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.