Water Resources

Water Resources

We know that approximately 71% of the earth’s surface is covered with the water and remaining 29% covered with land.

Let’s take 71% of water as 100% of the total water on earth now only 2.5% of water is fresh water on earth and the remaining 97.5% of water is salty water which is not suitable to use. 

97.5% of water is found in the sea and 2.5% fresh water is found in lakes, rivers, underground, and in form of ice.

Water Scarcity and Need for Water Conservation.

The Increasing population leads to scarcity of water in different parts of the globe.

In India, uneven distribution of rainfall causes uneven access to water. In West Bengal, the average rainfall is 150 cm to 250 cm, but in Rajasthan rainfall is below 50cm. 

Water is a renewable resource; it can be understood by the water cycle how water is a renewable resource.

Water scarcity is mainly caused by over-exploitation and greater demand for water in unequal access.

Water is not only used for domestic purposes it is also used to produce food products in factories.

A large part of the water of rivers, lakes, and underground water are used in irrigation to produce food crops.

Water resources are being over-exploited to expand irrigated areas for dry-season agriculture.

To stop the over-exploitation of water in irrigation we need to develop drought resistance crops and dry farming techniques.

We use energy from water, in India hydroelectric power contributes about 22% of the total electricity produced.

The increasing number of industries pressure on existing freshwater resources.

The housing societies or colonies in the cities use their own underground pumping devices to meet their water requirement, which may lead to scarcity of water in the coming days.

We produce lots of industrial waste and throw them into rivers cause pollute water.

Using chemical fertilizers and pesticides on agricultural land causes water pollution.

The Jal Jeevan Mission

To improve the quality of life in rural areas people Indian Government announced Jal Jeevan Mission.

The main aim of the Jal Jeevan Mission is to enable every rural household to get an assured supply of portable piped water at a service level of 55 liters per capita per day on a regular basis.

Multi-purpose River projects and integrated water resources management

Roles of Dams

A dam is a barrier across flowing water that obstructs, directs, or retards the flow, often creating a reservoir, lake, or impoundment.

“Dam” refers to the reservoir rather than the structure.

Most dams have a section called a spillway or weir over which or through which it is intended that water will flow either intermittently or continuously.

Traditionally dams were built for conserving and managing river water and rainwater.

Today’s dams are built for multipurpose like

  • Irrigation
  • Electricity generation
  • Water supply for domestic and commercial purposes.
  • Floods controls
  • Recreation
  • Inland navigation
  • Fish breeding


The Sutlej-Beas river basin,

The Bhakra – Nangal project water is being used both for hydel power production and irrigation.

The Hirakund project in the Mahanadi basin integrates the conservation of water with flood control.

Why did Jawaharlal Nehru proclaim the dams as the ‘temples of modern India’?

The reason is that it would integrate the development of agriculture and the village economy with rapid industrialisation and growth of the urban economy.

On which river Sardar Sarovar Dam has been built?

Narmada River in Gujarat.

Narmada Bachao Andolan

Save Narmada Movement was led by the Non-Government Organisation and the tribal people farmers, environmentalists, and human rights activists against the Sardar Sarovar dam.

The main cause of this movement was the displacement of local tribal communities. Local people often had to give up their land and livelihood, they have no longer access to resources. The local people are not benefiting from this dam project so, they protest against the dam construction.

What is Palar Pani?

Rainwater, or palar pani, as commonly referred to in these parts, is considered the purest form of natural water.

Rainwater harvesting?

Rainwater harvesting is the process to conserve rainwater by collecting, storing, conveying, and purifying rainwater that runs off from rooftops, parks, roads, open grounds, etc. for later use by humans, animals, and irrigation.

People develop different techniques to harvest rainwater, groundwater, river water

and flood water in keeping with the local ecological conditions and their water needs.

  • In hill and mountainous regions, people-built diversion channels like the ‘guls’ or ‘kuls’ of the Western Himalayas for agriculture.
guls and kuls water harvesting
  • Rooftop rainwater harvesting’ was commonly practiced to store drinking water, particularly in Rajasthan.
Rainwater harvesting
  • In the flood plains of Bengal, people developed inundation channels to irrigate their fields.
Channels for irrigation

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, In the semi-arid and arid regions of Rajasthan, particularly in Bikaner, Phalodi, and Barmer,.

Khadin or Johads system

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.

Which is the first state in India which has made rainwater harvesting compulsory.

Tamil Nadu

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