Urban Drought pp 363-383 | Cite as

Water Scarcity in Himalayan Hill Town: A Study of Darjeeling Municipality, India

  • Tarun Kumar Mondal
  • Paramita RoychowdhuryEmail author
Part of the Disaster Risk Reduction book series (DRR)


Water scarcity poses serious threat to urbanization process in India. Nature of the scarcity varies across the geographical diversity of this country and is influenced by the management of available water resources. Urban areas in the hill slopes of Himalayas are facing water crisis due to adverse topographical characteristics and unplanned urban expansion. Darjeeling town popularly known as the ‘Queen of the Hills’ lying in the Eastern Himalaya, one of the most attractive tourist spots in India, is suffering from acute water crisis. Initially, an effective water supply system was installed in Darjeeling town during colonial India (1910–1915) with a capacity to cater 10,000 people. Population of this town has increased more than twelve times, till now; inhabitants of the town mainly depend on this age-old water supply system. Rapid urbanization, expansion of tourism industry, massive deforestation and climate change are worsening the situation fast. Consequently, a huge imbalance is generated between the demand and supply of water in this town, and the gap is widening at a faster rate. The future existence of this world-famous tourist destination, therefore, depends on the ways to overcome this crisis. This chapter deals with the nature of the water scarcity, factors responsible for this crisis and viable management strategies in Darjeeling Municipality. The issues of urban expansion and water scarcity in Himalayan towns and in Darjeeling Municipality have been dealt in the second section of this chapter. The context of water scarcity and hydrogeological, demographic and politico-economic factors responsible for this scarcity have been analysed in the third and fourth sections consecutively. Different water supply systems and their comparative advantages and disadvantages have been discussed in the fifth and sixth sections. The critical factors for water crisis have been analysed in the seventh section. Finally, in the eighth section, the necessary strategies and options to mitigate water scarcity in this municipality have been proposed.


Darjeeling Municipality Eastern Himalaya Himalayan towns Tourism Urbanization process 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of KalyaniNadiaIndia
  2. 2.Department of GeographyKrishnagar Government CollegeNadiaIndia

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