Availability and Scarcity of Water
- ¾ of the Earth is covered with water.
- 2 billion people will face acute water Scarcity by 2025
- Most part of India will also face severe water scarcity
- There can be two types of Water Scarcity – Quantitative Scarcity and Qualitative Scarcity
- Quantitative Scarcity means not availability of water
- Qualitative Scarcity means available water is not potable.
- The following are the causes of water scarcity in the World.
- Only 2.5% of all water available is Fresh Water
- Out of this 2.5 %, 70% is in the form of ice in the poles and in the form of glaciers.
- A little less than 30% is stored in the ground water in the world’s aquifers.
Causes of Quantitative Water Scarcity in India – Natural Causes
- India is the 7th largest country with a geographic area of 3.28 Million Sq. Km.
- It’s share in the world’s population is 17%
- But it’s share in world’s precipitation is mere 4%
- Uneven distribution of rainfall over space and time is one more natural reason
Human factors responsible for Quantitative Scarcity of Water
- Unequal Access among different social groups: Not all social groups have equal access to water resources. The rich and the upper-class people have easy access to water resources while the others are deprived of it.
- Large and Growing Population: A place may have ample water resource. It faces water scarcity eventually, if the population in that region increase beyond a certain limit. This is the case with most of the Indian cities.
- Intensive Agriculture: The growing population needs water directly for its consumption. The agricultural sector should meet the food crop demand of this growing population. The farmers take up intensive cultivation where large amount of water is necessary. It has resulted in depletion of ground water resources all over the country.
- Industrialisation: After globalisation, many MNCs have set up their industries in India. These industries require water directly and indirectly. They need water as raw material, cooling agent and to keep the industrial complex clean. The industries require continuous power supply. 22% of all electricity produced in India comes from Hydro Electric power stations.
- Urban Lifestyle: Large and populous urban centres have contributed heavily to depletion of water resources. The reckless use of water by many in urban centres has only aggravated the situation.
Hydraulic Structures in Ancient India
- In the first century B.C., Sringaverapura near Allahabad had sophisticated water harvesting system channelling the flood water of the river Ganga.
- During the time of Chandragupta Maurya, dams, lakes and irrigation systems were extensively built.
- Evidences of sophisticated irrigation works have also been found in Kalinga, (Orissa), Nagarjunakonda (Andhra Pradesh), Bennur (Karnataka), Kolhapur (Maharashtra), etc.
- In the 11th Century, Bhopal Lake, one of the largest artificial lakes of its time was built.
- In the 14th Century, the tank in Hauz Khas, Delhi was constructed by Iltutmish for supplying water to Siri Fort area.
Multi-purpose River Valley Projects
Advantages – Why did Nehru call the Modern Dams as ‘Temples of Modern India’?
- Many purposes are integrated into one Modern Dam. Hence the name Multipurpose River Valley Project.
- These Multi-Purpose River Valley Projects serve many purposes.
- Irrigation, generation of electricity, supplying water for domestic and industrial use, inland navigation, afforestation, recreation are some of them.
- The dams would integrate development of agriculture and the village economy with rapid industrialisation and growth of the urban economy