Table of Contents
Conservation and management of water and ocean resources
The relationship between water and life is unbreakable.
Conservation of water is conservation of life.
The limit of water available on earth is fixed, but there is no limit to its consumption.
Water is a cyclical resource which can be scientifically cleaned and reused.
Water on Earth is obtained from rain and melting of snow.
If it is used judiciously there will be no shortage.
There is severe water shortage in some parts of the world.
The principle of water harvesting is that rain water should be stored as per local needs and geographical conditions.
In this sequence the ground water reserves are also filled.
The underground water level is continuously decreasing in almost every big city of the country.
The main reason for this is that there is no proper water supply facility in any city.
In these circumstances, conservation of water becomes our primary objective.
Measures for water conservation:
Water conservation can be done in different ways: –
1. Rainwater harvesting: –
For water conservation, it is necessary to store rain water as much as possible.
For this, ridges should be made in the fields.
Fields should not be left open.
Dense forests should be planted to control the water cycle.
2. Management of water exploitation:-
Measures should be taken to retain water on the earth’s surface for a longer period so that water can be stored underground.
Forest land absorbs more water.
Therefore, it is beneficial to divert the flow of rain water towards forests.
3. Water should not be misused:-
The importance of water and the need for conservation should be spread as public awareness so that they do not misuse water.
4. Preventing misuse of water in the fields:-
Farmers should know how much water is required for which land and which crop,
so that water is not misused.
5. Limited use of ground water:-
The number of tube wells should be controlled because the amount of water underground is limited.
6. Improvement in the drains of the fields: –
The drains of the fields should be paved with collective help.
7. Making ponds concrete: –
Ponds should be deepened and made concrete so that more water can be stored.
8. Purification of water: –
The causes of water pollution should be removed.
There should be special arrangements for drinking water purification.
9. Control over water use in industries:-
There is high demand for water in industries.
Reducing it will have two benefits.
(1) With this the water demand of other segments of the industry can be met.
(2) The amount of contaminated water released by these industries into rivers and streams will be reduced.
In most of the industries water is used for cooling.
It is not necessary to use clean and pure water for this work.
Retreated water should be used for this work.
Water Resource Management in India
Various efforts have been made for water resources management in India which are as follows-
1. Water Resources Management and Training Project –
In 1984, the Central Water Commission established the Irrigation Research and Management Organization.
The main objective of this project was to strengthen institutional capacities for efficiency and maintenance of irrigation systems.
To achieve this objective, recourse was taken to improving professional efficiency at all stages of irrigation systems
and suggesting organizational and methodological changes for better management with a view to meet the needs of farmers
and ultimately increase agricultural production.
2. National Water Management Project:-
In 1986, the National Water Management Project was started with the help of the World Bank.
The main objective of this project is to increase farming production and farming income.
3. Technology Transfer :-
Central Water Commission has organized several workshops, seminars, labor engineer exchange programs, consultants
and water and land management resources for effective transfer of technology to the participants from different states.
Under the Water Research Management and Training Project, publications, guidelines, manuals
and booklets related to irrigation management have been published through mutual consultation
between consultants and the Central Water Commission.
4. Planning for ground water resources :-
The Central Ground Water Board of the Ministry of Water Resources has prepared a central scheme for
construction of tube wells and making them functional in the eastern states of the country,
where ground water resources have not been developed much.
Under this scheme, light and medium capacity tube wells will be constructed
and handed over to Panchayats or cooperative institutions for the benefit of small and marginal farmers.
5. New Water Policy:-
New Water Policy has come into effect from 31 March 2002.
The main topic of water conservation has been included in the next five year plan.
water conservation systems
Some systems of water conservation are as follows-
1. In areas where the slope is not high, Montuar Bandh (buttresses) can be installed.
This system is mandatory at the village level.
It depends on mutual cooperation of farmers. The rain water that falls on the field of ‘A’ can be useful for the field of ‘B’,
because the field of ‘B’ is at a lower level than ‘A’.
2. Construction of underground dams to prevent underground water from flowing into river channels during non-monsoon months.
3. Construction of small and big ponds or ponds which are 8 to 10 meters deep.
In areas with low rainfall, a pond with an area of half a hectare should have a catchment area of about 50 hectares.
4. Construction of surface percolation ponds in wide areas.
5. Water from rivers should be pumped into deep wells away from the banks.
6. Where there are large river systems and there is a possibility of flood,
it is possible that the flood can be diverted into the many ponds and wells built on both sides of the river.
7. Farmers should be encouraged to personally take measures to prevent rain water from leaving the fields.
Rainwater harvesting from upper roof
Half to two-thirds of the 4000 cubic kilometers of water that falls on the land surface every year in the country goes waste.
On the other hand, for the rapidly increasing population, indiscriminate exploitation of ground water and construction of pucca houses and floors,
and the expansion of concrete in the form of paved roads indicates a threat to underground water reserves.
To combat the serious crisis arising from over-exploitation of ground water,
rain water harvesting schemes have been prepared in many parts of the country.
Under this, the government is planning to amend the city rules to enforce the requirement of storing water flowing from the roofs of buildings during the rainy season.
In fact, rain water harvesting technique from upper roof is an effective step to increase the falling ground water.
In the modern era, the roof of buildings is mostly made of R. C.C,
R. B. C. is made in which the drainage of rain and other water collected on the roof is well managed.
In many places it is allowed to fall down through some drainage holes and in some buildings it is lowered into the ground through a pipe.
In this way the flowing rain water is brought to the well through a pipe.
One end of this tube is tied to the rainwater collecting pipe and the other end is left at a convenient position inside the well.
A fine plastic mesh is placed on the mouth of the end being left in the well so that unnecessary particles are not allowed to enter the well.
Can be prevented from going in. By adopting this method the water level of wells increases.
Therefore, collecting rain water from the roof is an effective step for artificial recharge of ground water.
Rain water received on the roof can be recharged into the ground through the following structures: –
1. By closed/disused wells
2. Through closed or running tube well (hand pump)
3. By recharge pitch (pit)
4. By recharge ditch
‘Watershed’ is a drainage area on the earth’s surface from where water flows as a result of rainfall and joins a large stream, river, lake or sea.
Watershed can be of any size but it should be managed in hydrogeological and natural form.
Watershed based management is considered the most rational solution today.
Under this measure, development is not limited to agricultural land only,
but to wide and diverse activities like land and water conservation, development of barren and waste lands, afforestation,
water harvesting – in which rainy season harvesting is given special importance, this will help the rural people.
Employment is available.
The main objectives of watershed management are as follows:-
1. Conservation and development of natural resources-land, water and agricultural wealth.
2. Improvement in water holding capacity and productivity of land.
3. Rainwater harvesting and recharge.
4. Increasing greenery like growing trees, crops and grass etc.
5. Development of rural manpower and energy management system.
6. Improvement in the socio-economic condition of the community.
At present, watershed management is being given high priority because it helps in protecting the land from erosion and increasing productivity.
In watershed management, special attention is paid to capturing maximum rainfall,
improving groundwater recharge and reducing siltation of soils.
Reduction of silt increases the carrying capacity of reservoirs.
Importance and development of watershed management:-
During the period of development under the plan,
most of the efforts were made in the direction of irrigation and agriculture to overcome the shortage of food grains and to make the country self-reliant in the field of food grains.
With this, the goal of providing food for all in the country has been achieved,
but the process of development has created serious imbalances in the agricultural,
socio-economic and ecological sectors.
During the Ninth Five Year Plan, the Ministry of Water Resources,
Government of India has implemented the Watershed Development (WSD) scheme through voluntary organizations throughout the country.
In this, good seeds, fertilizers, better agricultural land, equipment and better agricultural science methods are mainly used for the development of agricultural land based on afforestation and watershed.
In fact, comprehensive watershed development program is a more effective method for increasing agricultural development and production.
Rivers coming down the mountain slopes carry with them the surface soil of these slopes.
Coming to the plains, the movement of the rivers gets blocked due to accumulation of silt and sometimes
when the river starts flowing beyond its banks,
it scatters silt around these banks.
This silt coming from the mountains is very fertile and proves to be a boon for the farmers whose fields are irrigated with the water of such rivers.
There is a risk of flood due to accumulation of silt inside the river.
The surface soil of the slope gets washed away by rain water which has various ill effects.
Vegetation is removed from the slopes and they are unable to stop the flow of rain water,
which stops the growth of trees.
As a result, silt deposited in the river bed causes floods.
Socio-economic problems :-
The benefits of agricultural development are largely limited to irrigated areas.
The unevenness of agricultural development draws our attention to the following problems:-
1. Due to high unemployment in large areas irrigated by rain water,
poverty and related problems like illiteracy, despair and unrest are increasing.
2. Migration of population from rain water irrigated backward areas is creating problems of overcrowding and slums in urban areas.
Keeping in mind these agricultural, ecological and socio-economic seriousness,
the Government of India has made rain water irrigation and dryland irrigation an important policy issue in large areas.
In pursuance of this, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Government of India has prepared a National Plan for Rain Water Irrigation for Agricultural Areas.
The watershed development project has been restructured.
Measures of watershed development program:-
Any watershed management program includes the following measures:-
(2) Construction of check dams and drain control
(3) Erosion control of stream banks
(4) Scientific farming practices like ridge formation, contour plowing and strip sowing
(5) Controlled grazing.
The first three of these items are generally implemented by government departments such as forest and agriculture departments.
For watershed development, integrated investment will have to be made
from various subjects to develop various small watershed or sub-basin streams and drains etc.
as per their characteristics as follows:-
(1) Conservation of natural resources
(2) Higher productivity
(3) Manpower within limited funds
(4) Community participation.
In the context of India,
this method can be implemented in three phases,
in the first phase of which the following things are important: –
1. Quickly identifying geographical areas and classifying them and preparing priority programs.
2. Preparing master plan using remote sensing and other techniques.
3. Basic scientific work like use of compost.
4. Introduction of appropriate remunerative technological investments like plowing by oxen and pulling carts.
5. To make it easier for the common man to access all the watershed related data available with the government.
6. Increasing public awareness through mass communication and providing appropriate technical training.
In its second phase the following things are considered important:-
1. Appropriate rural technological system.
2. Watershed management of upper regions/regions.
3. Use of this technology in low lying areas, coastal areas and other places also.
4. Creation of regional data banks.
5. Creation of efficient agro-industrial infrastructure like power supply, hybrid seeds.
6. Research and development on watershed conceptual aspects such as length and width of ditches and spacing etc.
7. Making laws together on watershed concept and implementing them like cutting a tree before it grows etc.
In its third phase, the following things have been considered important: –
1. Wherever possible, distribution of watershed to the local people for development.
2. To establish technical units in each watershed.
3. To give priority to appropriate technology, applied research and healthy environment.
4. Formation of the Ministry of ‘Natural Resources’ to centralize related aspects.
5. To save people from backwardness, social barriers and religious following.
Need of watershed system:-
By adopting a holistic strategy of proper watershed development,
there is scope for agricultural production as well as animal fodder and soil improvement on the land.
In India, agriculture is done on 77 percent of the land through rain water irrigation,
which accounts for 42 percent of the country’s agricultural production.
Due to uncertainty in the amount and timing of rainfall,
agriculture faces severe shortage of food grains and other agricultural products.
Therefore, to get rid of this situation,
rain water conservation including watershed system is very important for the following reasons: –
(1) Decrease in productivity
(2) Possibility of natural disaster due to landslides
(3) Lack of green belt
(4) Man And availability of water for animals
(5) Behavior of drainage drains
(6) Special problems of agricultural displacement, salinity and alkalinity of water etc.
(7) Crises and problems arising due to mining operations.
During the implementation of the irrigation project, assessment and conservation of the overall water availability of the local area,
especially rainwater conservation, drinking water, water quality,
drainage of water in irrigated areas, landslides,
water-borne diseases, health related problems and environment etc.
The project should be shaped and planned only after analyzing the possibilities
because only through integrated use and maintenance of water
and land can food for a large number of people be provided from agricultural land.
This type of watershed schemes not only protects from water related hazards,
diseases and ill effects of drinking contaminated water,
it also facilitates the use of water for agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry
Water resources should be organized on the basis of hydrological unit i.e.
entire basin or sub-basin.
For this, states should implement such proposals in an integrated watershed area after assessing all the possibilities.
Subsequently, other projects of the same type or with further modifications should be developed all over India in places where there is water shortage.
Therefore, watershed management should be done in the direction of water resource development in those water scarce areas,
in which through integrated use of land and water,
proper storage of rain water can provide drinking water to the large community and agricultural water to the farmers.
Only by conserving rain water will we be able to compensate for our surface and ground water.
Only through integrated use of surface and ground water can contribution be made in achieving the national goal of irrigation and drinking water supply.
Wetlands, mangroves and coral reefs :-
Wetlands in the country extend from cold and dry areas to the tropical monsoon areas in central India and the humid areas of the south.
It is effective in flood control and reduces sedimentation.
These areas are refuge for birds and animals during winter.
This is also an excellent area for breeding of various types of fish and animals.
They have a high ability to withstand the effects of sea storms and storms.
It stabilizes the sea shore and protects the embankment from erosion by the sea.
Wetlands are also valuable from educational and scientific point of view.
Apart from this, we get durable wood, firewood, nutritious fodder for animals, fruits, vegetation and herbs.
Wetlands are permanently or periodically submerged.
Identification of a wetland depends on the following three elements –
(1) When an area is permanently or periodically submerged,
(2) When an area supports the growth of water-borne vegetation,
(3) ) When hydric soil in an area remains intact for a long time and the upper layer becomes neutral.
Based on these criteria, the ‘Ramsar Convention’ defined wetland areas, waterlogged areas, dry areas, sea embankment areas and areas with tides less than six meters as wetlands.
This includes mangroves, corals, river estuaries, creeks, springs, flooded areas, lakes etc.
A program for the conservation of wetlands has been run by the Ministry since 1987.
So far, 27 wetland areas in 15 states have been identified under this programme.
Standing committees have been constituted under the chairmanship of Chief Secretaries in all the concerned states.
In these, members have been taken from the departments related to wetland conservation of the respective state.
Mangroves are found in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world.
Alkali-tolerant forestry is an ecological system.
These are areas of accumulation of a large number of species of plants and animals,
which have been interconnected over a long period of evolution,
and which have a remarkable ability to tolerate alkali.
They stabilize the sea shore line and protect the embankment from erosion by the sea.
Mangroves are found in protected estuaries, tidal creeks, backwaters (bank waters), alkaline swamps and marshy plains along the entire Indian coast.
They also promote sustainable fisheries.
Recently, the weakened mangrove ecosystem has faced human and biological pressures,
resulting in loss of biodiversity and impacts on fauna and its flow routes.
The Ministry of Forest and Environment has been running the Mangrove Conservation Program since 1987.
In this, 35 mangrove areas have been identified under the Mangrove Conservation and Management Plan.
These mangrove areas have been identified based on the recommendations of the National Mangrove
and Coral Reef Committee and their unique ecosystem and biodiversity.
Under the management action plan, the center provides full assistance to increase,
save and protect mangroves, prevention of pollution,
biodiversity conservation, survey, demarcation,
making people aware and educated about these.
3. Coral Reefs:-
Coral, which is called Coral in English, is used for a special type of aquatic creature.
This creature remains stuck in a shell made of lime and grows there and emerges as a sea rock.
These rock formations are formed in such a way that their upper part remains till the surface of the sea bed.
Coral reefs are related to shallow water and marine tropical ecosystems.
These provide raw materials, especially calcium carbonate,
to coastal residents and make an important contribution in preventing beach erosion.
The following areas have been selected for the conservation of coral reefs in India-
(i) Andaman and Nicobar Islands
(iii) Gulf of Mannar
(iv) Gulf of Kutch
At present, coral reefs have become the main center of attraction for scientists and environmentalists
because many coral reefs have reached the verge of extinction.
Most of the causes of damage to coral reefs are caused by humans.
One of the many reasons for their destruction is its biodiversity,
the people living on these sea coasts depend on these reefs to fulfill their food and other needs.
Apart from this, fishermen are tempted to collect coral species and sell them at high prices in the international market.