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Kulkarni H.,Advanced Center for Water Resources Development and Management | Shah M.,Samaj Pragati Sahayog | Vijay Shankar P.S.,Samaj Pragati Sahayog
Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies

Study region: India. Study focus: India's groundwater dependence and the crises of depletion and contamination of groundwater resources require the development of a robust groundwater dependence framework. Understanding the challenges of developing a groundwater governance framework for regions of extensive groundwater development versus relatively less-developed areas of groundwater development is important. The groundwater typology is a function of both, the hydrogeological aspects of groundwater and the socio-economic milieu that defines dependency on the groundwater resource, which is significant across users and uses in India. An interdisciplinary perspective is important while managing groundwater resources in India and helping establish groundwater governance. New hydrological insights for the region: Participatory forms of groundwater management, using 'aquifer-based, common pool resource' approaches have begun to find their way into the practices and policies dealing with groundwater in India. Participation at all levels is important in management decisions as well as in the development of a governance framework, knowing that groundwater development in India has been 'atomistic' in nature. Developing a regulatory framework that is supportive of 'protection' of the resource as well as 'good practices of participatory groundwater management' is essential in groundwater governance. Interdisciplinary 'science' must form the medium of promoting both groundwater management and governance instead of using it in the largely business-as-usual approach to groundwater resource management that remains 'infrastructure' based, 'supply-side'. © 2014 The Authors. Source

Tambe S.,Government of Sikkim | Kharel G.,Government of Sikkim | Arrawatia M.L.,Government of Sikkim | Kulkarni H.,Advanced Center for Water Resources Development and Management | And 2 more authors.
Mountain Research and Development

Mountain springs emanating naturally from unconfined aquifers are the primary source of water for rural households in the Himalayan region. Due to the impacts of climate change on precipitation patterns such as rise in rainfall intensity, reduction in its temporal spread, and a marked decline in winter rain, coupled with other anthropogenic causes, the problem of dying springs is being increasingly felt across this region. This study was taken up in the Sikkim Himalaya, which has received limited attention despite being a part of the Eastern Himalaya global biodiversity hot spot. The objective of this study was to understand the basic characteristics of the springs and to demonstrate methods for reviving them. We found the rural landscape dotted by a network of microsprings occurring largely in farmers' fields, with an average dependency of 27 (±30) households per spring. The spring discharge generally showed an annual periodic rhythm suggesting a strong response to rainfall. The mean discharge of the springs was found to peak at 51 L/min during the postmonsoon months (SeptemberNovember) and then diminish to 8 L/min during spring (MarchMay). The lean period (MarchMay) discharge is perceived to have declined by nearly 50% in drought-prone areas and by 35% in other areas over the last decade. The springshed development approach to revive 5 springs using rainwater harvesting and geohydrology techniques showed encouraging results, with the lean period discharge increasing substantially from 4.4 to 14.4 L/min in 20102011. The major challenges faced in springshed development were the following: identifying recharge areas accurately, developing local capacity, incentivizing rainwater harvesting in farmers' fields, and sourcing public financing. We recommend further action research studies to revive springs to advance the outcomes of this pilot study and mainstreaming of springshed development in watershed development, rural water supply, and climate change adaptation programs, especially in the Himalayan region. © 2012 by the authors. Source

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