Flood Control Measures, Flood Management, Drought Part 2

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Flood Control Measures

Reservoirs: By constructing reservoirs in the courses of rivers could stores extra water at the time of flood. Such measures adopted till now however, have not been successful. Dams built to control floods of Damodar River could not control the flood.

Embankments: By building flood protection embankments, floods water can be controlled from overflowing the banks and spreading in nearby areas. Building of embankments on Yamuna River, near Delhi has been successful in controlling the flood.

Afforestation: The furry of flood could be minimized by planting trees in the catchment areas of rivers.

Restoration of Original Drainage System: Drainage system is generally choked by the construction of roads, canals, and railway tracks. Floods could be checked if the original form of drainage system is restored.

Flood Management

About 4 crore hectare area is flood prone. Out of this, 1.44 crore hectare area has been made secure to some extent from the devastation by floods. To achieve this goal, embankments and drainage channels have been constructed. Protection of towns and cities have been adopted. Villages are relocated on comparative by higher ground.

Some Do’S and Don’Ts Before, During, and After the Flood:

  • Listen to the radio for advance information and advice.

  • Disconnect all electrical appliances, move all valuable household goods, and clothing out of reach of flood water.

  • Move vehicles, farm animals, and moveable goods to the higher ground.

  • Keep all insecticides and pesticides out of the reach of flood water.

  • Switch off electricity and gas, in case you have to leave the house.

  • Lock all door and windows if you have to leave the house.

  • Do not enter flood water on foot, or in a vehicle as far as possible.

Drought

The tragedy caused by drought affects the people slowly and vastly. According to the meteorologists the rainfall deficiency during a long period over a large area is called a drought. Drought can also occur when ground water level is not within the reach of agricultural communities. The government also declares on area affected by drought, if more than 50 % crop loss happens in an area due to meteorological conditions.

Causes of Drought

Major cause of drought in India is scarcity of rain. Humans have interfered in the environment processes by their activities. People have filled up the natural resources like ponds and lakes. They have destroyed the vegetation cover which might impedes the flow of rainwater and force it to percolate in the ground. Humans have dug lakhs of tube wells and depleted the ground water reservoirs.

Impact of Drought

Droughts cause scarcity of food and water. People die of hunger, malnutrition and epidemics. People are forced to migrate from their area of residence. Crops fail due to scarcity of water. Cattle die because fodder and water are not easily available. Farmers are deprived of their employment. People leave their villages with their families for a long, unknown and uncertain journey in the pursuit of food, water, green fodder and employment.

Drought Prone Areas of India

Due to deficiency in monsoon rainfall and environmental degradation, Rajasthan and Gujarat are generally affected by drought. Out of 593 districts in India, 193 districts are severely drought prone. In 2003 most parts of Rajasthan experienced drought for the fourth consecutive year. The other drought prone regions include west Madhya Pradesh, central Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.

Drought Prone Areas of India

Drought Prone Areas of India

Drought Prone Areas of India

Measures to Cope with Drought

  1. By adopting the suitable farming methods for arid areas, it is possible to mitigate the intensity of drought. The methods include production of coarse and hardy cereals, conservation of soil moisture by deep ploughing, storing water behind small dams, collecting water in ponds and tanks, and use of sprinklers for irrigation.

  2. By sowing drought resistant crops of cotton, Moong, pearl millet, wheat etc., the impact of drought could be mitigated to a certain extent.

  3. By rain water harvesting the collection of each and every drop of rain could help in coping with the drought.

  4. By making high bunds around the fields, adoption of terrace cultivation, planting trees on the bunds of fields, and the use of rainwater can be maximised.

  5. Small quantity of water can irrigate comparatively larger area by using drip irrigation method.

Drought Prone Area Programme

This programme was initiated in 1973. The objectives of the programme are as follows:

  • To minimise the adverse impact of drought on crops, domestic animals, productivity of land, water and human resources. This could be done by integrated development by using appropriate technologies as it was done for the natural resources of Gujarat.

  • By developing, conserving, and suitably using the rainwater, the ecological balance could be maintained for a longer period.

  • To improve the economic and social conditions of the section of society who do not have the access to resources and facilities.