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Water Resources

07 Water Resources

Water Scarcity and the Need for Water Conservation and Management

  • Water scarcity is a result of over-exploitation, excessive use and unequal access to water among different social groups.
  • Water scarcity may be considered to be an outcome of large and growing population and consequent greater demands for water, and unequal access to it.

Multi-purpose River Projects and Integrated Water Resources Management

  • In recent times the purpose of dams extends to electricity generation, water supply for domestic and industrial uses, flood control, recreation, inland navigation and fish breeding.
  • So, dams are referred to as multi-purpose projects in which the many uses of the impounded water are combined with one another.
  • Multi-purpose projects and large dams have come under great scrutiny and opposition in recent times.



  • A dam is a barrier across flowing water that obstructs, directs or retards the flow, often creating a reservoir, lake or impoundment.
  • Dams are classified according to structure, intended purpose or height.


Narmada Bachao Andolan

  • Narmada Bachao Andolan or Save Narmada Movement is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that mobilised tribal people, farmers, environmentalists and human rights activists against the Sardar Sarovar Dam being built across the Narmada river in Gujarat.


Krishna-Godavari dispute

  • This resulted from the objections raised by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh governments regarding the diversion of more water at Koyna by the Maharashtra government for a multipurpose project.

Rainwater Harvesting

  • Water harvesting system was a viable alternative to many, both socio-economically and environmentally given the disadvantages and rising resistance against the multi-purpose projects.
  • ‘Rooftop rainwater harvesting’ was commonly practised to store drinking water, particularly in Rajasthan.
  • Agricultural fields were converted into rain fed storage structures in arid and semi-arid regions.

Bamboo Drip Irrigation System

  • A 200-year-old system of tapping stream and spring water by using bamboo pipes, is prevalent in Meghalaya.
  • About 18-20 litres of water enter the bamboo pipe system.
  • It is transported over hundreds of metres, and at the site of the plant, it reduces to 20-80 drops per minute.

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