Theme: Water and Soils
There was a time, not too long ago, when you could drink water from pretty much
any tap in India, or a well, river. There would be water sheds on road sides,
sponsored by local businesses or charitable organisations, manned by local
people. You would get some of sweetest natural water, along the way, in the form
of wells, pumps or community taps, thereby easing your travel-related travails.
Thanks to recent decades of industrial progress, it is difficult to find
drinkable water from free natural resources. And the rivers, the life line of
any civilization, are terribly polluted.
In ancient times, geographical distribution of soil as given in the
Vrikshayurveda of Surapala, an ancient Sanskrit text on the science of plant
life , was jangala (arid), anupa (marshy) and samanya (ordinary). It is further
divided by colour into black, white, pale, dark, red and yellow by taste into
sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. Samanya land was suitable
for all kinds of trees. The ancient Indian texts also identified productive and
non-productive soils, based on soil fertility, irrigation and physical
characteristics. Sangam, Tamil literature classified soils as mullai (forest),
kuringi (hills), marudham (cultivable) and neithal (coastal). Ancient farmers
even adopted crop rotation and inter cropping to restore soil fertility. Mixed
or inter cropping with legumes in cereal and oil seed cultivation were widely
practices. All these practices adopted in ancient time are now being recommended
today under organic farming concept.
In modern times, the conservation of soil and water is widely seen as the
responsibility of soil and plant scientists, hydrologists, wildlife managers,
landowners, and the forest or mine owner alone. It is the duty of all, including
school students, to learn more about the natural resources on which our lives
depend so that we can help make sure that these resources are used intelligently
and cared for properly in the coming years.
Find out how much you know about the facts in the given list .You may have to
read up and find out more while preparing for this quiz on WATER AND SOILS.
Respondents may be expected to contextually respond to soil and water by
correlating water and soil to culture, habitats, language and clothing and
applying knowledge acquired through formal learning/informal observation.
How and why soils are different.
Plant nutrients in fertile soil and how they can be put back when used up.
Types of soil erosion and their impact on human survival.
Impact of erosion-control practices.
Watershed and its role
A river basin and its protection
The hydrologic cycle
Actions of water in relation to soil.
Impact of water run -offs
Uses of forest, range, and farm land that affect usable water supply.
Industrial uses affecting water supply
Causes and impacts of water pollution
Types of water treatment
Oceans and seas
Marine resources and their exploitation