Saturday, 22 September 2018

Essay on The need of Rainwater Harvesting for Competitive Exams

Essay on The need of Rainwater Harvesting for Competitive Exams

Essay on The need of Rainwater Harvesting
The Quran says, “By means of water give life to everything.” It is not surprised to admit that water is the finest of nature’s endowments that we have on earth and yet we remain unthankful to this heavenly gift. We have polluted and misused every bit of water on our planet to such an extent that the quote “Water, water, everywhere and all the boards did shrink; water,  water everywhere nor any drop to drink.” seems to come true.
Water covers two thirds of the surface of the earth but freshwater is nearly 0.002 per cent on earth for. For an economy where agriculture is the backbone nearly 70 per cent of working population depends on agricultural activities for their livelihood; monsoons seems to play a pivotal role here. Majority of India's population depends on cereal and pulse production for sustenance. Rainfall therefore significantly affects the agricultural production of the country by providing water for two main crop growing season Kharif (summer) and Rabi (winter). Variations in the monsoon rainfall affect the total food grain yield of India and also the economy of the country which is largely dependent on agriculture. The Asian monsoon climate is significantly dominated by Indian summer monsoon rainfall. Not just this every year more than 80 per cent of the annual rainfall is received over only the Indian land grid points.

But factors like climatic changes at national and global levels are leading to fall in water levels and this further gets burdened by the overpopulation causing the depletion of our water bodies.

The value of water is known to mankind from the times of Indus valley and Mesopotamian Civilization as the cities flourished around the river water. In places where the rainfall was erratic and less like in Deccan and desert regions, various tanks build to store water for dry spells. World heritage sites like Rani ki Vav in Gujarat is the prime example of step wells which were built in the drier regions of India. Steps are also underway to restore various tanks in Telangana region built by the Kakatiyas to make storing and managing of water efficient and also use the natural and ancient wisdom to restore the water balance in the ecosystem

Rainwater harvesting seems to be the solitary option which is practically feasible in countering the growing menace of rapid water depletion. It is the technique used for collecting, storing and using rainwater for landscape irrigation and other uses. Trapping rain water from roofs and directing it into underground storage tanks is a good practice for residential areas. It can satisfy 50% of a regular families water needs.

Rainwater harvesting has been the most important tool in utilizing the rainwater for replenishing the underground water table. This practice has become widely accepted and is followed in Big industries and big buildings as well. This practice creates security against erratic monsoon and also protects the top layer of soil from getting washed away. This not only secures us from water scarcity but also takes care of food security as well. Thus, soil management and water management are interlinked and success of one will ensure the success of other.

Not just this harvesting is also equally beneficial for large manufacturing units having the requirements of large volumes of water. Even for low lying regions prone to floods due to over taxed drainage system; this process is the perfect solution. Using rainwater harvesting systems, allows groundwater levels to recharge. This in turn helps in augmenting urban greenery. Besides all this it also makes a good reservoir for irrigation purpose.

By installing gutters and a filtration system, storage tanks can be filled with rain water and later used for non drinking purpose; the primary being irrigating plants and fields. The best way to collect rainwater is through roofs as it has least amount of pollutants and also involved low cost of conversion. Elevating the gutter allows the water directing to tank without pump. It also remains easy to filter.

Using rainwater as a supplemental source of water for landscape irrigation system is a boon for farmers in drought prone regions. It employs no equipment cost as well. Besides this, it diminishes flood, erosion and flow to storm water drain by reducing peak storm water runoff. As stored rainwater is free from pollutants as well as salts, minerals and other natural and manmade contaminates, it leads to improved plant growth.

Combining traditional knowledge with scientific ways
The temples of modern India- the dams’ have- created many opportunities of flood control and irrigation but along the way the repercussions have been devastating for people. Many villages have submerged and people had to be relocated. Frequent flooding due to silting in dams like in river Kosi due to Farakka barrage has been highlighted in recent times. Dams have a way of changing the course of rivers and this intervention has had lot of social, environment, financial and human cost.

Therefore, in recent times, there has been an attempt to use traditional knowledge for water management in small scale to make the intervention have desired impact on the lives of people who suffer due to water scarcity. The story of Mangu from Rajasthan who introduced the traditional water storing technique of ‘Johad’ to the water man of India- Rajendra Singh is a stuff of legend. Johad or check dams are small areas which effectively captured the rain water and help them to relocate into the ground. With repeated efforts the result was visible as when the rain came that year, most of the dams were filled and after few years, Arvari River which was a dry path of rocks became Perennial River. This model has been extended to another place and has brought water into lives of many people. Also this place in Rajasthan has a river Parliament where the Parliament decides what crops to grow. The crops which will not put pressures on the river water is choosing like bajra, jowar, etc. which require very less water to grow. This kind of ownership really proves that for democracy to be real game changer for our country requires people's participation and investment.

Water for Life
Our ancient culture is based on peaceful coexistence of humans with the natural resources. As stated by Gandhiji that world has enough for need but not for greed, water the elixir which scientist try to find in different planets will cease to exist in our green and blue planet. This grave situation can only be tackled when the rampant use of water in an unsustainable way is stopped and along with that there is revival of old structured to hold water. There is a condition between our feeding patterns and water availability and with change in water quantity this will change and create disruption in ways of life which people are accustomed to for past many years.

Thus we need to manage water well and any plan should be inclusive of various stakeholders to be successful and finally allow people to live on Earth a happy life.

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