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Problems of Water Availability and Conservation of Water Resources


There is scarcity of water in many regions of the world.

  • Africa,
  • West Asia,
  • South Asia,
  • Parts of Western USA,
  • North-west Mexico,
  • Parts of South America,
  • Australia

… are some of the countries facing shortages in fresh water supply.


There are three major reasons for fresh water shortage in a region. They are …

  • Scarcity due to variation in seasonal or annual precipitation - that is rainfall.
  • Scarcity due to contamination of water sources.
  • Scarcity due to overexploitation.

Contamination of Water Sources

Contamination or pollution of water

  • Untreated or partially treated sewage is discharged into rivers and lakes contaminating the water.
  • Agricultural chemicals like pesticides also contaminate water.
  • Industrial effluents like nitrates and metals which are non-biodegradable are discharged into water bodies and are major contaminants which make water unfit for human consumption.


Conservation of Water Resources
Access to clean and adequate water sources is a major problem facing the world today.


Steps have to be taken to conserve this precious natural resource.


  • Water pollution can be controlled by treating the effluent waste before releasing them into water bodies.
  • Forest and other vegetation should be grown, as this cover slows down the surface runoff and replenishes underground water.
  • Rain Water harvesting is another method to save surface runoff.
  • Water - canals used for irrigating fields should be properly lined to minimize losses by water seepage.


Properly lined Irrigation water-canals

  • Sprinklers can be used to irrigate land as water loss through seepage and evaporation is checked




    • Drip or trickle irrigation should be followed in dry regions with high rates of evaporation


    Drip or Trickle Irrigation



    Rain Water Harvesting


    Rainwater harvesting is the gathering and storing, of rainwater. Traditionally, rainwater harvesting is practiced in arid and semi-arid areas, and provides drinking water, domestic water, water for livestock, water for small irrigation and a way to replenish ground water levels.

    Today rainwater harvesting is done in urban areas to replenish ground water and raise the water table.

    Rain water that falls on roof-tops and open-terraces is canalized through drain pipes into the ground usually near wells and bore-wells. The water is not allowed to drain into the sewage canal as was the case when rain-water in not harvested.

    The valuable water resource can be conserved by adopting these methods of conservation.


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