No part of this ebook may be reproduced in any form, by photostat, microfilm, ASHA RANI KAUSHIK CORE MODULE SYLLABUS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES Unit 1: The Multidisciplinary Nature of Environmental Studies. PERSPECTIVES IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES. the hot rocks present inside the Perspective in Environvental Studies by Kaushik--kaushik . No part of this ebook may be reproduced in any form, by photostat, microfilm. The Apex Court Has Hence, Issued Directive To Impart Environmental Literacy To tyoususnappsave.ga This Book The Fundamental Concepts Of Environmental Studies Have.
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More than 80, ha of land of the country is presently under the stress of mining activities. Mining and its associated activities require removal of vegetation along with underlying soil mantle and overlying rock masses. This results in defacing the topography and destruction of the landscape in the area. Large scale deforestation has been reported in Mussorie and Dehradun valley due to indiscriminate mining of various minerals over a length of about 40 Km.
Indiscriminate mining in forests of Goa since has destroyed more than 50, ha of forest land. Coal mining in Jharia, Raniganj and Singrauli areas have caused extensive deforestation in Jharkhand. Mining of magnesite and soap- stones have destroyed 14 ha of forest in the hill slopes at Khirakot, Kosi valley, Almora. Mining of radioactive minerals in Kerala, Tamilnadu and Karnataka are posing similar threats of deforestation. The rich forests of Western Ghats are also facing the same threat due to mining projects for excavation of copper, chromite, bauxite and magnetite.
However, these dams are also responsible for the destruction of vast areas of forests. India has more than large dams, the maximum being in the state of Maharashtra more then , followed by Gujarat more then and Madhya Pradesh The highest one is Tehri dam, on river Bhagirathi in Uttaranchal and the largest in terms of capacity is Bhakra dam on river Satluj in H. Big dams have been in sharp focus of various environmental groups all over the world which is mainly because of several ecological problems including deforestation and socio-economic problems related to tribal or native people associated with them.
The Natural Resources 11 Silent Valley hydroelectric project was one of the first such projects situated in the tropical rain forest area of Western Ghats which attracted much concern of the people. The crusade against the ecological damage and deforestation caused due toTehri dam was led by Sh. Sunder lal Bahuguna, the leader of Chipko movement. For building big dams, large scale devastation of forests takes place which breaks the natural ecological balance of the region.
Floods, droughts and landslides become more prevalent in such areas. Forests are the repositories of invaluable gifts of nature in the form of biodiversity and by destroying them particularly, the tropical rain for- ests we are going to lose these species even before knowing them. These species could be having marvelous economic or medicinal value and deforestation results in loss of this storehouse of species which have evolved over millions of years in a single stroke.
A case study The dam is situated on river Narmada and is spread over three states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Although the project is aimed at providing irrigation water, drinking water and electricity to the three states, the environmental impacts of the project have raised challenging questions.
A total of 1,44, ha of land will be submerged by the dam, out of which 56, ha is forest land. A total of villages are to be submerged by the Narmada Dam.
Submergence of about 40, ha of forest under Narmada Sagar, 13, ha under Sardar Sarovar and 2, ha under Omkareshwar would further create pressure on remaining forest areas in adjoining areas. Submergence area is very rich in wildlife e. Thus massive loss of these wildlife species is apprehended due to the devastation of the forest under the project. As per the estimates of the Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi, the Narmada valley project will lead to eventual displacement of more than one million people, which is probably the largest Contd.
Uprooting of the tribals and their forced shifting in far-flung areas may not be easily adjusted to. Most of these tribals belong to poor, unprivileged schedule castes and tribes who are being uprooted from a place where they have lived for generations. The displaced persons have to undergo hardship and distress for the sake of development and prosperity of a larger section of the society.
It is therefore the duty of the project proponents and government to pay maximum attention for proper rehabilitation of the displaced tribals.
Natural Resources 13 2. Water is characterized by certain unique features which make it a marvellous resource: Thus, it can serve as a very good carrier of nutrients, including oxygen, which are essential for life.
Perspectives in Environmental Studies.
But, it can also easily dissolve various pollutants and become a carrier of pathogenic microorganisms. It is because of this property that even in extreme cold, the lakes freeze only on the surface. Being lighter the ice keeps floating, whereas the bottom waters remain at a higher temperature and therefore, can sustain aquatic organisms even in extreme cold. The water we use keeps on cycling endlessly through the environment, which we call as Hydrological Cycle.
We have enormous resources of water on the earth amounting to about million Km3. The water from various moist surfaces evaporates and falls again on the earth in the form of rain or snow and passes through living organisms and ultimately returns to the oceans.
Every year about 1. Solar energy drives the water cycle by evaporating it from various water bodies, which Plants too play a very important role by absorbing the groundwater from the soil and releasing it into the atmosphere by the process of transpiration. Global distribution of water resources is quite uneven depending upon several geographic factors. Water is absolutely essential for life. Most of the life processes take place in water contained in the body.
Uptake of nutrients, their distribution in the body, regulation of temperature, and removal of wastes are all mediated through water.
Human beings depend on water for almost every developmental activity. Water is used for drinking, irrigation, transportation, washing and waste disposal for industries and used as a coolant for thermal power plants. Water use by humans is of two types: Globally, only about 60 percent of the water withdrawn is consumed due to loss through evaporation. With increasing human population and rapid development, the world water withdrawal demands have increased many folds and a large proportion of the water withdrawn is polluted due to anthropogenic activities.
On a global average 70 percent of the water withdrawn is used for agriculture. Per capita use of water shows wide variations.
Perspective in Environmental Studies, 2ed.
In USA, an average family of 4 consumes more than M3 of water per year, which is many times more than that in most developing countries. A Precious Natural Resource Although water is very abundant on this earth, yet it is very precious. Even this small fraction of fresh water is not available to us as most of it is locked up in polar ice caps and just 0. Overuse of groundwater for drinking, irrigation and domestic pur- poses has resulted in rapid depletion of groundwater in various regions leading to lowering of water table and drying of wells.
Pollution of many of the groundwater aquifers has made many of these wells unfit for consumption. Rivers and streams have long been used for discharging the wastes. Most of the civilizations have grown and flourished on the banks of rivers, but unfortunately, growth in turn, has been responsible for pollution of the rivers.
As per the United Nations estimates , at least billion people do not even have access to safe drinking water and 2. Increasing population and expanding development would further increase the demands for wastes.
It is estimated that by , two-thirds of the world population would be suffering from acute water shortage. Groundwater About 9. Till some time back groundwater was considered to be very pure. However, of late, even groundwater aquifers have been found to be contaminated by letéléchargementes from sanitary landfills etc.
A layer of sediment or rock that is highly permeable and contains water is called an aquifer. Layers of sand and gravel are good aquifers while clay and crystalline rocks like granite are not since they have low permeability. Aquifers may be of two types: Unconfined aquifers which are overlaid by permeable earth materials and they are recharged by water seeping down from above in the form of rainfall and snow melt.
Confined aquifers which are sandwitched between two impermeable layers of rock or sediments and are recharged only in those areas where the aquifer intersects the land surface. Sometimes the recharged area is hundreds of kilometers away from the location of the well. Fig 2. Groundwater is not static, it moves, though at a very slow rate of about a meter or so in a year.
The groundwater system. An unconfined aquifer water table is formed when water collects over a rock or compact clay. A confined aquifer is formed sandwitched between two layers having very low permeability. Effects of Groundwater Usage i Subsidence: When groundwater withdrawal is more than its recharge rate, the sediments in the aquifer get compacted, a phenomenon known as ground subsidence.
Huge economic losses may occur due to this phenomenon because it results in the sinking of overlying land surface. The common problems associated with it include structural damage in buildings, fracture in pipes, reversing the flow of sewers and canals and tidal flooding.
Mining of groundwater is done extensively in arid and semi-arid regions for irrigating crop fields. However, it is not advisable to do excessive mining as it would cause a sharp decline in future agricultural production, due to lowering of water table. When excessive irrigation is done with brackish water it raises the water table gradually leading to water-logging and salinity problems. Natural Resources 17 Surface Water The water coming through precipitation rainfall, snow when does not percolate down into the ground or does not return to the atmos- phere as evaporation or transpiration loss, assumes the form of streams, lakes, ponds, wetlands or artificial reservoirs known as surface water.
The surface water is largely used for irrigation, industrial use, public water supply, navigation etc. Water rich vs. Heavy rainfall often causes floods in the low-lying coastal areas. Prolonged downpour can also cause the over-flowing of lakes and rivers resulting into floods. Deforestation, overgrazing, mining, rapid industrialization, global warming etc.
Floods have been regular features of some parts of India and Bangladesh causing huge economic loss as well as loss of life. People of Bangladesh are accustomed to moderate flooding during monsoon and they utilize the flood water for raising paddy.
But, severe floods like that in , and resulting from excessive Himalayan runoff and storms, had very disastrous consequences causing massive deaths and damages. In , about one million people were drowned while 1,40, people died in Networking of rivers is being proposed at national level to deal with the problems of floods. When annual rainfall is below normal and less than evaporation, drought conditions are created.
Ironically, these drought- hit areas are often having a high population growth which leads to poor land use and makes the situation worse. Anthropogenic causes: Drought is a meteorological phenomenon, but due to several anthropogenic causes like over grazing, deforestation, mining etc. In the last twenty years, India has experienced more and more desertification, thereby increasing the vulnerability of larger parts of the country to droughts.
Erroneous and intensive cropping pattern and increased exploitation of scarce water resources through well or canal irrigation to get high productivity has converted drought - prone areas into desertified ones. In Maharashtra there has been no recovery from drought for the last 30 years due to over-exploitation of water by sugarcane crop which has high water demands. Remedial measures: Indigenous knowledge in control of drought and desertification can be very useful for dealing with the problem.
Carefully selected mixed cropping help optimize production and minimize the risks of crop failures. Social Forestry and Wasteland development can prove quite effective to fight the problem, but it should be based on proper understanding of ecological requirements and natural process, otherwise it may even boomrang.
The Kolar district of Karnataka is one of the leaders in Social Forestry with World Bank Aid, but all its 11 talukas suffer from drought. It is because the tree used for plantation here was Eucalyptus which is now known to lower the water table because of its very high transpiration rate.
Anubha Kaushik C P Kaushik
Issues related to sharing of river water have been largely affecting our farmers and also shaking our governments. Some major water conflicts are discussed here. Three river basins, namely the Jordan, the Tigris-Euphrates and the Nile are the shared water resources for Middle East countries.
Natural Resources 19 Sudan too is trying to divert more water. This would badly affect Egypt, which is a desert, except for a thin strip of irrigated cropland along the river Nile and its delta. The population of Egypt is likely to double in the next 20 years, thereby increasing its water crisis. Likewise there is a fierce battle for water among Jordan, Syria and Israel for the Jordan River water share.
Turkey has abundant water and plans to build 22 dams on Tigris-Euphrates for Hydroelectric power generation. But, it would drastically reduce the flow of water to Syria and Iraq, lying downstream. Probably, the next war in the Middle East would be fought over water and not oil. The Indus, one of the mightiest rivers is dying a slow death due to dams and barrages that have been built higher up on the river.
In , the Indus water treaty was established vide which Indus, the Jhelum and the Chenab were allocated to Pakistan and the Satluj, the Ravi and the Beas were allocated to India. Being the riparian state, India has pre-emptive right to construct barrages across all these rivers in Indian territory.
However, the treaty requires that the three rivers allocated to Pakistan may be used for non-consumptive purposes by India i.
With improving political relations between the two countries it is desirable to work out techno-economic details and go for an integrated development of the river basin in a sustainable manner. In all these cases, there are intense conflicts over these resources which hardly seem to resolve. The Cauvery river water is a bone of contention between Tamilnadu and Karnataka and the fighting is almost hundred years old. Tamilnadu, occupying the downstream region of the river wants water-use regulated in the upstream.
Whereas, the upstream state Karnataka refuses to do so and claims its primacy over the river as upstream user. The river The consumption is more in Tamilnadu than Karnataka where the catchment area is more rocky. In due to good monsoon, there was no dispute due to good stock of water in Mettur, but in , the situation turned into a crisis due to delayed rains and an expert Committee was set up to look into the matter which found that there was a complex cropping pattern in Cauvery basin.
Sambra paddy in winter, Kurvai paddy in summer and some cash crops demanded intensive water, thus aggravating the water crisis. Proper selection of crop varieties, optimum use of water, better rationing, rational sharing patterns, and pricing of water are suggested as some measures to solve the problem.
The Eradi Tribunal based the allocation of water on the basis of the time-inflow data of 20 years , according to which However, now it is argued by Punjab that in the last 17 years there has been consistent decline reducing the quantity to The Supreme Court on January 15, directed Punjab to complete and commission the SYL within a year, failing which the Center was told to complete it.
However, two years have passed, but neither the SYL has been completed nor the conflict over sharing of Ravi- Beas water is resolved.
The conflict is that Punjab being the riparian state for Beas, Ravi and Satluj stakes its claim, Haryana has faced acute shortage of water after it became a state in and has been trying to help it out by signing an MOU Memorandum of understanding with UP, Rajasthan and Delhi for allocation of Yamuna waters. The Yamuna basin covers the state of Haryana while the Indus basin covers Punjab.
The conflict revolving around sharing of river water needs to be tackled with greater understanding and objectivity. Natural Resources 21 Traditional Water Management System In India, even today, there are several villages where water management is done not by the Irrigation Department, but by local managers.
They usually give preference to the tail end fields and decide per capita allocation of water based on the stock of available water in the tank and crop needs. In Maharashtra, the water mangers are called havaldars or jaghyas who manage and resolve conflicts by overseeing the water channels from main canal to the distributory canals.
In Ladakh, the water manager is known as churpun who has got complete charge with full powers over allocation of available water. The major source of water is melt water from glaciers and snow supplementary by water from springs and marshes.
The water is distributed to different fields through an intricate network of earthen channels.
In traditional water management, innovative arrangements ensure equitable distribution of water, which are democratically implemented. While water disputes between states and nations often assume battle like situations, our traditional water managers in villages prove to be quite effective.
India has the distinction of having the largest number of river-valley projects. These dams are often regarded as a symbol of national development. The tribals living in the area pin big hopes on these projects as they aim at providing employment and raising the standard and quality of life. The dams have tremendous potential for economic upliftment and growth.
They can help in checking floods and famines, generate electricity and reduce water and power shortage, provide irrigation water to lower areas, provide drinking water in remote areas and promote navigation, fishery etc.
Environmental Problems The environmental impacts of big-dams are also too many due to which very often the big dams become a subject of controversy.
The impacts can be at the upstream as well as downstream levels. B The downstream impacts include the following: That is why now there is a shift towards construction of small dams or mini-hydel projects. Natural Resources 23 2. There are thousands of minerals occurring in different parts of the world. However, most of the rocks, we see everyday are just composed of a few common minerals like quartz, feldspar, biotite, dolomite, calcite, laterite etc.
These minerals, in turn, are composed of some elements like silicon, oxygen, iron, magnesium, calcium, aluminium etc. The main uses of minerals are as follows: Gold, silver, platinum, diamond. Based on their properties, minerals are basically of two types: Bauxite, laterite, haematite etc. Use of metals by human beings has been so extensive since the very beginning of human civilization that two of the major epochs of human history are named after them as Bronze Age and Iron Age.
The reserves of metals and the technical know-how to extract them have been the key elements in determining the economy and political power of nations. Out of the various metals, the one used in maximum quantity is Iron and steel million metric tons annually followed by manganese, copper, chromium, aluminium and Nickel.
Table 2. Heavy machinery, steel produc- tion transportation means Lead North America, U. Used for concrete, building stone, used in agriculture for neutralizing acid soils, used in cement industry Limestone Gypsum Used in plaster wall-board, in agriculture Potash, phosphorite Used as fertilizers Sulphur pyrites Used in medicine, car battery, industry.
Due to huge mineral and energy resources, the USA became the richest and the most powerful nation in the world in even less than years. Ja- pan too needs a mention here, as there are virtually no metal reserves, coal, oil and timber resources in Japan and it is totally dependent on other countries for its resources.
But, it has developed energy efficient technologies to upgrade these resources to high quality finished prod- ucts to sustain its economy. Minerals are sometimes classified as Critical and Strategic.
Critical minerals are essential for the economy of a nation e.
Strategic minerals are those required for the defence of a country e. Manganese, cobalt, platinum, chromium etc. West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa, M. Uranium Pitchblende or Uranite ore: Jharkhand, West Bengal, Maharashtra, M.
Iron haematite and magnetite ore: Jharkhand, Orissa, M. Copper Copper Pyrites: More important environ- mental concern arises from the impacts of extraction and processing of these minerals during mining, smelting etc. Indian Scenario: India is the producer of 84 minerals the annual value of which is about Rs. At least six major mines need a mention here which are known for causing severe problems: Impacts of mining: Mining is done to extract minerals or fossil fuels from deep deposits in soil by using sub-surface mining or from shallow deposits by surface mining.
The former method is more destructive, dangerous and expensive including risks of occupational hazards and accidents. Surface mining can make use of any of the following three types: The environmental damage caused by mining activities are as follows: The topsoil as well as the vegetation are removed from the mining area to get access to the deposit.
While large scale deforestation or devegetation leads to several ecological losses as already discussed in the previous section, the landscape also gets badly affected.
The huge quantities of debris and tailings alongwith big scars and disruptions spoil the aesthetic value of the region and make it prone to soil erosion.
This is mainly associated with underground mining. Subsidence of mining areas often results in tilting of buildings, cracks in houses, buckling of roads, Natural Resources 27 bending of rail tracks and leaking of gas from cracked pipe- lines leading to serious disasters.
Mining disturbs the natural hydrological processes and also pollutes the groundwater. Sulphur, usually present as an impurity in many ores is known to get converted into sulphuric acid through microbial action, thereby making the water acidic. Some heavy metals also get leached into the groundwater and contaminate it posing health hazards. Please enter your name. The E-mail message field is required. Please enter the message. Please verify that you are not a robot. Would you also like to submit a review for this item?
You already recently rated this item. Your rating has been recorded. Write a review Rate this item: Preview this item Preview this item. Perspectives in Environmental Studies. New Delhi: New Age International Pvt. Environmental Studies pertain to a systematic analysis of the natural and man-made world encompassing various scientific, economic, social and ethical aspects.
Human impacts leading to large scale degradation of the environment have aroused global concern on environmental issues in the recent years. The apex court has hence, issued directive to impart environmental literacy to all.
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Sponsored By. Sharing is Caring. About Welcome to EasyEngineering, One of the trusted educational blog. Get New Updates Email Alerts Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Search Your Files. Join with us.Mining operations within and around the Sariska Tiger reserve has left many areas permanently infertile and barren.
The physical and chemical struc- ture of the abiotic components and energy transfer and flow are under- stood with the help of basic concepts of Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Atmospheric Science, Oceanography and Geography.
Coal mining in Jharia, Raniganj and Singrauli areas have caused extensive deforestation in Jharkhand. Finding libraries that hold this item Overuse of groundwater for drinking, irrigation and domestic pur- poses has resulted in rapid depletion of groundwater in various regions leading to lowering of water table and drying of wells. Ironically, these drought- hit areas are often having a high population growth which leads to poor land use and makes the situation worse.