Part 1: Urban water sector
Part 1: Urban water sector
The Government of India conferred the National Water Conservation Award on Umakant Umarao, Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Mission for Watershed Management in March 2011 for his outstanding efforts towards water conservation. During his stint as the District Collector of Dewas, Umarao interacted with farmers to understand their problems and realised the importance of harvesting rainwater from some of the pioneering farmers.
What changes does drip irrigation bring to farming? Study: In a 2010 study, “Impact of Drip Irrigation on Farming System: Evidence from Southern India” by Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, researches examined the before-and-after effects of 50 farms growing bananas that switched from sprinkler irrigation to drip irrigation between 2007 and 2008 in the Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu. The results are as follows:
Dating back 200 years, tribes in northeast India have used bamboo drip irrigation as a means of bringing water to seasonal crops. This timeless and traditional technology uses locally available material while harnessing the forces of gravity. An assortment of holed bamboo shoots zig-zag downhill, diverting the natural flow of streams and springs across terraced cropland. The advantages of using bamboo are two-fold: it prevents leakage, increasing crop yield with less water, and makes use of natural, local, and inexpensive material.
When we were in Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar district in December 2010 as part of our interactions with village communities on water issues, we saw that irrigation was largely groundwater-based, like in many other parts of the country. Dhar district is one of the overexploited districts of Madhya Pradesh and is a fluoride affected area. When we asked the farmers why they were not doing any groundwater recharging, they said that although this was necessary, this work was beyond their capacities.
The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water” by Charles Fishman is an exciting journey into civilization’s evolving relationship with water. Tales from across the globe, depicting relationships of abuse, dependence, and even worship are humbling and remarkably frightening.
“It’s the best water I’ve ever tasted” says a taster from the 2011 Berkeley Springs Water Tasting Contest in West Virginia. Bottled rainwater is the newest innovation, or reinvention, in the purified bottled water industry. Texas Independence Co. from League City, Texas snatched first place in the purified water category.
A 2009 report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) titled “Status of Water Quality in India-2009” lists the most recent results from a water quality study using 1700 aquatic monitoring stations across India. Data retrieved from streams, rivers, lakes, tanks, and groundwater sources indicate that organic pollution, particularly Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Coliform, are the major sources of pollutants.
The Rain Water Harvesting Implementation Network, otherwise known as RAIN, recently published a guidebook solely dedicated to instructing users on rainwater harvesting. Information was taken from researchers and institutions using concrete experiences in the field and best-practice examples. The ultimate objective is to help users “improve and maintain an acceptable water quality of harvested rainwater for drinking purposes.”
Delhi faces severe water shortages in the next several years due to a lack of alternative water sources, prompting some citizens to push for city-wide self-sufficiency by 2016. Called the Blue Delhi Programme, the taskforce will be comprised of a cross-section of concerned community members. Committees within the Blue Delhi Programme will focus on education, as well as the implementation and monitoring of programmes on water conservation.
The Rural Water Programme works to stimulate the development of policies and strategies for sustainable, participatory and equitable water management in rural India. While the area of water is vast, there is a special focus on drinking water to look at how we can move towards sustained availability of safe and adequate drinking water.