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Launch of the Resource Book on Springshed Management in the Indian Himalayan Region by NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog Launch of the Resource Book on Springshed Management in the Indian Himalayan Region by NITI Aayog Posted On: 06 DEC 2021 10:00PM by P

NITI Aayog

Launch of the Resource Book on Springshed Management in the Indian Himalayan Region by NITI Aayog

Posted On: 06 DEC 2021 10:00PM by PIB Delhi

The Resource Book on Springshed Management in the Indian Himalayan Region was released by by Dr. Rajiv Kumar Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog in the presence of Dr. V.K. Saraswat, Member NITI Aayog, Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO NITI Aayog, Dr. Ralf Heckner, Ambassador of Switzerland to India and Bhutan, Ms. Corinne Demenge, Head of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Dr. Alok Sikka, Country Repepresentative International Water Management Institute (IWMI). The Resource Book was developed by NITI Aayog, in association with the SDC and IWMI. While launching the resource book, Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, stated that Himalayan springs are an important source of water for our people residing in the mountains and the hill ecosystem. There is an urgent need to conserve them, especially now when impacts of climate change are being increasingly felt. This resource book offers practical guidance on revival and conservation of mountain springs. He also added that a hindi translation should be made in order to enhance its adoption by ground implementers across the Himalayan States.

Dr. Ralf Heckner, Ambassador of Switzerland to India stated that given the key role of springs in the water security of mountain communities, their revival and sustainable management deserves increasing attention. He also shared that the document is of particular relevance as it has emerged out of dialogues with communities and experts alike.

Mr. Avinash Mishra, Advisor NITI Aayog, introduced the document as a Resource Book that is a summarised guiding document on best practices in springshed management in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) for enhancing water security of mountain communities. He shared that the compiled best practices were field validated with community interactions across the IHR states to understand different models and their impact on the social, hydrological, institutional, and other aspects of springshed management.

This Resource Book is a summarised guiding document on best practices in springshed management developed by NITI Aayog in collaboration with IWMI and SDC under the “Strengthening Climate Change Adaptation in Himalayas (SCA-Himalayas)” project. Various experts and practitioners have been interviewed, followed by online surveys, field visits, and a national consultation workshop with the stakeholders, to summarise their diverse experiences and perspectives into a set of best practices in springshed management in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR).

Springs are the primary water source for over 90% of rural communities in the IHR. However, there has been increasing concern over the decline of springs and the larger Himalayan groundwater systems, which threatens the water security of the hill populations and the entire Indo-Gangetic plains. In the recent decade, spring revival efforts using the principles of hydrogeology have become a widely accepted model of springshed management (SM) by several civil society organisations (CSOs) and governmental agencies in the Himalayas. The resource book is an easy-to-use document building upon the processes, methods, and learnings from more than a decade of spring revival efforts by various agencies in the IHR and neighbouring Nepal and Bhutan.

The highlighted recommendations from the best practices are:

  • A National Springs Mission (NSM) will facilitate the improved coordination, efficient execution, and scaling up of springshed management initiatives in India. It can consolidate, converge and synergize the learnings and experiences of state government agencies, CSOs, and other stakeholders under one umbrella and help develop national or regional-level decision support systems for existing and upcoming practitioners.
  • Creating a national digital database on spring-related data collected by various agencies will improve ease of access and academic research. In addition, the data can be integrated into an online portal and facilitate open access sharing for all stakeholders, including the local communities.
  • Creating new and support for existing, state and national-level science-policy-practice consortiums will facilitate experience sharing, complementary knowledge generation, transfer, and capacity building of all stakeholders.

Digital copy of the resource book can be accessed here.

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