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Short Essay on Importance of Water

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❶Under future scenarios also, additional land and higher cropping intensities both requiring more water would be necessary besides the use of better seeds, fertilizer, improved field management practices etc. The problem is often overcome by the introduction of irrigation, provided surface or ground water is available.

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It prevents the soil erosion. Watershed is a natural geo-hydrological unit. It is an area of land and water bounded by a drainage divide within which the surface runoff collects and flows out of the area through a single outlet into a river or other body of water. It must make drought proof the rural landscape by capturing each falling raindrop and save the crop, human beings and animals. While 'Reuse' refers to wastewater that discharges from municipalities 75 per cent , industries and irrigation are withdrawn by users other than dischargers.

After treatment, reclaimed waters are diverted for irrigation. It is clearly evident in big cities like Delhi where the water scarcity is acute; the municipal sewage water is utilized for irrigating vegetable crops.

In Tamilnadu, industrial wastewater is being used for irrigating sugarcane crop. Water used for domestic purposes washing, cleaning and bathing etc. Nearby holy places and temple towns, the water that is used for bathing and washing in tanks and ponds should be channelized towards agricultural fields in adjacent areas e.

In Israel, water is used 4 to 5 times before it is let off to nature while, it is only once in India. As of now, 75 per cent of drinking water is used for non-drinking purposes. It is proposed to supply potable water and non-drinking water separately to ease pressure on drinking water supply. Besides, water for non-drinking needs could be met by recycling domestic wastewater.

Agriculture sector consumes more than 85 per cent of total water in the country. If we are able to save 7 per cent of it, we will be able to meet domestic and industrial demand. Hence it is imperative to adapt less water consuming or water saving methods of irrigations with an aim of producing more crops per drop WUE.

Such methods include micro irrigation drip, sprinkler, bubbler, spray and indigenous drip irrigation methods. By using these methods, two to three times more area can be brought under irrigation with same quantity of water besides improving crop quality and doubling the productivity.

At the same time, increasing salinity and alkalinity problems of irrigation water in coastal areas can be mitigated by using drip irrigation without any adverse effect on crop growth and productivity. Furrow or alternate furrow method of irrigation for wide spaced crops like sugarcane, tomato, maize and tobacco will save nearly 30 per cent of water use besides reducing crust problem. Basin method of irrigation rather than flooding should be followed for irrigating horticultural crops.

Rice is the most water-consuming crop and 40 per cent of the irrigation water available is used for this crop. Nearly 60 per cent of water applied to rice is lost by deep percolation. This can be substantially reduced by improved pudding through power tillers with cage wheels.

As adopted in China and experimentally proved at many places in India, alternate wetting and drying rather than continuous submergence would reduce water requirement by 30 to 50 per cent.

The very recent popular method of cultivation of rice under System of Rice Intensification SRI saves nearly half the quantity of water compared to traditional submerged rice besides saving other inputs including seed, fertilizer and pesticide.

Zero titled direct seeded rice in heavy soils saves nearly 35 per cent water against puddle transplanted rice. This is true even with zero tilled wheat crops, which is becoming very popular in the areas where rice-wheat cropping system is dominant. On the other hand, rice grown under furrow irrigated raised bed system FIRBS was found to save water up to 30 per cent.

In water scarce dry farming areas, peasants should be advised to shift from rice to irrigable dry crops like high value pulses and oilseeds based on ecological conditions and market demand.

Swaminathan suggested replacement of double paddy crop by one HYV Paddy followed by cotton as second crop. This system helps to maintain overall productivity and profitability and also saves enormous quantity of water.

It also avoids salinity and water logging. Easy to follow and farmer friendly scientific scheduling of irrigation based on critical stage of crop growth, field modification technique, high seed rate and feel and appearance method should be followed for regulating water use and avoiding water logging problems.

Proper leveling of agricultural fields also help in avoiding water logging thus saves water. Scientists should breed HYVs, which are less water consuming, and drought resistant and such seeds should be made available for large section of farming community. The need for energy in next decade will increase manifold.

Similarly, the agricultural output will have to keep pace with the population explosion. Keeping in view the emerging challenges, present Government has initiated the feasibility study of three to four water reservoirs. However, inter-province rivalries, personal political agendas, lack of understanding of rising needs and loss of faith in the central government are some of the impediments in the construction of these water reservoirs.

In the past we have been overlooking this precious gift of nature but since quite some time world has recognized it as very important natural resource. The overall depleting water resources and escalating population have forced the comity of nations to formulate water management techniques for its optimal utilization. Hence water management has become the leading topic of research and development today.

Pakistan being an agrarian country relies more on this resource as agriculture is the back bone of our economy.

Moreover hydel energy being the cheapest source of energy our abundant river water sources provide us with the opportunity to meet our energy requirements through this natural source, only if we could harness them optimally. Mutual mistrust among our provinces has been the biggest hurdle in the construction of new dams. This paper covers the issue of water management in its entirety.

All aspects related to the requirement of water for our energy as well as agriculture needs have been covered in detail. The very important issue related to the construction of new water reservoirs and its political implications has also been covered in fair detail. Number and alignment of our rivers is the most obvious manifestation of this endowment.

Rivers run along the length of the country thus making irrigation of the land very convenient. Himalayas are mainly responsible for feeding our river system. Despite loss of three Southern rivers under the arrangements of Indus Basin Treaty, concluded between India and Pakistan in , our three northern rivers up till now have proven potent enough to fulfill the requirements of million people.

However, for some years now the water deficit is being felt, especially in agriculture sector. This has necessitated the serious thinking for taking effective measures for water management.

Pakistan is unfortunate not to have built sufficient number of dams to regulate the flow of its rivers. However these two mega dams were only the first step in a long range water management policy. Kalabagh was the site chosen for the next Dam. Unfortunately neither the Kalabagh nor any other big dam has been built yet. The issue of Kalabagh Dam got politicized and became so controversial that despite the desire of successive governments it could not be built.

Being unable to manage our water resources efficiently we have not been able to optimally harness our hydel energy potential and today are struggling to meet our energy requirements. Also by failing to institute modern irrigation and farming practices we have been responsible for wasting water, the most precious gift of the nature. Aim To carry out an in depth analysis of existing water distribution system and future water requirements for energy and agriculture in order to recommend suitable measures for efficient water management.

The average annual flow of the Indus river system is million acre feet[1] MAF. However there are huge variations in the flow at different times of the year. The ever expanding water needs for a growing economy and the population for meeting its food and fiber requirements and the interchanging phenomenon of floods and droughts adds complexity to the water management issue. Current Utilization of the River Water. Indus Basin System houses 3 super dams besides 68 large dams, 19 barrages, 12 canal commands and km of drainage network[2].

Thus the development potential of Indus river water system can be worked out as under[3]: Monsoon and westerly disturbances are two main weather systems that contribute to the rainfall in Pakistan.

The average annual rainfall is mm Nearly two-third is received in the Kharif summer , while the rest in the Rabi winter. During the three Monsoon months July-September almost half of the rainfall is received. While a substantial portion of the rainfall occurring in the cultivated areas of the Indus Plain is consumed by crops as a consumptive use, in the foothill areas of Pakistan rainfall gives rise to flashy hill torrents, and a major portion of the flow goes waste, in the form of evaporation.

Thus, gross balance development potential is about 12MAF for which 1, sites have been identified in 13 major hill torrent areas, with financial requirements of about Rs 40 billion. Glacial area of the Upper Indus is around 22,sq km, where on an average three to four meters of snowfall occurs every year. The Upper Indus catchments contain some of the largest glaciers in the world outside the Polar Regions. The right bank tributaries of Jhelum River i. Glaciers and snowmelt contribution is 85 per cent in the case of Indus, 80 per cent for Kabul, 75 per cent for Chenab and slightly over 50 per cent for Jhelum River.

From the point of view of availability of groundwater, the country can be divided into two major areas, the predominantly canal irrigated Indus Plain primarily located in Punjab and Sindh, and the areas of the NWFP and Balochistan with a limited groundwater development potential in a few localized areas. During the last 30 years or so, spectacular increase in the number of private tube wells has changed the underground paradigm entirely.

In several groundwater areas, there has been a complete Volta face. Where some years ago high groundwater was a major threat, water levels have now declined due to private tube wells development. However, the pace at which the groundwater exploitation has unfolded has added complexity of its management. The number of users is over 2. In many regions, the impact on the groundwater resources is alarming; levels are declining rapidly to infeasible pumping depths, and there is intrusion of saline water in the fresh groundwater areas through lateral or upward movement.

Existing number of private tube wells in Pakistan is over , and annual groundwater extraction through private tube wells under the normal hydro-climatic conditions is of the order of 42 MAF[4]. The province-wise sustainable development potential is: Energy Needs of Pakistan by The real GDP increased from 5.

The projected growth rate for the next five years is estimated to be per cent. With expansion in economy the demand in energy will also increase. Although, both the demand and supply of energy has been increasing for the last decade and a half, the per capita consumption of energy in Pakistan remains low. Figures 1 and 2 shows an upward trend in the supply and per capita availability of energy in tones equivalent of energy TOE in Pakistan since According to the latest economic survey, in the past 14 years from to the consumption of petroleum products, natural gas, electricity and coal increased by an annual average rate of 2.

However, one major change in consumption pattern has been registered in the consumption of oil. The use of oil has reduced since , particularly in the cement industry and power generation, because the cement industry has shifted to natural gas and the power generation sector is increasingly using gas.

Similarly, the consumption of various petroleum products in household and agriculture registered marked decline of This is primarily because of the availability of cheaper fuels like LPG and natural gas. However, the consumption of petroleum products has increased in transportation, industrial and other government sectors. In the last 14 years, the transport sector saw the largest use of petroleum products with a share of The consumption of natural gas in the cement sector in the first nine months of fiscal year registered a per cent increase.

Similarly, for the same time period the consumption for industrial, power, commercial and household sectors jumped up by In electricity consumption, the household sector has always been the largest consumer with a share of The share for industrial, agricultural, other government sectors and commercial consumers for the same time period has been Sector Natural Gas Consumption Power sector According to Economic Survey of Pakistan, the double digit growth in the large scale manufacturing sector has resulted in an increase in demand of electric power in some industrial sectors.

The survey also projects that demand in electricity will grow at an average yearly rate of 7. The table below summarizes the sector wise power demand till the year It envisages a hydel-thermal ratio of The ESAP also envisages significantly reducing reliance on oil while increasing reliance on coal.

The energy mix plan for the next 25 years as proposed in ESAP4 is given in under mentioned table. Sector Wise Power Demand Year Domestic Commercial Agriculture Industrial Other Total 7, 1, 1, 5, 1, 15, 1, 8, 1, 19, 2, 9, 1, 23, Requirement of Water for Agriculture Existing Agriculture Potential of Pakistan a.

During the last five decades, the performance of agriculture has been quite impressive with agricultural production maintaining pace with population growth. However, yields are still much below the potential and are being exceeded in other countries with similar agro-climatic conditions.

Historical data of major crop production and yields in Pakistan since is given at Annexure A. The remaining agricultural production is contributed by 4 Mha of Barani rain fed areas.

The cultivated area of Pakistan has increased from about Agriculture is also the basis of most industries in Pakistan and thus is still a key driver in the economy and is critical to the rural economies. Available Water Resources for Agriculture.

Another source of water is the direct overland precipitation. Studies have indicated that considerable part of the quantity is beneficially utilized by the crops. Rainfall conservation potential outside the irrigated areas is estimated to be approximately 20 MAF.

Out of this, nearly 5 MAF is being presently used through the construction of over delay action dams, dispersion and flood diversion structures etc. The third category of water usage is the vast and readily available ground water of Pakistan. Latest studies indicate that there is a further developmental potential of approximately 6 MAF of groundwater.

Future Agriculture Water Requirements. The population of the Pakistan in the census was Increase in population, rapid urbanization by the year , and better socio-economic conditions would put more pressure on food consumption.

As mentioned above, the total cultivated area in Pakistan increased from Cereal production increased from 5. Thus, both increase in area and increase in yields have contributed to higher production. Under future scenarios also, additional land and higher cropping intensities both requiring more water would be necessary besides the use of better seeds, fertilizer, improved field management practices etc.

It has been anticipated that future needs of food and fibre could be met both by added water inputs and non-water inputs with approximately Increases in agricultural production are thus to be obtained through a combination of: This would require expansion of existing irrigation infrastructure.

The additional water requirement at farm gate [12] for all sectors under the two scenarios is as under: As opposed to the additional water requirement of 28 MAF, the water available is 23 MAF which will limit our developmental potential in various sectors. Priority Areas for National Water Policy. The existing National water policy was approved by the cabinet in The policy[13] recognizes that water has become an increasingly scarce resource, requiring appropriate institutional, economic and environmental management.

Establishing a water resource data bank to serve as a repository of all water resource data collected by various agencies. Developing a comprehensive framework for designing water resources investments, policies and institutions. Adopting water pricing and incentive policies that would achieve cost recovery, water conservation and better allocation of water resources.

India has built mega dams for irrigation, but her water management system has not received due attention. We are told that water crisis has touched millions people across several states.

Arsenic contaminated water made the problem more grave. During the monsoon, many areas of India are flooded, causing widespread damage to life and property and this enormous quantity of water is allowed to flow down into the sea. If the rain water is harvested and preserved in tanks and reservoir regularly, it may help us to tide over the water crisis. In urban areas, water harvesting should be mandatory.


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To carry out an in depth analysis of existing water distribution system and future water requirements for energy and agriculture in order to recommend suitable measures for efficient water management.

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(c) Watershed management. Watershed is a natural geo-hydrological unit. It is an area of land and water bounded by a drainage divide within which the surface runoff collects and flows out of the area through a single outlet into a river or other body of water. Water is a critical component of ecological cycles. Aquatic ecosystems harbor diverse species and offer many valuable services. People require water to run industries, for energy, and to grow food. Due to the importance of water, humans have tried to control water resources in a variety of ways (Goudie )/5(5).

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