Q. Describe how modern adaptations of traditional rainwater harvesting methods are being carried out to conserve and store water.

Ans. The traditional rainwater harvesting method is a big success in India. Therefore in many parts of rural and urban India, rooftop rainwater harvesting has been successfully adapted to store and conserve water. For example, in Gendathur, a remote backward village in Mysore, Karnataka, villagers have installed, in their household’s rooftop, rainwater-harvesting system to meet their water needs. Nearly 200 households have installed this system and the village has earned the rare distinction of being rich in rainwater. Rainwater harvesting is once again conserved through modern adaptation. Rainwater, running down from the roofs is not fed into drains. On the other hand, the rain water is piped into underground reservoirs.

Q. From your everyday experiences, write a short proposal on how you can conserve water.

Ans. We can conserve water at home and in the school by the following methods:

  • 1. Do not leave the tap running while brushing your teeth or washing your face.
  • 2. Use a bucket for bathing, not a running tap.
  • 3. Do not flush the toilet unnecessarily
  • 4. Ensure all the taps have no leakage.
  • 5. Water which has been used for washing vegetables, dal, rice, etc., should not be thrown away. It can be used for watering potted plants or garden plants.
  • 6. Promote water conservation by forming a group of water conscious people with friends and neighbours.
  • 7. Hold regular meetings and exchange ideas promoting water conservation.
  • 8. Repair leakage of taps and pipes.
  • 9. Use a mug instead of a pipe while washing car, bikes and other vehicles.

Q. Find out more about any one traditional method of building dams and irrigation works.

Ans. In Meghalaya, an ingenious system of tapping stream and spring water is put up by using bamboo pipes to irrigate plantations of betel leaf or black pepper crops. The tribes of the Khasi and Jaintia hills have been using this from the last 200 years. About 20 litres of water enter the bamboo pipe system per minute and may travel almost a kilometre to finally reach the plants near its roots. Bamboo pipes are used to take water from perennial springs situated at the top of the hills to the plantations by using gravity. Reduced channel sections and diversion units are used at the last stage of water application.

Q. Find out other rainwater harvesting systems existing in and around your locality.

Ans. As I live in a hot place, in our locality, ground is being dug at many places to harvest rainwater. It has many advantages such as:

  • 1. It helps to store water when it rains so that when there is scarcity of water, the stored water can help.
  • 2. It is easy to maintain.
  • 3. It reduces water bills as water collected in the rainwater harvesting system can be used for many non-drinking functions as well. For example, washing clothes and watering plants.

Q. Collect information on how industries are polluting our water resources.

Ans. Industry is a huge source of water pollution, it produces pollutants that are extremely harmful to people and the environment.

  • 1. Many industrial factories use fresh water to carry away waste from the plants into rivers, lakes and oceans.
  • 2. Pollutants from industrial sources include:
  • (a) Asbestos: This pollutant is a serious health hazard and carcinogenic. Asbestos fibres can be inhaled and cause illnesses such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer, intestinal cancer and liver cancer.
  • (b) Lead: This is a metallic element and can cause health and environmental problems. It is a non-biodegradable substance, so it is hard to clean up once the environment is contaminated. Lead is harmful for the health of many animals, including humans, as it can inhibit the action of bodily enzymes.
  • (c) Mercury:This is a metallic element and can cause health and environmental problems. It is a non-biodegradable substance, which is hard to clean up, once the environment is contaminated. Mercury is also harmful for animal health, as it can cause illness through mercury poisoning.
  • (d) Nitrates: The increased use of fertilisers means that nitrates are more often washed away from the soil. This can cause eutrophication, which can be very problematic to marine environments.
  • (e) Phosphates: The increased use of fertilisers means that phosphates are more often being washed from the soil into rivers and lakes. This can cause eutrophication, which can be very problematic to marine environments.
  • (f) Sulphur: This is a non-metallic substance that is harmful for marine life.
  • (g) Oils: Oil does not dissolve in water, instead it forms a thick layer on the water surface. This can prevent marine plants from receiving enough light for photosynthesis. It is also harmful for fish and marine birds.
  • (h) Petrochemicals: This is formed from gas or petrol and can be toxic to marine life.