Water is life. Plants, animals, and birds cannot live without water. 2/3 of the earth is covered by water. Therefore, the water system is also abundant on earth. Water is a colourless, tasteless, and odourless substance. Water has three different forms: solid (ice), liquid (water) and gas (steam). The water element has been created from the fire element. Water deities have been worshipped in Hindu culture since ancient times. In Hinduism, it is customary to protect water sources like wells, lakes, rivers, and seas as an alternative to worship. We have the custom of bathing in the river and the sea during the Parva period. According to Ayurveda, all types of fluids in the body originate from Jal (water) Mahabhuta. These include rasa, blood, semen, tasika, marrow fluid, muscle fluid, bile, sweat and excretory fluid. The job of keeping the whole body moist and controlling the temperature is done by Jal (Water) Mahabhuta.
The water cycle is responsible for sustaining life on earth. The heat of the sun causes the seawater to evaporate. This vapour is stored in clouds. These clouds are carried from one place to another by the wind. Again, this vapour is converted into water or snow due to air pressure, and rain occurs. Earth's climate depends on this water cycle.
Aquatic biodiversity is wonderful and rich in nature. Types of water sources are surface water, groundwater and rainwater. Ganges, Indus, Narmada, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, Brahmaputra, Tapi and Sabarmati are the major rivers of India. India has an extensive coastline, like the Gulf of Khambat, the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal. Therefore, biodiversity in water can be seen on a large scale in India. The aquatic availability of water and its quality depends on biodiversity in water. Aquatic and aquatic plants are used for water storage, flow regulation, and purification. Coastal mangrove forests protect the coast from floods and droughts.
Jalkot (Forts in water) and Bhuikot (Forts on the ground)
The construction of the forts like Raigad, Rajgad and Pratapgad built during the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj period was typical. The decentralized water system at the forts was unique. There were many places to store water as it was totally dependent on rainwater for water. Sea forts like Sindhudurg also have freshwater reservoirs. Shivaji Maharaj orders that 'the water of the fort should be preserved in several ways'.
Water storage systems have been unique in India since ancient times. The construction of some wells and ponds are masterpieces of architecture. Pools and cisterns were built adjacent to the temples. Giving Arghya is considered a meritorious act. Those water sources were conserved through these traditional practices.
- Water is essential for the life of humans and other living organisms. Water helps to regulate our body temperature. Water helps digest solid food. Water helps flush out waste from our bodies through sweat, urine, and defecation.
- Water is used in daily routine to clean the body and surroundings, worship, and cook.
- Most of the world's water is used for agriculture, industry, and power generation.
Hazardous chemicals released from factories; domestic sewage mixed with water streams cause water pollution.
Chemical fertilizers absorbed into the soil polluting the groundwater.
- The city's wastewater, garbage and the plastic carried along with it are being released into the sea without treatment, which has polluted the seawater.
Oil spills, dumping of urban solid waste into the sea, shipwrecks, coastal mangrove deforestation, devastation due to water mines, and pollution from offshore oil mines are the main marine pollution problems.
Effects of water pollution
Contaminated water causes diseases like cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, and typhoid.
Poor drinking water quality causes more than 50 diseases, and 80% of the world's diseases are related to poor drinking water quality. Also, water pollution causes diseases such as diarrhoea, skin diseases, malnutrition and even cancer. Polluted water is dangerous for aquatic life.
Measures to prevent water pollution
Preventing water pollution and protecting water are vital for us and future generations. For that, it is necessary to take the following measures.
It is necessary to treat industrial and civil wastes and purify them.
Household cleaning products and soaps should be free from harmful chemicals. So that there are no harmful chemicals in the water percolating in the ground.
Pollution caused by seawater traffic is severe. It is necessary to find alternatives to fuel.
Do not throw waste in rivers, drains and the sea.
Preventing water pollution and protecting water are important for us and future generations. For that, it is necessary to take the following measures.
Conventional irrigated farming system
In traditional irrigated farming systems, water is blocked by damming the river. That water is supplied to the farm using bullocks or mechanical motes. In this irrigation system, additional water is supplied to the farm, which increases the salinity of the soil and makes the land infertile. Drip irrigation is a type of micro-irrigation system. It can conserve water and nutrients by allowing water to flow gently to plant roots. The water reaches the roots directly and reduces evaporation. In a frost irrigation system, water is given to crops as frost.
Conventional methods use a lot of water. It reduces soil compaction.
Sustainable Water Policy
In the sustainable water policy approach and water conservation, 'Pani Aadwa and Pani Jirwa' (Block the water and drain the water) techniques are used.
Different dams and ditches are laid from the top of the hill to the base to drain the water into the soil.
Kolhapuri Dam, Gabian Dam, K T Weir, Cement Dam, Bamboo Dam and Sequential Flat Char are some of them.
Water logging recharges the groundwater table. Wells are refilled. Paving, development works, or waterlogging may impede the filling of these levels to some extent.
Adoption of greenhouse and mulching methods for agriculture reduces water evaporation and saves water required for agriculture.
Misuse of water
Wasting water by overusing it.
Throw away the remaining water after drinking.
Running the tap while washing the car, washing dishes and clothes, and doing other cleaning tasks.
Excessive watering of crops.
What can we do?
Using water as needed. Do not discard drinking water because it has become stale. Water never gets stale.
Boil and filter drinking water.
Conducting treatment of domestic wastewater. Avoid using hazardous cleaning chemicals at home.
Rainwater harvesting on roofs and patios..
Water logging and water logging in fields.
Avoiding the use of chemical fertilizers in the fields.