Water is an inexhaustible and valuable natural resource. The existence of the plant and animal kingdoms depends on water. So water is called “LIFE”. It is indispensable in our day-to-day life in preparing food, for bathing and drinking etc. Water is also essential for irrigation, generation of hydro-electricity, navigation and industries.

India is a land of rivers. The annual average rainfall is about 118 cms. The major portions of the country’s water resources are stored in areas where the annual rainfall is 125 cms or more than that. There is scarcity of water in the areas of medium or low rainfall. There is acute scarcity of water in some are as in summer. In some places people use polluted drinking water for various reasons. So it is very urgent and essential to preserve and control our water resources.

In order to maintain the qualitative standard of water, Water Pollution Control Act has been effective in our country in 1974. Different steps are being taken in order to make our rivers free from pollution according to this Act.

The Central Government has taken a major project to execute in order to make the river Ganga pollution-free because the Ganga has been being treated as the holiest river of India since ancient times. The water of the Ganga and its tributaries makes the whole of north-India fertile and productive. But the refuses and polluted water of the towns and industries situated on the banks of this river mingle with the pure water of the Ganga. Moreover, its water becomes still more polluted as people throw into this river the dead bodies and corpses of animals.


Along with the inland water-bodies a huge amount of water is stored in the form of ice on the mighty peaks of the Himalayan ranges and under the ground. Even one-third of this potential water resource has not yet been developed. –

India is an agricultural country. Water is essential for agriculture. Our country gets rainfall by the monsoons, but this rainfall is not equally distributed all over the country. Even though the annual average rainfall is satisfactory, it is unequal and uncertain.

Unequal and Uncertain Rainfall:

(a) Our country gets rainfall mainly by the summer south­west monsoons. About 80 per cent of the country’s rainfall occurs in four months (i.e. from mid June to mid-October) by this monsoon wind. So, eight months of the year remains almost dry.


(b) It does not rain equally all over the country. The west coast, east coast, West Bengal, Bihar and north-eastern States have adequate rainfall whereas insufficient rainfall occurs in north-western region, south Indian plateau and mid-Gangetic plains. So floods occur in the heavy rain-fall areas whereas drought breaks out in the rainless areas.

(c) Monsoons are very uncertain. Sometimes the summer monsoons break late and close earlier, and in some years break earlier and close earlier too. Again at times it doesn’t rain in the growing period of crops in the months of July and August. Sometimes late monsoons also damage crops; therefore, this monsoon rainfall is very uncertain.

As a result of such irregular, unequal and uncertain monsoon rainfall, natural calamities like flood and drought have their devastating effects in our country. About 70 per cent of our people depend on agriculture. Agriculture depends on rain. When agricultural products are affected, it causes want of food and industries dependent on agriculture also hamper in production. Satisfactory agricultural products help in the growth and prosperity of the country. But flood and drought cause problems in country’s prosperity.

Problems of Flood in Our Country


Flood is an annual problem in some areas of our country. India is worst affected by floods amongst all the tropical countries. Houses are washed off, domestic animals and human beings meet their death and crops are severely damaged by floods. Besides, railway tracks and roads are washed away and agricultural lands are covered with sand.

Moreover, people suffer from various diseases by drinking polluted water and owing to unhealthy and damp environment. Devastating floods are caused owing to the following reasons.

(1) Very heavy rainfall that is about 15 cms or more, in a day in the catchments area of a river causes flood.

(2) Heavy rainfall and storm resulted by cyclones create tidal sea waves which rush into the coastal low lying areas, flood the area with brined water and cause damage to lives and crops. As the level of sea-water rises, the river water can’t be drained out which causes flood.


(3) The easy flow of river water is obstructed as the river beds become shallow owing to silting as a result of which the flood water overflows the embankments or causes breaches in the embankments.

(4) There is excessive soil erosion in the up­ per reaches of rivers owing to deforestation, which causes deposition of silts on the river beds and mouths. So alluvial fans, levees and sand ridges are formed in the mouth areas of some of the rivers creating hindrance in the discharge of the river water.

(5) Floods are also caused owing to construction in discharge of water because of embankments and canals constructed in the agriculturally developed areas.

(6) Some rivers, as a result of lateral erosion, create meanders and change their course which causes flood since the water can’t be discharged smoothly.


Flood havocs are caused in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal by the Ganga and its tributaries flowing from the Ganga, In Assam by the Brahmaputra and in Punjab by the tributaries of the Sindh (Indus). In the east coast, major damages are caused in the Mahanadi delta of Orissa and in the deltas of the Krishna and the Godavari of Andhra Pradesh.