Water as a natural resource


Water is the most precious natural resource, unfortunately, the world is facing a severe shortage of water as a result of pollution and poor monsoon in many geographic areas. Many cities have already been declared dry and exhausted. If this continues, species cannot exist without water means, many biological organisms die out resulting in extinction. Water is a basic necessity for every form of life. In India, is not an exclusion becasue many states are still facing the shortage of water. India is probably the only country with a vast geographical and monsoon variations. Each state varies in their water reservoirs, sources through which they are getting water and also the monsoon levels. Apart from monsoon variations, poor management of available water is resulting in the water crisis. Many cases, people are not aware of different methods through which they can save rainwater that eventually increases the groundwater tables. In some areas, despite good rains, the lack of sustainable underground water has largely resulted in the loss of mass vegetation cover.



Table of contents
  1. Introduction
  2. Why we need water dams
  3.  Water Harvesting
  4. Water harvesting methods
  5. Advantages of the water harvesting system


Water pollution in India

As most of our country depends upon the rainwater for agriculture, so harvesting crops demand a lot of water. This is especially true in the open-field agriculture method where a lot of water is being wasted. Though the rainwater is being collected, it is hardly being used because the majority of the collected water is polluted as a result of industrial effluents, agricultural wastes such as pesticides and the garbage. In addition to this, dams, canals and other forms of water reservoirs are poorly maintained in many states of India. Although the idea of large scale water projects such as dams and canals was introduced by British people but many mega-projects were unfinished. But from the 1970s, people once again started the local irrigation methods, and the government has also increasingly took over the administration of these systems.


Water dams -Why we need dams?

Dams are an essential part of the water reservoir system as the stored water is used at times of crisis. They serve a vital role by evenly distributing across wide landmasses. Dams have the advantage of pushing water into the geographic locations that have poor rainfall. In addition, large-sized dams assist in the production of electricity with the same water that is being used for farming. India`s dam water is being distributed through the canal systems. AS many canals are being rightly placed above the sea level, they are capable of transferring a large amount of water to the greater distances. But building dams incur a lot of one-time investment, the political pressures and the different opinions of the people regarding where to build dams is causing problems. If the dams are being planned near the residential areas, people lose their houses. Some of the examples of this kind are 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. They have opposed because of the following reasons 

1. Social problems have Rosen because the government has displaced a large number of inhabitants to build the dam. The government has failed to pay adequate compensation or rehabilitation for those inhabitants.

2. Economic problems have started because the contractors and officials have involved in laundering public money.

3. Many environmental issues araised causing a great loss of biological diversity due to the enormous deforestation.


 Water Harvesting

Water harvesting is a  scientific method help to preserve the quality of the soil. Water harvesting help in retaining the levels of biomass production. Biomass is the total plant or animal products found in a specified geographical area at a given point of time. Water harvesting methods help to manage the severe water shortage along with the balance of the ecosystem, this is because the scientific methodology is ensured while building the water-harvest system. Water harvesting help to provide safe drinking water as well as quality water for irrigation. A good water harvesting strategy can increase the underground water tables that can be explored during crisis. Through the water harvesting system, we can reduce stormwater discharges, urban floods, overloading of sewage treatment plants and also we can reduce seawater ingress in coastal areas.


Water harvesting can be carried out through the following ways

  1. Capturing runoff from rooftops during the rainy season

  2. Capturing runoff from local catchments 

  3. If possible capture the seasonal floodwaters from local streams

  4. Preservation of water through watershed management

Water harvesting ssystem(Image from -https://www.conserve-energy-future.com


In general, water harvesting is the activity of direct collection of rainwater. The rainwater collected can be stored for direct use or can be recharged into the groundwater. Rain is the first form of water that we know in the hydrological cycle, hence is a primary source of water for us. Rivers, lakes and groundwater are all secondary sources of water. In present times, we depend entirely on such secondary sources of water. In the process, it is forgotten that rain is the ultimate source that feeds all these secondary sources and remain ignorant of its value. Water harvesting means to understand the value of rain and to make optimum use of the rainwater at the place where it falls. In India, there are a wide variety of harvesting systems, the following table has some of the examples of water harvesting projects;





Khadin, tanks, nadis



Bandharas, tals






Madhya Pradesh and U.P.








Himachal Pradesh




Jammu Region


Eris (tanks)





Delhi and surrounding areas.


Advantages of the water harvesting system

  1.  It is easy to maintain as we are utilizing the natural rain instead of extracting from the underground level.

  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 from the water harvesting is most suitable for irrigation as it is not treated with any reagents.

  4. It 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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