The total amount of water that is received in the form of rainfall over an area is called the rainwater catchments / endowment of that area. Out of this, the amount that can be effectively harvested is called the water harvesting potential.
Rainwater can be harvested for two purposes: (a) Stored for ready use in containers above or below ground, and (b) charged into the ground for withdrawal later (ground water recharging). Rainwater falling on the terrace can be collected through pipelines or drains and stored in a storage tank for direct use or diverted into a well or any other recharge structures for ground water recharge. Rainwater fall on the open spaces around the building may also be diverted for recharge purpose.
Water harvesting broadly refers to collection and storage of rainwater and also other activities such as harvesting surface water, extracting ground water, prevention of losses through evaporation and seepage. In general, water harvesting is the activity of direct collection of rainwater. Collected rainwater can be stored for direct use or can be recharged into ground water.
The decision whether to store or recharge rainwater depends on the rainfall pattern of a particular region. For example, in places where rain falls throughout the year, one can depend on a small domestic sized water tank for storing rainwater since the period between two spells of rain is short.
On the other hand, in areas where the total annual rainfall occurs only during 1-2 months, the water collected during the monsoon has to be stored throughout the year, which requires huge volumes of storage containers as well as some treatment processes.
Therefore, considering the other option, viz., ground water recharge, it is more feasible to use rainwater to recharge ground water aquifers so as to enable us to draw water during the rest of the year rather than storing in large containers, which is not always, feasible.
Ground water is a very valuable economic commodity since percentage in the world water distribution is only 0.16 per cent. The conservation of this precious ground water is very important because it moves through soil and many years may be required to replace hastily- pumped water.
Over extraction of ground water in coastal areas may result in seawater intrusion into the aquifers. Therefore, in areas where ground water is used extensively, care must be taken to ensure that no extra water is withdrawn in a year than the quantity replenished by natural process. Also, to avoid depletion of ground water level, the aquifers must be recharged in whichever way possible.
Rainwater harvesting helps conserve and augment the storage of ground water aquifers, thereby improving the ground water table. In coastal areas over extraction of ground water leads to saline water intrusion. Therefore recharging the ground water aquifer helps arrest the saline water intrusion.
Continuous recharge of ground water using rainwater helps improve the ground water quality considerably. The buildings, which are constructed on clay soil formations, are prone to develop cracks during dry periods.
The Role of Press
Individuals in the 21st century society face great difficulties in resolving issues of change because of political point gaining, social controversy and the incessant manipulation of truth. The problems of the 21st century are of momentous proportion unforeseen by any other generation of the human race. Terrorism, famine, poverty, wars, AIDS, refugees, crime and drugs are only some of the many issues that society can no longer sweep under the carpet.
Free press is the only way that atrocities against humanity can be voiced, heard and addressed. For centuries, governments have manipulated the truth to suit their wants and needs. Although times, values and beliefs have changed, the manipulation of truth hasn’t.
The presence of free press acts as a watchdog for those daring to abuse their power and authority. Without free press, the oppression of rights by the Taliban and other such regimes would go past unheard by an otherwise deaf society. Without free press, the crimes committed by the
Chinese government and other such governments would past unseen by an otherwise blind society. Without free p die destruction of indigenous cultures around the world would go past unknown by an otherwise prejudiced society.
Women’s rights did not eventuate because society decided to open its eyes. The manipulation of truth by governments was not elucidated because society decided to open its ears. Issues of poverty and famine in third world countries drowning in – foreign debt were not brought forward because society decided to open its heart. Free press, and free press alone highlight the defects in the 21st century society.
The fundamental benefit of free press is that it enables individuals to discern for themselves what the truth is, after receiving reports about what is happening in their country, in the world and in society as a whole. Today in the 21st century society the media is a watchdog that serves as a critic for atrocities against individuals, civilisations and humanity.
To those individuals presiding in developed, privileged and wealthy countries, access to information and ‘free’ press is, quite simply; at the tip of their fingertips. Information can be acquired from a variety of television networks, newspapers, magazines, websites, programmes and publications.
A significant portion of humanity still lives outside of the influence of the media and has no reason to worry about media manipulation, or the bad influence of the mass media, or even enjoy the liberties bestowed by free press.
For most individuals in less developed nations, television and such mediums are not expected to provide a serious interpretation of die world, any more than we would expect such a thing from a circus.
Even with the ideals of democracy, and freedom of expression, speech and opinion, many individuals and groups are denied access to free press, information, and furthermore, to ‘truth’. In South Africa, a country whose government is fundamentally structured on the ideals of democracy, one in two women is victims to rape and sexual assault.
Despite the magnitude of the violence, a recent anti-rape TV advertisement was banned by the Advertisement Standards Authority for being ‘offensive’ to men. If the freedom of the press can be manipulated to suit authorities and their needs, then it is no longer ‘free press’ and it is no longer democracy.