In January 2000, a new alliance of labour, human rights and community leaders organised a successful four day general strike in the city. The government agreed to negotiate and the strike was called off. The police resorted to brutal repression when the agitation was started again in February. Another strike followed in April and the government imposed martial law. But the power of the people forced the officials of the MNC to flee the city and made the government concede to all the demands of the protesters. The contract with the MNC was cancelled and water supply was restored to the municipality at old rates. This came to be known as Bolivia’s water war.
Democracy evolves through popular struggles. It is possible that some
significant decisions may take place through consensus and may not
involve any conflict at all. But that would be an exception. Defining
moments of democracy usually involve conflict between those groups who
have exercised power and those who aspire for a share in power. These
moments come when the country is going through transition to democracy,
expansion of democracy
Democratic conflict is resolved through mass
mobilisation. Sometimes it is possible that the
conflict is resolved by using the existing
institutions like the parliament or the judiciary.
But when there is a deep dispute, very often
these institutions themselves get involved in the
dispute. The resolution has to come from
outside, from the people.
The Narmada is India's largest westward-flowing
river and is of immense religious and cultural
importance to the people living on its banks. It
is also the subject of the largest river
development project in the world, the Narmada
Valley Project, which envisages the construction
of thirty large and hundreds of small dams along
The Save the Narmada Movement (Narmada Bachao
Andolan, NBA) is the people's movement that has
mobilised itself against this development since the
mid- and late-1980s. It has succeeded in generating a
debate across the sub-continent which has
encapsulated the conflict between two opposing
styles of development: one massively destructive of
people and the environment in the quest for largescale industrialisation; the other consisting of
replicable small-scale decentralised, democractic and
ecologically sustainable options and activities
harmoniously integrated with both local communities
Narmada Bachao Andolan was initiated by Medha Patkar
along with other colleagues. Medha Patkar is a graduate
in social work, who moved to live among the tribals of
the Narmada Valley in the mid-1980s and alerted them
to the fate that awaited them with the dams. Having
founded NBA, she remains one of its main catalysts,
strategists and mobilisers. During the Narmada struggle,
Patkar has faced repression and has been arrested
several times, She also undertook many Satyagrahas
(pledge for truth) and long fasts. In a confrontation
between NBA supporters and pro-dam forces in 1991,
her 21-day fast brought her close to death.
Baba Amte, (1914-2008), was one of India's most
respected social and moral leaders. Most of his life he
devoted to the care and rehabilitation of leprosy
patients. His community of a few thousand patients at
Anandwan has done much to dispel prejudice against
the victims of leprosy. In 1990 he left Anandwan with
the words: "I am leaving to live along the Narmada...
Narmada will linger on the lips of the nation as a symbol
of all struggles against social injustice."
The decade-long struggle in the Narmada valley has
resulted in suspension of the work on the Sardar
Sarovar dam project through the movement as well
as the Supreme Court's intervention. NBA
questioned and compelled the World Bank that
supported the dam with a US$ 450 million loan to
review the Sardar Sarovar project. NBA has also
exposed fraud in the environment compliance
reports and massive corruption in the rehabilitation
leading to a judicial inquiry. Even if the wall is
complete (122 m high in 2009), the further erection
of 17 m high radial gates was not permitted, due to
non-compliance on rehabilitation and environmental
measures. There are more than 200,000 people in
the submergence area of this single dam with the
best of agriculture and horticulture and all
community life going on with temples, mosques,
trees, schools, dispensaries, Government buildings
Water conservation is a practice in which people,
companies, and governments attempt to reduce
their water usage. The goal may be to address an
ongoing water shortage or to make lifestyle
modifications to be more environmentally
friendly. In the late 20th century, water usage
emerged as a major issue, especially in the
developing world, where many people do not
have access to safe drinking water, and the
question of conservation began to attract a great
deal of attention.
One of the most obvious reasons to practice
water conservation is in a situation where water
supplies are limited. An ongoing drought can
restrict the supply, as can a change in water
policy, especially in an area where people are
dependent on water from other places. Desert
regions, for example, rely on water that is
shipped, trucked, or moved through aqueducts,
so distant policy decisions can directly affect the
amount that can be accessed in these areas.
Rainwater harvesting is the accumulation and deposition of
rainwater for reuse before it reaches the aquifier. Uses
include water for garden, water for livestock, water for
irrigation, and indoor heating for houses etc.. In many places
the water collected is just redirected to a deep pit with
percolation. The harvested water can be used as drinking
water as well as for storage and other purpose like irrigation.
• Makes use of a natural resource and reduces flooding, storm
water , erosion, and contamination of surface water with
pesticides, sediment, metals, and fertilizers.
• Excellent source of water for landscape irrigation, with no
chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine, and no dissolved salts
and minerals from the soil.
• Home systems can be relatively simple to install and
operate and it may reduce your water bill.
1. High Initial investment Costs - The main cost of a rainwater
collection system generally occurs during the initial construction
phase and no benefit is derived until the system is completed.
2. Regular Maintenance - Regular maintenance, cleaning and repair
will be required for the operation of a successful rainwater
3. Vulnerable Water Quality - The quality of rainwater can be
affected by air pollution, insects, and dirt or organic matter. The
type and kind of construction materials used can also adversely
affect water quality.
4. Water Supply is Climate Dependent - Droughts or long periods of
time with little or no rain can cause serious problems with your
supply of water.
5. Storage Capacity Limits Supply - The supply of water from a
rainwater collection system is not only limited by the amount of
rainfall but also by the size of the collection area and your storage
The International Committee of the National
Geographic Channel defines watershed on the
basis of the criterion that the effect of
overland flow rather than the effect of channel
flow is a dominating factor affecting the peak
runoff. On larger watersheds, the effect of
channel flow or the basin storage effect
becomes very pronounced so that such
sensitivities are greatly suppressed.
Planning and development of watersheds call
for a rigorous understanding of the occurrence
and movement of water in the surface and subsurface systems along with soil and nutrient
losses in a watershed as the need arises for a
proper watershed management of that area. In
a country like India, where a lot of running
water goes waste, it becomes very important
to apply the technology of watershed
management to solve its annual problems of
droughts and floods.
"Sustainable development is
development that meets the needs of
the present, without compromising the
ability of future generations to meet
their own needs."
The concept of sustainable development
can be interpreted in many different
ways, but at its core is an approach to
development that looks to balance
different, and often competing, needs
against an awareness of the
environmental, social and economic
limitations we face as a society.
The longer we pursue unsustainable
development, the more frequent and
severe its consequences are likely to
become, which is why we need to take
Groundwater is a key component of the water
resources for human use and development. It is an
integral part of the Hydrological cycle and is valuable
source of water supply. It is mainly governed by
geological formations, the nature and extent of aquifer
bodies, hydro geological properties and groundwater
flow characteristics. Aquifers are quite sensitive to
pollution and over-abstraction. There is indiscriminate
exploitation of groundwater without simultaneous
efforts of recharge. Consequently, the water table in
many parts of India has been decreasing at an alarming
rate. Due to deforestation, urbanization and absence of
planned catchment management, much of rainwater
goes untapped directly to the sea without recharging
the groundwater. During monsoon, floods arise and
cause havoc and in summer after runoff there develops
widespread water scarcity.
Energy and water use are closely intertwined.
Most power plants generate power by boiling
water to produce steam that spins electricitygenerating turbines. Large quantities of water
are often used to cool that steam.
Fuel production—coal mining, natural gas
extraction, and growing crops for biofuels—also
requires extensive water supplies, as does
refining fuels for transportation.
In places where energy production requires a
large share of available water, or where water
resources are scarce or stressed by competing
pressures, the energy-water connection can
turn into a collision—with dangerous
implications for both.
Flowing water creates energy that can be captured and turned
into electricity. This is called hydroelectric power or hydropower.
The most common type of hydroelectric power plant uses a dam
on a river to store water in a reservoir. Water released from the
reservoir flows through a turbine, spinning it, which in turn
activates a generator to produce electricity. But hydroelectric
power doesn't necessarily require a large dam. Some
hydroelectric power plants just use a small canal to channel the
river water through a turbine.
Another type of hydroelectric power plant - called a pumped
storage plant - can even store power. The power is sent from a
power grid into the electric generators. The generators then spin
the turbines backward, which causes the turbines to pump water
from a river or lower reservoir to an upper reservoir, where the
power is stored. To use the power, the water is released from the
upper reservoir back down into the river or lower reservoir. This
spins the turbines forward, activating the generators to produce
A small or micro-hydroelectric power system can produce enough
electricity for a home, farm, or ranch.
The tide moves a huge amount of
water twice each day, and harnessing it
could provide a great deal of energy around 20% of Britain's needs.
Although the energy supply is reliable
and plentiful, converting it into useful
electrical power is not easy.
A huge dam (called a "barrage") is built across a river
estuary. When the tide goes in and out, the water flows
through tunnels in the dam.
The ebb and flow of the tides can be used to turn a
turbine, or it can be used to push air through a pipe,
which then turns a turbine. Large lock gates, like the
ones used on canals, allow ships to pass.
If one was built across the Severn Estuary, the tides at
Weston-super-Mare would not go out nearly as far there'd be water to play in for most of the time.
The Water Resources Management Division is responsible for
water resources management as per provisions of the
Environmental Protection Act and the Water Resources Act.
The Division has programs to protect, enhance, conserve,
develop, control and effectively utilize the water resources
of Newfoundland and Labrador.
These activities include: Acts as a lead government agency
in drinking water quality monitoring and reporting;
Regulates public water and wastewater systems; Provides
operator education, training and certification to water and
wastewater operators; Manages groundwater resources;
Manages allocation of water use and grants water rights;
Regulates alterations of water bodies; Participates in
environmental assessments; Operates and maintains
hydrometric, climate and water quality networks; Conducts
hydrological modelling studies and; Conducts water use
studies for all sectors.
Treatment of wastewater is actually a remarkably
simple process that utilizes very basic physical,
biological, and chemical principles to remove
contaminants from water. Use of mechanical or
physical systems to treat wastewater is generally
referred to as primary treatment, and use of
biological processes to provide further treatment is
referred to as secondary treatment. Advanced
secondary treatment usually involves applying
chemical systems in addition to biological ones, such
as injecting chlorine to disinfect the water. In most
of the United States, wastewater receives both
primary and secondary treatment. Tertiary
treatment methods are sometimes used after
primary and secondary treatment to remove traces
of chemicals and dissolved solids. Tertiary treatment
is expensive and not widely practiced except where
necessary to remove industrial contaminants.
Secondary treatment uses biological processes to remove
most of the remaining contaminants. Many operators of WRC's
consider themselves "bug farmers" since they are in the
business of growing and harvesting a healthy population of
Aeration Basins: Water flows into aeration basins
where oxygen is mixed with the water. Bacterial
microorganisms consume the organic material as
food. They convert non-settleable solids to
settleable solids and are later themselves
captured in final clarifiers, ending up in
Final Clarifiers: Most of the solids that settle out in
final clarifiers are thickened and digested, but some
are returned to the aeration tank to reseed incoming
water with hungry microorganisms.
It is important because about 75 percent of earth is
covered in water. It sounds like a lot, but only 1
percent of that is freshwater, available for serving the
water needs of more than 6.6 billion people in the
world today. Because of drought and pollution, that 1
percent is slowly dwindling. To make matters worse,
the world's population continues to grow, increasing
the demand for water. In Southern California, more
than 66 percent of our water supply is imported from
outside of the region. With these statistics, we hope
that you, too, will see the value and importance of
Recycled water can satisfy most water demands, as long as it
is adequately treated to ensure water quality appropriate for
In uses where there is a greater chance of human
exposure to the water, more treatment is required. As
for any water source that is not properly treated,
health problems could arise from drinking or being
exposed to recycled water if it contains diseasecausing organisms or other contaminants.
Recycled water is most commonly used for
nonpotable (not for drinking) purposes, such as
agriculture, landscape, public parks, and golf course
irrigation. Other nonpotable applications include
cooling water for power plants and oil refineries,
industrial process water for such facilities as paper
mills and carpet dyers, toilet flushing, dust control,
construction activities, concrete mixing, and
Hard water is any water containing an appreciable
quantity of dissolved minerals. Soft water is treated
water in which the only cation (positively charged
ion) is sodium. The minerals in water give it a
characteristic taste. Some natural mineral waters
are highly sought for their flavor and the health
benefits they may confer.
The hardness of water can be either
Temporary hardness can be removed simply by
boiling the water (see later).
Permanent hardness cannot be removed by boiling
but can often be removed by chemical treatment (see
Temporary hardness is caused by calcium and/or
magnesium hydrogencarbonate. These are formed as
carbonated rain water passes over rocks containing
carbonate ions, for example
H2O(l) + CO2(g) + CaCO3(s) Ca(HCO3)2(aq)
H2O(l) + CO2(g) + MgCO3(s) Mg(HCO3)2(aq)
Permanent hardness is caused by calcium and/or
magnesium sulphate. These are formed as water passes over
rocks containing sulphate ions, for example
aq. + CaSO4(s) a2+(aq) + SO42-(aq)
aq. + MgSO4(s) g2+(aq) + SO42-(aq)
Skin and hair are affected by hard water
Hard water doesn’t rinse as well as soft water, and a
greater amount of shampoo and soap is needed to clean.
That means soap residues remain, leaving hair less shiny
and skin susceptible to blemishes.
Hard water is tough on plumbing
Hard water can cause scale to build up on water heaters
and pipes, limiting the water flow, reducing the life of the
product and increasing operation costs and maintenance
on water-using appliances. For example, water heaters last
up to 50% longer and consume up to 29% less energy
Calcified bathroom fixtures and stained sinks
Dry, itchy skin
Dingy and worn clothing
Dull, limp hair
Spotted dishes, glasses and silverware
Clogged pipes, water heaters and plumbing
Soaps that won't lather well or rinse off