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Fuel and Water; A Scarce Resources in India

Nature has given human kind abundant natural resources to survive and flourish. But it is
human tendency to not to think about generations to come and use natural resources wastefully.
Generations to come will never forgive if humankind lets any natural resources become scarce.
Generations should be taught about natural resources and their judiciously utilization at early
stage(primary school level) so that natural resources dont go scarce otherwise life will be
difficult in finding solution for alternatives. In India water & fuel has been becoming very scarce
resource. Every year during summer, most part of the country go low watered level and all the
modes of supplying water became useless. Everywhere in country there are dried river, empty
tube wells, dams without or very low level of water causing panic to its citizen. If this happens to
a developing country like India then definitely it will become hard to achieve its development
targets causing hindrance to its progressive prospective.
India is also poorly endowed with oil resources and has to depend on crude imports to
meets a major share of its needs of around 80 percent (Garg 2012). In order to import oil from
foreign countries, our foreign exchange reserve is utilizing and thus continuously declining.
Due to scarcity of resources, the problem of supply of energy is more dominating in rural
India. The root cause of scarcity of resources is the under utilization/mis-utilization of available
natural/manmade resources (Herdiansyah 2012). In order to eradicate the problems due to
scarce resources, it has been argued to harness more and more alternative sources of different
kind to fulfill our regular demand in efficient manners.
Rainwater harvesting, conjunctive use of water resources and harnessing the energy
through non-conventional energy sources are the effective means in India in order to save the
scarce resources and eradicate the problems faced by rural India generated due to scarcity of

Water as scarce resource

First of all we have to find why this situation came to fore. If we go back some 25 to 40
years we find that situation was not so alarming as it is today. By that time there were sufficient
water gathered during monsoon. All the four month of season June to September has had
sufficient rain and winter and summer season there were good harvest and no scarcity of drinking
water. After the pace of industrialization gained momentum situation started changing. In the
name of industrialization forests were cut indiscriminately causing forest area ratio to total land
area to fall rapidly. And as we know forest is a must for good monsoon in any country. Town and
country planning also started taking place this was also reason of scarce water resource because
civic authorities started laying concrete roads in all residential areas and no place in the areas left
for water harvesting causing ground water level of area going down and down every year. No
authority or representatives of people understood the bleak future of country without water.
Almost all the states were having same story in the name of development. Today we see almost
all the villages have concrete road without leaving any earth space for rainwater harvesting.
Cutting forests and leaving no room for rain water harvesting has given double blow for precious
natural water resource. Although some initiatives have been taken for the last 4 to 5 years but
these have not yielding desired results. General public and students are being made aware of
water harvesting techniques. The rain water harvesting techniques is the technique through which
ground water are recharge by the rain water infiltration through the subsurface soil (Jothiprakash,
V, Sathe, V, M, 2009)
Fossil fuel/Oil as a scarce resource
Energy is an indispensable component of industrial and agricultural growth, and it helps
in generation of employment, and thereby adds to economic growth.
After the energy crises of 1973, the price of fossil fuel which is the major source of
energy is constantly increasing to put the pressure on lesser or non oil producing countries.
Already, the price of oil hiked so much. Due to their unlimited use, they are likely to be
exhausted one day. That future day is said to be very nearest. Thus it is in nearest future fossil
fuel like coal is seen to be scarce; though oil is already have a scarce resource and hence need to
import from other oil producing countries to fulfill our countries needs. According to the

international agency of energy there is no ground for believing that our energy problems have
been solved.
Moreover due to excessive use of fossil fuel, our environment, (think as a natural
resource) is degraded by releasing the harmful gases viz. carbon dioxide, sulphur oxide. The
effects of which are seen in the form of global warming phenomenon.
In order to fight with both the issue of water resource and energy resource, the
government is adopting the principle of optimality for utilization of scarce resources. As there is
present of some drawback of centralized conventional means for rural electrification, the focus
has been shifted towards the non conventional means.
Thus, India is also now focusing on the harnessing non-conventional energy sources in
context of rural/remote village electrification. Further, the non conventional energy sources help
protection of our environment, and help the overall development of the rural areas.
The various non-conventional energy sources with their efficiency, unit rate and life are
presented in table below. (Naidu 1996)



Life (Years)

Small hydro








Biomass power








Solar power




Amongst the different option, implementation of micro hydro power project in rural area
is one the example of conjunctive use of water resource (Rath 2007). Through this kind of
project, three aims are achieved at generation of electricity in decentralized manner, irrigation
solution in downstream side and serve the project for ecotourism purpose.
Thus, non-conventional energy resources, particularly micro hydro system has proved to
be an outstanding technology for bringing the benefits of electricity to regions that lived in

darkness i.e. remote area, all along in a decentralized manner, which can be manage by local
communities easily. In this way harnessing the non-conventional energy sources are the best
means for rural electrification in decentralized manner and thereby saving our scarce resources
like fuel coal & oil.
Alternative available means in order to decrease the import of oil is the generation of biofuel (bio-diesel) with the resource available locally. Till the generation is less but the various
research programmes are going on for the production of biodiesel in india.
With the view of utilization of natural indigenous resource, in efficient manners and
ameliorate the socio economic condition of rural people, government of India is now introduced
a number of special backward area development programs. Amongst the various programme,
searching of non-conventional energy and then harnessing the same in order to fulfill the rural
demands are at top priorities.
Adoption of non-conventional energy sources (an alternative source of energy) are the
best means of rural electrification in decentralized manner (Nounia, Mullickb, Kandpalb 2006).
Utilization of this alternative energy sources not only save our planet from harmful gases like
SO2, CO2 etc, that were otherwise release through utilization of coal in thermal power project but
also save this scarce resource for the future generation.
It is also argued by the government that utilization of scarce resource in conjunctive
manners is the best example of efficient utilization of scarce resources. Amongst the various nonconventional energy resources, the major focus is given by the government of adoption small
hydro power project for rural electrification.
To fight against the problem of scarce water resource, conservation of water during rainy
season is desirable for which rainwater harvesting techniques are the best mean. Thus the various
awareness programmes are run by the government of India in order to familiar the system by all.


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Projects and Conjunctive Use of Scarce Water Resources, Indo-Canada Conference on
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projects for decentralized power supply in India: Energy Policy, International Journal
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Natural Resources in the Border of Indonesia-Malaysia: Sustainable Environmental
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6. Jothiprakash, V, Sathe, V, M, 2009, Evaluation of Rainwater Harvesting Methods and
Structures Using Analytical Hierarchy Process for a Large Scale Industrial Area, Earth
& Environmental Sciences, vol.1, no.6, pp. 427-438.

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