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Basic Facts Related to Water

Sources of Water


Natural Lakes, and ponds

Rivers and Streams
Dams and Reservoirs
Meltwater from snow and glaciers


Wells, borewells
Artesian Wells and springs

Rain and Moisture:

Rainwater harvesting
Dew Condensation

Limited Global Availability of Water

The global water cycle provides 40,000 cu km of fresh water every year i.e. more than 6000 cu m per
capita per year. Whereas a person needs only about 1700 cu. m. / person / year to meet all his needs
including domestic, industry, agriculture, energy production. So, there seems to be plenty of water for
everyone. But in reality, water scarcity affects many parts of the world. The reason is that the available
water is unevenly distributed in space and time. In other words, some places have a lot of water, while
other places do not have enough. Also, water is plentiful at some times of the year, while it is scarce at
some other times.

The example of Cherrapunji clearly brings out this idea. Cherrapunji is located in north-east India and
is the second rainiest place on earth. It receives a mean annual rainfall 11.5 metres during the
monsoon season. However, during the dry summer months, there is a drought. People have to walk
miles to even get drinking water! Where does all the rainwater go? It flows away soon after the rains.
There is rampant deforestation in Cherrapunji leaving barren slopes. With no tree cover and ground
cover to intercept the rain, the heavy rains hit the soil directly and dislodge soil particles, which flows
along with the water--soil erosion. Little water percolates underground since the soil on barren
deforested slopes, baked in the hot sun, has poor porosity. Thus, the heavy rains cause soil erosion
and most of the water runs off, without percolating underground to recharge the aquifer. Most
agricultural practices in hilly regions having a high rainfall end up causing degradation of the land and
this is true in the case of Cherrapunji too. But in some places there, mining has replaces farmings,
which is even worse for the land and local population.

Who feels the pinch?

We, who buy water, boil it, and filter it? Or, flush it down the drain?
Or women, who walk long distances every day to collect water, clean or dirty?
Or people, who die of treatable, water-borne diseases?
Or, others who suffer from water-related poisoning (arsenic, fluoride, nitrates)?

Is there enough water?

Yet, there is scarcity !

In the developing world:
30% of population (1.2 billion people)
without safe, reliable supply
80% of all illnesses due to bad water
28 countries (335 million people) water-starved

It is getting worse
Countries with water stress or scarcity:
1990: 28 countries, 335 million people
2025: 50 countries (including India), 3 billion people
2050: all except four countries

Reasons for scarcity

Inaccessible: Much of the rain
falls in remote places,
runs off as flood, or
is needed by special ecosystems like wetlands, lakes, deltas
Distribution uneven over space and time
Some areas get too much, some get too little;
transport impractical
Floods in monsoon, drought in summer

More reasons for scarcity

Population explosion, urban shift
Pollution reduces usable supply
Global warming changes rainfall patterns
Inequity in allocation

The rich get more water

(empty wells in villages vs. flush toilets in cities)

Will the irrigation miracle last?

Irrigation takes 80% of usable water
5 times increase in the 20th century (especially since Green Revolution)
In China, India and Indonesia, more than 50% of food comes through irrigation
Most new agricultural land depends on unsustainable water use

Trouble ahead !
Land is lost due to salinization, reservoir siltation, shift of water use, etc
Problems of large dams: spiralling costs, environmental concerns, displacement of people, siltation
Growing demands from industry, cities
More food for increasing population

Conflicts over Water

Reason: More than 200 water bodies are shared by two or more countries
Water hotspots:
Nile Region
Euphrates Tigris
Middle East
Ganges Brahmaputra
Internal conflicts within a country

Is the water fit to drink ?

Water pollutants:
Organic wastes: Animal waste, sewage, food waste, etc.
Infectious micro-organisms: Worms, viruses and bacteria from infected organisms as well as human
and animal wastes.
Organic compounds: Synthetic chemicals from industrial effluents, surface runoff, and cleaning

More pollutants
Inorganic nutrients: Substances like nitrogen and phosphorus from animal waste, plant residues, and
fertilizer runoff.
Inorganic chemicals: Acids, salts, and heavy metals like lead and mercury from industrial effluents,
surface runoff, and household cleaning agents.
Radioactive substances: Wastes from nuclear installations.
Arsenic and fluoride in ground water

Its arsenic !
Arsenic poisoning:
Bangladesh: 1.5 m tubewells contaminated
Reason: Overextraction of ground water
India: Now affected, spreading
Severe health effects
No simple solution in sight

Or it is fluoride !
Fluoride poisoning:
Causes fluorosis, severe health problems
25 countries including China and India
Prevalent in most Indian states
Reason: Overextraction of ground water
60,000 villages with high fluoride levels
65 million people affected

India per capita availability (cu.m):
1951: 5177
1990: 2464
2007: 1800
2030: 1300 (expected)

India: Water Situation

Traditional tanks and ponds in disuse
Communities not in control of water
Ground water extraction far exceeds recharge
Water tables dropping at alarming rates
Farmers take 85% of water
Free electricity, subsidies
Green Revolution has doubled water needs

India: Water Situation

More than 60,000 villages without a source of drinking water.
>70% of Indias surface water resources are polluted by human waste or toxic chemicals GoI
(Government of India) (2009), State of Environment Report for India 2009, Minstry of Environment
and Forests.
Only 209 out of India's 3,119 towns and cities, have partial sewage treatment facilities; only 8 have
full facilities--WHO (1992)Russell Hopfenberg and David Pimentel HUMAN POPULATION NUMBERS
AS A FUNCTION OF FOOD SUPPLY oilcrash.com Retrieved on- February 2008
A 1995 report claimed 114 Indian cities were dumping untreated sewage and partially cremated
bodies directly into the Ganges River. ^^ National Geographic Society. 1995. Water: A Story of Hope.
Washington (DC): National Geographic Society

In 2011, 1.7 mi. children (under 5 yrs.) died due to diarrhea i.e. > 4,650 child deaths a day report by
the United Nations Childrens Fund.
45 mi. people affected by poor water quality

India's Sanitation: UNICEF

Only 31 % of India (21% if rural India) use improved sanitation (2008)

638 mi. people(over 50% of population) defecate in the open.

Bangladesh and Brazil-7% and China 4%
Installed sewage treatment capacity in India's Class I cities and Class II towns is only 21.3% (6190
MLD) of total sewage generated (29129 MLD).
i.e. 78.7% (22939 MLD) of sewage is discharged untreated

India's Hygiene: UNICEF

According to the Public Health Association,

Only 53% of the population wash hands with soap after defecation
Only 38 % wash hands with soap before eating
Only 30% wash hands with soap before preparing food.
Only 6% of rural children (under 5 yrs) use toilets.
Only 11% of rural India disposes child stools safely. 80% are left in the open or thrown into the

India's Hygiene: Simple solutions

Statistically it has been shown that diarrhea can be significantly reduced by:
Handwashing with soap reduces it by 44%
Household water treatment by 39%
Sanitation by 36%
Avoiding contamination during water supply by 23%
Source water treatment by 11%.

India: Industrial Water Use

40 67 billion cu.m / year
Discharge of wastewater pollutes good water
Increasing demand
Met by shift from agriculture
No incentive for reducing consumption:
Low prices
Pollution not taken into account
Opportunity cost not considered

Privatization is coming!
Public systems in crisis:
Decaying systems, leaks, high costs
Worldwide trend towards privatization
Pressure from World Bank, etc.
Powerful water industry
Most cases: higher prices, poor service

Non-Workable Solutions to the Water Crisis

Too Good to be True!

Why not just build more dams? Larger the better!
Well get hydro-power as a bonus too!
Drill borewells and use the groundwater?
Goundwater is available everywhere right?...Well, almost everywhere
Let's interlink the rivers--divert flood waters of the Himalayan rivers to the drought-prone rivers in the
Let's import products and reduce our need for water!


Dams are constructed obstructions in the flow path of a river:

Lead to the formation of a reservoir upstreamwater storage
Enable diversion of water to distant places through canals
Enable production of hydroelectricity from impounded water.

Narmada Valley Development Plan (NVDP)

30 big dams,
135 medium dams and
3000 small dams on the Narmada & its tributaries.
If all of these dams ever get built then the river as we know it will disappear and all that will be left are
a series of lakes.

Proposed Narmada Dams

Benefits of Large Dams

Irrigation water (96% of Indian dams)
Electricity (25% of Indias power)
Municipal and industrial water supply, and
flood control
Social benefits associated with the services
Ancillary benefits and indirect economic (or multiplier) benefits of dam projects

Social Impacts of Large Dams

Large areas of submergence
Villages, monuments, fertile land, natural habitats
Displacement of thousands of people without adequate compensation
Compensation is based on the amount of land owned:
landless households were typically not compensated whatsoever.
No compensation for loss of income or subsistence from communal holdings, such as common
grasslands and forests.
Uprooting of indigenous peoples and their cultures
Uncompensated oustees occupy slums in cities

Submergence (5.22 min)

Environmental Impacts
Serious toll on environment and biodiversity
Major disruptions in riverine ecosystems; damaged habitats
Severe erosion of downstream river-beds due to deprivation of sediment load
Changes in the physical habitat and hydrology of rivers are implicated in 93% of freshwater fauna
declines in North America.
98% of Niles sediments remains behind the Aswan dam resulting in reduced soil productivity &
serious impacts to Egypts floodplain agriculture.
Land degradation during construction, after displacement, and due to over-irrigation
Wastage of water resources due to evaporation, seepage through canals, stealing etc.

Disruption of River Systems

Disruption in timing and quantities of nutrients and freshwater in estuaries:
80% of the worlds fish catch comes from these habitats,
precipitous decline of sea fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico, the Black and Caspian Seas, Californias
San Francisco Bay, the Eastern Mediterranean and others.
Clam industry at the estuary of Volta River, Ghana disappeared.
Dams are the most destructive of the many abuses causing the rapid disappearance of riverine
About 20% of the worlds recognized 8,000 freshwater species are threatened with extinction.

Arguments Against Dams

Claimed benefits are never achieved. Claimed service lives are rarely achieved due to siltation etc.
Full costs are never accounted; major costs are hidden; Numbers of oustees often understated
A 1990 internal survey of World Bank: 58% hydroelectric dam projects were planned and built without
any consideration of downstream impacts
Impacts, even when these impacts could be predicted to cause massive coastal erosion, pollution
and other problems.
The claimed Benefit : Cost ratio is not achieved in practice

Arguments Against Dams Contd

Large Dams attract corruption and vested interests leading to an enormous drain on the nations
There is no evidence that dams have been very cost effective, and they have significantly adverse
distributional implications.
Reservoir-induced seismicity (earthquakes)

Dubious Claims
Actual share of dam-irrigation increase in Indian food production from 1951-2000 as low as 9%
(claimed 25%); the rest is attributable to biotechnology, fertilizers and pesticides.
Same benefit to agriculture is possible with other irrigation systems

World Commission on Dams [WCD]

Past decision-making and planning efforts often have neither adequately assessed nor accounted for
the adverse social impact of large dams. As a result, the construction and operation of large dams has
had serious and lasting effects on the lives, livelihoods and health of affected communities.

WCD Report Continued

40 to 80 mi. people physically displaced by dams worldwide
Livelihood and productivity of millions affected
Many displaced, have not been recognized or compensated
Poor, other vulnerable groups and future generations are likely to bear a disproportionate share of
the social and environmental costs of large dam projects, without gaining a commensurate share of
the economic benefits.
Larger the dam, greater the impacts on society and environment

Whose Benefit and at Whose Cost?

The WCD underlines the fact that the balancing of gains and losses as a way of judging the merits of
a large dam project - or selecting the best options - is not acceptable where the mismatch between
people who gain from the benefits and those who pay the costs is of such a serious, pervasive and
sometimes irreversible nature.
Gains to command area and losses to catchment area

Removing Barriers
Barriers to reforms:
Influence of vested interests,
legal and regulatory gaps,
disincentives for compliance
lack of monitoring,
participation and transparency
The Commission has found that these barriers are surmountable and the difficulties not inevitable.
The report demonstrates that an approach based on the recognition of rights and the assessment of
risks can lead to greatly improved and significantly more legitimate decision-making on water and
energy development.
Activists such as Medha Patkar are not so optimistic

Global Controversial Dam Projects

China: Three Gorges project $180 billion on the Yangtze. Watch Video (19.34 min)
1.4 million displaced; 4 million more to be relocated due to environmental damage caused by the
Flooded several important archaeological sites.
Turkey, Chile, and many more

Groundwater Extraction: Simply Drill Borewells to Get Enough Water!

Groundwater constitutes > 65% of irrigation water and 85% of drinking water
60% of groundwater sources will be in a critical state of degradation within the next 20 yrs.
In the NW states, 33 cm/yr decline in water table from 2002 to 2008.
Local observations of annual water table decline exceeding 4 m are common throughout India.

Can we interlink the rivers?

When the Brahmaputra is in spate,

Assam is submerged in floods.

When the Ganges overflows, Bihar is flooded.

At the same time, other parts of the country are reeling under drought.

Several parts of South India go without water.

Interlink the rivers!

What are the hopes ?

Claimed benefits of interlinking Indian rivers:

No more droughts
No more floods
More power (30,000 MW)

What does interlinking of rivers mean ?

Budget Rs. 500 lakh crores (US$ 10000 billion)
Do we have free energy to pump the enormous quantity of water over the elevated Deccan Plateau?
High price of water?
Political problems in sharing river waters
Ecological and social problems
Submergence of habitats, forests and fertile land
Destruction of wildlife and biodiversity
Displacement of people

What is virtual water ?

If we dont have enough water, we create VIRTUAL WATER!
Water embodied in products
Import products, save water
China: 700 cu m per capita per year, mostly from within the country
Japan: 1150 cu m per capita per year, 65% from imported products

Virtual water content

Global average per unit of product (Litres)
Potato (100g) 25
Slice of bread (30g) 40
Cup of coffee (125ml) 140
Bag of potato crisps (200g) 185
Glass of milk (200ml) 200
Hamburger (150g) 2400
Cotton T-shirt (medium, 500g) 4100
Pair of shoes (bovine leather) 8000

Dreams of the Optimists

A new, cheap energy source make desalination affordable?
Icebergs or huge water bags towed to needy places?
New deep aquifers full of water?

Water Crisis
Non-Workable Solutions to the Water Crisis
Construct numerous large dams
Drill numerous borewells
Interlink the rivers
Import water-intensive produce (create virtual water)
Ground Water
Aquifers and Strata
Extraction of Ground Water
Yield of a Well
Groundwater conservation
Solutions to the Water Crisis
Watershed Management & Rainwater harvesting
Developing highly productive and low input polycultures in agriculture.
Reduce, reuse, recycle water in industry and urban areas.

1. Hydrogeology: What is it?

Hydrogeology examines the relationships of geologic materials and flowing water
Volume, water fluxes, and water quality are important

Occurrence of Ground Water

An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials
(gravel, sand, silt, or clay) from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using a water well.
The study of water flow in aquifers and the characterization of aquifers is called hydrogeology.
The surface of saturated material in an aquifer is known as the water table.
Aquitard: poorly permeable layer along an aquifer that permits storage of water but obstructs
movement. E.g sandy clay
Aquiclude: permits storage of water but not capable of transmitting water in sufficient quantity. Eg.
Aquifuge: which is a solid, impermeable area beneath an aquifer that neither contains nor transmits
water. eg. Solid granite


Types of Aquifers

Artesian Well

Aquifer: A 3-Phase System

Void ratio (fraction) = Vv/V0
Porosity (n) = Vv/V = (Va + Vw)/V
For fully saturated soil (aquifer), Va = 0; (n) = Vw/V
V = total volume; Vs = volume of dry soil
Va = volume of air; Vw = volume of water

Useful Porosity
Say the total porosity in the saturated zone is 30%
Say 15% tightly held and
And 15% in large pores that drains easily and can be pumped out.

Specific Yield and Retention

Effective porosity or specific yield (SY) : volume of water per unit volume of aquifer that can be
extracted by pumping.
Specific Retention (SR) is the tightly held water. This cannot be pumped out.
SY helps determine the volume of groundwater available from a given aquifer to the actual : Volume
= Area x ST x SY
ST = Saturated thickness

Darcys Law

Q = k x (h/L) x A


h/L = i = hydraulic gradient

k = coefficient of permeability (units L/T)

k x i = Q/A = v = superficial velocity of flow (superficial since actual area of flow is much smaller)

Yield of a Well
The rate of withdrawal or pumping of water from a well without causing failure or drying of the well
Depends on:
Dimensions of well
Location of nearby wells
Porosity of aquifer
Quantity of water present in aquifer
Water table level

Pumping a WellDrawdown
Upon pumping, water level in the well drops because the water isn't replaced fast enough from the
surrounding soils.
There can be three impediments to flow of replacement water into the well:
there just isn't sufficient water in storage within the soil pores;
the rate of ground-water flow through the soil isn't sufficient to sustain the pumping rate
Well screen is limiting to the seepage of water into the well.
Cone of depression

Cone of depression: Inverted cone-like piezometric surface centered around well axis, upon
Area of influence: Area of the horizontal projection of the cone of depression.
Circle of influence: Circular boundary of the horizontal projection of the cone of depression
Radius of influence: Radius of circular horizontal projection of the cone of depression
Drawdown: Extent of depression of the piezometric surface ( as compared to the un-pumped level) at
a given distance from well axis.

Unconfined AquiferCone of Depresion

Unconfined Aquifer
Dupuits Formula

Q = [ K (H2-h2)]/[2.303log10(R/r)]
R = 3000s(k)1/2 ( units: R-m; s-m, k-m/s)
s + h = H
Thiems Formula

Q = [1.36 K (h22-h12)]/[log10(r2/r1)]
s1 + h1 = H; s2 + h2 = H

Confined AquiferCone of Depression

Confined Aquifer
Dupuits Formula

Q = [2 K b (H-h)]/[2.303log10(R/r)]
Sichardts Expression R = 3000s(k)1/2 ( units: R-m; s-m, k-m/s)
s + h = H
Thiems Formula

Q = [2 K b (s1-s2)]/[2.303log10(r2/r1)]
s1 + h1 = H; s2 + h2 = H


melting snow
Infiltration by streams and lakes

Recharge wells
Water spread over land in pits, furrows, ditches
Small dams in stream channels to detain and deflect water

Water Crisis
Non-Workable Solutions to the Water Crisis
Construct numerous large dams
Drill numerous borewells
Interlink the rivers
Import water-intensive produce (create virtual water)
Ground Water
Aquifers and Strata
Extraction of Ground Water
Yield of a Well
Groundwater conservation
Solutions to the Water Crisis
Watershed Management & Rainwater harvesting
Developing highly productive and low input polycultures in agriculture.
Reduce, reuse, recycle water in industry and urban areas.

Solutions to the Water Crisis

Before we get to the solutions, let's recall some facts...and then try to evolve solutions.

Water: Facts and Considerations

India: Water and Health
80% of all illnesses are due to bad water
1.7 mi./p.a. child diarrhoea deaths
45 million people affected by poor water quality
All of these illnesses are avoidable if
Wastewater is properly treated (But conventional wastewater treatment is expensive and energy-
Proper hygiene and sanitation is provided. (But providing conventional sanitation increases water
Drinking and domestic water resources are protected from contamination.


Water: Facts and Considerations

India domestic wastewater:
>70% of surface water is polluted by sewage or toxic chemicals.
78% of domestic sewage in Class 1 and 2 cities is discharged untreated.
Treatment virtually nonexistent in smaller towns
Rs 1,091 mi. of agro-fertilization value lost annually.
50% of domestic water for flushing...blackwater
Mixing grey and black water increases the wastewater volume, energy and cost.
Conventional treatment costs are staggering; but alternatives exist.
Conventional: 1800-8000 KWh/MG
Alternative method (Soil biotech method, IITB): 0.01
KWh/MG http://unstats.un.org/unsd/environment/envpdf/pap_wasess3b6india.pdf; http://www.cee1.or
g/ind/mot-sys/ww/pge1.pdf; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2Fj.chemosphere.2007.11.048

India's Rainfall
>80% of India gets at least 40 cm rain.
Watershed management and rainwater harvesting is convenient for most places in India.

Land Degradation MapIndia

Land Degradation: 105 mi. ha (32.07%)
Desertification 81.45 mi. ha (24.78%)

Cost of Land Degradation

Degraded land costs Rs. 28,500 crore to India
Equivalent to 12% loss in total value productivity of these lands.
Wasteland in India cover 120.4 million hectare (Mha) Indian Council of Agricultural Research and
Dept. of Space
Urgent need to improve soil organic carbon and soil mositure-- Add organic waste to soil?

Embodied Water
All products contain embodied water:
oPotato (100g) 25L
oSlice of bread (30g) 40L
oCup of coffee (125ml) 140L
oBag of potato crisps (200g) 185L
oGlass of milk (200ml) 200L
oHamburger (150g) 2400L
oCotton T-shirt (medium, 500g) 4100L
oPair of shoes (bovine leather) 8000L
Your shopping costs the nation water and energy!
Reducing consumerism reduces the crisis in water and energy.

Important Inferences
Improvements in water management (including collecting, storing, use, reuse and treatment) can
ogreatly improve human health and living conditions
oreduce energy use
oreduce the depletion of ground and surface water reserves
oreduce the waste problem
oreduce environmental pollution and damage

Important Inferences
Separation of greywater from blackwater
ofacilitates water reuse
oreduces energy consumption during treatment.
Composting toilets can
oReduce the household water use by nearly 50%
oSave a lot of energy.
oYield compost with high nutrient value for agriculture or gardening.
Alternative ways of wastewater treatment can
oSave a lot of energy (also money)
oProvide substantial benefits (like compost, agricultural produce etc.)
oCan have longer treatment times and greater land requirements.

Towards a Solution to the Water Crisis

Water, agriculture, food and waste are inseparable.

80% water goes for agriculture.
>50% food comes from irrigated land (35% of arable land).
70% water sources polluted mainly due to sewage contamination. 78% waste is discharged into river,
lakes and ground, untreated.
50% of domestic water for flushing...blackwater.
Mixing grey and black water increases the wastewater volume, energy and cost.
Less energy-intensive water treatment methods are available 0.01KWh/MG (Conventional: 1800-
8000 KWh/MG)
>80% of India gets at least 40 cm rain.

Solutions to the Water Crisis

Slowing the flow of water from rainfall to the sea.
Watershed Management
Rainwater harvesting
Improve Agriculture
Develop highly productive and low input polycultures.
Reuse, recycle water
Eliminate persistent chemicals from the water use cycle to facilitate recycling and reuse.
Industries and residential areas to treat water with low energy methods and recycle or reuse the

Solutions: Slowing the flow of water from rainfall to the sea

Dying wisdom

Ancient methods intercepted the flow of water without ecological disturbance.

Hill and mountain regions:
Diversion channels ( guhls and kuhls of western Himalaya).
Arid and semi-arid regions:
Tanks (the eri system of Tamil Nadu).
Checkdams (johads of Rajasthan).
Plains and floodplains:
Inundation channels (West Bengal).
Coastal area:
Control saline water intrusion(khazana lands of Goa).

Low cost, community controlled, adapted to local ecology and offered protection from droughts and

Solutions: Watershed Management

For Watershed Management to serve as an alternative to large dams, it must address the following
invaluable functions of large dams:
Provide water for irrigation and domestic use.
Provide energy
Provide flood management

Solutions: Watershed Management Objectives

Controlling water runoff and utilizing it for useful ends.
Increasing infiltration of rainwater and groundwater recharge.
Reducing soil erosion and sedimentation.
Protecting the watershed from deterioration and improving its sustained productivity (agriculture,
timber, fodder and wildlife)
Enhancing the water resource of the watershed.
Moderating downstream floods.

Solutions: Watershed Management

Community Involvement

Watershed management programmes must:

Educate the local community before implementation.
Involve the community in all steps of the implementation and monitoring.
Provide for water, food and energy self-sufficiency for the community.
Provide livelihood and opportunity in an equitable and just manner to the community.
Watershed management programmes are generally integrated with agriculture, afforestation, village
self-government, community education and empowerment.

Solutions: Watershed Management Practices

1. Preventative Measures
Fire control
Prevention of deforestation esp. on slopes.
Prevention of overgrazing
Practice of conservation agriculture and prevention of water overuse.
Prevention of other forms of land degradation

2. Vegetative measures (Agronomical measures)

Conservation agriculture: Choose suitable crops and methods.
Pasture cropping
Afforestation for timber

Solutions: Watershed Management Practices

3. Engineering measures ( Structural practices)

Contour bunding, planting and terracing
Construction of earthen embankments
Construction of check dams
Construction of surface and underground water tanks
Construction of percolation tanks and direct aquifer recharge
Small and medium dams

Solutions: Flood Management in Watershed Management

Reducing the scale of floods through better catchment management, controlling runoff, and
protection of wetlands.
Multiple small dams (with fish ladders etc), bunds, percolation tanks throughout catchment
Isolation of flood threat by flood embankments, flood proofing and limiting floodplain development.
Increasing people's coping capacity with emergency planning, forecasting, warnings, evacuation,
compensation and insurance.

Solutions: Energy in Watershed Management Programs

In order to compensate for the energy output of hydroelectric projects:

Micro-hydro (<100KW) & mini-hydro (<10MW) projects can be effectively integrated with watershed
management plans.
It is possible to obtain equal or greater power generation in a distributed manner.
Other renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biogas should be deployed throughout the

Solutions: Watershed Management


Our Land, Our Future: A Watershed Management Success Story in BurhanPura, Sikar District,
Rajasthan (9.10 min)

Hiware Bazar: The town of 52 Millionares

Renaissance Farm Water Systems explained by Peter Bane- The Permaculture Handbook (9.28 min)

Harvesting Water DVD - The Swale Plume (1.38 min)

Solutions: Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting for drinking water
Need: 5 L/capita/day; 1825 L/capita/yr
Collection: L/m2/capita per cm of avg. annual rainfall.
>70% India gets at least 40 cm rain.
>70% population has more than 5 m2/capita roof area
With 5 m2 roof area and 40 cm rain, 2000L can be collected.
Excess collected water to recharge aquifer through borewell.

Solutions: Improving agriculture

Need to develop highly productive low input polycultures/ intercropping/ agro-ecosystems with the
following features:
Max. food calories/liter water
Strategies such as mulching, biochar amendment to reduce soil water evaporation, retain soil
moisture and nutrients .
Crops adapted to local conditions: temperature, drought, salinity etc.
Include alternative crops such as minor millets and vegetables, tree crops etc.
Provide pest and disease resilience
Use conservation irrigation practices such as drip irrigation.
Using greywater / reclaimed water for irrigation.
Conservation-favoring water tariffs, regulation, subsidies.

Solutions: Industrial and Domestic Water

Industries must recycle water 100%; closed loop production.
This will raise production costs.
Encourage conscientious consumption.
Eliminate persistent chemicals from the water use cycle to facilitate recycling and reuse.
Use low-energy water treatment and recycling
e.g. Planted filters, constructed wetlands, soil biotechnology (IIT-B), DEWATS etc.
Domestic water can be recycled and used for home gardening, agriculture, forestry.
Solve the wastewater problem, improve soil fertility with low energy inputs.

More Solutions: Industrial and Domestic Water

Supply-side options:
Leakage reduction programmes, which stabilise and reduce losses from piped systems.
Rainwater harvesting through rooftops, tanks and other methods.
Infiltration techniques to maintain groundwater levels in areas that have short but intensive rainy
Reuse and recycling of water.
Desalination, although current techniques are both expensive and energy intensive.

More Solutions: Industrial and Domestic Water

Demand-side options:
Establishing rights for users to use or trade their water allocations, thus enabling water to be used
more productively.
Realistic pricing to recover the full financial and environmental costs of water, and the creation of
thus avoiding hidden subsidies and waste.
Technical (water efficient) standards for industrial and household equipment e.g. washing machines.
Respect for existing legislation and control of water use.
Education and awareness raising of consumers on water saving.
What can I do?
Minimize personal water use (domestic, gardening, etc)
Consume only what you need. Shop less and waste nothing!
Install/build home greywater recycling systems.
Use the recycled water for a kitchen garden.
Install water-conserving toilets or composting toilets
Close / repair leaking taps
Use natural domestic and personal cleaners and cosmetics. Avoid toxic chemicals in the home and
Install rainwater harvesting.
Disseminate information on efficient technologies, organic farming.

The trouble with water is that they are not making more of it.

Marq de Villiers



Urban rainwater harvesting

Why harvest rainwater ?

Supplement piped water / ground water
Mitigate flooding
Increase soil moisture and groundwater aquifer (improve quality)
Preserve water bodies
Prevent salinity ingress

Catch the rain in two ways!

Rooftop rainwater harvesting
Collection and storage of rooftop rainwater for future use
Surface water harvesting
Collection and storage from paved and unpaved areas for future use

Sustainability City as a catchment

Bangalore as an example
Rainwater endowment in Bangalore
Annual average rainfall 970 mm
3000 million litres per day

How much rainwater can be collected in Bangalore?

100 sq m roof area gets 97,000 litres of rainwater every year

1 Acre of land - 39 lakh litres
1 Hectare of land - 97 lakh litres

Components of R.W.H
Rooftops (RCC, Tiles, GI , AC, any other)
Rainwater gutters, slopes ,chains
First rain separators , filters
Surface ( Sumps, ponds, tanks )
Subsurface ( soil, aquifers .)

Catchment - Roof Treatment

Surface treatment of roof with white paint:

enhances runoff
roof is easier to clean
provides thermal insulating properties

First rain separators

Usually 1 mm to 2.5 mm of initial rain to be separated
Simple device

Crucial element of rooftop rainwater harvesting
Can improve water quality tremendously
Pre filters and post filters are options
Need for good designs of rainwater filters to handle flow as well as to maintain quality

Rainwater Filters

Filter for a Rain Barrel

Rain water harvesting

Low income area

Surface water harvesting

Site identification
Should have a sufficient , clean catchment
Should permit fast infiltration and percolation

Should be carefully done
Should reach porous soil

Should be with round hard material with maximum voids
Should prevent sides from collapsing in

Graded material

Smaller stones on top


What is a recharge well?

A recharge well takes water from a catchment and seeks to recharge ground water directly bypassing
the soil medium.
It reduces evaporation losses from the rainwater endowment on a catchment as well as the soil
moisture makeup component

Identify the area of catchment
Ensure that it is clean and unpolluted
Determine total runoff and maximum runoff from rainfall data
Identify natural drainage flow channels or create artificial drainage channels

Procedure (contd.)
Locate recharge well in the channel or off the channel
Make arrangements to remove silt and leaves before water enters recharge well
Monitor the rate of recharge and decide on the number of recharge wells necessary for the

Procedure (contd.)
Monitor the water table for both levels and quality
With a good aquifer, the ground water table should rise and the recharge well can become a
withdrawal well

More information from



n Class Notes: (These go over the slides shown in class)

Lecture 1: The Facts & The Causes

1) The Facts:

a. Annual Growth:

i. 75 million/year in 1982

ii. Peak Growth: 87 million/year in 1987

iii. 77 million/year in 2007

iv. Highest growth rates are in:

1. The Middle East

2. South Asia

3. Southeast Asia (India)

4. Latin America

5. Sub-Saharan Africa

v. WAKE UP: What do these countries have in common?

1. Poverty!!!

2. They are each developing countries

3. Each struggle with inner strife, war, disease, food shortage, and
other factors

b. Current Trends:

i. To avert disaster, population must be reduced

1. In the U.S. by 1/3

2. The rest of the World, by 2/3

ii. WAKE UP: Why does the US have to reduce their

population by so much if they

c. Population Explosion

i. Graph 1: World Population Growth

ii. Graph 2: Population Density
iii. Notice how most of the worlds population live
in developing countries.

d. Defining Population

i. Birth rate: # of births/1,000

ii. Growth rate: % of persons naturally added/subtracted

from a population per year (not accounting for migration)

iii. Doubling Time: The number of years is takes to double

a population at the current growth rate

2) The Causes (10 minutes)

a. Why is growth so high in developing countries (see the density graph above)

i. Low literacy among women

ii. Child marriage (outlawed in all developed countries)

iii. Less knowledge, availability, and social acceptance of

using birth control
iv. High mortality rates among the poorest prompts having
more children

v. Stable families v.s. Impoverished families

1. families based on traditional values opt for more children v.s.

increased instability in urban areas due to divorce and separation
limits the number of children

vi. Children used for family labor:

1. Children looked upon as more hands to work and a pension plan

(as compared to urban areas where children are seen as an
additional expense and an impediment to women's careers

b. Class Activity:

i. See class activity within the course content

i. Flawed Logic: How is flawed thinking impacting the

population crisis?

1. Men are treating women fine!

2. Poor women don't need to learn how to read

3. Birth control is not necessary, and inappropriate to talk about

4. It's okay to have a large family, even if it risks the entire country

5. Only the poor should be prevented from having large families

6. WAKE UP: What other flawed thinking patterns are making the
population crisis worse?

ii. Causes of Recent Spike since the 18th Century

1. Reduced Mortality rates due to:

a. Better nutrition

b. Improved medicine

c. Improved sanitation

d. Improved living standards

2. Birth rates slowing falling in developed countries, but developing

countries large numbers of youth in reproductive age.

Lecture 2: Effects of Population & Over Consumption

1) The Effects of Population

a. Impacts of Too Many People: Overview

i. Socioeconomic Impacts

ii. Environmental Impacts

iii. Role of Consumption

iv. Did you know? Over 42,000 babies are born in

India every day!!

b. Socioeconomic Impacts:

i. Famine, starvation, malnutrition

ii. Poverty, low standards of living, increase in slums

1. As slums increase, the impact on the environment also increases

iii. low life expectancy

iv. Exploitation, degradation of ethical and moral standards

1. Example: Dehli rape; there are currently 18 million people living

in Dehli, with the numbers increasing every day.

2. Corruption; as police forces struggle to cope with the rising

numbers, the potential for corruption, misuse of funds, and taking
advantage of the situation increases.

v. Increased crime rates, war, disease, etc.

1. Look at the world map and identify some of the countries with the
most poor citizens per capita

a. Africa

b. Middle East

c. Southeast Asia

2. Now, consider which countries experience the most internal

strife? Do you see the correlation?

c. Environmental Impacts:

i. Water:

1. Increased ground water extraction

a. Within India, ground water is not regulated, and irrigation

is poorly implemented, further complicating this delicate

2. Increasing number of dams built for hydroelectric power

a. There is current controversy over damming the Holy

3. Increased water pollution due to:

a. Poor sewage treatment systems within India (do you

remember the example of Dehli from the video?)

b. Slums lack water treatment all together, and often must

resort to defiacting in rivers, streams, or on the street. This
further pollutes the entire city.

c. Increasing agricultural, residential, and industrial

activities have an immediate impact on water resources.

i. Most of
Indias agriculture utilizes pesticides and fertilizers;
India has yet to make the transition to organic
farming as the west is starting to do. As we will learn
later in the class, pesticides cause blood cancer in
humans, and fertilizers lead to the death of aquatic
ecosystems. The more agriculture you have, the
more water pollution and water use that inevitably
goes with it.

ii. Within
India, irrigation is not properly monitored. As such,
water is often wasted, or not enough water gets to

ii. Food & Agriculture:

1. As the population increases, the demand for food inevitably goes

with it. Agriculture utilizes more water, chemicals, land, and energy.
Although India has highly productive agriculture, it is suffering with a
severe lack of organization and proper refrigeration, resulting in the
most food loss than any other country worldwide. Food waste is
become a serious problem in India, especially as the population
spins out of control.

2. Deforestation:

a. As populations increase, the need for land also

increases. Since forests have fertile soil, and since there is
an increasing pressure to build houses to accommodate a
growing Indian population, the forest is seen as a quick
solution for more agricultural land. However, without stable
forest ecosystems, the entire surrounding environment
collapses. Forests maintain the precious balance of both
water, soil, and air, while also supporting the plant and
animal life necessary for maintaining this balance. As
humans require more and more land for food and housing,
cutting down trees to build houses and make space for
agriculture, we are destroying the most valuale ecosystems
that will ultimately ensure our long term survival. As the
Indian population continues to grow out of control, and as
forests continue to be destroyed, the ability of the
environment to support the growing populations will fail. This
will lead to widespread natural disasters.

b. What is the root of this problem? How

is selfishness and greed playing a part in the population
problem, and the problem of deforestation?

c. Amma has said that the one word solution to the worlds
problem is compassion. If we had more compassion for the
environment, for our fellow citizens, and for ourselves, how
might this influence the health and harmony of the planet? Is
it even possible to stop the problems associated with
overpopulation within India?

3. Energy:

a. More people require more energy. As the population

grows, we are extracting more natural resources than the
planet can regenerate. This is called unsustainable
behavior. It is irresponsible, as it will inevitably lead to the
collapse of our economic, environmental, and social

b. Growing populations also lead to the increase in fossil

fuel use. Much of the developing world, including India and
China, still rely on coal power for energy. Coal is the dirtiest
form of fuel.

i. This is
exacerbating the problem with global warming and
climate change.

ii. If we dont
get our population under control, we will run out of
fossil fuels, and see more and more wars over this
precious nonrenewable resource.

c. Damming Rivers: Hydroelectric power is a controversial

form of energy, with many environmental impacts that will be
discussed later in the class. As populations grow, more
energy is needed, and it is extracted from many sources,
including rivers.

d. Deforestation: Wood for fuel

i. Forests
are cleared for agriculture, the natural resources
within the forests, and obviously, for the fuel
produced form burning wood.

ii. In poor
countries, much of the population relies on wood for
all of their fuel needs, rather than coal or natural gas.
Many people illegally enter forests and harvest wood
to sell. This further complicates the issue, and
stresses the ecosystem even further.
e. The Result of Increasing Need for Energy: Climate
change, war, famine, crime, poverty, deforestation, loss of
biodiversity, upsetting the balance of nature, the list goes on.

f. The Lesson: we are taking more than we are giving

back. What sort of consequences will this have in the near

4. Waste & Space:

a. More homes built = more land destroyed

b. More slums = more children born into poverty = more

slums = more land/water damaged

c. Do you see how these are all connected?

5. Infrastructure:

a. As the need for building roads increases, more land

is fragmented. When you fragment land, more animals die
as a result of having to cross more roads to find sources of
food and water. This degrades the overall health of the

b. As more people drive cars and motorcycles, more fossil

fuels is burned, thus contributing to the already
existing problem of global warming.

c. Within India, the growing population requires more

sewage and waste treatment. However, due to corruption
and public complacency (not caring about a problem and
choosing not to do anything about it), the waste management
systems are not being implemented across India. When
there are no waste and sewage management systems,
pollution increases, contributing to cancer rates throughout
the country, collapsing ecosystems, water pollution, soil
pollution, air pollution (from improperly burning garbage), and
many others.

d. Increasing impoverished populations require more social

welfare. However, due to greed, corruption, and a lack of
participation within Indias citizens, the most destitute do not
receive the help they need. This leads to more unnecessary
suffering. As the poor become poorer, they continue to have
children that can work to earn money for the family. Whats
more, the more mouths there are to feed, the less likely
women are to improving their lives. When women are poorly
educated and lack access to birth control, they are forced to
do whatever their husband says, even if its at the expense of
their health and happiness. Thus, poor women will have
more children, the cycle continues and the problem gets

2) Consumption v.s. Over Consumption

a. India: More people = more materials needed = more strain on the environment
and the society as a whole

i. However, as India becomes westernized and adopts

destructive western values, such as materialism, without imbibing positive
western values, such as sustainability, Indians start to take more than their
share from the earth.

b. U.S.: More people = even more materials needed = even more strain on foreign
and domestic environments

1. However, the more you by, the bigger the internal hole gets, so
you buy more, and the hole gets bigger.

2. This music video, extremely popular in the U.S., is an example of

the fall out of consumption within the American culture. As Americans
continue to buy more and more, acquiring more debt in order to meet
their growing appetites, they are left with an internal hole. Today,
due to the economic collapse of 2008, the American people are
learning that materialism does not lead to happiness, and is the
primary source of their suffering. Greed and happiness are not
synonymous. There is a growing resurgence of yoga, meditation,
family game nights, cooking at home, and outdoor activities within the
U.S., as a decreasing middle class and growing poor class seek
ways to find internal peace and happiness.

a. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmjQvinAvAg (3.5

b. There is a hole and I tried to fill it with money, money

money. But it gets bigger till your horse is always running,
running running. Mike Snow, Animal

c. The Social Fallout of Consumption ( 5 min)

1. The failure of additional wealth and consumption to help people

have satisfying lives may be the most eloquent argument for
reevaluating our current approach to consumption. -World Watch

2. INTO THE DETAILS (click on the slide to see it): Personal

Costs associated with consumption (taken from World Watch Report)

a. Financial strain and debt

b. Time and stress associated with having to work to

support high consumption

c. The time it takes to clean, upgrade, store, or otherwise

maintain posessions

d. The ways in which consumption replaces time with family

and friends

d. Class Discussion: (10 minutes)

1. Why is India adopting western values, such as materialism?

2. Why are so many educated Indians leaving the west (Brain

3. What impact is this having on Indias culture, population, and


4. Why dont more citizens stand up against greed and corruption?

5. What is your responsibility?

a. Is knowing our negative thought patterns about

population and consumption will harm others and
choosing not to act acceptable behavior?

b. Do we want to see India fall apart due to greed,

corruption, and overpopulation?

c. Do we have the will to stand up against the greed?

d. What will I do to solve the problem?

--End of Overpopulation Lecture--

Case Study:

Slowing Population Growth in India

For more than 5 decades, India has tried to control

its population growth with only modest success. The

worlds first national family planning program began

in India in 1952, when its population was nearly 400

million. In 2009, after 56 years of population control

efforts, India had 1.2 billion peoplethe worlds second

largest population.

In 1952, India added 5 million people to its population.

In 2009, it added 18 millionmore than any other

country. The United Nations projects that by 2015, India

will be the worlds most populous country, and by 2050

will have a population of 1.78 billion.

India faces a number of serious poverty, malnutrition,

and environmental problems that could worsen

as its population continues to grow rapidly. It has a

thriving and rapidly growing middle class of more

than 100 million peopleroughly equal to a third of

the U.S. populationa number of them highly skilled

software developers and entrepreneurs. On the other

hand, nearly half of the countrys labor force is unemployed

or underemployed, and 80% of its people

are struggling to live on the equivalent of less than 60 P

a day.

For decades, the Indian government has provided

family planning services throughout the country and

has strongly promoted a smaller average family size.

Even so, Indian women have an average of 2.7 children.

Two factors help account for larger families in

India. Most poor couples believe they need several children

to work and care for them in old age. And, as in

China, the strong cultural preference for male children

also means that some couples keep having children

until they produce one or more boys. The result: Even

though 9 of every 10 Indian couples have access to at

least one modern birth control method, only about one

of every two couples actually use one.

India is undergoing rapid economic growth, which

is expected to accelerate. As members of its growing

middle class increase their resource use per person

will expand and increase the

pressure on the countrys and the earths natural

capital. On the other hand, economic growth may

help India to slow its population growth by accelerating

its demographic transition.

That's it! Good job! If you read the assigned reading, you should do great on the exam.