Traditional Methods of Water Harvesting and applicability

The demand of water resources is increasing by the  day due to the population growth and expansion in urbanization,  industrialization and irrigated agriculture. Adopting the concept of  sustainability and conservation of water resources can help cope with the  problem of water shortage. The ancient Indian rainwater harvesting systems can  be implemented to meet the water shortage problem.

India is amongst  the few countries in the world where Rivers are worshipped, not one or two but  seven of them. Yet water scarcity stares at us in the face today. If the Kuwait  war in the 1990’s and the Iraq invasion in the last decade were about Oil, it  is widely believed that the next war would be for Water. There exists a dispute  with Pakistan arising out of the Indus Water Treaty of the 1950’s while China  threatens to choke off supplies to North-east India by constructing huge dams  in Tibet.

On combining this  with increasing demand for water arising of urbanization, increase in  population, agriculture, greater electricity consumption especially thermal  power, infrastructure growth and a depleting forest cover, the situation ahead  can only be described as alarming. An uncertain monsoon, lack of adequate  irrigation facilities and over exploitation of surface/ground water have only  compounded the problem.

One of  the solutions that can be implemented quickly is Water Harvesting. It can be  defined as the collection and storage of rainwater for later productive use.  Rainwater harvesting has been practiced in India for centuries and the  traditional methods of water harvesting need to be reviewed and successfully  implemented in an economically viable and ecologically sustainable manner.