Concept : Water Scarcity and Water Storage
The use of water for various purposes depends upon the availability of water throughout the day. When there is not enough water for everybody to meet their daily needs, it is called water scarcity.
Reasons for water scarcity:
- Overuse of available water.
- Polluting the waterbodies in the surroundings.
- Ignorance towards water conservation.
- Lack of proper storage facilities.
- Harsh climatic and difficult geographical conditions.
How to deal with water scarcity?
- We do not have an unlimited supply of water. So, we need to think properly before using whatever potable water is there in our surroundings.
- Waterbodies like rivers, ponds, lakes, etc., should be free from garbage, unwanted substances, chemicals, etc.
- New water storage facilities should be built along with traditional water conservation methods to overcome the problem of water scarcity.
- Water towers, underground tanks, canal systems, pipelines should be constructed wherever possible to ensure the proper distribution of water.
- Continuous supply of water becomes difficult in regions with harsh climatic conditions such as the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, Rann of Kutch in Gujarat and areas with rugged landscapes like dry mountains of Ladakh and hilly terrains of Maharashtra.
- Here the available water sources need to be conserved and maintained to withstand drought conditions.
- Along with modern irrigation techniques, traditional water conservation methods should also be used by people.
Traditional water conservation methods:
Some examples of traditional water conservation methods and states where they are practised are as follows—
|Phad irrigation system||Dhule and Nasik, Maharashtra|
|Bamboo-drip irrigation system||North-eastern hilly areas|
|Kul||Western Himalayan regions|
Water supply in crowded cities:
- Metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai are very crowded. There is not enough water within the vicinity for everyone.
- To balance this scarcity, the municipal corporations bring water from lakes, dams, ponds in nearby areas around the metro city.
- Many communities in the city do not get enough water supply on a regular basis.
- So, they have to manage their needs on available water supply, which may come on alternate days.
- People have to wait in long queues in front of water tanks to fetch water for their households.
How to save water?
One of the easiest ways to overcome water scarcity is to reuse the water, which has been already used for some other purpose. Some easy ways to reuse water are—
- Do not drain the water from the washing machine to the drainage system; instead, use it for some other cleaning purpose like toilet cleaning.
- Water from the bathrooms can be used to clean the floors and outdoor areas.
- Water used for washing vegetables, fruits, etc., can be reused in watering the plants in the garden.
We should also adopt certain measures to save water. For example—
- We can use a bucket instead of a shower for bathing.
- While brushing our teeth, we can turn off the taps.
- Any leaks in the water pipes must be repaired immediately.
- Use the washing machine only when the load is full.
- Instead of wasting the rainwater, we can collect it and store it properly for future use. This method of storing rainwater is called rainwater harvesting.
- The roofs of buildings and open grounds are used for rainwater harvesting by attaching the pipe systems from roofs to the underground concrete tanks.
- Rainwater harvesting is beneficial in areas facing water shortages.
- Such a practice also helps in replenishing the groundwater level.
Storage of water:
Different containers are used in our homes to store water, like pots, buckets, drums, jugs, bottles, etc. Apart from these, overhead water tanks in the rooftops of our houses store water that is pumped up from the ground level.
Irrigation: It is a method by which farmers bring water from rivers, lakes, etc., by using canal and pipeline systems to water the agricultural fields. Places which do not receive sufficient rainfall or suffer from water crises use different irrigation techniques.
Potable water: Water that is suitable for drinking is called potable water.
Is it safe to drink rainwater coming straight from the sky?
Yes, you can drink the rainwater directly coming from the sky provided it should not touch any part of trees, buildings, etc., or the land before drinking, and there should not be any industry or factory in the nearby areas. It is safer to boil the rainwater first before using it.