Unseen Passage: Clean and Adequate Water

Life cannot be imagined without water, but clean and adequate water is still not accessible to most of the people in India. India receives 90 percent of the water from major or medium rivers. It has 14 major rivers each having catchment area of 20,000 sq. km and above; while there are 44 medium rivers with a coastline between 2000-20,000 sq. kms. Then there are 53 small rivers each with catchment area of 2000 sq. kms.

According to the 2011 census, annual per capita water availability in the country decreased to 1545 cubic meters from 1816 cubic meters as per the 2001 census. At present, this situation is even more worrisome. Scientists believe that by 2050 there will be a 30 percent decrease in the availability of water per person. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the availability of 200 litres of water per person per day in urban areas. On the contrary, 140 litres of water is supplied per person per day in the country.

Water resources in India are predominantly dependent on the monsoon. India receives an average rainfall of 4000 BCM (Billion Cubic Meter) every year from the rain, but most of it is vapourized and goes down the drains. Statistics show that a dearth of storage procedure, lack of adequate infrastructure, inappropriate water management have created a situation where only 18-20% of the water is actually used. The remainder just gets wasted, aggravating the problem of ground water depletion.

Our country’s economy primarily rests on agriculture. Agriculture contributes 40 percent to the GDP of the country, and accounts for 60 percent of the total export revenues. Also, 60 percent of the related work. One of the major reasons for water crisis in the country is that as the area of irrigated land has increased, the level of groundwater has declined.

Currently, India has a gross irrigated crop area of 82.6 million hectares (215.6 million acres), which is the largest in the world. As the population increases, the water storage capacity of ponds decreases. In fact, wells and ponds go dry after the water decreases at the ground level.

Q. On the basis of your reading and understanding of the above passage, answer the following :

  1. What is the minimum catchment area of the 14 major rivers of India?
  2. From which category of river does India get 10 percent of the water it uses?
  3. According to 2001 census, the annual per capita water availability was ___________ cubic meters.
  4. A person in the urban area should be supplied 60 more litres of water than what he or she uses now. (True/False)
  5. What aggravates the problem of ground water depletion?
    1. wastage of rain water
    2. increase in population
    3. both (1) and (2)
    4. inappropriate water management
  6. As a sector, agriculture contributes to the country’s economy by
    1. contributing 40 percent to the GDP of the country.
    2. contributing 60 percent of the total export revenues.
    3. employing 60 percent of the country’s population.
    4. all of the above
  7. The problem of ground water depletion cannot be resolved to a large extent unless
    1. rain water storage procedure is not improved and enhanced.
    2. people use less water.
    3. digging of wells stops.
    4. land under irrigation is not decreased.
  8. Which of the following about availability and use of water in India is correct?
    1. India doesn’t depend on monsoon for water.
    2. Less water will be available to the people of India by 2050.
    3. Population increase is not a reason for ground water depletion.
    4. Most of the rainwater is not available for use as it is either vaporised or goes into the drains.

Answer

  1. 20,000 sq. km
  2. small rivers.
  3. 1816
  4. True
  5. wastage of rain water
  6. all of the above
  7. rain water storage procedure is not improved and enhanced.
  8. Less water will be available to the people of India by 2050.

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