AUGUST 2015 

    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

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