Water Conservation: Definition and Strategies for Water Conservation!
Water conservation is a big thing, but every little bit helps, so don’t think that what you do doesn’t matter. A whole lot of people doing a little bit adds up to a whole lot. We must all make changes in our lifestyles that will change the course of our water and its quality.
Water conservation needs to be a way of life, not just something we think about once in a while. If we all do our part in conserving Washington’s water, we can make a huge difference for the environment. Water conservation means using our water wisely and caring for it properly.
Since each of us depends on water for life, it is our responsibility to learn more about water conservation and how we can help keep our water pure and safe for generations to come. Since we all enjoy the benefits of having pure, clean water, we must help conserve water so that we may continue to enjoy these benefits.
Water conservation is not a job that is just for the technician, soil scientist, hydrologist, forester, wildlife manager, plant scientist, city planner, park manager, farmer, rancher, or mine owner alone. It is a job for the everyday person who just likes to have access to the life sustaining resource of water.
We must all recognize that water conservation really is our personal responsibility and not just leave it up to other people. Our water supply is finite, which means that we do not have an endless supply. We only have the water that we have now.
Ninety-seven percent of all the water on the earth is salt water which is not suitable for drinking. Only three percent of all the water is fresh water, and only one percent is available for drinking water. The other two percent is locked in ice caps and glaciers.
With all the people on Earth relying on such a small percentage of all the water on Earth, it only makes sense that we must preserve and conserve our water. We must not pollute our water because it is the only water we will ever have. Some people do not realize the importance of water, and they are continually polluting it.
Only about ten percent of waste water is disposed of properly. We must learn to save water now for the future. The quality of our water is very important. We have the same amount of water now as there was when the earth was created. This is the water we have, and we must preserve its quality.
Water is the foundation of food and life, Next to air, water is our most precious resource. We cannot live without water. Saving water helps to preserve our environment. It reduces the energy required to process and deliver water, which helps in reducing pollution and in conserving fuel resources.
Saving water now means having water available in the future for recreational purposes, too. Conserving the water we have minimizes the effects of water shortages and helps build a better defence against future drought years. If we save water now, we are helping to ensure a water supply adequate for future generations. Saving water saves money.
We must save water today so that it will be available to us in the future. We need to think of future generations, people who will not have a sufficient supply of water unless we become more concerned with how we use our water today.
Strategies for Water Conservation :
The following strategies can be adopted for conservation of water:
1. Decreasing run-off losses:
Huge water-loss occurs due to run-off on most of the soils, which can be reduced by allowing most of the water to infiltrate into the soil. This can be achieved by using contour cultivation, terrace framing, water spreading, chemical treatment or improved water-storage system.
(a) Contour cultivation:
On small furrows and ridges across the slopes trap rainwater and allow more time for infiltration. It is applicable on relatively short slopes up to about 8 percent, steepness with fairly stable soils. By planning across the slope, rather t up and down a hill, the contour ridges slow or stop the downhill flow of water, water is held in between these contours, thus reducing water erosion and increasing soil moisture.
(b) Terrace farming:
Terracing constructed on deep soils has large water-storage capacity. On gentle slopes trapped run off is spread over a large area (for better infiltrations). Terraced fields decrease erosion and surface runoff, and are effective for growing crops requiring much water, such as rice.
(c) Conservation-bench terracing:
It involves construction of a series of benches for catching the run off water’s.
(d) Water spreading:
Water spreading is done by channelling or lagoon-levelling, in Channelling, water flow is controlled by a series of diversions with vertical intervals. In lagoon levelling, small depressions are dug in the area so that there is temporary storage water.
(e) Chemical wetting agents (Surfactants):
These seem to increase the water intake rates when added to normal irrigated soiled) Surface crop residues, tillage, mulch, animal residues etc. help in reducing run-off by allowing more time for water to penetrate into the land’s) Chemical conditioners like gypsum (CaS04.2H20) when applied to sonic soils improve soil permeability and reduce run off.
Another useful conditioner is HPAN (hydrolyzed poyacrylonitrileg) Water-storage structures like farm ponds, dugouts etc. build by individual farmers can be useful measures for conserving water through reduction of runoff.
2. Reducing evaporation losses:
This is more relevant in humid regions. Horizontal barriers of asphalt placed below the soil surface increase water availability and increase crop yield by 35-40%. This is more effective on sandy soil but less effective on loamy sand soils. A copolymer of starch and acrylonitrile called ‘super slumber’ has been reported to absorb water up to 1400 times its weight. The chemical has been found to be useful for sandy soils.
3. Storing water in soil:
Storage of water takes place in the soil root zone inhumed regions when the soil is wetted to field capacity. By leaving the soil fallow for one season water can be made available for the crop grown in next season.
4. Reducing irrigation losses:
(a) Use of lined or covered canals to reduce seepage.
(b) Irrigation in early morning or late evening to reduce evaporation losses.
(c) Sprinkling irrigation and drip irrigation to conserve water by 30-50%.
(d) Growing hybrid crop varieties with less water requirements and tolerance to saline water help conserve water.
(e) Leave some ground idle and apply the saved water to high- value crops.
(f) Use soil-moisture monitoring equipment to measure how much moisture is in the soil.
(g) Know each crop’s tolerance of drought stress and irrigate accordingly.
5. Reuse of water:
(a) Treated wastewater can be used for ferti-irrigation.
(b) Using grey water from washings, bath-tubs etc. for watering gardens, washing cars or paths help in saving fresh water.
6. Preventing wastage of water:
This can be done in households, commercial buildings and public places:
(a) Closing taps when not in use.
(b) Repairing any leakage from pipes.
(c) Using small capacity flush in toilets.
7. Increasing block pricing:
The consumer has to pay a proportionately higher bill with higher use of water. This helps in economic use of water by the consumers.