My Ecology project
My ecology project was based on the contemporary and traditional methods of water harvesting in India.
I learnt that the traditional water harvesting systems in India were well ahead of their times but have been facing threat of destruction. Today most of these are being maintained by the government but some of them were lost to history. Water conservation being a pressing issue for present-day ecologists, perhaps we can take some cues from the traditional water conserving systems and analyse where the loopholes in the present day conservation systems are.
The prime reason behind survival of the traditional water harvesting systems was the direct involvement ,in their maintenance, of the people who were dependant on these for either their day-to-day activities or livelihood. For instance, proper maintenance of the irrigation system in a field was the responsibility of the family that owned the field or a massive water harvesting structure built by a king as a symbol of his wealth and power was constantly renovated and maintained by him. A striking feature of the traditional water harvesting systems was that they were built according to the geographical features and climatic conditions of the place, which was another reason for their efficiency and success-
- Tanks to collect melting glacier water and its diversion to the site of use.
- Durable water-harvesting structures dug into mountains in mountainous regions.
- Terrace farming in hilly regions; use of bamboo, an abundant flora in the region, as pipes to convey water to the site of use.
- Huge earthen dams to collect water, which percolates to add to the water table in regions deficient in underground water.