. Describe how modern adaptations of traditional rainwater harvesting methods are being carried out to conserve and store water

Best Answer

Ans: Water harvesting system is a viable alternative, both socio-economically and environmentally. In ancient India, along with the sophisticated hydraulic structures, there existed an extraordinary tradition of water-harvesting system. 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. In hill and mountainous regions, people built diversion channels like the ‘guls’ or ‘kuls’ of the Western Himalayas for agriculture. ‘Rooftop rainwater harvesting’ was commonly practised to store drinking water, particularly in Rajasthan. In the flood plains of Bengal, people developed inundation channels to irrigate their fields. In arid and semi-arid regions, agricultural fields were converted into rain-fed storage structures that allowed the water to stand and moisten the soil like the ‘khadins’ in Jaisalmer and ‘Johads’ in other parts of Rajasthan. In Gendathur, a remote backward village in Mysuru, Karnataka, villagers have installed, in their household’s rooftop, rainwater harvesting system to meet their water needs. Nearly 200 households have installed this system and the village has earned the rare distinction of being rich in rainwater. Rooftop rainwater harvesting is the most common practice in Shillong, Meghalaya. It is interesting because Cherapunjee and Mawsynram situated at a distance of 55 km. from Shillong receive the highest rainfall in the world. Yet, the state capital Shillong faces an acute shortage of water. Nearly every household in the city has a rooftop rainwater harvesting structure. Nearly 15-25 per cent of the total water requirement of the household comes from rooftop water harvesting. Tamil Nadu is the first state in India which has made rooftop rainwater harvesting structure compulsory to all the houses across the state.

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