Bed 2nd Year What do you mean by Water Resources Conservation and Management
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Water Resources and their Conservation
Water is an important resource. An important use of water in our country for irrigation. Besides water is also required in large amounts for industry and domestic consumption. (Bed 2nd Year What do you mean by Water Resources Conservation and Management)
Unlike land, the availability of water varies from place to place and time to time. Being a monsoon land, the bulk of rainfall is confined to a brief period of 3-4 months (July-Sept-October). As such large part of the country lacks surface water supply for a greater part of the year. (Bed 2nd Year What do you mean by Water Resources Conservation and Management)
Surface flow in our country takes place through 14 major river systems namely Brahmani, Brahmaputra, Vauvery, Ganga, Godavari, Indus, Krishna, Mahanadi, Mahi, Narmada, Periyar, Sabarmati, Subarnarekha, and Tapti. Between them, they share 83% of the drainage basin, account for 85% of the surface flow. And house 80% of the total population of the country.
Apart from them, there are 44 medium and 55 minor river systems—these are fast flowing, monsoon-fed and originate in the coastal mountains of the major rivers, Brahamaputra, Ganga, and Indus basins along with Godavari covering more than 50% of the country. Only 4 rivers Brahmaputra, Ganga, Mahanadi, and Brahamani are perennial, with a minimum discharge of 0.47 M m3/ km2/year.
During dry months there is water scarcity even in places like Cherropunji and Konkan receiving heavy rainfall. Due to unequal distribution of rainfall, we face problems of flood and famine in some parts every year.
Our groundwater resources are abundant only in the northern and coastal Plains. In other parts, its supply is not adequate. Groundwater is roughly 210 billion m3, including recharge through infiltration, seepage, and evapotranspiration. We have not yet been able to provide safe drinking water to all villages and towns. There is a need to plan the use of available water.
Our water budget shows that if the average annual rainfall of the entire country and its total area is taken the total water resources are of the order of 167 million hectare meters. It has been worked out that only 66 million hectare meters of water can be utilized by us for irrigation. Keeping in view financial and technological constraints we plan to use it fully only by 2010 A.D. By 1951 only 9.7 million hectare meters of water was used for irrigation, and by 1973 as much as 18.4 million hectare meters.
The agriculture sector is the major user of water, used for irrigation (at present early 40%, that may go up to 73% by 2000 A.D.) Irrigation use is very inefficient 25-30% efficiency and methods of irrigation are to be changed drastically). From the data on water use (Table) it is clear that irrigation (including for livestock) and power use 79% and 13.7% water respectively followed by domestic (3.5%) and industrial (33%) uses. (Bed 2nd Year What do you mean by Water Resources Conservation and Management)
Water Use (India) 2000 A.D. (available water 1900 million cubic meters per year) (Chaudhari, 1982)
|Irrigation and Livestock
If we take up the land areas as a unit, the position could be different. By 1984-85 the land under irrigation almost tripled to 67.5 million hectares, by 1990 another 13 million hectares were brought under irrigation taking the total to 80 million ha. This may be adjudged against the total potential of 113 million ha by 2010 A.D. This is the grow sown areas and not the net sown areas as the former is bound to be larger than the latter. Currently, 28% of the net sown areas are under irrigation i.e. 45 million ha even though the gross irrigated area is about 80 million ha. (Bed 2nd Year What do you mean by Water Resources Conservation and Management)
Out of more than 3000 towns, hardly 2000 have organized water supply, Coverage of water supply in urban as well as rural sectors needs to be augmented. At present, there is low daily per capita supply, inefficient distribution, high leakage, and ill-managed systems. In the rural sector progress in water supply has been very slow. There are about six lakh villages involved and which account for our 76% population. (Bed 2nd Year What do you mean by Water Resources Conservation and Management)
Earlier safe drinking water was provided through piped water supply systems or hand pump-operated tube wells. Efforts are on and water supply could be brought to about one lakh villages. In the urban sector not supplying 114 towns could be regarded to be partly sewered covering about 26% population. There SD is very few sewage treatment plants. The picture could somewhat improve during the Water Supply and Sanitation Decade (WSSD 1981-90).
The quantity of water returning after use becomes wastewater. It is 0% clear from the data for water use in our country that waste water is highest in thermal power followed by irrigation runoff. It is also clear from such figures of Quik water use that by 200 A.D. out of 1900 Mm of water available, the country is Ellio going to use about more than 50% of the available water (about 1092 Mm) for er four major consumptive uses-irrigation, power generation, domestic and industrial uses.
The general principle is that for sustainability at least more 10M than half of the total available water should be used annually. The country is 10 going to overshoot the 50% mark by 2000 A.D. which is not in our ecological interest.
Water Resources Management
Central and corresponding State organizations are concerned with aspects of water resource management.
The subject of water management is a matter of urgent attention and is divided between at least eight agencies (see above). Unfortunately, none of the agencies gave much priority to water conservation except to some extent the Central Water Commission (which has a cell for this purpose). (Bed 2nd Year What do you mean by Water Resources Conservation and Management)
Water like land and forests is a State subject and the State government may enforce legislation for surface and subsurface water. But, the Union government is empowered for making laws for interstate areas and river valleys in the public interest. There are a number of such laws on irrigation water, flood control, field channels, drainage and prevention of water-logging and salinity, etc. There are also Acts to control water pollution and these are enforced by the Central and State governments.