Roots of Water Scarcity

⪻ Articles ⪼
  • It has been observed that afforestation programmes end up consuming more water rather than conserving it.
  • Simply planting trees will not conserve water.
  • Trees can suck up water and release it through evapotranspiration.
  • Evapotranspiration is the water lost by the trees to the atmosphere through openings on the underside of the leaves known as stomata.
  • Areas with varying geology, soil and patterns of precipitation have different responses to large-scale plantations.

Jal Shakti Abhiyan

  • Launched in July 2019.
  • To make the country՚s most water-stressed districts water secure.
  • The district administrations were encouraged to planting of trees on wide scale.
  • A staggering number of afforestation activities were reported which turned out to be a fudged data.
  • It is illogical to plant sensitive species in open areas as they will be scorched in sunlight.
  • The transitional species need to be planted first thereafter allowing the ecosystem around them to grow.

Three Aspects to be Considered While Planting Trees for Water Conservation

First (Scale)

  • In general forest expansion of 2 sq. km or more can increase the rainfall possibility.
  • Trees transport water to the air and water vapour to another location which can be far from the afforested area.

Second (Kind of Tree)

  • The kind of tree species to be planted for water conservation.
  • Broad leaved species for example Eucalyptus and poplar consume more water as compared to needle leaved species such as casuarina and pines.

Third (Site Characteristics)

  • Areas with varying geology, soil and patterns of precipitation have different responses to large scale plantations.
  • In China for example a study carried out for 30 years till 2011 shows that different regions experienced varying changes in precipitation and soil moisture with an increasing no. of trees.

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