ENVIRONMENT- WATER CONSERVATION

Date: March 22, 2015

water conservation Climate change Water resource Management Groundwater recharge Water harvesting

Question-   What is water conservation? why in recent days the need of water has risen so enormously? also discuss the methods of conservation of water? (200 words)

Answer-

Water conservation encompasses the policies, strategies & activities to manage fresh water as a sustainable resource, to protect the environment, and to meet current and future human demand. Water conservation means protecting our water from pollution and being wasted. It is vital becauseall living beings including plants, humans and animals all need water to survive. Without water, the earth would have no life.  As per scientists, earth is three fourths covered by water which makes ocean, seas, rivers, lakes, snow, glaciers and ground water. Only one per cent of this is available as fresh water.

Water conservation will include-   

      Reducing water waste

      Protecting the clean water we have. If water is polluted by harmful chemicals or garbage, we can’t use it to drink, bathe in or water crops

      Helping water management plants minimize the amount of water they need to use on a daily basis.

      Encouraging companies to make devices that do not use as much water as they did before.

Causes for increased demand of water-

   1- High population growth

   2- Incresaing Industrial demand

   3- Irrigation and other agricultural uses

   4- for production of energy and electricity

Methods for Conservation of Water-

1- Reforestation:-  Forests play a very important role in maintaining water balance of the soil and atmosphere. Reforestation has become important. Forests provide major ecological services. They

      reduce soil erosion.
      absorb and release water.
      purify water and air.
      Influence local and regional climate.
      Store atmospheric carbon.
      Recycling of water

2- Water harvesting:-  Water harvesting is the process of collecting rainwater that falls on a house or on any building to put it to use later or simply to replenish the ground water by allowing the water to reach underground. Rainwater harvesting essentially means collecting rainwater on the roofs of building and storing it underground for later use. Not only does this recharging arrest groundwater depletion, it also raises the declining water table and can help augment water supply.

3- Groundwater recharge :- The available groundwater is about 13-20 times as much water available on the surface.

    Flood water may be injected into aquifers through a series of deep pits or ditches.
    Small reservoirs and percolation tanks can be dug to hold runoff water to replenish ground water.
    Storm water, used water, domestic drains can be fed into pits, trenches, depressions to be filtered and percolated through the soil for recharging ground water.
    Desiltation of canals and tanks should be done regularly.
    Pre-monsoon tillage of fields helps to conserve soil moisture 

4- Water resource Management :- Water has to be used optimally, and by spreading awareness through campaigns via various media will help in reduction of water wastage.
     Water management agencies have to install efficient meters and decide to charge a rate which will force the public to reduce use of municipal water.
    Tap, shower flow restrictors and low volume toilet flushes can help in reducing water use.
    Leakages in water pipes have to be checked regularly.
    Lawns and gardens should be watered either in the morning or evening to avoid evaporation.
    Rain water is the main source of water. We only receive three months of rainfall hence the water has to be stored. Water lost through seepage and evaporation, water wasted on weeds and cost of bringing water from ponds to the            place of use should be minimised.
    Harvesting, collecting, recharging ground water and water storage
    Replenishing ground water
    Flood waters may be injected into aquifers through series of deep pits or ditches.
    Small reservoirs and percolation tanks can be dug to hold run off water recharging ground water.
    Rain water harvesting carried out by building power for recharging ground water.

 

Additional Information to enrich your answer-

Water and Climate change

Water is the primary medium through which climate change influences Earth’s ecosystem and thus the livelihood and well-being of societies.

Global climate change is expected to exacerbate current and future stresses on water resources from population growth and land use, and increase the frequency and severity of droughts and floods.

It is anticipated that climate change will affect the availability of water resources through changes in rainfall distribution, soil moisture, glacier and ice/snow melt, and river and groundwater flows.

Water-related hazards account for 90% of all natural hazards and their frequency and intensity is generally rising, with serious consequences on the economic development. Between 1990 and 2000, natural disasters in several developing countries had caused damage representing between 2 and 15% of their annual GDP.

For instance, South Asia and Southern Africa are predicted to be the most vulnerable regions to climate change-related food shortages by 2030. Water stress is also expected to increase in central and southern Europe and by the 2070s, the number of people affected will rise from 28 million to 44 million. Summer flows are likely to drop by up to 80% in southern Europe and some part of central and Eastern Europe.

The cost of adapting to the impact of a 2°C rise in global average temperature could range from US$70 to US$100 billion per year between 2020 and 2050. Of these costs, between US$13.7 billion (drier scenario) and US$19.2 billion (wetter scenario) will be related the water sector, predominantly through water supply and flood management.