Water conservation methods- What is the need of selecting suitable one?
paani, thanni, vellam, mool, naam plao, neu- uhck… whatever the world calls it by, the necessity and utility of water remains fixed.
Let’s ask the inevitable before diving in to methods for water conservation
What are water conservation methods?
Water conservation methods are techniques to use water efficiently to reduce unnecessary water use.
“Save water, dave the world.” Remember the number of slogans and posters you used to have fun with, when you were a kid? Let’s give a quick look at why we had to do all that (except for scores)
Importance of water conservation methods
Regardless of the method of conservation of water, every method stands by the following points;
1) To ensure availability for future generations, the withdrawal of fresh water from an ecosystem should not exceed its natural replacement rate.
2) To save the significant amount of energy needed for water pumping, delivery, and wastewater treatment facilities
3) To preserve fresh water habitats for local wildlife and migrating water flow, as well as reducing the need to build new dams and other water diversion infrastructure.
4) To save money on the utility bills
5) To extend the life of your septic system by reducing soil saturation and reducing pollution due to leaks
You got an idea on why is water conservation necessary. So let’s get our hands into each method for water conservation.
Major water conservation methods
There is a variety of methods of water conservation. We are going to meet some majors here.
1. Make effective use of soil water reserves
How many times did you have goozebumps looking at nature?
True. Be smart like nature. Soil and water conservation methods include planting deeper rooting crops, such as grasses or cereals that will leverage soil water reserves more effectively than shallower rooting crops such as vegetable crops and therefore can be grown in drier period.
2. Take measures to avoid run off
An important part of conserving anything is avoiding spilling out. When it comes to water, the part played is runoff. This is equally important as the conservation methods of water resources. The various types of run-off management are those increase water intake and storage and so reduce runoff, control water movement over the soil surface, dispose safely of the excess rainfall as runoff or concentrate inadequate rainfall runoff. Remedial measures such as incorporating plantings especially in areas where runoff collects protecting trees that help absorb and filter runoff, choosing permeable materials for pathways etc. can potentially contribute to reduce run off.
3. Use rainwater effectively
Well, here you need to be very systematic. Check out the full article on rain water conservation methods here: RAINWATER HARVESTING; EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
4. Rational Use of Groundwater
We should always bear in mind that groundwater is a candy that should not be consumed uncontrollably. Because it takes time to recharge it back to its initial level. Only by conscientious exploitation of groundwater can it be proportionately conserved. For this to happen, ground water conservation methods such as crops requiring less water given priority over crops requiring more water need to be considered. Less water should be used by industries. The necessary drainage area should also be made available for recharging ground water.
5. Redistribution of Water
Sharing is a great habit that benefits all who are involved in it. Whether it’s knowledge, love, physical goods, anything, right? That’s exactly what it takes to turn the cries of people around the world for water into a smile of gratification. Extensive re-wiring of the supply of water in water conservation system from areas with lower demand to areas with higher demand is needed.
How do you do that?
This can be accomplished through the development of water reservoirs and a network of canals. Excess rainwater that flows away from rivers without being used can be stored by the construction of water reservoirs from which it can be supplied for agriculture, industry, urban areas, etc. These reservoirs are also designed to protect against flooding and, apart from flood protection, they can also be used for a variety of purposes. Water distribution is also possible through the canal system. The canal system transfers water from excess rainwater to scarce rainwater areas and conserves water for various purposes.
Now we have seen 5 methods of water conservation. But we are yet to hit some more wonderful ways to save on water. Moving on…
6. Protection of Water from Pollution
Pollution is a taboo that has disturbed our ears since the day we can remember. Activities such as disposing of different wastes without treatment in rivers, pollution caused by tourism on lakes and sea coasts, bathing and other similar activities in the vicinity of drinking water sources and Weeds produced in water are the main causes of water pollution.
So how to reduce water pollution?
There is a need for a cooperative policy at international level for conservation of water bodies by regulating oil and nuclear waste in the oceans. Water should become reusable after physical, chemical, mechanical and organic processing processes, and lakes should not be used as outlets for the transport of products.
7. Traditional Water Conservation Methods
One of the fascinating practices in every culture is that they have developed innovative techniques for all necessary human needs. Water conservation is no exception to this. If so, then can you think about how would it be in India, the land of diversities.
Traditional water conservation methods in India are,
a) Bamboo Drip Irrigation System
Bamboo is too expensive to use for a low- cost building, but is a boon for people of Meghalaya. Because, they have been leveraging it for water conservation methods in India. This system of water conservation is a brilliant drip irrigation system. It uses bamboo of various sizes and reduces the output to 20-80 drops per minute, which is excellent for betel leaf and black pepper crops.
Johad is a crescent shaped small check dam built from earth and rock to intercept and conserve rainwater in Rajasthan. This helps to improve percolation and increases groundwater recharge.
Kuls are diversion channels that carry water from a glacier to village. Often spanning long distances, with some over 10 km long, kuls have been around for centuries. They are the lifeline of people of Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh and in Jammu too.
One of the oldest water conservation systems in India of Tamil Nadu is still widely used around the State. With over a third of irrigation in the State being made possible due to Eri, the traditional water harvesting system plays an important part in the agriculture. They also have other advantages such as prevention of soil erosion, recharge of groundwater, and flood control.
This method of conservation of water in India is a unique combination with animal care, forests and agriculture. Mostly practised in Nagaland, Zabo is used to deal with a lack of drinking water supply. During monsoon, rainwater that falls on the hilltops is collected into the pond like structures that are carved out on the hillsides. The water is then passed onto cattle yards below from where the water enters the paddy fields rich in manure.
See, such still in use water conservation model that tells the beautiful story of water use and conservation doesn’t have copyright and patent problems. It’s open to the whole world. So why can’t we be inspired by them and use suitable conservation method of water in our own lives?
8. Use of Modern Irrigation Methods
On average, 80 percent of the fresh water withdrawn from rivers and groundwater is used to produce food and other agricultural products. Therefore, we need to pay attention to improved methods of irrigation such as sprinkler and drip irrigation that save 50 per cent water.
In the drip irrigation method, the hole pipes are spread over the surface of the soil so that the crop receives water directly. There is no loss due to evaporation and approximately 95% water is used. This process therefore uses maximum water.
9. Increasing Forest Cover
According to recent reports, forests cover 31 percent of the world’s land surface, just over 4 billion hectares which is down from the pre-industrial area of 5.9 billion hectare. This needs to be addressed since trees bear drought conditions for a long duration as compared to crops and they are helpful in reducing the demand for water along with recharging water sources.
10. Flood Management
Floods carry with it harmful contaminants such as soil, animal waste, salt, pesticides, and oil which can potentially impact drinking water wells and water quality. By construction of embankments and canals a large part of land can be conserved besides minimizing flood losses. Intensive afforestation can also provide security from floods which will be helpful in absorption of water in the soil.
11. Conserving Water in Industries
Water has to be re-used after processing. Recycling of water should be developed because normally industrial units dispose off water on the ground surface after using it only once. Because of not re-using it after processing, it also pollutes other water sources. Water demand can also be reduced by recycling used water in industries.
12. Reuse of Urban Waste
Demand for water has increased in cities due to increasing urbanization. There is no provision for waste water treatment in many cities of various countries of the world. After use of water in urban areas, disposed waste water can be treated and conserved for use in agriculture in the peripheral areas of cities. Such policies should be incorporated while planning urban development.
13. Population Control
The world’s population is growing by approximately 80 million people every year. Changes in lifestyles and eating habits in recent years require more per- capita water consumption. Biofuel production has also increased sharply in recent years, with a significant impact on the demand for water. It’s obvious that a controlled population can avoid a tug of war for water by reducing the demand as well as the qualitative deterioration of water.
14. Water conservation by Municipal bodies
According to the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Risk report, around one third of the global population is currently water stressed, with about one billion people not getting safe drinking water. the water crisis is perceived as a top-order threat. In this nerve wracking situation, a governing body is indeed and they should exhort awareness on how to conserve water and capacity building among people.
15. Use of water from hot waterfalls
Scientifically, there are hypotheses that negative ions that are present in waterfalls increase serotonin levels, which ultimately enhances our mood. Wah! That’s great. And this geothermal water serves as a source too in the battle against water scarcity.
Now let’s sneak into the fun and exciting section which introduces the brand new updates on the topic.
- Geographic Information System (GIS), a computer system capable of holding and using data describing places on earth surface has been found to be applicable to monitor ground water resources as well as to ensure water availability in remote and rural villages.
- Artificial intelligence(AI) can be leveraged for optimal usage of ground water which prevents over depletion of water table. Government has linked port with IBM India for undertaking pilot study to utilise AI and weather technology for developing navel features like soil sensor to avoid over irrigation
- Biotechnology, a significant branch that contributes to COVID-19, has been successful to develop drought tolerant crops and salt tolerant crops that saves water for irrigation
- Space technology helps through advent of hydrological mapping via satellite, weather forecasting that reduce uses of water in agriculture
- Electrostatic precipitates, ionic filter and pipe that precipitates organic and inorganic pollutants at the discharge and groundwater recharging technology helps to save water at home
Now let me give you a water conservation tip. If you still feel like lazing out to adopt any conservation method of water, try to imagine a day without water!
Vincivil FAQ Corner:
1. Define water conservation
Water conservation refers to the preservation, control and development of water resources, both surface and groundwater, and prevention of pollution. The extent to which conservation is possible depends on the types of water conservation methods.
2. Water conservation methods at home
Use of water-saving dishwashers and clothes washers, installation of water saving shower heads or flow restrictors, taking shorter showers, checking your toilet for leaks are best solutions on how to save water at home.
3. Water conservation methods in agriculture
Making sure of the quality of soil, crop rotation practices, installation of better watering systems, storing of rain water and optimal usage are robust water conservation methods for agriculture.
4. 10 ways to conserve water
Conservation awareness, using less water when doing laundry, planting native plant species in your yard, turning off water when brushing your teeth, tracking cooling tower water, repairing leaks, having a home energy audit, installing faucet aerators, wait until you have a full dishwasher to operate the unit and reducing overuse of water are 10 recommended strategies for water conservation.