Various Aspects of Water and Mineral Resources Conservation (FST-1)



Management of water resources means a programme to provide an adequate supply of good quality of water for various uses without endangering the life of the source or the reserve of water. In other words, efforts should be made to see that: the water of right quality is available for all kind of uses and there is no misuse or wastage of this precious resource. 

Water management includes recharging the reserves of groundwater and diverting supply from an area of surplus to the region of scarcity. Recharging of groundwater is the most important aspect of the water management. In the mountains and hills, the watersheds are covered with vegetation. The litter-covered soil of the watershed allows infiltration of rainwater, which finds its way to the aquifers. In urban and rural areas, storm water, used water or domestic drains can be fed into pits, trenches, or any depression, where it can filter underground. Flood water can be injected into aquifers through a series of deep pits or tit can be spread on the fields through a network of ditches.

The excess flow normal as well as floodwater can be diverted to areas where there is a scarcity of water. This will not only remove the danger or damage caused by floods but will also benefit the regions of scarcity.

By proper treatment of the domestic and municipal wastewater, one can obtain a supply fit for many industrial and agricultural purposes. The treatment of wastewater involves removal of pollutants, germs and toxic elements.

Desalination of Sea Water:

By use of solar energy, sea water can be distilled, thus, fresh water of good quality can be obtained. This method of desalination of sea water is being used in our country at places like Bhavnagar in Gujarat and Churu in Rajasthan.

Reducing Over Consumption:

Using more water than the necessary limit is an unpardonable waste of the precious and scarce resource. In our country, a lot of water is wasted due to leaking taps and bad plumbing. There is also need for a check on excessive irrigation.

Conservation means that there should be judicious use with minimum wastage. One way of minimizing or reducing wastage is recovering as much as possible and leaving nothing as waste. The quality of lower grade can be improved by process, which remove undesirable materials like earth, rock, etc. and give enriched one.

The scarps of used metals can be recycled or used again. This will reduce the pressure of demand on many mineral reserves. Alloys of magnesium are fast replacing steel and are also reducing the demand for copper, lead and tin, which are in short supplies. There is a need to find substitutes for metals like mercury, gold, silver, platinum etc. and also for asbestos.

Further, the natural environment of the area from where the mineral ores have been taken out needs to be protected from deterioration. The dug out parts are devoid of nutrients. Hence, they remain barren and do not allow the growth of any vegetation. Such waste or damaged lands can be covered by fresh topsoil. Use of fertilizers, sewage water, domestic or municipal waste, farmyard, manure etc. will help in restoring the fertility of these degraded lands. 

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