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What are the remedies to handle water scarcity and to avoid draught situation in the country?


Water is essential for all living forms on earth. With seventy percent of landmass being covered with water it has become all the more essential form of life for all species. The availability of fresh water is vitally important as it plays a pivotal role for survival of life on earth. With higher levels of urbanization it has posed a fresh challenge in various fronts for water resources which needs to be combat with vigor. Improper urban planning coupled with raising population and environment degradation has put severe burden on the availability of fresh water resources.

Time has ripened to design new innovative means to increase ground water level. There should be proper design in every household and big apartment for rooftop water to channel into the ground aquifers and/or canals. The drainage system in many towns and cities lack proper channel system there by not allowing water to either sink into ground or pass into the near by bay and they should be improved. The discharged water from factories and households in urban areas many a times are not treated properly thereby causing severe health threat to both humans and aquatic species, thus waste water treatment must be taken up. To avoid from such hazards and save water scarcity there is need for vigorous afforestation on the lines of Forest Policy 1986, which mandates one third of land, be covered under forests.

Ever since industrialization has begun there is rapid change in temperature levels. Its effect is seen in rural areas also. The delay in onset of Monsoon has become common phenomena with El Nino effects seen quite often. In such an arena there is need for judicious use of available water resources. Use of drip irrigation needs to be done in a more comprehensive way. Encouraging farmers to take-up counter plugging is a better way of farm management. To face the challenge of drought there is need for inculcating new approaches in farm management with the help of scientists. Conservation of rain water is essential in a country like India where majority of farmers are dependent on good monsoon. There is need to dig channels all around the hills so that the water falling down gets sucked into aquifers raising ground water level in the area. Good farm practices like inlet of fresh water and outlet of used chemical water holds key for soil health and good output. Ponds and lakes play critical role in conservation of fresh water. Sand is essential for holding the water. Unfortunately, sand is being dug out from them at an alarming rate for various activities leading to drying of these essential sources of water. There is need for strict vigil on these unabated activities if we were to conserve water.

In recent times a new approach of inter linking of rivers has come up. It holds potential as it could save a lot of water being drained into the oceans without bearing fruits. The experiment resulted in success in many countries and on these lines GOI embarked upon a plan for interlinking of major rivers like Godavari and Mahanadi, Ken and Betwa and so on. Water is precious. The forefathers of our country have felt its need and made their best efforts to save water by constructing major irrigation projects. We can also put our efforts by constructing small check dams, dug pits and inlet the water into them. Use of polythene, plastics and such materials has had a great impact on soils health and ground water level. These goods take more than 100years to decompose in the soil thus blocking water from reaching into the bottom. By avoiding them we can be a major player of environment protection. Rain water harvesting is a promising challenge and it can be conserved by silting of banks in the ponds. In villages plantation can be taken up in a huge way and in cities recharge pits can be dug in gated communities to save rain water. Community participation is essential for management of water resources. One's own initiative to save water can inspire many.

- SRINIVAS VADADA