Earth Day: Concern over depleting natural water sources in U’khand

By Hindustan Times on 22 Apr 2018

Depleting natural water sources and unseasonal rains affecting traditional crop patterns were dominating issues during the World Earth Day celebrations in the Kumaon division of Uttarakhand on Sunday.

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated worldwide on April 22. Various events are held on the occasion to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

The scientists at GB Pant Institute of Environmental and Sustainable Development said the efforts needs to be in place to regenerate water sources before it is too late. “The ground water is main factor to minimise effect of global warming. We need to work towards restoring ground water level to defeat bad effects of global warming,” said Kirti Kumar, a senior scientist at the institute.

JS Rawat, a professor of Geography and director of the Centre of Excellence for Natural Resources Data Management at Almora, said due to lack of wide-leaved forests, the rate of percolation of rainwater into ground has decreased in last 30 years. “This is the main cause of depleting natural water sources,” he said, adding that, “We have to increase the forest cover of wide-leaved forest in sub Himalayan region.”

At another event organised by an NGO, the speakers underlined the priority in planning towards regeneration of natural water sources. “It is a cause of concern that more than 40 water sources in and around (Pithoragarh) district headquarter has gone dry in last 10 years,” said Ashok Pant, an expert. Experts echoed similar sentiments in Champawat district also. They said more than 35 localities dependent on natural water sources are facing grave drinking water crisis in neighbouring Bageswar district, as water generation in the sources has gone down to 55%.

‘Zero-waste lunch’ in Doon

DEHRADUN: A unique “zero-waste lunch” was organised by several Dehradun-based organisations at the Rajpur Gurudwara to mark the World Earth Day.

On the occasion, volunteers also demonstrated how to make lemon cleanser at home that can be used to wash utensils as well as reetha detergent that can be used to wash clothes.

Soumya Prasad representing one of the NGOs said community gatherings like weddings and lunches generate a lot of waste and that can be easily cut down.

A street play was also held to raise awareness about plastic pollution.