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DTE (2006.6.15): Almora's dying waterbodies

Almora sees springs vanish, river die

Bidisha kumar / CSE

Almora in Uttranchal is facing an acute water crisis, which has been exacerbated by rapid, unplanned urban growth and the mismanagement of vital natural resources that has led to the drying up of natural sources of water. This summer, the Kosi river, one of the major sources of drinking water, may dry up, causing a crisis. What’s worse is that while Almora and neighbouring villages are reeling, local hotels and resorts offer spring water in abundance to patrons by buying the land on which springs are located. This makes the crisis worse for local people.

Founded in 1563, Almora traditionally depended upon its naulas and dharas (seepages and natural springs). The area has shallow aquifers that feed its springs. But over the last 150 years the number of springs has declined from 360 to 60. Those that remain are rapidly becoming seasonal with low flows.