“Sustaining Life: The Battle Against Water Scarcity in Jammu and Kashmir”

“Sustaining Life: The Battle Against Water Scarcity in Jammu and Kashmir”

“The urgent need for equitable water distribution and conservation practices.”


Mohammad Yaseen Malik

Water scarcity and management in Jammu and Kashmir is an exigent issue that necessitates immediate attention. According to research conducted by the International Water Management Institute, Jammu and Kashmir is among the regions in India that are highly vulnerable to water scarcity and the vicissitudes of climate change. Its water resources are primarily reliant on precipitation and mountain glaciers. However, the region’s glaciers are disintegrating at an alarming rate due to escalating temperatures, causing a significant abatement in water availability.


Read: Climate Change Imperils J&K’s Ecology and Livelihoods

Further research emphasizes the intractability that arises from the paucity of appropriate water management practices. Both India and Pakistan stake a claim in the water resources in the region, leading to long-standing dissension. The Indus Waters Treaty, signed in 1960 between the two nations, aimed to allocate water resources in the region in proportion. However, expanding demand for water, climate change-induced water scarcity, and insufficient water management practices have led to tension and conflict.

The management of water resources within Jammu and Kashmir is likewise a concern. Research shows that the region lacks appropriate infrastructure for water conservation, distribution, and storage. The absence of irrigation systems, pipelines, and storage facilities has resulted in a significant loss of water due to leakage and evaporation. Furthermore, inadequate access to sanitation facilities in many areas has resulted in the pollution of water sources, leading to the dissemination of waterborne diseases.


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To address these issues, a comprehensive management strategy is incumbent. This could encompass implementing policies that prioritize water conservation and the advancement of sustainable water use methodologies. For instance, a study by the Indian Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering recommends the endorsement of micro-irrigation technology and rainwater harvesting systems. Such systems are more efficient, require less water, and promote sustainable water resource usage.
Additionally, the implementation of improved infrastructure, regulation, and collaborative policymaking is vital. This could entail constructing water storage facilities, pipelines, and efficient irrigation systems that diminish water dissipation. Appropriate regulation can ensure the equitable allocation of water resources, and involving stakeholders and educating the public in sustainable water management practices can promote collaboration towards a shared goal.

The issue of water scarcity and management in Jammu and Kashmir is multifaceted and requires action from multiple angles. Proper management practices, sustainable infrastructure, and policies prioritizing equitable allocation and conservation of water resources are indispensable. Adequate regulation and stakeholder engagement, alongside public awareness and education, can facilitate the attainment of the desired outcome of equitable, efficient, and sustainable use of water resources.


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