Directory Of Water Resources In Himachal Pradesh


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DIRECTORY OF WATER RESOURCES IN HIMACHAL PRADESH
Compiled By:
Mr. Arvind Bhardwaj
State Centre on Climate Change
H.P. State Council for Science Technology and Environment,
34-SDA Complex Kusumpti Shimla 171009

WATER RESOURCES IN HIMACHAL PRADESH
Water is one of the most vital natural resources of Himachal Predesh. The state is richly endowed with a hilly terrain having an enormous volume of water from the catchment areas of Satluj, Beas, Ravi and Chenab rivers. As such, the state has enormous potential of water resources in the form of glaciers and rivers but ground water resources are limited. The major consumptive use of water in the State has been for irrigation. The gross irrigation potential of the State is estimated to be 3.35 lakh hectare, while the irrigation potential created has reached 2.56 lakh hectare by September 2013.

Availability of Water resources

Glaciers Glaciers are located in higher Himalayan reaches (above 4000 m) in Pir Panjal, Dhauladhar,

Zanskar and Great Himalayan ranges. There are 800 Glaciers in the Himachal Himalayas

which are 199 higher in number as compared to the previous report of 601 Glaciers in the

state reported in the state development report in 1991. This variation is due to breaking of

large glaciers into smaller ones with the increasing temperature in past two decades.

According to the investigations carried in the Himachal Himalayas, there are a total of 334

glaciers in the entire Satluj Basin which includes the information about the Beas, Sainj, Spiti,

Baspa basins and 457 glaciers in Chenab basin. The total area covered by these glaciers in Satluj and Chinab basins is 2175 km2. Besides the glaciers there are 2679 permanent snowfields in these basins with a total area of 1775.189 km2. Out of 334 glaciers in the entire

Satluj basin, 202 glaciers are located in the Himachal Pradesh.

Table 1: Basin wise Distribution of Glaciers and Snowfields in Himachal Himalayas

Basin Name

Number of Glaciers

Aerial Extent (km2)

No. of Permanent Snowfields

Aerial Extent (km2)

Beas

51

503.725

237

312.564

Parvati

36

450.627

131

188.188

Sainj

09

37.255

59

51.934

Spiti

71

258.237

597

368.366

Baspa

25

203.300

66

64.964

Satluj

151

616.299

857

544.173

Chenab

457

1055.27

732

245.000

Total

800

3124.713

2679

1775.189

Surface water Resources Most of the surface water resources of the state flow from perennial rivers which originate from glaciers. The flow in these rivers is further augmented by run-off from the catchment area. Rivers 90% of Himachal Pradesh’s drainage forms the part of Indus river system. Himachal provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins. The major river systems of the region are the Chandrabhaga or the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Sutlej and the Yamuna. These perennial rivers are fed by snow and rainfall and are protected by a fairly extensive cover of natural vegetation. The Beas (Vedic name Arjikiya and in later Sanskrit Vipasa) rises in the Pir Panjal range near the RohtangPass and flows some 256km in Himachal. The river is formed by a number of tributaries, the important being the Parbati, the Hurla, the Sainj, the Uhl, the Suheti, the Luni, the Banganga and the Chaki. The northern and eastern tributaries of the Beas are snow fed and perennial, while the southern affluent are seasonal. During August, increase in inflow sometimes results in floods. The Chandrabhaga or Chenab (Vedic name Askni), the largest river (in volume of water) is formed after the meeting of 2 streams, Chandra and Bhaga at Tundi, in Lahul. It flows 122kms and has a catchments area of 7500sq.km. in Himachal, before entering Kashmir. The Chandra passes through barren land where there are no signs of life. The Ravi (Vedic name Purushni and in later Sanskrit Iravati) is born in Bara Banghal, Kangra district as a joint stream formed by the glacier fed Bhadal and Tantgari. The river has a length of about 158km and has a catchment area of about 5451km. Chamba lies on its right Bank. The Sutlej (Vedic name Saturdi and in later Sanskrit Shatadru) originates in distant Tibet. It cuts through both the great Himalayan and the Zaskar ranges and crosses the Indo-Tibetan border near Shipkila. Then the river Spiti joins it from the north. Passing through precipitous gorges and narrow valleys it emerges from the mountains at Bhakra. The catchment area of Sutlej in Himachal is 20,000sq.km. The Yamuna has its origin in Yamunotri in Uttar Kashi (Uttar Pradesh). Its total catchment area in Himachal is 2320sq.km. Its main tributaries are the Tons, the Giri and the Bata.
Lakes There are a number of small and large lakes in Himachal Pradesh. Most important representing the water budget for the state are 21. Details of these lakes is as follows:

Table 2: Major Lakes of Himachal Pradesh contributing as a water resorvior.

Sr. No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21.

Name of Lake Bhrigu Dashair Mantalai Seruvalsar Prashar Rewalsar Nako Chandertal Surajtal Chandernaun Dal Kareri Pong Dam Mani Mahesh Gauri Kund Khajiar Lam Dal Lake Gadhasaru Mahakali Khundi Maral Renuka

District Kullu Kullu Kullu Kullu Mandi Mandi Kinnaur Lahul-Spiti Lahul-Spiti Shimla Kangra Kangra Kangra Chamba Chamba Chamba Chamba Chamba Chamba Chamba Sirmaur

Altitude 4240 4200 4160 3301 2600 1320 3604 4280 4800 3960 1840 2960 430 4200 4000 1920 3640 4280 4355 3750 600

Area/hectare 3 4 3 0.5 1 3 1 49 3 1 2 3.5 21712 2 0.5 5 5 1 2 3 15

Ramsar Wetlands 1. Chandra Taal (meaning the Lake of the Moon) Chandra Tal is situated at an altitude of about 4,300 metres (14,100 ft) in the Himalayas. Mountains of scree overlook the lake on one side, and a magnificent cirque presents a view on the other. The name of the lake originates from its crescent shape. Situated in the Spiti part of the Lahul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, Chandra Taal is a popular destination for trekkers and campers.

The lake is accessible on foot

from Batal as well as from

Kunzum Pass from late May to

early October. There is also a

motorable road from Batal which

is 16 km (9.9 mi) away from

Chandra Taal, but before August,

its condition can be bad. The road

from Kunzum Pass is accessible

only on foot, and it is about 8 km

(5.0 mi) from Chandra Taal. Vast

meadows on the banks of the lake

are the camping sites. During

springtime, these meadows are

carpeted with hundreds of kinds of wildflowers.

The most surprising thing about this lake is that there is no visible source of this lake but

there is a visible outlet of this lake which means that water to this lake comes from

underground. The lake is situated on the Samundra Tapu plateau, which overlooks the

Chandra River. The lake is one of two high-altitude wetlands of India which have been

designated as Ramsar sites.

2. Renuka Wetland

It is located 173 km Southwest

of Shimla in Sirmaur District

at an altitude of 660 m above

msl. Due to biological

richness, the National Wetland

Management Committee has

designated it a wetland of

national importance. There has

been great concern about the

ecological

deterioration,

habitat degradation and

eutrophication of wetland due

to silting, high level of organic pollution, dumping of non biodegradable materials by

pilgrims and tourists. This has not only resulted in habitat deterioration, shrinking of the aquatic life, but also the terrestrial fauna of Renuka Sanctuary as this is the only perennial source of water for wild animals. 3. Pong Dam Pong Dam is situated at district Kangra and the bank of Beas river along boundary of Himachal and Punjab states. It is situated at 31058’57”N and 76003’33”E 430m above msl in Kangra District with an area of 21712 hectare. It is a water storage reservoir. At highwater level maximum depth exceeds 59 m and low water level a muddy shore line upto 100 m. The reservoir contains several large islands. Groundwater Resources The groundwater resources occur mainly in unconsolidated sediments of intermontain valleys and in the submontane tract. Kangra, Una, Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Mandi, Solan and Sirmaur districts, particularly their valley areas depend upon groundwater. The exploitation is done through open wells, tubewells, infiltration galleries and wells. Table 3: The status of development of groundwater resources in the state

Total replenishable groundwater resources Provision for domestic, industrial and other uses Available net groundwater resources for irrigation Net draft Balance groundwater resources for future use Level of groundwater development Utilisable irrigation potential by groundwater development

0.036 m ham/yr 0.007 m ham/yr 0.029 m ham/yr 0.005 m ham/yr 0.024 m ham/yr 18.18 % 65,500 ha

Traditional water sources

As there is an imbalance between the supply and consumption of water, particularly by the poor and weaker sections of the society, the traditional sources of water play a significant role. These include springs, Khuls, Baories, Ponds, Khaties and ditches particularly in Himachal Pradesh. These systems supplement the water requirements of the rural and urban areas. There are 10512 traditional sources of water in the state for rural habitations.

Table 4: Traditional water structures and their uses

Structure

Use

Chappri/Talaai/Talaab

Livestock/irrigation

Baori/Khatri

Domestic water use

Naun

Bathing & washing clothes

Chharedu/Panihar/Nahun

Bathing, drinking water

Kuhl

Irrigation & operating gharats

Gharat

Milling

Traditional water sources of Himachal Pradesh

State council for science technology and environment has done a survey in 169 Panchayats of seven districts in the state of Himachal Pradesh on traditional water sources which clearly

showing that there are only 30.41% sources which are in good working conditions and recharging properly thought the year but 69.59 % sources are not in proper working condition and nearly going to dry in near future. In Chamba district there is less than 1 % sources which were found working good and more than 99 % of them are in poor condition. Sirmaur district is again showing the similar trend slightly good from Chamba district. The conditions of these traditional sources are quite good in Solan District which is more than 53 %.

State government should look in this matter otherwise these sources will not remain functional and there may be water crisis in near future.

Table 5: District wise data of the traditional water sources (A case study done by State Council for Science Technology & Environment)

Name of Distt.
Sirmaur Hamirpur Kullu Kangra Chamba Shimla Solan

No. of Panchayats
43 10 11 42 16 29 18

Baories
167 60 73 338 7 108 133

Wells
19 58 4 116 1 22 15

Ponds
55 2 1 20 1 10 16

Spring
53
5 9 177 5 23

Others
5 141 1 1 1

Good Condition
27 54 43 237 1 38 100

Bad Condition
265 66 45 387 185 108 88

Total
292 120 88 624 186 146 188

Figure 1: Condition of traditional water sources in Seven Districts of Himachal Pradesh (according to the case study done by SCST&E)

% Condition

120.00 100.00

Condition of traditional water sources

90.75

99.46

Good Condition Bad Condition

80.00

60.00

40.00

20.00 0.00

9.25 Sirmaur

55.00 45.00

48.8561.14

62.02 37.98

Hamirpur

Kullu

Kangra
Districts

0.54 Chamba

73.97
53.19 46.81
26.03

Shimla

Solan

Table 6: Water sources of Himachal Pradesh

District

Ground water

Surface water

Rain Water

Traditional Sources

Bilaspur

827

786

0

461

Chamba

1717

2433

3

2598

Hamirpur

1057

485

0

231

Kangra

1602

1317

11

1369

Kinnaur

76

217

0

24

Kullu

0

3392

0

0

Lahul Spiti

1

290

0

57

Mandi

833

3924

0

1483

Shimla

233

3917

5

2518

Sirmaur

644

2249

0

535

Solan

344

1090

0

1215

Una

832

123

1

21

Total

8186

20223

20

10512

Others
0 836 1 466 2 0 0 840 9 9 316 116 2595

Total
2074 7587 1774 4765 319 3392 348 7080 6682 3457 2965 1093 41536

Source: 1. Planning Commission 2. SOER – 2012. 3. HP State Development report, Chapter 2 (Natural resources). 4. Survival lessons, water management traditions in the Central – Western Himalaya. 5. Neetu Sharma & Promila kanwar. Indigenous water conservation System - A rich tradition of rural Himachal Pradesh. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge – Vol. 8(4), Oct. 2009, pp. 510 – 513. 6. General outline of rivers in Himachal @ webindia123.

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Directory Of Water Resources In Himachal Pradesh