Water is life. It is very important and useful. It is an inexhaustible gift of nature. However, its uneven distribution in space and time has often threatened human welfare, livelihood and economic development. Some common measures to increase water resources are creation of more water storage reservoirs, inter-basin transfer of water and measure to raise underground water level. Water is a national resource. The government has to take a decision to solve the problem of scarcity of water. It must resolve the interstate water disputes as speedily as possible. Among the various water conservation techniques, watershed development and rainwater harvesting have become very popular.
(i) Watershed Development:
River basin is an area drained by a river and its tributaries. The watershed is the basin of a tributary. It may have a small stream or it may not have any such stream, but whenever it rains, the water flows through it finally to join some stream.
The watershed thus is a physio graphic unit and can be used conveniently for integrated development of small natural unit areas. The watershed development is a holistic approach. It includes programmes for soil and moisture conservation, water harvesting, afforestation, horticulture, pasture development and upgradation of community land resources. Several such programmes have been taken up recently by the central and state governments, with promising results.
(ii) Meaning of Rainwater Harvesting:
It is a technique of increasing the recharge of groundwater by capturing and storing rainwater by constructing structures, such as dug wells, percolation pits, check dams, Rainwater is stored in groundwater reservoirs by adopting artificial recharge, techniques to meet the household needs through storage in tanks.