Some of the steps we can take to conserve water are as follows:
Water is an indispensable component of our ecosystem and the essence of our life. On an average, each individual uses 50 litres of water per day in rural areas and 150 litres in urban areas. Apart from drinking purposes, water is used for irrigation as well as in industries. Wherever available, about 12,000 m3to 14,000 m3water is used annually to irrigate one hectare of land. The main source of
water is rainfall occurring through hydrological cycle, while other sources include underground water and water from the melting of snow.
The oceans are full of water but because of salinity this water is not usable, so also with several inland seas. In fact, usable water is very limited and there are areas in the world where water is a scarce commodity. The unfortunate situation is that wherever water is available, users never think about its proper use and they not only misuse it but waste it too. Therefore, conservation of water is an absolute necessity for all countries.
A few steps in this direction are:
1. Proper Distribution System of Water:
The water distribution system should be such that loss of water should be minimum and it should remain free from pollution. According to local/regional conditions, the distribution system should be developed.
A few general steps for distribution of water are:
I. As far as possible water distribution should be done through pipes so that loss will be minimum and water will remain free from pollutants.
II. If water storage place is small, it should be cemented and if its size is big, the selection of site should be done where non-porous rocks exist.
III. The channels and distributors of canals should be cemented, and in fields also either pipes be used or cemented channels (nala) be constructed.
IV. For irrigation, sprinkle and drip system be used.
V. If possible, water tanks should be covered to avoid evaporation and also for cleanliness.
2. Rational Use of Underground Water:
Underground water is also a main source of water, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. The overexploitation of underground water often results in the lowering of water table, intrusion of saline water, subsidence of land, etc. The prime need is the proper and limited use of water and also geological and hydrological survey of the region for assessment of water availability.
3. Purification of Waste Water:
The system of the recycling of water should be used so that waste water could be used for irrigation purposes. There are several mechanical devices for waste water treatment. The government agencies and industrial establishments should establish treatment plants. This will also help in control of water pollution.
4. Control over Deforestation:
The loss of vegetation is also a cause of drought and reduction in rainfall and indirectly a cause of lowering of the water table. In order to maintain humidity in the atmosphere which helps in rainfall and to minimise evaporation rate, forest cover should be maintained.
5. Protection of Water from Pollution:
Apart from the availability of water, quality of water is also important; in other words, water should be free from pollution. Today, several techniques such as physico-chemical purification methods—hydrolysis, electrolysis, ion-exchange, absorption, congutation, chlorination, ozonisation, etc., are in use. Similarly, biological purification method is also used.
The conservation of water can be done only by proper water management system. Apart from the above mentioned measures, water can be obtained from desalination of sea water and even by artificial raining. Besides, mutual cooperation in the use of water resources is also necessary.