Water resources of country constitute one of its vital assets. Water sustains aquatic biodiversity, economic development and ecological integrity of environment. Water is a powerful indicator of ecological sustainability and economic prosperity. The country receives average annual rainfall of 4000 billion cubic meters (BCM). The rainfall of India show highest spatial and temporal variation of about 100 mm year-1 at Jaisalmeer (Rajasthan) to 11,690 mm year-1 in the Mousinram, India. The total average annual flow per year for the Indian rivers is estimated as 1955 km3. The annual utilizable surface and ground water resources of India are estimated as 690 and 396 km3 per year respectively. With rapid growing population and improving living standard, the pressure on our water resources is reducing day by day and leading the problems of flood and drought syndrome, climatic change effects on precipitation and water resource availability. There is an urgent need, to adopt the innovative water conservation technologies such as sprinkle and drip irrigation in agricultural ecosystem, rainwater harvesting system, biodrainage to check water logging and salinity. This paper describes the availability and demand of water resources in India as well as the various issues and water conservation management strategies for developing a holistic approach for sustainable development and management of the water resources of the country.
Key words: Hydrological drought, water demand, conservation technologies, River basin.
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