Our Water Resources Water Budget, Utility of Water, Use of water (part 2)

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Water Budget

Water Budget refers to the balance between the available water in the country and the water under use. There is a great variation in the distribution of water resources in space and time. Water is available in sufficient quantity during rainy season. As the dry season sets in, there is a shortage of water. The reserves of our surface and underground water are about 23840 billion cubic metres. Out of this only 10860 billion cubic metre water is required for use.

The unit of measurement of amount of water is cubic metre or hectare metre. If water standing one metre deep on a perfectly level area of one square metre, then the total volume of whole of that water would be one cubic metre. In the same way, if water standing one metre deep on a perfectly level area of one hectare then the total volume of water would be one-hectare metre.

In India, 90% rainfalls take place during the short period of three months from June to August. There is a great variation in the number of rainy days in India. Average number of rainy days on the western coast is 137. In Rajasthan average number of rainy days is reduced to less than 10. The rainfall may be heavy and continuous in the areas of more rainfall whereas the rainfall may be low and intermittent in the areas of less rainfall. Hence, there is a great variation in the regional distribution of rainfall. About 8 % areas of the country receive more than 200 cm rainfall, 20 % areas receive rainfall between 125-200 cm and remaining 30 % areas, receive less than 75 cm of rainfall. Uneven distribution of rainfall is responsible for the uneven distribution of surface and underground water.

Utility of Water

Population in India has been increasing continuously. Population of the country has increased about three times since independence. Due to this increase in population demand for water has increased in all the spheres. Demand for water has increased comparatively more for drinking, irrigation, and industries. On the other hand, per capita annual availability of water has been decreasing continuously.

In 1951 per capita annual availability of water was 5177 cubic metre per person which has decreased to 1829 cubic metre per person annually in 2001. In the coming years by 2025 per capita availability of water is expected to become 1342 cubic metres annually. It is to be noted that the water crisis arises when the per capita availability of water falls 1000 cubic metres annually. Today many countries have started facing the water crisis. They have to import water.

Decreasing Availability of Water Annually

Decreasing Availability of Water Annually

Decreasing Availability of Water Annually

There are various uses of water. We need water for drinking, domestic use, irrigation, industries, public health, cleanliness, and for flushing or draining sewage or human waste. Water is continuously needed for generation of hydro-electricity. We cannot imagine fishing, forestry and water sports without great amount of water. In this way, water is essential for all kinds of developmental work. Due to rapid growth of urban population, the demand for water in urban areas has increased tremendously.

India: Changing Pattern of Use of Water (1990-2050)

(Figures in billion cubic metres)

India: Changing Pattern of Use of Water (1990-2050)
Title: India: Changing Pattern of Use of Water (1990-2050)

Use

1990

2000

2010*

2025*

2050*

Domestic

25

33

42

52

60

Irrigation

460

536

653

770

800

Industry

15

30

79

120

130

Energy

19

27

44

71

120

Others

30

33

35

37

40

Total

549

659

853

1050

1150

* Estimated

India is an agricultural country. Hence plenty of water is needed for irrigation. 536 billion cubic metre water was used for irrigation in the year 2000. It is 81 % of the total water used. The remaining percentage of water was used for domestic, industrial and other purposes.

Use of Water

Image of Use of Water

Use of Water

Use of Water

There has been a rapid increase in the irrigated area in India since independence. Total irrigated areas in 1999-2000 was 8.47 crore hectare. The maximum capacity of the use of water for irrigation in India is 11.35 crore hectare metre. But about 3/4th water of this capacity is being used. The demand for irrigation in India has been increasing continuously. The reasons for the increasing demand of irrigation are:

  • Regional and seasonal variations in the distribution of rainfall.

  • Wide and uncertain gaps in rainfall season.

  • Growing demand of water for commercial crops.

  • Changing cropping pattern.

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