NCERT Class 12 Geography of India Chapter 6 Water Resources YouTube Lecture Handouts Part 2

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NCERT Class 12 Geography of India Chapter 6: Water Resources | CBSE | English

Prevention of Water Pollution

Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974

Environment Protection Act 1986

The Water Cess Act, 1977

  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in collaboration with State Pollution Control Boards has been monitoring water quality of national aquatic resources at 507 stations. Organic and bacterial contamination continues to be the main source of pollution in rivers. The Yamuna river is the most polluted river in the country between Delhi and Etawah. Other severely polluted rivers are: the Sabarmati at Ahmedabad, the Gomti at Lucknow, the Kali, the Adyar, the Cooum (entire stretches) , the Vaigai at Madurai and the Musi of Hyderabad and the Ganga at Kanpur and Varanasi.
  • The legislative provisions such as the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974, and Environment Protection Act 1986 have not been implemented effectively. The result is that in 1997,251 polluting industries were located along the rivers and lakes. The Water Cess Act,
  • 1977, meant to reduce pollution has also made marginal impacts. There is a strong need to generate public awareness about importance of water and impacts of water pollution. The public awareness and action can be very effective in reducing the pollutants from agricultural activities, domestic and industrial discharges.

National Water Policy 2002

  • Priorities: Drinking water; irrigation, hydro-power, navigation, industrial uses
  • The National Water Policy 2002 stipulates water allocation priorities broadly in the following order:
  • drinking water; irrigation, hydro-power, navigation, industrial and other uses. The policy stipulates progressive new approaches to water management. Key features include:
    • Irrigation and multi-purpose projects should invariably include drinking water component, wherever there is no alternative source of drinking water.
    • Providing drinking water to all human beings and animals should be the first priority.
    • Measures should be taken to limit and regulate the exploitation of groundwater.
    • Both surface and groundwater should be regularly monitored for quality. A phased programme should be undertaken for improving water quality.
    • The efficiency of utilization in all the diverse uses of water should be improved.
    • Awareness of water as a scarce resource should be fostered.
    • Conservation consciousness should be promoted through education, regulation, incentives and disincentives.
  • Since there is a declining availability of fresh water and increasing demand, the need has arisen to conserve and effectively manage this precious life-giving resource for sustainable development. Given that water availability from sea/ocean, due to high cost of desalinization, is considered negligible, India has to take quick steps and make effective policies and laws, and adopt effective measures for its conservation. Besides developing water saving technologies and methods, attempts are also to be made to prevent the pollution. There is need to encourage watershed development, rainwater harvesting, water recycling and reuse, and conjunctive use of water for sustaining water supply in long run.
  • We can improve fresh water availability is by recycle and reuse. Use of water of lesser quality such as reclaimed waste-water would be an attractive option for industries for cooling and firefighting to reduce their water cost. Similarly, in urban areas water after bathing and washing utensils can be used for gardening. Water used for washing vehicle can also be used for gardening. This would conserve better quality of water for drinking purposes.

Watershed Management



Arvary Pani Sansad

  • Watershed management basically refers to efficient management and conservation of surface and groundwater resources. It involves prevention of runoff and storage and recharge of groundwater through various methods like percolation tanks, recharge wells, etc. However, in broad sense watershed management includes conservation, regeneration and judicious use of all resources – natural (like land, water, plants and animals) and human with in a watershed. Watershed management aims at bringing about balance between natural resources on the one hand and society on the other. The success of watershed development largely depends upon community participation
  • Haryali is a watershed development project sponsored by the Central Government which aims at enabling the rural population to conserve water for drinking, irrigation, fisheries and afforestation. The Project is being executed by Gram Panchayats with people՚s participation
  • Neeru-Meeru (Water and You) programme (in Andhra Pradesh) and Arvary Pani Sansad (in Alwar, Rajasthan) have taken up constructions of various water-harvesting structures such as percolation tanks, dug out ponds (Johad) , check dams, etc. through people՚s participation. Tamil Nadu has made water harvesting structures in the house՚s compulsory. No building can be constructed without making structures for water harvesting.

Ralegan Siddhi

Ralegan Siddhi
  • Ralegan Siddhi is a small village in the district of Ahmadnagar, Maharashtra. It has become an example for watershed development throughout the country. In 1975, this village was caught in a web of poverty and illicit liquor trade. The transformation took place when a retired army personnel, settled down in the village and took up the task of watershed development. He convinced villagers about the importance of family planning and voluntary labour; preventing open grazing, felling trees, and liquor prohibition.
  • Voluntary labour was necessary to ensure minimum dependence on the government for financial aids. “It socialised the costs of the projects.” explained the activist. Even those who were working outside the village contributed to the development by committing a month՚s salary every year. Work began with the percolation tank constructed in the village. In 1975, the tank could not hold water. The embankment wall leaked. People voluntarily repaired the embankment. The seven wells below it swelled with water in summer for the first time in the living memory of the people. The people reposed their faith in him and his visions.
  • A youth group called Tarun Mandal was formed. The group worked to ban the dowry system, caste discrimination and untouchability. Liquor distilling units were removed and prohibition imposed. Open grazing was completely banned with a new emphasis on stall-feeding. The cultivation of water-intensive crops like sugarcane was banned. Crops such as pulses, oilseeds and certain cash crops with low water requirements were encouraged.
  • All elections to local bodies began to be held on the basis of consensus. “It made the community leaders complete representatives of the people.” A system of Nyay Panchayats (informal courts) was also set up. Since then, no case has been referred to the police. A ₹ 22 lakh school building was constructed using only the resources of the village. No donations were taken. Money, if needed, was borrowed and paid back. The villagers took pride in this self-reliance. A new system of sharing labour grew out of this infusion of pride and voluntary spirit. People volunteered to help each other in agricultural operation. Landless labourers also gained employment. Today the village plans to buy land for them in adjoining villages.
  • At present, water is adequate; agriculture is flourishing, though the use of fertilisers and pesticides is very high. The prosperity also brings the question of ability of the present generation to carry on the work after the leader of the movement who declared that, “The process of Ralegan՚s evolution to an ideal village will not stop. With changing times, people tend to evolve new ways. In future, Ralegan might present a different model to the country.”

Rainwater Harvesting

Low cost


Improves groundwater quality by dilution of contaminants

Decreases community dependence

  • Rain water harvesting is a method to capture and store rainwater for various uses. It is also used to recharge groundwater aquifers. It is a low cost and eco-friendly technique for preserving every drop of water by guiding the rain water to bore well, pits and wells. Rainwater harvesting increases water availability, checks the declining ground water table, improves the quality of groundwater through dilution of contaminants like fluoride and nitrates, prevents soil erosion, and flooding and arrests salt water intrusion in coastal areas if used to recharge aquifers
  • In Rajasthan, rainwater harvesting structures locally known as Kund or Tanka (a covered underground tank) are constructed near or in the house or village to store harvested rainwater
  • Besides bridging the demand supply gap, it can also save energy to pump groundwater as recharge leads to rise in groundwater table
  • Issue desalinization of water particularly in coastal areas and brackish water in arid and semi-arid areas, transfer of water from water surplus areas to water deficit areas through inter linking of rivers can be important

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