C – Co-creating a way forward for advancing springshed management science, practice and policy interface: Summary and conclusions

Moderated by– Sumit Sen, IITR and Karishma Khadka, ICIMOD

 12:45 – 1:15 PM Key takeaways Vishwas Chitale and Madhav Dhakal, ICIMOD
Way forward Himanshu Kulkarni, ACWADAM and Mustafa Ali Khan, SDC India
Closing remarks Nand Kishor Agrawal, ICIMOD; Saloni Goel, NITI Aayog