Some Indian specialists in environmental science have been researching how preserving natural water resources and its harnessing over man-made water solutions must be considered in their country.
The thought is that the overabundance of artificial infrastructure will eventually consume the natural infrastructure that the land provides.
A big part of the discussion is how to go about the maintenance of river floodplains.
The Hindu reports:
“Some floodplains, such as those of Himalayan rivers, contain up to 20 times more water than the virgin flow in rivers in a year. Since recharge is by rainfall and during late floods, the water quality is good. If we conserve and use the floodplain, it can be a self-sustaining aquifer wherein every year, the river and floodplain are preserved in the same healthy condition as the year before…
…Preserving the floodplain in a pristine condition is essential for this scheme to work. Land on the floodplains can be leased from farmers in return for a fixed income from the water sold to cities. The farmers can be encouraged to grow orchards/food forests to secure and restore the ecological balance of the river ecosystem.”
There is also much consideration going on about whether the strain placed on harvesting mineral water from the mountains is truly necessary.
An alternative suggestion is that underground aquifers in forested areas could be tapped into, as they provide water just as pure as the spring water in most cases.
If this were to be implemented as a solution, forests could then be protected as mineral water sanctuaries – solving two problems at once: the current deforestation trend and the over-dependence on mountain spring water.
These ideas are just the beginning of a new wave of thinking outside the box to solve water supply and infrastructure issues worldwide.
The article presents an alternative solution to the increasing demands for water especially in rapidly growing cities and urban areas.
Rather than the conventional methods of building more infrastructure, which tends to be invasive and expensive, learning to work with nature and using natural infrastructures offers a more sustainable option to address long-term water demands.
Future demand planning is a core component of infrastructure management planning.
Future demand planning should be approached holistically by examining asset, non-asset, and alternative solutions.