Mountain Summit Kohima 2013

The Himalayan region in India covers about 5 lakh square km and consists of ten states and two districts, inhabited by approximately 64 million people as per the 2001 census.  Water resources in the region are under stress due to increasing population, erratic rainfall and winter aridity due to climate change.

The mountain states of India face common issues and challenges. Similarly, mountain peoples across the Himalayan region have realised that the solutions to meet these challenges are also similar. Implementing them will become easier if the states work together. A common front will make it easier for the Himalayan States to present their strategies for development to the Centre.

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With this end in view, the Indian Mountain Initiative (IMI) was conceived by the Central Himalayan Environment Association (CHEA) in 2010 at Nainital. It  attempts to provide a platform for sustained and effective dialogue to bring mountain concerns to the  national and global agenda. The initiative brings the eleven mountain states of the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) including the hill districts of Assam and West Bengal onto this platform.

The 3rd Mountain Summit was  held in Kohima, Nagaland in September 2013 around the themes of forest, water, and agriculture.

Rather than invite papers from selected authors and presenters, the summit chose an approach designed to maximise participation. Contributions in a variety of forms, including papers, articles, photos and movies were invited from a wide array of people. These were collated and their points included in a synthesis paper which was circulated to all the delegates in advance of the summit. This paper then provided a base document for the deliberations during the summit. This ensured that instead of a limited number of speakers, people across the mountain states including those who could not be physically present at the summit could have their say. Each theme was managed by a group of anchors who were responsible for collating the submissions and providing direction to the discussions.

The water theme was organised around four issues :

  • Water conflicts
  • Water rights and access (including governance and gender issues)
  • Innovations and technologies for mountain water management/conservation
  • Policy gaps and opportunities in water conservation and management

Climate change is a reality in the mountains, more than in any other part of the world. It influences every aspect of life in the Himalayan region. Conflicts are exacerbated by heightened water insecurity, which also affects peoples' access to water. Technologies need to take into consideration future weather and water behaviour in a changing world and policies for water conservation also need to keep an eye on future changes. Climate change was therefore a cross-cutting issue.

India Water Portal co-hosted the Water theme. We, along with the anchors,  were responsible for inviting submissions for that theme, collating them, managing the sessions, as well as documenting the proceedings. The articles featured below present submissions received by the water theme, key presentations, interviews with some of the delegates, and videos of the summit proceedings.

Download the synthesis paper

Download the final presentations on water, forest and agriculture

 

 

Featured Articles
March 19, 2014 Water conflicts in Arunachal Pradesh have left power projects and people at opposite ends of the struggle. Understanding, and not merely suppressing people, will help resolve this conflict.
Potential powerhouse ( Source: Wikimedia)
March 19, 2014 The solution to water scarcity due to the shrinking monsoon season & the resultant declining discharge of natural springs lies in storing water. For this the forestland needs to be conserved.
Rural water security in Sikkim
March 19, 2014 Tourism and other human interventions in the Bhimtal area in Uttarakhand has led to drastic changes that have altered the way of life and land use in the region. Can this trend be reversed?
Bhimtal Lake (Source: Wkipedia)
March 19, 2014 Generalization and mere quotas for women will not solve this gender bias. Involvement and empowerment of women are necessary for initiatives to succeed in the water sector.
Women & water ( Source: Arghyam)
February 24, 2014 Hydropower development is creating various types of conflict in Northeast India. How can we contain the unrest due to this spate of dam construction?
Maneri Bhali dam- Source:Peoples Science Institute
February 16, 2014 Fish found in streams and rivers are a source of food to about 40% of the households in parts of the Himalayas. Including fisheries in local watershed management is crucial.
Fish harvested from a pond in Doon Valley
India Industry Water Conclave on Nov 28, 2017 at FICCI, New ??Delhi
The third edition of India Industry Water Conclave and fifth edition of FICCI Water Awards on Theme : ‘Water Use Efficiency- An Imperative for India’ Water Awards 2016 posted 3 years 8 months ago

The theme for the Conclave this year is “Water Use Efficiency: An Imperative for India” to highlight the imperative of water use efficiency in the industry, agriculture and urban contexts

Call for Nominations: FICCI Water Awards 2016
FICCI Water Awards recognize excellence in water conservation and sustainable water management practices. Water Awards 2016 posted 4 years 9 months ago
Water Awards_Call for nomination
Power'house or powerless: A debate on dams in Arunachal Pradesh
Water conflicts in Arunachal Pradesh have left power projects and people at opposite ends of the struggle. Understanding, and not merely suppressing people, will help resolve this conflict. sabitakaushal posted 7 years 4 months ago

Arunachal Pradesh, a state rich in water resources, has a huge potential for cheap and plentiful power. Isolated and one of the least developed states in the country, today it is viewed as the ‘powerhouse’ of the country.

Potential powerhouse ( Source: Wikimedia)
Sikkim's springs discharge 50% lesser over the last decade
The solution to water scarcity due to the shrinking monsoon season & the resultant declining discharge of natural springs lies in storing water. For this the forestland needs to be conserved. sabitakaushal posted 7 years 4 months ago

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report predicts large scale changes in temperature and precipitation over the Asian land mass. In the mountains, this translates to less snow, more intense but shorter episodes of rainfall and insufficient groundwater recharge, thereby resulting in the drying up of water sources.

Rural water security in Sikkim
Man-made trouble in Bhimtal lake
Tourism and other human interventions in the Bhimtal area in Uttarakhand has led to drastic changes that have altered the way of life and land use in the region. Can this trend be reversed? sabitakaushal posted 7 years 4 months ago

The Himalayan region is facing an unprecedented onslaught of modernization. Large-scale construction, deforestation and pollution are taking a toll on it's pristine eciology. This includes the beautiful Bhimtal lake in Nainital district, Uttarakhand.

Bhimtal Lake (Source: Wkipedia)
Water - not a gender-neutral resource
Generalization and mere quotas for women will not solve this gender bias. Involvement and empowerment of women are necessary for initiatives to succeed in the water sector. sabitakaushal posted 7 years 4 months ago

Water is not ‘gender-neutral’, especially in India. It is the woman of the house who walks an average of 6 km each day to collect water for household use. In the Kumaon region, a newly married bride visits the family spring to fetch water a day after the wedding, in a symbolic tradition of water responsibility.

Women & water ( Source: Arghyam)
Big dams create big conflict
Hydropower development is creating various types of conflict in Northeast India. How can we contain the unrest due to this spate of dam construction? chicu posted 7 years 5 months ago

Northeast India has been in turmoil over the last two decades or so because of unbridled hydropower development in the region. This article is an effort to understand the extent of hydropower development in the region, the multi-faceted and multi layered conflicts unleashed by this development and also explore ways of engaging with them. It is organised around three broad sections:

Maneri Bhali dam- Source:Peoples Science Institute
A new vision for Himalayan streams
Fish found in streams and rivers are a source of food to about 40% of the households in parts of the Himalayas. Including fisheries in local watershed management is crucial. chicu posted 7 years 5 months ago

Watershed management, which is an integrated set of soil and water conservation techniques that retain runoff and so increase water availability, can provide an environment for fisheries development for food or trade.

Fish harvested from a pond in Doon Valley
The primary caretakers of water?
Women have always had an important role in water management. A study in South Sikkim aims to find out if topography, in addition to gender, influences access to water. chicu posted 7 years 5 months ago

Gender influences access to water to a high degree throughout the world, a fact recognised in the Dublin Principles but how does topography influence this access? This study detailed in this post aims to find the answer to this question.

The women of Sikkim manage their water resources
Land of water, no more
Tripura has 35,000 litres of water annually per capita. That is double that of the national average. So why are its people still facing water shortage? Manu Moudgil posted 7 years 5 months ago

The name Tripura originated from 'Twi' meaning water and 'Para' meaning land. The indigenous population, which is about 32%, refer to Tripura as Twipra, meaning land of water. However, the state no longer seems to be living up to its name.

Soil erosion raises river beds in Tripura