After monsoon cheers, dip in lake level swells Nainital water worries

Due to scanty to almost no rainfall in winter, the water level of Nainital lake, the lifeline of Nainital city, has started dropping again
According to experts, the primary concern is that there is little hope of replenishment for the next few months.(HT File Photo)
According to experts, the primary concern is that there is little hope of replenishment for the next few months.(HT File Photo)
Published on Jan 14, 2018 07:02 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByAbhinav Madhwal, Dehradun

Due to scanty to almost no rainfall in winter, the water level of Nainital lake, the lifeline of Nainital city, has started dropping again. The water level has been falling since the last two years, and the matter assumed alarming proportions last year, when the level fell by more than 7 feet, exposing the dry boundaries. 

This had prompted a march by the concerned citizens of Nainital who highlighted the issue of water depletion on social media. 

The matter took a positive turn during the monsoons of 2017, when the lake water was replenished and was 11 feet above the zero level, which is the optimum water level of the lake. But the depletion recurred when Nainital experienced very low rainfall in the winter, thereby, the lake facing a constant decline of water level.

At present, the water level is at around four feet above the zero mark, which means it has dropped by seven feet from what it was during the monsoons. The primary concern is that there is little hope of replenishment for the next few months, as the city might experience heavy downpour only in monsoons this year. 

The project manager of Lake Development Authority (LDA), CM Sah, said, that the water level was rapidly falling as there was no replenishment in the form of rain. He also pointed out that the water level might go down further as the tubewells dug around the lake draw water from its catchment area.

“The team from the National Institute of Hydrology are due to visit the city to analyse the main cause of water depletion and suggest remedies”, Sah said. 

Former chief engineer of the irrigation department, DK Pachauri, who retired a few days ago said that he had monitored the waters of the lake for several months.

“We will have to rejuvenate the Sookhatal lake, which is the main catchment for the Nainital lake, and also think of new ways to provide drinking water to the city, apart from being dependent on the lake,” he said.

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