Water scarcity in Kashmir, imagine!
Representational Photo

Water scarcity in Kashmir, imagine!

In our valley almost 100 water bodies are already lost in less than a decade and more are likely to perish in near future

In Kashmir we have plenty of water resources including Himalayan glaciers, but these glaciers are receding in geometric progression and the day is not far when we will also observe the same water shortage through all the places of our state. Indeed many of our people are facing the water scarcity issue these days. Along my countryside we have two rivers namely as Nallah Kehmil and Dangerwari (local nomenclature) as fresh water bodies, and almost more than a million  people are benefit from these rivers directly or indirectly. These water bodies cross through higher mountains and meadows and have lot of essential minerals dissolved in it. It is healthier than mineral water. But due to increase in population, increase in water consumption demand, unsustainable use of water, the human waste, solid waste, destabilization of river banks, encroachment and all the sorts of other are dumped into the these rivers.

The concerned authorities are hardly bothered about this. Our natural wealth is at the verge of extinction and it is evident that these rivers will be dystrophic in future. These two rivers not only provide water for drinking and agriculture, but are as an ecosystem to numerous of aquatic species and these aquatic species are not less precious than human lives. These two rivers recharge numbers of aquifers and have lot of strategic importance. We pollute these two rivers with toxic chemicals like organophosporous, organophosphates and other carbamates which are sprayed in orchids and kitchen gardens, which directly drain into these rivers by runoff and indirectly leads to ground water aquifers contamination which is very hard to recover once contaminated. It need lots of resource and man power to manage any polluted waterbody, but need a little to conserve it. The protection and improvement of human environment is a major issue. To defend and improve the human environment for the present and future generations has become an imperative goal for humankind.

Water scarcity is a common problem and needs community efforts. While our community never considers water shortage as a problem, they never experienced it before as we have plenty of water resources in our area, but a look on what is happening to water bodies confirms the opinion that we have a problem up ahead. Although some people are concerned about the water bodies and other fragile ecosystems but they are opposed at every step of conservation.  These water bodies need to be conserved for future as these are home to billions of aquatic species and if we can't improve their life at least we don't have any right to kill them for our greed. Humans are the actual devastators who always are in a race to cut down forests, kill wildlife, and exploit other natural resources.  The society needs to change behaviour and save natural resources from further devastation. These rivers receive tons of trash from upper areas and it is increasing day to day. These rivers used to have lots of fresh water fish and other aquatic species but currently we hardly find any fish in the river. The river banks are also destabilized and majority of plants are cut down. This not only leads to temperature increase, minimised oxygen, but also disturbs the overall aesthetics. In our valley almost 100 water bodies are already lost in less than a decade and more are likely to perish in near future.

Suhail Bashir is M.Sc Environmental Science

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