Drying of Springs in the Himalayan Region of Nepal: Perspectives of Local Government Leaders on Causes, Consequences, and Conservation Efforts

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  • Bhumika Thapa
  • Chiranjibi Bhattarai
  • Ngamindra Dahal
  • Sushma Tiwari
  • Jacobsen, Dean
Spring water plays a crucial role in sustaining life in the Himalayas. Yet these vital water sources are drying as a result of natural and anthropogenic factors. In July and August 2020, we conducted phone interviews with leaders from 300 local government units across Nepal to identify the status of spring drying, the main causes, the consequences for local communities, measures adopted, conservation practices, and policies. Springs had dried up in 74% of local government units, with medium to severe problems across 44%. The scarcity of drinking water because of drying springs is the most severe issue, leading to outmigration in the search for water, as reported by 7% of the local governments. Road and infrastructure construction is the main cause of springs drying up, followed by earthquakes and climate change. Problems of spring drying are more prevalent in the Chure region, followed by the mid-hills and mountains. Local governments have used various strategies to mitigate the problem, such as rainwater harvesting, reforestation, lifting, and boring. Spring conservation work has been included in local governments' annual plans, programs, and budgets, but most of them focus on drinking water. Therefore, the problem must be addressed as quickly as possible with the participation of all stakeholders and following a bottom-up approach.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMountain Research and Development
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)R9-R15
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2023

ID: 383092770