More on the Clean Water Rule to come, I promise – I’m waiting on a reply to some questions from a contact at the EPA’s outreach division. Meanwhile…
I know my mom loves me when in addition to a Ganesh statuette and various lovely shiny things, she brings me back a little bottle of Himalayan water from her trip to India. It’s only partially full because of the 33 pound weight limit on her suitcase, but I can forgive her for that.
This particular water was collected by Tata Global Beverages at “Village-Dhaulakuan, Tehsil-Paontasahib, District – Sirmour, Himachal Pradesh.” Naturally I just had to know where that village is, and what glacier feeds the river.
It turns out that Dhaula Kuan, 170 miles north of Delhi, is in the foothills of Himalayas on the Yamuna river. The Yamuna is the largest tributary of the Ganges and a sacred river to Hinduism; the Temple of Yamunotri is regarded as the source and is an important pilgrimage site. The river actually starts 3 miles further upstream at the Champasar Glacier on Kalind Mountain (also called “The Banderpoonch peaks”), but the forbidding terrain causes most pilgrims to stop at the temple.
More to the point, Yamunotri is 116 miles northeast of Dhaula Khan. “Himalayan” may make great advertising, but this water is to “pristine Himalayan glacial streams” as water diverted from the Bow river in Calgary, Alberta is to “crystal clear Rocky Mountain snowmelt”.
Those technicalities aside it’s still drainage from the highest mountain range on earth, which is enough make for a very happy hydrology nerd!