The process of retaining water through something is called water conservation. Land and water are the basic elements of our life support system on earth. Great civilizations have developed and flourished where those elements were available in plenty. It is a gift of nature. But with the invent of modern technology and rapid spread of urbanization we are facing acute crisis of water.
Rivers, lakes, springs and ponds, and underground water are the natural resources of usable water. But these resources have now come under tremendous pressure. These natural resources are enough for our need, but not enough for our greed. Water for drinking, domestic and agricultural purpose is becoming scarce in some parts of the world. As a result, the ultimate sufferers are the common people, especially people living in third world countries.
There is a shortage of water in many parts of the world. About 35% of the Earth’s total landmass is dry land where there is periodical or seasonal shortage of water. The population is increasing with time, and the need for this water resource is also increasing. It is alarming that due to over-exploitation or misuse of water resources, there will be a dearth of water in many places. Rivers and lakes are also being polluted, making the problem graver still.
Therefore, our logical step in this regard should be bilateral—checking pollution and misuse of water, and water conservation. People of ancient civilizations used to collect water from rivers, lakes, springs and ponds. But at present with the tremendous increase in population, the need for water has increased enormously for agriculture, industries and domestic purposes. To meet the increasing demand, groundwater has to be used now. But the excessive withdrawal of groundwater depletes the water table by artificial conservation of water and rainwater harvesting.
Rainwater harvesting is a process in which rainwater is collected directly in many types of reservoirs like tanks, wells, ponds and even in pots placed on roofs. This water is used for domestic and agricultural purpose. Even the tribal people in certain areas are accustomed to rainwater harvesting. This rainwater harvesting method to be adopted depends upon the frequency and quantity of rainfall. The simplest rainwater harvesting method is to collect rainwater from rooftops of buildings by storage of water reservoirs through conduit pipes. As the rooftop is the catchment area, the amount and quality of collected water will depend upon the building material with which the roof is made. Digging and digging ponds and lakes and canals may also be widely taken in rural areas.
Rainwater harvesting is a very practicable method of conserving water. It has many advantages, such as the installation and operation is simple and less costly than building large dams; it requires less space and does not involve major constructional work; it requires little maintenance cost; it is environment – friendly; it improves the quality of groundwater by decreasing the salt content.
Thus we must be aware that we should not pollute and misuse our water resources, and water Conservation in simple methods is the urgent need of the day.