Environmental Pollution – 02
Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)
The World Water Council (2000) define the IWRM as a philosophy that holds that water must be viewed from a holistic perspective, both in its natural state and in balancing competing demands on it – agricultural, industrial and environmental. Management of water resources and services need to reflect the interaction between these different demands, and so must be coordinated within and across sectors.
Rain water harvesting
Rainwater harvesting (RWH) is a simple method by which rainfall is collected for future usage. The collected rainwater may be stored, utilised in different ways or directly used for recharge purposes. With depleting groundwater levels and fluctuating climate conditions, RWH can go a long way to help mitigate these effects. Capturing the rainwater can help recharge local aquifers, reduce urban flooding and most importantly ensure water availability in water-scarce zones. it was, and is even today, a traditional practice followed in rural India. Some ancient rainwater harvesting methods followed in India include madakas, ahar pynes, surangas, taankas and many more.This water conservation method can be easily practiced in individual homes, apartments, parks, offices and temples too, across the world. Farmers have recharged their dry borewells, created water banks in drought areas, greened their farms, increased sustainability of their water resources and even created a river.
Water Smart Agriculture
The world is now looking towards “water- smart” production by recognizing the links between water and other resources and socio- economics of poor harvest management. Automation, computer controlled decision support systems, on demand irrigation through creation of level pools in canals, using real time soil moisture data to decide irrigation doses etc. are important means of improving efficiency. More efficient techniques such as drip irrigation, low pressure sprinklers are currently being used to increase the water productivity
By improved groundwater monitoring and protection, for setting priorities for action based on assessment of aquifer vulnerability and contaminant loading, and for adoption of early warning monitoring strategies. Regulation of ground water usage for e.g. The groundwater management bill, fixing the responsibilities of different stakeholders in the conservation and pricing etc.
Integration in water resource management needs to take place at different levels.-
At the national level, where national water management plans and water agencies give water resource management a place in national policies enabling the integration of water management with policies in other fields.
At the regional level, where integrated water resource management concerns main operational hydrological units: river basins, lake catchments or aquifers. Here, the main challenge will be to balance the interests and policies of different stake holders and to bring water management as carried out by the different water users and operators together under a common umbrella.