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Key Concepts: Water Resources | Social Studies (SST) Class 10 PDF Download

Around 75% of the Earth's surface is enveloped by water, but only a tiny fraction of this water is suitable and within our reach. This mainly includes water that flows on the surface and is stored underground, which can be replenished through natural water processes. However, the problem of insufficient water supply continues to exist.

Sources of Water

  •  The main source of water on earth is the hydrological cycle.

Water CycleWater Cycle

  • India receives nearly 4% of the global precipitation to rank 133rd in the world in terms of water availability per person per annum.
    Note: If water is not conserved, by 2025 a large part of India will face water scarcity.

Causes of Water Scarcity

(1)  Overuse of water
(2) Pollution of water
(3) Conflict
(5)  Drought
(6) Industrialization 


Water Resources and Management

  • The multipurpose projects are meant to tackle various problems associated with river valleys in an integrated manner.
  • They help to control flood, check soil erosion, provide water for irrigation and drinking purposes, generate electricity for industries, villages, cities, provide inland navigation, help in preservation of wildlife and development of fisheries.

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Multi-Purpose River Projects

  • Damodar Valley Corporation — built on river Damodar — beneficiary states are Jharkhand and West Bengal.
  • Bhakra Nangal — built on river Sutlej — beneficiary states are Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh
  • Hirakud — built on river Mahanadi — beneficiary state is Orissa.
  • Kosi — built on river Kosi — beneficiary state is Bihar and our neighbouring country Nepal.
  • Chambal Valley — built on river Chambal — beneficiary states are Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
  • The greatest example of integrated water management is the building of multipurpose river projects.
  1. These include the dam which is built not just for irrigation and flood control but also for generation of hydroelectricity for industrial uses, recreation, inland navigation and fish breeding.
  2. Many such projects have caused environmental damages by inducing earthquakes, destroying natural habitats, causing water-borne diseases and water pollution.

Rainwater harvesting 


is a technique of increasing the recharge of groundwater by capturing and storing rainwater by constructing wells, percolating pits and check dams.                                                     

The main objectives of the rainwater harvesting are :

  1. To meet the increasing demand of water.
  2. To reduce runoff.
  3. To avoid the flooding of roads.
  4. To augment the groundwater storage and raise the water table.
  5. To reduce groundwater pollution.
  6. To improve the quality of groundwater.
  7. To supplement domestic water requirement during summer and long dry spells. 
  8. Many thought that given the disadvantages and rising resistance against the multipurpose projects, water harvesting system was a viable alternative, both socio-economically and environmentally.
  9. People had in-depth knowledge of rainfall regimes and soil types and developed wide ranging techniques to harvest rainwater, groundwater, river water and floodwater in keeping with the local ecological conditions and their water needs.
  10. Rooftop rainwater harvesting has been done in Rajasthan, Meghalaya, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on a regular and vast basis.
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FAQs on Key Concepts: Water Resources - Social Studies (SST) Class 10

1. What is water scarcity and how does it affect our daily lives?
Ans. Water scarcity refers to the shortage of freshwater resources to meet the demand of people in a particular region. It affects our daily lives in many ways, such as a lack of clean drinking water, poor sanitation, and hygiene facilities, which increases the risk of waterborne diseases. It also affects agriculture, industries, and other sectors that rely on water for their operations, leading to economic losses and job cuts.
2. How can we conserve water resources?
Ans. We can conserve water resources by adopting simple measures such as fixing leaky taps, using low-flow showerheads, collecting rainwater, and reusing greywater for gardening and cleaning. We can also promote water-efficient practices in industries and agriculture, such as drip irrigation and recycling wastewater.
3. What are the causes of water pollution and how can we prevent it?
Ans. Water pollution is caused by various sources such as industrial effluents, agricultural runoff, sewage discharge, oil spills, and plastic waste. We can prevent water pollution by implementing strict regulations and standards for industries, treating wastewater before discharge, promoting organic farming practices, and reducing the use of plastic.
4. How does climate change affect water resources?
Ans. Climate change affects water resources by altering the hydrological cycle, causing changes in precipitation patterns, melting of glaciers and snowpacks, and increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts. These changes pose challenges to water management and increase the risk of water-related disasters.
5. What role can individuals and communities play in managing water resources?
Ans. Individuals and communities can play a significant role in managing water resources by adopting water-efficient practices, reducing water waste, conserving water, and protecting water sources. They can also participate in community-based water management initiatives, such as rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge, and watershed management, to improve water availability and quality in their local areas.
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