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Lecture No.

- 10
Water Resources
Water is an important resource.An important use of water in our country is for
irrigation.Besides water is also required in large amounts for industrial and
domestic consumption Unlike land, availability of water varies from place to
place and time to time. Being a monsoon land, the bulk of rainfall is confined to a
brief priod of 3-4 months(July-Sept-October). As such large part of the country
lacks surface water supply for a greater part of the year.
Surface flow in our country takes place though 14 major river systems namely
Brahmani,Brahmaputra, cauvery, Ganga, Godavari, indus, Krishna, Mahanadi,
Mahi, Narmada, Perriar, Sabarmati, Subarnarekha, and Tapi. Between them they
share 83% of the drainage basin, account for 85% of the surface flow, and house
80% of the total population of the country. A part from them, there are 44 medium
and 55 minor river systems- these are fast flowing, monsoon- fed and originate in
the coastal mountains of the major rivers, Brahmaputhram Ganga and Indus
basins alongwith Godawari covering more than 50% of the country. Only 4,
Brahmaputhra, Ganga Mahanadi and Brahmani are perennial, with a minimum
discharge of 0.47 M m3 km2/year
During dry months there is water scarcity even in places like Cherrapunji and
Konkan receiving heavy rainfall. Due to unequal distribution of rainfall we face
problems of flood and famine in some parts every year.
Our gound water resources are abundant only in the northern and coastal plains.
In other parts its supply is not adequate. Ground water is roughly 210 billion m3
including recharge through infiltration, seepage and evapotrans piration.

Out water budget

Total water resources are of the order of 167 million hectare meters. It has
been worked out that only 66 million hectare meters of water can be
utilised by us for irrigation.
Water use (India) 2000 A.d. (available water 1900) million cubic meter
per year

and livestock







Water pollution

Addition of any substance to water or changing of waters physical and chemical

characteristics in any way which interferes with its use for legitimate purposes.

Water is not pure in chemical senses.- dissolved substance, dissolved gases (H2S,
CO2, NH3,N2), dissolved minerals , Suspended matter (clay, silt, sand) and even
microbes.- to not pollute water.

Polluted waters, however, are turbid, unpleasant, bad smelling, unfit for drinking,
bath, and washing or other purposes. They are harmful and are vehicles of many diseases
as cholera, dysentry, typhoid etc.
Sources of Pollution

Sewage and other waste

Industrial effluents,
Agricultural discharges

Industrial wastes from chemical industries, fossil fuel plants (thermal power
plants) and nuclear power plants. Each of these sources of pollution carries a variety of
pollutants that enter our water bodies.
I.Sewage and other waste

Sewage is the waterborne waste derived from home and animal or food
processing plants.

There is uncontrolled dumping of wastes of rural areas, towns and cities into
ponds, lakes, stream or rivers. Due to accumulation of sewage and others wastes in is
lost. The decomposition of these wastes by aerobic microbes decreases due to higher
levels of pollution. The self-purifying ability of the water is lost and water becomes unfit
for drinking and other domestic uses. Since decomposition of sewage and other wastes is
largely an aerobic process, accumulation of these in water increases its oxygen
requirements (BOD)
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)
When biodegradable organic matter is released into a body of water,
microorganisms,especially bacteria, feed on the wastes, breaking it down into
simpler organic and inorganic substances. When this decomposition takes place in
an aerobic environment, that,is, in the presence of oxygen, the process produces
nonobjectionable, stable end products such as carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfate (SO4),
orthophosphate (PO4), and nitrate (NO3). A simplified representation of aerobic
decomposition is given by the following.
Organic matter + O2 microorganisms CO2+ H2O + New cells + Stable products
when insufficient oxygen is available , the resulting anaerobic decomposition is
performed by completely different microorganisms. They produce end products
that can be highly objectionable, including hydrogen sulfide (H2S), ammonia
(NH3), and methane (CH4). Anaerobic decomposition can be represented by the
The methane produced is physically stable, biologically degradable, and a potent
greenhouse gas. When emitted from bodies of water it is often called swap gas. It
is also generated in the anaerobic environment of landfills, where it is some times
collected and used as an energy source.The amount of oxygen required by
microorganisms to oxidize organic wastes aerobically is called the biochemical
oxygen demand (BOD). BOd may have various units, but most often it is
expressed in milligrams of oxygen required per liter of wastes (mg/L) or the
equivalent g/m3)
Some decomposing plants are known to produce toxins as strychnine which kills
animals including cattle.
BOD- the amount of oxygen required for biological oxidation by microbes in any
unit volume of water.
The number of bacteria as E. coli in unit colume of water is also taken (E.Coli
index) as a parameter of water pollution.

Due t to additon of domestic waste (Sewage), phosphates, nitrates etc. from

wastes or their decomposition products in wate bodies, they become rich in
nutrients, especially phosphates and nitrate ions. Thus with the passage of these or
eutrophic and the phenomenon as eutrophication

During their early stages of formation are relatively barren and nutrient- deficient,
thus supporting no or very poor aquatic life. This state of these bodies is known as

Eutrophication is thus limiting factor in supply of clean water for drinking, fishing and
navigtation etc. steps to stop eutrophication.
The waste water must be treated before its discharge into lake or river limit its
nutrient input.
Stimulate bacterial multiplication in order to reduce the amount of nutrients
solubilised in water- reduce algal food web.
Harvest and removal of algal blooms.
Remove dissolve nutrients from water P- can be removed by precipitation ,N- by
biological nitrification and denitrification iron exchange reverse- osmosis.
II Industrial effluents

A wide variety of both, inorganic and organci pollutants in effluents from

breweies, tanneries, dying textiles, paper and pulp mills, steel industries, mining etc.

Pollutants- oil greases, plastics, metallic wastes, suspended solids, phenols,

toxins, acids, salts, dyes, cyanides, DDT etc., are not degradable.

Na, Cu, Cr, Cd, Hg, PB, etc. are the heavy metal effluents, discharged from

BOD of river has gone up to 16.2 as against the normal value of 5.

III.Agricultural discharges

Nitrate fertilisers used on soil enter our wells and ponds.
This water when taken by us, the nitrates are converted to nitrites by microbial
flora of intestine. These nitrites thencombine with the hemoglobin of blood to form
methaemoglobin, which interferes with the O2 carrying capacity of the blood . The
disease produced is called methaemoglobinaemia.

2. Pesticides and biocides.

some of the most toxic biocides are DDT
BHC chlordane, heptachlor, methoxychlor, toxaphene, aldrin endrin and PCBs. Causes
biological, geological and chemical cycles of the earth.

4. Industrial wastes.
Physical pollutants
The two chief pollutants are heat and radioactive substances.. These are the wastes
chiefly from power plants- thermal and nuclear, which use large quantities of water.

Some other industries also give of waste water after use. Nuclear power plants are the
source of radionuclides.
Ground water pollution

Most of the underground sources of drinking wate , especially in outskirts of

larger cities and villages are polluted. For instance trans-yamuna areas of Delhi face
drinking water pollution problem at regular intervals. There had been epidemics of
cholera, dysentry and other diseases in last couple of years.

Ground water is threatened with pollution from seepage pits, refuse dumps, septic
tanks. Leades to cholers, hepatitis dysentry etc., especially in areas with high water table.
Woolens and bicycles industries of Punjap Hariyana contribute high amounts of Ni, Fe,
Cu, Cr and cyanides to ground waters.
Surface water is obviously is obviously susceptible to contamination.
One particular category of pollutants, oxygen-demanding wastes, has been such a
pervasive surface-water problem, affecting both moving water and still water, that it
will be given special attention.
Central and state organisation
Central water commission
Central ground water Board
Central Pollution control Broad
Ministry of Agri. And ICAR
Ministry of Environ. Forest
Central Public Health and Envi. Engg.
Department of Power
Department of forest

- Surface water
- Ground water
- Precipitation
- water quality
- Water use for agri
- Envi. Impact Assessment
- Water supply sanitation and sewage
- Hydro electric power
- watershed management.