Topic: Water Scarcity and the Need for Water Conservation and Management

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1 Chapter 3 Water Resource Topic: Introduction 1. Three-fourth of the earth s surface is covered with water per cent of the total volume of world s water exists as oceans. 3. Only 2.5 per cent is fresh water. 4. Nearly 69 per cent of this freshwater occurs as ice sheets and glaciers in Antarctica, Greenland and the mountainous regions of the world, per cent is stored as groundwater and less than 1 per cent is in lakes and rivers. 6. Freshwater is mainly obtained from surface run off and ground water. 7. Water is continually being renewed and recharged through the hydrological cycle thus water is a renewable resource. 8. India receives nearly 4 per cent of the global precipitation and ranks 133 in the world in terms of water availability per person per annum. Topic: Water Scarcity and the Need for Water Conservation and Management 1. The availability of water resources varies over space and time, mainly due to the variations in seasonal and annual precipitation. 2. But water scarcity in most cases is caused by over- exploitation, excessive use and unequal access to water among different social groups. 3. Over-exploitation of groundwater for growing more crops lead to falling groundwater levels, lesser water availability and food insecurity in the country. 4. Situation where water is sufficiently available to meet the needs of the people, but, the area still suffers from water scarcity is due to water pollution. Long Answer questions: Q.1 Explain four reasons water scarcity in the cities of our country. Ans. The main reasons are: i. Large and growing population: Water scarcity in cities is an outcome of large and growing population. It means more water for domestic use and also to produce more food. To achieve higher food-grain production, more irrigation is required. Thus high irrigation means over-exploitation of ground water resources. Industrialization: The growing number of industries in the country has put pressure on existing freshwater resources. Industries require large amount of water and also require electric power to run them. Much of this energy comes from hydroelectric power through dams which affects natural flow of water. i Urbanization: Multiplying urban centres with large and dense populations and urban lifestyles need more water and energy requirements. The housing societies or colonies in the cities have their own groundwater pumping devices to meet their water needs. Thus the water resources are being overexploited and have caused their depletion in several of these cities.

2 iv. Poor quality of water: This scarcity may be due to bad quality of water. Much of it may be polluted by domestic and industrial wastes, chemicals, pesticides and fertilisers used in agriculture, thus, making it hazardous for human use. Q.2 Why the conservation and management of our water resources is needed? Ans. The conservation and management of our water resources is necessary for: i. To safeguard ourselves from health hazards, To ensure food security, continuation of our livelihoods and productive activities and i To prevent degradation of our natural ecosystems. iv. Over exploitation and mismanagement of water resources will deplete water resource and cause ecological crisis. Topic: Multi-Purpose River Projects and Integrated Water Resources Management 1. In the first century B.C., Sringaverapura near Allahabad had sophisticated water harvesting system channelling the flood water of the river Ganga. 2. During the time of Chandragupta Maurya, dams, lakes and irrigation systems were extensively built. 3. Evidences of sophisticated irrigation works have also been found in Kalinga, (Orissa), Nagarjunakonda (Andhra Pradesh), Bennur (Karnataka), Kolhapur (Maharashtra), etc. 4. In the 11th Century, Bhopal Lake, one of the largest artificial lakes of its time was built. 5. In the 14th Century, the tank in Hauz Khas, Delhi was constructed by Iltutmish for supplying water to Siri Fort area. 6. Dam is a barrier across flowing water that obstructs, directs or retards the flow, creating a reservoir or lake. 7. The Bhakra Nangal project on Sutluj-Beas River is used both for hydel power production and irrigation. 8. Similarly, the Hirakud project in the Mahanadi basin integrates conservation of water with flood control. 9. The troubles faced by people owing to the flooding of Damodar River have given this river a name as the river of sorrow. 10.Jawaharlal Nehru proudly announced the dams as the temples of modern India. 11.He called dams as temples because he thought they will integrate the agriculture and village economy with industrialization and urban economy.

3 Long Answer questions: Q.3 Why the dams are now referred to as multi-purpose projects? OR How do the dams help us in conserving and managing water? Ans. Dams were built under integrated water resources management approach which means that they has many uses of impounded water which are integrated with one another.- i. Dams were traditionally built to impound rivers and rainwater that could be used to irrigate agricultural fields. Dams are also built for electricity generation, i For water supply for domestic and industrial uses, iv. For controlling floods, v. Fro the purpose of recreation, vi. For inland navigation and v For fish breeding. Q.4 Why did Jawaharlal Nehru proclaimed the dams as the temples of modern India? Ans. The reason he proclaimed them as temples are: i. Dams would integrate development of each sector of the economy. Dams were thought of as the vehicle that would lead the nation to development and progress, i They would develop agriculture and the village economy iv. They would develop industries. v. They would help in the growth of the urban economy. Q.5 Why the Multi-purpose projects and large dams have come under great opposition? Ans. The reasons are: a. Affect natural flow of running water: i. Hence, it causes excessive sedimentation at the bottom of the reservoir. It results in rockier stream beds. i They also fragment rivers making it difficult for aquatic fauna to migrate, especially for breeding. b. Affect natural vegetation and soil: i. The reservoirs that are created on the floodplains also submerge the existing vegetation and soil leading to its decomposition over a period of time. The flood plains are deprived of silt, a natural fertiliser, further adding on to the problem of land degradation. c. Cause of many social movements: i. They have been a cause of many new social movements like the Narmada Bachao Andolan and the Tehri Dam Andolan etc. d. Displacement of people: i. They results in the large-scale displacement of local communities. i Local people often had to give up their land, livelihood for the nation. The local people are not benefiting from such projects.

4 e. Change in cropping pattern: i. Availability of irrigation has also changed the cropping pattern. Farmers have shifted to water intensive and commercial crops. i This has great ecological consequences like salinisation of the soil. iv. It has increased the social gap between the richer landowners and the landless poor. f. Create conflicts: i. The dams create conflicts between people wanting different uses and benefits from the same water resources. Inter-state water disputes are also becoming common with regard to sharing the costs and benefits of the multi-purpose project. g. Failure to control flood: i. The dams that were constructed to control floods have triggered floods due to sedimentation in the reservoir and at the time of excessive rainfall. Topic: RAINWATER HARVESTING It was also observed that the multi-purpose projects induced earthquakes, 1. Today, in western Rajasthan, the practice of rooftop rainwater harvesting is on the decline as plenty of water is available due to the perennial Rajasthan Canal. 2. In Shillong nearly every household in the city has a roof top rain water harvesting structure and per cent of the total water requirement of the household comes from roof top water harvesting. 3. In Gendathur, a remote backward village in Mysore, Karnataka, villagers have installed in their household s rooftop rainwater harvesting system to meet their water needs. 4. Tamil Nadu is the first and the only state in India which has made roof top rainwater harvesting structure compulsory to all the houses across the state. There are legal provisions to punish the defaulters. 5. In Meghalaya, a 200-year-old system of tapping stream and spring water by using bamboo pipes is common. Long Answer questions: Q.6 Describe how the modern rainwater harvesting carried out. Ans. The modern rainwater harvesting is done as: a. Roof top rain water is collected using a PVC pipe. b. It is filtered using sand and bricks. c. Underground pipe takes this water to sump for immediate usage. d. Excess water from the sump is taken to the well. e. Water from the well recharges the underground. f. Later this water is taken out from the well during summer or dry season. Q.7 Give examples of traditional water harvesting systems developed in ancient India. Ans. In ancient India, people had in-depth knowledge of rainfall regimes and soil types. Thus they developed many techniques to harvest rainwater.

5 a. In hill and mountainous regions, people built diversion channels like the guls or kuls of the Western Himalayas for agriculture. A kul leads to a circular village tank from which water is released as and when required. b. Rooftop rain water harvesting was commonly practised to store drinking water, particularly in Rajasthan. c. In the flood plains of Bengal, people developed inundation channels to irrigate their fields. d. In arid and semi-arid regions, agricultural fields were converted into rain fed storage structures that allowed the water to stand and moisten the soil like the khadins in Jaisalmer and Johads in other parts of Rajasthan. Q.8 Describe how rainwater harvesting in semi-arid regions of Rajasthan is carried out. Ans. In semi-arid regions of Rajasthan traditional rainwater harvesting is carried out as: a. Almost all the houses traditionally had underground tanks or tankas for storing drinking water. b. The tanks could be as large as a big room; c. One household in Phalodi had a tank that was 6.1 metres deep, 4.27 metres long and 2.44 metres wide. d. The tankas were part of the well-developed rooftop rainwater harvesting system. e. They were built inside the main house or the courtyard. f. They were connected to the sloping roofs of the houses through a pipe. g. Rain falling on the rooftops would travel down the pipe and was stored in these underground tankas. h. The first spell of rain was usually not collected as this would clean the roofs and the pipes. The rainwater from the subsequent showers was then collected. i. The rainwater can be stored in the tankas till the next rainfall making it an extremely reliable source of drinking water when all other sources are dried up, particularly in the summers. j. Many houses constructed underground rooms adjoining the tanka to beat the summer heat as it would keep the room cool. BAMBOO DRIP IRRIGATION SYSTEM Q.9 Describe how the drip irrigation system is done in Meghalaya. Ans. 200-year-old system of tapping stream and spring water by using bamboo pipes is common in Meghalaya. i. Bamboo pipes are used to divert perennial springs on the hilltops to the lower reaches by gravity. The channel sections, made of bamboo, divert water to the plant site where it is distributed into branches, again made and laid out with different forms of bamboo pipes. i The flow of water into the pipes is controlled by manipulating the pipe positions. iv. If the pipes pass a road, they are taken high above the land. v. Reduced channel sections and diversion units are used at the last stage of water application. vi. The last channel section enables water to be dropped near the roots of the plant.

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