Hill Women-led Spring Water Management in Darjeeling Himalayan Region, West Bengal

  • Das D P.N. Das College (State Aided College), Palta, WB, India.
  • Halder S Executive Engineer (A-1), WRI&DD, GoWB, India.
Keywords: Jhora (spring), Discharge, Rainwater harvesting, Reuse, Recycle, Deforestation


Water crises is a major problem of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India where rainfall is plentiful. Darjeeling gets only one-third of its daily water requirement through municipal pipelines. The water supply network is mostly town centred so the peripheral areas are deprived of water. Private suppliers also supply water at Rs. 300/- per month per household. Darjeeling Municipality established in 1850 has a centralised water management infrastructure laid down between1910–30. The water supply system originates in Senchel Wildlife Sanctuary, located 15 kilometres upstream of Darjeeling with two lakes and a storage of 33 million gallons of water that is recharged by 26 springs. This centralised system fails to acknowledge the vibrant 90 odd natural springs in the town that people are dependent upon. These urban springs have diverse community-based management systems that have evolved over time and are now facing challenges of rapid urbanisation, market forces, upstream concretisation and contamination and reducing discharges. Due to deforestation which is leading to high runoff resulting to less recharge of groundwater. Women, are worst hit, as they have to travel miles to fetch water in this rugged terrainfor her family while their male counterpart are busy to make both ends meet. Every household maintains a kitchen garden whose water is also being procured by females through irrigation. Rooftop rainwater harvesting is the imperative way to mitigate the water crisis. Moreover, reuse, recycle and reducing wastage will help to mitigate this water crisis.


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How to Cite
D, D.; S, H. Hill Women-Led Spring Water Management in Darjeeling Himalayan Region, West Bengal. ijceae 2022, 4, 46-60.

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