With heavy snowfall, prolonged spells of rainfall and overcast conditions that lingered for most part the year so far, the residents of Mussoorie are arguably battling a bitter winter.
However, there is a silver lining. Environmentalists say the snowfall would have replenished the underground water to such a level that there would not be any scarcity of water during the summer in Mussoorie.
Vipin Gupta, a noted environmentalist, said, “The heavy snowfall would have recharged the underground aquifers, which will supply enough water to the rivers and springs here during the summer.”
He said the run-off of water after a rain is faster and there is little chance of the water seeping into the soil. But in case of a snowfall, particularly a heavy snowfall, run-off is slower and percolation of water is more, he added.
“So a heavy snowfall helps greatly in recharging the underground water level,” Gupta said.
Mussoorie town derives most of the water it needs from several springs located around the town. The water from these springs is tapped and then pumped to the reservoirs.
However, the town faces acute water crisis during the summer months as the estimated demand for water peaks to 13 million litres per day as opposed to its availability at 7.51 MLD.
Residents who have been living here for past several decades said the water discharge over the last few years to the springs around Mussoorie have declined and water shortage during summer has become a routine. The water availability in six springs around Mussoorie had come down by 37% since 1970.