Q. 1. Describe the nature of water pollution in India.
Ans. (i) Indiscriminate use of water by increasing population and industrial expansion has led to degradation of the quality of water considerably. Surface water available from rivers, canals, lakes, etc. are never pure. It contains small quantities of suspended particles, organic and inorganic substances.
(ii) Though water pollutants are also created from natural sources such as decomposition of plants and animals, pollutants from human sources are the real causses of concern.
(iii) Industries produce several undesirable products including industrial wastes, polluted waste water, poisonous gases, chemical residuals, numerous heavy metals, dust, smoke, etc.,
(iv) Most of the industrial wastes are disposed off in running water or lakes. Consequently, poisonous elements, reach the reservoirs, rivers and other waste bodies, which destroy the bio-system of these waters.
(v) Various types of chemicals used in modern agriculture such as inorganic fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides are also pollution generating compounds. These chemicals also infiltrate the soil to reach the groundwater. Cultural activities such as pilgrimage, religious fairs, tourism, etc., also cause water pollution.
Q. 2. Suggest measures for reduction of land degradation.
Ans. The changes in the characteristics and quality of soil which adversely affect its fertility is called as degradation. Land degradation is the major consequence of direct interference of human activities in the natural phenomenon.
Major causes of land degradation are : deforestation, overgrazing, modern agricultural practices and urbanisation. Measures for reducing of land degradation:
(i) Strip farming: It is a practice in which cultivated crops are sown in alternative strips to prevent water movement.
(ii) Crop rotation: It is one of the agricultural practice in which different crops are grown in same area following a rotation system which helps in replenishment of the soil.
(iii) Ridge and furrow formation: Soil erosion is one of the factors responsible for land degradation. It can be prevented by formation of ridge and furrow during irrigation which lessens run off.
(iv) Construction of dams: This usually checks or reduces the velocity of run off so that supports vegetation.
(v) Contour farming: This type of farming is usually practiced across the hill side and is useful in collecting and diverting the run off to avoid erosion.