A Drop of Water

During the twentieth century, while the world population has increased three folds, the water use has increased by seven times. India is one of the few countries in the world endowed with abundant land and water resources, and with a geographical area of 329 Mha experiences vast spatial and temporal variations in precipitation. Apart from huge rainfall every year, in our country, while the per capita availability was 5.20 Th.cu.m per annum in 1950, it came down to 2.20 Th.cu.m in 1991. It was 1.80 Th.cu.m in 2000 and is likely to reduce to about 1.34 Th.cu.m in the year 2025.

The strategies which would need to be adopted would be combination of development and management strategies. Efficient water management, land treatments, reducing water demand, reuse of wastewater, conjunctive use of surface and ground water, improved of irrigation systems, rationalization of water rates, integrated use of poor quality and good quality waters, technology upgradation etc.

Sprinkler and drip irrigation, water is sprinkled or sprayed around the root zone of the trees with a small sprinkler which works under low pressure, and this methods have been proved by saving water.

To meet the increased competing demands of various sectors, it is essential to affect economy in industrial use of water. Most of the industrial uses being non-consumptive, recycling and reuse of water plays an important role for economizing water use in industries. Pollution of water by effluents discharged by industries in a serious hazard being faced by the country.

As well as in house holds, to use wastewater in a proper management by containing in a separate tank, and to use it for toilet purpose (flushing) and gardening etc. Currently known as ‘dual’ system of management, which is going to implement soon.

The strategy should be to conserve every drop of rainfall. This can be done by rainwater harvesting. The basic concept of rainwater harvesting is that instead of allowing runoff to cause erosion, rainwater should be conserved at a place where it falls. This can be achieved through conservation of water in the soil or by collecting excess runoff during high intensity rains and recycling it during water scarcity periods. This is a powerful strategy to stabilize productivity from rainfed/dry land areas.

Traditional methods like small scale local rainwater harvesting are necessary, like recharging wells and reviving ponds and water basins, and are to be encouraged but alone they are not sufficient to meet the future needs of water requirements in the country. As of scarcity of water in urban sectors needs new and cost effective technologies. To promote roof water harvesting, in every housing complexes, and proper wastewater management and to conserve it properly. Conserving rainwater by making small check dams, bunds, ponds, wells and canals should be taken care properly.

It is most essential to take steps for conservation by augmentation of ground water storage through artificial recharge, to develop the methodologies and technologies and to asses the economic viability. Recharge through injection wells and induced recharge from surface water bodies, and conservation of subsurface flows through construction of sub-surface dykes. Percolation tanks have been found to be very efficient in checking the surface run-off during monsoons and conserve the same water for recharging the underlying aquifers. Implementing this particular method at river basins have been found quite success.

For implementation of water conservation measures creating mass awareness about the water scarcity being faced and likely to occur in future and the measures required to be taken.