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27 Jul 2018 | News

Synthesizing Knowledge on the Vanishing Springs of the Himalaya

Eighteen water resource management officials and experts from Bhutan, India, and Nepal participated in a writing workshop hosted by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu, Nepal, to document knowledge and experiences related to revival of springs in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH).

The writeshop, held from 13 to 15 March 2018, brought together relevant officials and experts from the three countries to present case studies and draft articles on the various aspects of spring revival for peer feedback. The results will be published as a scientific publication so that this knowledge is documented and becomes available to a larger audience.

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Participants of the writeshop in Kathmandu with Aditi Mukherji, Theme leader, Water and Air, ICIMOD.

Springs are the main source of water for millions of people in the mid-hills of the HKH and provide multiple ecosystem services. However, many springs are drying up or becoming seasonal, and most have seen decrease in discharge. The quality of spring water is also deteriorating throughout the HKH. As a result, communities across the region are facing unprecedented water stress. Researchers are trying to study the extent of the problem.

Since 2015, ICIMOD has been working on spring revival in the Nepal Himalaya in collaboration with the Advanced Center for Water Resources Development and Management (ACWADAM). Experts from the two organizations have developed a spring revival protocol, which comprises a set of implementable methodologies. The application of the protocol has seen success – springs have been successfully rejuvenated. However, scarce scientific documentation of the approaches and results continues to be a challenge.

As a follow-up to this workshop, ACWADAM hosted a second writeshop in Pune, India in June. The writeshop was supported by the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), India.

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