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Water quality estimation of mountain region Sahastradhara- a case study

Water is one of the most indispensable resources and is the elixir of life. It makes up 50-97% of the weight of all forms of life and about 70% of human body (Buchholz, 1998). Fresh water is one amongst the most poorly managed resource in the world (Fakayode, 2005). Fresh water is a finite resource, essential for agriculture, industry and even human existence. A rich source of fresh water resource is our surface water resources in form of river water. The river system of a country is analogous to the blood vascular system in human body which is designed to nurse the physique and act as a transport medium for clearing the waste materials. River plays an important role in transporting or assimilating the municipal and industrial wastewater and run-off from agricultural land. Introduction of these wastes to a natural river system can cause elevated biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), increased fecal coliform and Escherichhhia coli concentrations, and elevated levels of other pollutants such as pesticides, fertilizers etc. these elevated concentrations can adversely affect aquatic wildlife, and pollute surrounding water bodies, and can lead to major environmental problems.

Sahastradhara is situated around 15 kms east of Dehradun Bus Stand in the state of Uttarakhand. Its name deciphered as the ‘Thousand Fold Spring’ in English, Sahastradhara is one of the most beautiful and serene picnic spots in Dehradun. It is very popular amongst both the locals as well as the tourists coming to the city. Its name emerges from the fact that the water literally drips down from limestone stalactites numbering thousands. During monsoons the water flow increases and in turn the floral vegetation of the area increases significantly, much to the delight of visitors. Sahastradhara lies between 300 23’ 07.6” N and 780 07’ 44.9” E with altitude of 830.5m.above the sea level.

Doon Valley falls under the temperate area due to the elevation of 600-800 meters above mean sea level. The annual temperature ranged between 1.80C in January to 400C in June (Negi and Chauhan, 2002). The meteorological data of last 75 years shows that the average maximum temperature for Doon Valley is 27.650 C and average minimum temperature is 13.790 C (Source: FRI Meteorology).

On the basis of the above discussion, it may be concluded that the surface water at almost all the sites of picnic spots of Doon valley Sahastradhara, is less polluted because of less populated area.

Hardness of the Sahastradhara is beyond the permissible limit because the nature of the parent rock of Doon valley contains mainly lime stone (max. hardness is 713.99, min. is505.99). Sahastradhara is also a source of sulphur spring. Other parameters are within the permissible limit.

Author;

Sohni Sinha is an Environment post-graduate and is presently a Research Scholar in Forest Research Institute. His primary area of interest is environmental pollution monitoring. Contact him at- sohnisinha1@gmail.com

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