Water and Mineral
Even there is a plenty of water available in hills, the main problem of the locality is the drinking water. These water resources are exploited for drinking water, irrigation, power generation, fresh water products etc. in full capacity due to various reasons like non-economic planning & management, capital resource shortage, non-cooperation from local people, non-feasibility due to geographical locations etc. In the district, this problem is very prominent even a number of river channels and natural water sources are available.
The Alaknanda river, one of the major tributies of Ganga, is flowing along western border of the district and separate it from the border districts of Tehri Garhwal, Dehradun, Haridwar. This river has large potential for exploitation at many places like Srinagar, Baisghat, Swargashram etc. Nayyar River is the major river system within the territory of the district and is one of the major tributies of Alaknanda . This is called Nayyar after the confluence of eastern and Western Nayyar at Satpuli. Both the Nayyars originate from the Doodhatoli range and drain their water to the south. The Eastern Nayyer takes a long semicircular course while Western Nayyar flows almost straight upto the confluence. There are may other streams which bring quite good quantum of water to drain in this river. Another important rivers of the districts are western Ramganga, Malini, Khoh. Western Ramganga River originates from the Doodhatoli ranges in district Pauri Garhwal and enters into district Nainital before re-entering into district Pauri Garhwal. The Diwal, Rewasan etc. are small rivers, which have waters only during rainy season and afterwards.
Besides drinking water, these water resources can be exploited for irrigation & power generation. In the recent past many big and small Hydro Electricity Projects have been proposed in river Alaknanda. One such project is in progress near Srinagar in the district Pauri Garhwal. It is claimed that this project is a step in the direction of using small water head to generate electricity. Chilla hydroelectric project is about 10 km. from Haridwar in the middle of the forest at the foothills of the district Pauri Garhwal. This is the run of the river scheme in envisaging utilization of the Ganga water. The project is the largest hydroelectric station in the district.
Minerals are inorganic substances, which contain one or more elements. Rocks consist of minerals. It is a common believe that Himalaya as a whole are rich in mineral wealth. During the last eighty years or so, a number of geoscientists have been carrying out surveys and prospecting work in different parts of Garhwal hills and besides the metal ores which were already known to common people (Copper, Lead, Zinc, Silver, Gold, Iron ore etc.), a number of new minerals of utility have been located. The widening gap between the presence of minerals at a place and their local non-utilization due to various reasons is the greatest problem in developing the mineral industry in Garhwal hills.
Important minerals available for exploitation in the region are Limestone, Gold, Graphite, Sulphur etc. Lime is produced out of limestone, which is use for manufacturing of cement and in all constructional work. In the district, limestone deposits are in existence at Lansdown, Srinagar. Sulphur and Graphite has been found in Alaknanda valley near Srinagar. Hard coal has been found near Laldhang in the district. Along upper Shivalik hill reaches in the Kalachur region of Pauri Garhwal, a 60 km. long and two to five km. wide seam of Gold deposit has been found.
Geologically the Nayyar catchments comprise three main litho-tectonic units first as Almora crystalline in the north & northeastern parts covering parts of Thalisain, Bironkhal, Pabo and Pauri, second as Sedimentary belt of Jaunsar, Krol-Tal sequence in Rikhnikhal, Bironkhal and Jahrikhal blocks and third as Shivalik belt. From economic point of view, the Krol limestone is quarried for sugar industry, lime and some refractory. While a few pockets of gypsum are seen in the Krol Limestone. The Phyllites and slates are used as roof tiles and quartzites as building and road materials. A locality of lead and zinc mineralisation is seen in Bironkhal and Thalisain area. River Sand, gravels and bajri are used in building constructions. A few mica flakes are quite large in dimension with in the Almora crystalline and some times excavated by the local people.