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Conservation of water

Conservation of water
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Water is the basis of all life, increase in human population has not only threatened other forms of life, but also made water source scarce. Pollution...

Water is the basis of all life, increase in human population has not only threatened other forms of life, but also made water source scarce. Pollution of natural water bodies has made their water unusable. As per scientists, earth is three fourths covered by water which makes ocean, seas, rivers, lakes, snow, glaciers and ground water. Only one per cent of this is available as fresh water. With the overuse of water, its conservation has become vital.

At present, one-third of the global population is facing acute water shortage. According to UN estimates, by 2025, almost two-thirds of the world will face shortage of potable water. There are various reasons for increase in demand of water but the major ones are:

Irrigation

India is an agricultural country, hence a large amount of water is needed for irrigation. 5.36 billion cubic meters of water was used for irrigation in the year 2000. It amounts to 81 per cent of the total water used. The other 19 per cent of water is used for other purposes. Unseasonal rainfall, growing demand of water for commercial crops, changing crop patterns are the main reasons for the increasing demand in irrigation.

Industrial use of water

Industries require a lot of water for their regular functions. Water is needed in large amounts during the production process or as heat exchanger for cooling various machine parts which heat up during the production process.

Growing population

The population of India has increased three times since independence and the water usage has increased simultaneously.

Methods for Conservation of Water Reforestation

Forests play a very important role in maintaining water balance of the soil and atmosphere. Reforestation has become important. Forests provide major ecological services. They

  • reduce soil erosion.
  • absorb and release water.
  • purify water and air.
  • Influence local and regional climate.
  • Store atmospheric carbon.

Recycling of water

A lot of water is being used for industrial and domestic purposes. If recycled, it can be used to replenish ground water and even for industrial and municipal use. Agricultural lands close to cities can be irrigated with municipal wastewater.

Water harvesting

Water harvesting is the process of collecting rainwater that falls on a house or on any building to put it to use later or simply to replenish the ground water by allowing the water to reach underground.

Recharging of groundwater

The available groundwater is about 13-20 times as much water available on the surface.

  • Flood water may be injected into aquifers through a series of deep pits or ditches.
  • Small reservoirs and percolation tanks can be dug to hold runoff water to replenish ground water.
  • Storm water, used water, domestic drains can be fed into pits, trenches, depressions to be filtered and percolated through the soil for recharging ground water.
  • Desiltation of canals and tanks should be done regularly.
  • Pre-monsoon tillage of fields helps to conserve soil moisture

Water Resource Management

Water availability is limited, with variability of rainfall in India, we need to manage and conserve water. Misuse of water from decades resulted in existing system of water shortages. Effective management and conservation of water has become most important.

Reduction in wastage of water

  • Water has to be used optimally, and by spreading awareness through campaigns via various media will help in reduction of water wastage.
  • Water management agencies have to install efficient meters and decide to charge a rate which will force the public to reduce use of municipal water.
  • Tap, shower flow restrictors and low volume toilet flushes can help in reducing water use.
  • Leakages in water pipes have to be checked regularly.
  • Lawns and gardens should be watered either in the morning or evening to avoid evaporation.
  • Rain water is the main source of water. We only receive three months of rainfall hence the water has to be stored. Water lost through seepage and evaporation, water wasted on weeds and cost of bringing water from ponds to the place of use should be minimised.
  • Harvesting, collecting, recharging ground water and water storage
  • Replenishing ground water
  • Flood waters may be injected into aquifers through series of deep pits or ditches.
  • Small reservoirs and percolation tanks can be dug to hold run off water recharging ground water.
  • Rain water harvesting carried out by building power for recharging ground water.
  • Storm water, used water, domestic drains can be fed into pits, trenches, depressions to be filtered and percolated through the soil for recharging ground water.
  • Desiltation of canals and tanks should be done regularly. • Pre-monsoon tillage of fields helps to conserve soil moisture.
  • Collection of rain water
  • Proper treatment of domestic and municipal waste water, rich in organic matter and pathogens material also helps conserve water. Treatment ensures the removal of pollutants, germs and toxic elements.
  • Growing algae or floating masses of water hyacinth also helps in cleaning the water polluted by absorbing phosphates, nitrates and other nutrients.

National River Conservation Plan

India has several small and large river bodies and almost all of them are polluted and their waters are unfit for human use. Industrial effluents, cities developed along side of rivers are reasons for the pollution. Government of India has launched many plans to clean the rivers.

Three important action plans are:

Ganga Action Plan:

Ganga Action Plan (GAP) has been launched by the Government of India to clean the river Ganga. The first phase of the project was completed in 1993.

Yamuna Action Plan:

Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) has been launched by the Government of India to clean river Yamuna in year 1993.

Ganga Action Plan 2:

Ganga Action Plan two has been launched by the Government in the year 2014 and is in the process of cleaning the river.

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