Rajasthan Board RBSE Class 10 Social Science Notes Chapter 8 Water Resources
- About 71% of earth’s surface is covered with water and rest 29% is covered with land.
- Out of total water on earth, 97% is in the form of saline water in oceans and seas and rest 3% is in the form of freshwater.
- Less than 1 % of total water on earth is available for human use.
Management of Water Resources:
Various multipurpose projects have been initiated since independence of the country; with an aim towards proper management of water resources. These projects have helped in tackling the problems of flood and drought, in ensuring adequate supply of water for irrigation and drinking water, for electricity generation, fisheries and for environmental conservation.
Major Projects in India:
- Bhakra Nangai Project: This is made on Sutlej River near Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh. This is a joint project of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
- Damodar Valley Project: This is a joint project of West Bengal and Jharkhand which was started in 1948 on Damodar River. The purpose of this project is to improve the life of people of West Bengal and Jharkhand by facilitating economic development of this valley.
- Hirakud Project: This is an ambitious project of Peninsular India and had been built on Mahanadi in Odisha. This is the longest dam in the world which is 4801 meter long and can store up to 810 crore cubic meter water.
Multipurpose Dam Projects in Rajasthan
Chambal Valley Project:
This is a joint project of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh which began in 1953 on Chambal River.
Rajasthan Canal and Indira Gandhi Canal Project:
This canal has been taken out from Harike Barrage which is situated on the confluence of Sutlej and Ravi rivers. This is the longest man-made canal not only in India but also in Asia. This canal is 649 km long; out of which 169 km is in Punjab, 14 km is in Haryana and rest is in Rajasthan.
Mahi Bajaj Sagar Project:
This is a joint project of Rajasthan and Gujarat and was started in 1971 on Mahi River. This project was initiated to develop irrigation facilities and electricity supply for development of tribal areas of Dungarpur and Banswara which come in the course of Mahi River.
Bisalpur Project (1997-98):
This is a multipurpose project to develop facilities for irrigation and drinking water. This project was made with an aim to provide irrigation facility to Sawai Madhopur, drinking water to Jaipur, Ajmer, Kekri, Sarwar, Byavar and many villages along the course. Irrigation facilities would be also made available to 256 villages of Tonk district.
Other Projects of Rajasthan
- Jakham Project: Jakham Dam has been built at Anuppura on Jakham River.
- Som-Amba-Kamla Project: This dam has been built on Som River at Kamla Amba village.
- Meja Dam: Meja Dam was built on Kothari River at Meja village in Mandalgarh Tehsil of Bhilwara district.
- Siddhmukh Project: This project utilizes the surplus water from Ravi and Beas rivers.
- Narmada Project: Sardar Sarovar Dam supplies drinking water to Barmer and Jalore.
- Jawai Dam Project: This dam has been built on Jawai River at Erinpura Pali.
- Panchna Dam: A clay dam has been built on the confluence of five rivers near Gudla village of Karauli district. The name of five rivers are; Barkhera, Bhadravati, Machi, Bhainsawat and Ata.
Conservation of Water
Proper management and storage of rainwater at a place is called water conservation or rainwater harvesting. This helps ;n ensuring availability of water during lean seasons, because rainwater is collected in dams, ponds, lakes and other small reservoirs during monsoon.
Traditional Methods of Water Harvesting in Rajasthan
- Baori: These are rectangular, square or circular reservoirs of water. The reservoir can be accessed by steps made of bricks or ornate stones and hence are also called step-wells. Because of plenty of baoris, the town of Bundi is also known as The City of Step Wells’.
- Pond: Rainwater is collected in ponds which serve as a source of drinking water for human and cattle. Most of the ponds are built near slopes.
- Lakes: Lakes are quite popular methods to conserve flowing water in this state. These lakes were built by local rulers, merchants and banjaras. Lakes provide drinking water and water for irrigation.
- Nadi: This, is a smaller form of pond which is in plenty in western Rajasthan. Nadi is used for rainwater harvesting in plains of desert. A nadi is generally 4 to 5 meter deep.
- Tanka: This is a traditional method of rainwater harvesting in western Rajasthan. This is 5 to 6 meter deep pit which is made in each house and field. Its top is covered with stones or other locally available material.
- Johar: This is a popular method of water rainwater harvesting in Shekhawati region and in Haryana. This is similar to tanka but its upper portion is larger than a tanka, is round and open.
- Beri or Small Well: These are made in western Rajasthan by digging a 5 to 6 meter deep pit on catchment land of pond and khadin. Its diameter is between 2 and 3 feet and walls are lined with stones.
- Khadin: Khadin is a method of water harvesting which was used by the Paliwal Brahmins of Jaisalmer during Medieval Period. This is an ideal method to ensure water for drinking and irrigation. In this method, the rainwater in hilly areas is collected along slopes by making temporary or permanent check dam.
Self-reliance for Water
The Indian government has started the ‘Jal Kranti Abhiyan’ and the Rajasthan government has started ‘Mukhyamantri Jal Swavalamban Karyakram’. The main goal of these programmes is proper watershed management at local level.
In normal course, watershed management and conservation has been done traditionally in every dhani, village and town in different forms like nadi, pond, well, baori, johar and beri. Because of these traditional systems, the western parts of Rajasthan did not suffer from shortage of water even during famine.
Chief Minister Jal Swavalamban Yojna: This scheme has been initiated by the government of Rajasthan. This scheme is aimed at making the villages self-reliant in terms of watershed management. This is aimed to be achieved through cooperation from the state government and Bhamashahs. This scheme considers the water harvesting facilities at villages as natural resources. This scheme will work on improvement in water table and will work to reinvigorate the traditional methods like well, pond, nadi and other endangered methods.