Water Conservation: An Overview
Water is the most important natural resource for all the life forms on Earth. There are many researches that show that by 2025, many countries along with India may face the scarcity of water. Many regions in our country are facing issues on “Water Stress” which according to a Swedish expert represents that the water availability falls below 1000 cubic meters per person per day. The socio-economic development in India has played a vital role in decreasing water resources.
With the modernization of agriculture, rising population and growing industrialization, water demand has been pushed up rapidly and many of our rivers have become toxic with pollutants and toxic chemicals from industries. In the past years, many efforts have been made up to collect water by building dams, reservoirs and digging wells. Some countries are also trying to recycle and desalinate water. Since there is a declining availability of fresh water and an increase in demand, the need to conserve, manage water resources has been aroused. Some of the major steps taken in India are Rainwater Harvesting, reuse of water and prevention of water pollution.
- 1. Rainwater Harvesting: In most of the urban areas in India, various civil structures like buildings, roads, footpaths, etc. has left less space for water to soak in. Similarly, in the rural areas, rainwater flows directly to rivers which dry up soon after the rain stops. There is a possibility to increase the ground water recharge if the water can be held up for seeping into the ground. The most efficient way to conserve this water is by rainwater harvesting. It simply means collecting rainwater on the roofs of buildings or storage tanks to save it for later use.
Why to Harvest Water?
-It can also be used to recharge groundwater aquifers. It increases water availability, improves the quality of ground water by dilution of contaminants like nitrates, prevents soil erosion especially in urban areas, checks the declining water table and is environment friendly.
-Rainwater can be harvested through service wells, recharge wells and water shed management. CGWB(Central Ground Water Board) is taking steps to encourage rainwater harvesting in many cities of India.
- 2. Reuse of Water: There are many ways by which water can bereused. For example, after washing utensils or taking bath, water can be used for gardening purpose. Another use can be that of lesser quality water such as reclaimed wastewater which can be used for cooling and firefightingpurposes to reduce their water cost. This can conserve better quality water for drinking purpose only.
- 3. Prevention of Water Pollution: Degradation of water resources is taking rapidly. Drains that carry agricultural (fertilizers and insecticides), domestic(solid waste and liquid waste) and effluents from the industry, join the rivers. During summers, when the river flow is less, the concentration of pollutants in rivers is very high.
CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) in collaboration with State Pollution Control Boards is monitoring water quality of National Aquatic resources at many stations which show that the organic and bacterial contamination is the main source of pollution in rivers. There is a strong need to generate public awareness and action about the consequences of water pollution. It can effectively help in reducing the pollutants from agricultural activities, domestic as well as industrial discharge.
Water conservation is important. If not managed properly, our future generation have to face the consequences.