Comprehensive Notes on Water Resources for Class 10 Students

Water Resources are essential for the survival and well-being of all living organisms. In this comprehensive guide, students can find detailed notes on Class 10 Geography Chapter 3 Water Resources, including the importance of water conservation and management. Explore the various aspects of water resources and gain a deeper understanding of this crucial topic.

water resources class 10 notes

SubjectSocial Science (Geography)
Chapter No.3
Chapter NameWater Resources
Weightage 04 marks

" Strive for progress.... Not Perfection."

Water Resources Class 10 Notes

Water is a renewable resource

Freshwater is mainly obtained from surface runoff and groundwater that is continually being renewed and rechanged through the hydrological cycle. All water moves within the hydrological cycle ensuring that water is a renewable resource.

The availability of water resources varies over space and time, mainly due to the variations in seasonal and annual precipitation.

Water Scarcity and the Need for Water Conservation and Management:

Water Scarcity is the lack of freshwater resources to meet the demands of water usage within a region.

Main causes of water scarcity:

  • Water scarcity in most cases is caused by over-exploitation, excessive use, and unequal access to water among different social groups.
  • Water scarcity may be an outcome of a large and growing population and consequent greater demands for water and unequal access to it.
  • To facilitate higher food-grain production, water resources are being over-exploited to expand irrigated areas for dry-season agriculture.
  • Intensive industrialization and urbanization exerted pressure on existing freshwater resources.
  • Even if water is sufficiently available to meet the needs of the people, much of it is maybe polluted by domestic and industrial wastes, chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers used in agriculture, thus causing water scarcity.

Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM)

The Goal of JJM is to enable every rural household to get an assured supply of potable piped water at a service level of 55 liters per capita per day regularly on a long-term basis by ensuring the functionality of the tap water connections.

Need for Water Conservation

  1. Sustainable Resource Management: Conserving water ensures its availability for future generations and sustains ecosystems.
  2. Mitigating Water Scarcity: Many regions face water scarcity, and conservation helps balance supply and demand.
  3. Preserving Aquatic Ecosystems: Conserved water supports healthy habitats for aquatic plants and animals.
  4. Reducing Energy Consumption: Water treatment and distribution consume energy, and conserving water lowers energy demands.
  5. Agricultural Efficiency: Efficient irrigation practices save water and optimize agricultural productivity.
  6. Economic Benefits: Water conservation lowers costs for individuals, businesses, and governments.
  7. Addressing Climate Change: Reduced water wastage contributes to climate change mitigation.
  8. Minimizing Water Pollution: Conservation reduces the need for pollutant removal from water sources.

Multi-purpose River Projects and Integrated Water Resources Management:

A dam is a barrier across flowing water that obstructs, directs, or retards the flow, often creating a reservoir, lake, or impoundment. “Dam” refers to the reservoir rather than the structure.

Jawaharlal Nehru proclaimed the dams as the ‘Temples of modern India’ because

  • They integrate the development of agriculture and the village economy with rapid industrialization and growth of the urban economy.
  • They provide water for irrigation.
  • They provide water for electricity generation
  • Provide water supply for domestic and industrial uses.
  • Helps in flood control.
  • Provide recreation
  • Helps in inland navigation.
  • Useful for fish breeding.

Hence, dams are now referred to as multi-purpose projects where the many uses of the impounded water are integrated with one another.

In recent years, multi-purpose projects and large dams have come under great scrutiny and opposition for a variety of reasons

  • Regulating and damming of rivers affect their natural flow causing poor sediment flow and excessive sedimentation at the bottom of the reservoir, resulting in rockier stream beds and poorer habitats for the rivers’ aquatic life.
  • Dams also fragment rivers making it difficult for aquatic fauna to migrate, especially for spawning.
  • The dams have triggered floods due to sedimentation in the reservoir and the release of excess water during heavy rains.
  • Multipurpose projects induced earthquakes, caused water-borne diseases, and pests, and lead to pollution resulting from excessive use of water.
  • Irrigation has changed the cropping pattern of many regions with farmers shifting to water-intensive and commercial crops. This has great ecological consequences like salinization of the soil.
  • The dams increase the social gap between the richer landowners and the landless poor.
  • The dams create inter-state water disputes with regard to sharing the costs and benefits of the multi-purpose project.

Most of the objections to the projects arose due to their failure to achieve the purposes for which they were built.

  • Ironically, the dams that were constructed to control floods have triggered floods due to sedimentation in the reservoir.
  • Moreover, the big dams have mostly been unsuccessful in controlling floods at the time of excessive rainfall. The floods have not only devastated life and property but also caused extensive soil erosion.
  • Sedimentation also meant that the flood plains were deprived of silt, a natural fertilizer, further adding to the problem of land degradation.
  • It was also observed that the multi-purpose projects induced earthquakes, causing water-borne diseases and pests, and pollution resulting from excessive use of water.

Narmada Bachao Andolan or Save Narmada Movement

  • It is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that mobilized tribal people, farmers, environmentalists, and human rights activists against the Sardar Sarovar Dam being built across the Narmada River in Gujarat.
  • It originally focused on the environmental issues related to trees that would be submerged under the dam water.
  • Recently it has re-focused the aim to enable poor citizens, especially the oustees (displaced people) to get full rehabilitation facilities from the government.

Rainwater Harvesting

The need for rainwater harvesting are:

  • Rainwater harvesting is needed to provide it for agriculture, collect drinking water, irrigate the fields, and to moisten the soil.
  • Rainwater harvesting is a viable alternative, both socio-economically and environmentally to multipurpose projects.

Traditional methods of rainwater harvesting:

  • 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 practiced to store drinking water, particularly in Rajasthan.
  • In the flood plains of Bengal, people developed inundation channels to irrigate their fields.
  • In semi-arid and 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.

Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater is commonly referred to as Palar Pani in the arid and semi-arid regions of Rajasthan.

  • In the semi-arid and arid regions of Rajasthan, particularly in Bikaner, Phalodi, and Barmer, almost all the houses traditionally had underground tanks for storing drinking water.
  • The tanks could be as large as a big room.
  • The tanks were part of the well-developed rooftop rainwater harvesting system.
  • They were connected to the sloping roofs of the houses through a pipe.
  • Rain falling on the rooftops would travel down the pipe and be stored in these underground tanks.
  • The first spell of rain was usually not collected as this would clean the roofs and the pipes.
  • The rainwater from the subsequent showers was then collected.

Tamil Nadu is the first state in India that has made rooftop rainwater harvesting structures compulsory for all houses across the state.

Importance of rooftop rainwater harvesting in Rajasthan:

  • It was commonly practiced to store drinking water.
  • The rainwater can be stored in the tanks till the next rainfall, making it an extremely reliable source of drinking water when all other sources are dried up, particularly in the summers.
  • Rainwater (Palar Pani) is considered the purest form of natural water.
  • Many houses construct underground rooms adjoining the ‘tanks’ to beat the summer heat as it would keep the room cool.
  • Some houses still maintain the tanks since they do not like the taste of tap water.

Bamboo Drip Irrigation system

It is a 200-year-old system of tapping stream and spring water by using bamboo pipes and transporting water from higher to lower regions with the help of gravity.


  • 18-20 liters of water enter the bamboo pipe system, gets transported over hundreds of meters, and finally reduces to 20-80 drops per minute at the site of the plant.
  • The flow of water into the pipes is controlled by manipulating the pipe positions.
  • If the pipes pass a road, they are taken high above the land.

Class 10 Social Science Map Work for 2024-25

Download Water Resources Class 10 NCERT Underlined PDF

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