Preservation of water

Introduction

Life is nothing without water. It is the most essential demand of an organism. Its priority stands next to the air we breathe in. Water is not only important for animals but it is a basic necessity for all the terrestrial and aquatic organisms. This article emphasizes the need for water and how to manage it.

 

Need for water management

Water scarcity is closely linked with human activities.  Geographically, there is uneven distribution of rainfall across different regions of a country. Inequitable rainfall result in the disparity of the allocation of usable artificial water sources across regions. In unusual circumstances, despite good rains, underground water tables are finishing soon. This has led to the destruction of mass vegetation cover, and the harvesting crops that solely rely upon the rainwater for their survival. The use of dams, canals and other forms of stored water was strictly regulated by British people during the pre-independent era. Later on, the maintenance of those irrigation systems has purely became a local affair. After the independence, many mega-projects started by Britishers remained incomplete. Therefore, people started once again the local irrigation methods, and the government also increasingly took over the administration of these systems leading to the loss of control over the local water sources by the local people.

 

Why we need dams?

Dams are an essential part of the water reservoir system in India. Dams can allocate the water in such a way that, water is evenly distributed throughout the year based on the demands in a given graphic area. Moreover,  large-sized dams ensure the storage of adequate water that can be used for electricity production. Dams distribute the water by using canal systems that can transfer large amounts to a greater distance in a quick time.  There are many examples of opposing the construction of dams in the past. The construction of Tehri Dam on the river Ganga and the protests by the Narmada Bachao Andolan (‘Save the Narmada Movement’) about raising the height of the Sardar are the best examples. They have opposed because of the following reasons.

  1. Social problems have arisen because the government has displaced a large number of inhabitants to build the dam. These were tribal people and they haven’t paid adequate compensation or rehabilitation for displacing them.

  2. Economic problems have increased because the contractors and officials have swallowed up huge amounts of public money without giving the benefits that they promised.

  3. Environmental problems occurred as a result of the destruction of forest reservoirs to build the dams and canal system.

 

 Water Harvesting system

 Water harvesting ensures a scientific way of safeguarding the fertility of the soil and also to build a healthy water conservation system that will help to increase biomass production. Biomass is the yield of either plant or animal product. Water harvesting will develop primary resources of land and water so that in turn produce the secondary resources of plants and animals. Such a system will not cause ecological imbalance because the scientific application of the methodology is ensured. Watershed management increases the crop quality and quantity making way to easily mitigate droughts and floods by diverting water towards downstream dam and reservoirs.

3. Water harvesting is based on some of the local factors so, there are many indigenous water saving methods to collect every drop that fell on their land. Various systems of collection are as illustrated below.

 

Slno

Method

State

1

Khadin, tanks, nadis

Rajasthan

2

Bandharas, tals

 

Maharashtra

3

Bundhis

 

Madhya Pradesh and U.P.

4

Pyhes

 

Bihar

5

Kulhs

 

Himachal Pradesh

6

Ponds

 

Jammu Region

7

Eris (tanks)

 

Tamilnadu

8

Bawlis

Delhi and surrounding areas.

 

Advantages of water harvesting system

  1. Easy to Maintain as we are utilizing natural rain

  2. It helps to reduce the water bills as we do not install an underground pumping system, instead, we are allowing water to flow from highland area to low land area.

  3. Water that is used is most suitable for Irrigation as it is not treated with any reagents as in the case of other methods.

  4. Reduces pressure on the groundwater so that we can save underground water levels.

  5. By collecting rain, we can reduce floods and soil erosion.

  6. This water can be used for many non-drinking purposes.



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