Water – The elixir of life
Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman
Questions and Answers (AECC – Block 02)
Q1. State the different functions of water that makes it the most important liquid on earth.
Answer – Nearly 65% of a human being’s body is constituted of water. None of our bodily functions can take place without water. The same is true for most other living beings on earth Agriculture and industry are unthinkable without water. Water bodies like the river, ocean, lakes, ponds etc. Provide us food, transportation, hydro-power, and irrigation benefits. The earth’s weather system veers around water. The fertile soil in river banks is due to the sedimentation of mud particles carried by flood water. Earth’s flora and fauna can’t exist without water. So, water is the most important liquid on earth.
Q2. What are the ancient civilizations that developed along the bank of rivers? Write on any two.
Answer – The Egyptian civilization grew up along the Nile river, and the Ganges civilization flourished along the Ganges.
Almost the whole of Egypt has been formed by the fertile soil particles carried by the flood waters of the River Nile. Layers and layers of the sediment were deposited over centuries by Nile’s flood waters. In the process, a dry and barren desert got transformed into land fit for agriculture, and so, for human habitation. After the first settlements reaped the beneft of the fertile soil, more settlers came and bagan to live there. Today, the River Nile provides, drinking water, irrigation, fish, transportation, and water for industrial needs.
The Ganges Civilization (1500 BC to 500 BC) is the second large cIvilization of India. Hundreds of years ago, when the Indus civilization fell into ruins life in the north of India was organized around small towns. A second phase of urbanization, known as the Ganges civilization, started around 1500 BC. Around this time in history, Aryans came here from Iran and elsewhere to live and flourish.
The Aryans were cattle herders. The fertile land in the bank of the Ganges provided them water, vast fields for the cattle to graze, and they began to exploit their new land with gusto. A new era of intellectual and agricultural advancement started in this land of plenty. The Vedic age started as a result and Sanskrit was born.
So, the Ganges Civilization has its roots in the river Ganges.
Q3. Write a note on the ill effects of industrial waste on industrial waste on water.
Answer – When industrial waste in untreated form is dumped on ground as landfills or discharged to river bodies like rivers and sea, the harmful pollutant in the waste seeps into the soil to contaminate the ground water, or directly poisons the water in the water bodies casing cataclysmic damage to the fishes and other aquatic animals which virtually become extinct. Polluted ground water poses an incipient danger to etc. human life causing diseases like cancer. There are instances galore to show that industrial waste has rendered whole rivers unfit for human use in any form, even agriculture. Our polluted Ganga is a glaring example of human onslaught on Nature. The culprits are the rows of industries in the river’s banks that discharge their effluent to the river.
Q4. Do you think reckless expansion of cities affects the health of a civilization? Write the steps you would take as an urban planner in your locality.
Answer – Unbridled expansion of cities does pose great danger to a civilization. Unplanned urbanization is indeed a very ominous signal that the city is hurtling towards a cataclysmic end. Congested markets, avenues and living districts in cities cause pollution, spread of disease, and social friction. Growth of amenities can’t keep pace with the spiralling demand, as a result of which healthcare, schooling, garbage clearance, and policing fall short of needs. As a result the cities become ghettos and repel all sorts of good people like writers, artists, activists and social leaders. A decaying city is the harbinger of mass death and destruction through social strife. In the process the civilization built around them dies.
As a urban planner and a responsible citizen, I will launch a public awareness campaign to make people obey the rules of the civic body pertaining to new constructions, garbage disposal, parking facilities, and drinking water supply. I will also prevail upon the city planners and administrators to provide adequate healthcare, schooling and commuting facilities.
Q5. What steps can be taken to preserve the water bodies of the country in order to save humanity from the ravages of floods, droughts and earthquakes?
Answer – The following steps can go a long way to preserve the water bodies.
1. Strict rules to be enforced to prevent individuals and factories from dumping their wastes on the lakes, rivers and the sea.
2. Yearly de-silting of ponds and lakes to preserve their water holding capacities.
3. Large-scale plantation of trees in catchment areas of rivers to prevent soil erosion.
4. Digging of new wells, ponds etc. to increase water storage capacity for human use.
5. Stoppage of irregular sand mining from river beds.
6. Stoppage of building of extra-large dams that could triggr earthquakes.