Drinking Water Scarcity

SRINAGAR — The persistent dry spell in Kashmir, especially in the peak time of Chillai Kalan, has cast a shadow on Kashmir’s major water resources including Jehlum and other streams while the water level in all the surface water sources has registered a significant dip.

Talking exclusively to the news agency KNO, Chief Engineer, Jal Shakti Department Kashmir, Sanjeev Malhotra said that the dry spell has already started impacting the water resources here. “In absence of the timely snowfall and rainfall, the water level in all the surface water sources here has reduced,” he said.

He added that the department has been ensuring adequate water supply to the people by resorting to curtailments, but certainly, it is going to impact in the long run. “The snowfall in Chillai Kalan is pivotal to have adequate water, but as this period is going on presently on a dry note, it will have a long-term effect as well,” he said.

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Furthermore, he stated that the snowfall during the peak time of Chillai Kalan is important as the snowfall after this period will not have sustainability like today’s period. “Our surface water sources are not getting recharged in the absence of the snowfall and rainfall, so the precipitation at this juncture is a must to get our sources recharged well in advance for the future months,” he said.

Moreover, the weatherman here has predicted a dry spell till January 16 but added that a few feeble Western Disturbances would affect Jammu & Kashmir after January 16. “Dry weather would likely continue till January 16 with cloudy on 12th evening,” Director Meteorological Department (MeT), Dr Mukhtar Ahmad said, adding that a few feeble Western Disturbances are approaching after January 16.

He added that the maximum over many stations of Kashmir region today was 7-8 degrees Celsius above normal while the dense fog over the plains of Jammu would likely continue during the next three days.

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Pertinently, the parts of Kashmir continued to witness sub-zero temperatures amidst the ongoing 40-day harshest winter period, Chillai Kalan, which commenced on December 21, 2023 and will end on January 31.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius. Qazigund, the gateway of Kashmir, also recorded a low of minus 2.6 degrees Celsius while Gulmarg, a famous ski resort, recorded a low of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius.

Pahalgam, a famous tourist place, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius. In Kupwara, the mercury settled at minus 4.5 degrees Celsius while in Kokernag, a minimum temperature of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius was recorded.

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