Snowless winter worries Ladakh, Kashmir : The Tribune India

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Snowless winter worries Ladakh, Kashmir

Snowless winter worries Ladakh, Kashmir

Kashmiris offer prayers seeking snow and rain in Srinagar. file



Arjun Sharma

Jammu, January 25

With little snow during winters in Ladakh, experts believe that the region might face groundwater shortage as it would not get recharged in the absence of snow.

Snowless winters have also caused concern among the apple growers of Kashmir region as snow is required to keep the soil moist for the crop during this time of the year.

Dr Ibrahim Yousuf, assistant professor at Ladakh University’s department of geology, agreed that there was less snowfall this year apparently due to changes in climatic conditions and global warming.

He said that in the absence of snow, there is likelihood that groundwater would not get recharged in Ladakh. He said that one of the major sources of groundwater recharge in the cold desert region is snow which is missing this year.

He said that this may cause drinking water problem in the future. Yousuf said that temperature is going up day by day in the region which is also affecting the snow cycle.

The Ladakh administration had in July last year commenced the process of its third groundwater assessment. The previous assessment in 2019-20 indicated a safe stage of groundwater development at 17.9 per cent in Ladakh.

An official informed that disparities were observed between districts with Leh reporting a higher groundwater development stage at 36.13 per cent. Kargil showed a lower stage at 3.4 per cent. To gain a clearer understanding, the second assessment in 2020-21 adopted a basin-based approach, revealing localised regions like the Phyang Valley facing semi-critical groundwater extraction rates of 84.08 per cent.

Meanwhile, fruit growers in Kashmir are also worried because of snowless winter. Mir Mohammad Amin, who is the president of fruit mandi Shopian, said that the absence of snow during extreme winters in Kashmir is a worrying phenomenon for apple growers. “Snow is very important for apple trees as it keeps the soil moist and provides water to the trees. We had witnessed a similar situation 8-10 years ago and it impacted apple production later,” said Amin.

He said that people across the Valley are praying for snow as most of them are dependent on fruit business directly or indirectly.

#Groundwater #Jammu #Kashmir #Ladakh


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