Due to a continuous drop in the water levels of the Jhelum River, areas relying on it for water supply are experiencing severe shortages, leading to a drinking water crisis. The most affected regions are those spanning from Sangam to Bandipora.
In September 2023, the Jhelum River reached its lowest water level in the last 30 years, with the Sangam gauge recording a shocking measurement of 0.09 – the lowest in 70 years. The primary cause of this decline is believed to be a significant 55mm rainfall deficit.
Additionally, a rise of 5 degrees Celsius in temperature has resulted in extensive crop damage, breaking previous records for heatwaves in the valley.
To mitigate the crisis’s impact, the Jal Shakti Department’s Chief Engineer, Sanjeev Malhotra, mentioned that they have made adjustments to the riverbed to ensure a continuous water flow to the pumps for distribution.”