Water Resources Class 10 Notes – CBSE Geography Chapter 3

Water Resources Class 10 Notes

Water covers three-fourths of the earth’s surface, but only a small portion of it is fresh water that can be used. Water is an infinite resource. Water resource availability varies across space and time. Water resources are being overutilized to increase irrigated areas for dry-season agriculture. Water is sufficiently available in some areas to meet people’s needs. However, due to poor water quality, those areas continue to face water scarcity.

Water Resources

Freshwater Source

There are several water resources available for our use. Oceans are estimated to contain 96.5 percent of the total volume of the world’s water, with fresh water accounting for the remaining 2.5 percent. 70% of the world’s freshwater is found as ice sheets and glaciers in Antarctica, Greenland, and mountainous regions. In the world’s acquirers, less than 30% is stored as groundwater. Surface runoff and groundwater are the primary sources of fresh water. This is constantly renewed and recharged by the hydrological cycle.

Precipitation (rainfall); Surface water (rivers, lakes, and so on); Groundwater is water that is stored underground and recharged by rainfall.

Water Scarcity and its Reasons

Water scarcity refers to a lack of available water. It is typically associated with low rainfall or drought-prone areas.

Numerous other factors contribute to water scarcity :
Water resources in the agricultural sector are being over-exploited to expand irrigated areas and dry-season agriculture; More water is required for irrigation to facilitate increased food production, i.e., for multiple cropping and HYV seeds. With increased urbanization and industrialization, there is a greater water demand.

Unequal access to water among various social groups; Water quality is deteriorating, as it is being polluted by domestic and industrial wastes. Excessive use of water by industries that also require water to generate hydroelectric power to run them; and over-exploitation of water in urban areas.

Dams and water harvesting are the steps to avoid water scarcity.


A dam is a structure built across flowing water that obstructs, directs, or slows the flow, often resulting in the formation of a reservoir, lake, or impoundment. The reservoir is referred to as the “dam,” not the structure.

Why are the Dams constructed?

  • Impounding rivers and rainwater for later use in irrigating agricultural fields.
  • To generate electricity.
  • Domestic and industrial water supply.
  • Flood prevention.
  • Recreation, inland navigation, and fish breeding are all possible.

What are the uses of Dams?

Dams are used to irrigate fields. The Bhakra- Nangal Dam is widely used for hydroelectric power generation and irrigation in the Sutlej-Beas River Basin. Water is used for domestic purposes. Water is used to supply industries and manufacturers. Flood control: The Hirakud Dam in the Mahanadi basin is used to control flooding. Used in recreational settings such as water parks

Inland navigation uses this term. Used in the breeding of fish.

Effects of Dam Construction

  • River regulation and damming have an impact on their natural flow.
  • The habitats for aquatic life in rivers are deteriorating.
  • The migration of aquatic fauna is hampered by fragmented rivers.
  • Dams built on floodplains submerge the existing vegetation and soil, causing it to decompose over time.
  • Large-scale creation
  • The construction of large dams has sparked many new environmental movements, such as the ‘Narmada Bachao Andolan‘ and the ‘Tehri Dam Andolan,’ among others.
  • Locals were frequently forced to give up their land, livelihoods, and control over resources in order for the dam to be built.
  • The majority of the criticisms levelled at the projects stemmed from their failure to achieve the goals for which they were designed. The majority of the dams were built to control floods, but These dams have caused flooding.
  • Dams have also resulted in significant soil erosion. Excessive water use has caused earthquakes, water-borne diseases and pests, and pollution.

Rain Water Harvesting

Rainwater Collection or Rainwater harvesting is a simple method of collecting rainfall for future use. The collected rainwater can be stored, used in various ways, or directly used for recharge. Various methods have been used in various areas for Rain Water Harvesting. People in hill and mountainous areas have built diversion channels for agriculture, similar to the ‘guls’ or ‘kuls’ of the Western Himalayas.

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Rooftop rainwater harvesting is a common practice in Rajasthan for storing drinking water. People in the flood plains of Bengal created inundation channels to irrigate their fields. Agricultural fields in arid and semi-arid regions were converted into rain-fed storage structures that allowed water to stand and moisten the soil, such as ‘khadins’ in Jaisalmer and ‘Johads’ in other places.

The tankas are built inside the main house or the courtyard and are part of the well-developed rooftop rainwater harvesting system. This is mostly done in Rajasthan, particularly in Bikaner, Phalodi, and Barmer, to save rainwater. Many houses have built underground rooms adjacent to the ‘tanka’ to keep the room cool during the summer. Tamil Nadu is the first state in India to make rooftop rainwater harvesting structures mandatory for all houses. There are legal provisions in place to punish defaulters.

Therefore, all states are following some procedures available as per local norms to conserve water.

Water Pollution

Domestic wastes, particularly urban sewers; industrial wastes disposed of in the water without proper treatment; chemical effluents from industries and the agricultural sector; and many human activities, such as religious rituals and idol immersion, pollute water.

Water-saving measures include:

  • Do not overdraw groundwater instead, recharge it through techniques such as rainwater harvesting, capturing rainwater in reservoirs, watershed development programs, and so on.
  • Avoid water waste at all levels and avoid polluting the water.
  • Adopting water-saving irrigation techniques, such as drip irrigation and sprinklers, especially in dry areas.
  • A dam is a structure built across flowing water that obstructs, directs, or retards the flow, resulting in the formation of a reservoir, lake, or impoundment.


Class 10 is the base for the coming years of education till one qualifies for graduation. So stressing a bit more about the exams becomes important. Good results can help you choose your choice of subjects in Std. 11. This lesson water resources class 10 notes is extremely important not only for the exam but to make you an informed individual about the resources.

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