Reviving traditional water bodies is essential for smart cities

Reviving traditional water bodies is essential for smart cities.
Most of the cities in India are grappling with the issue of demand and supply gap, with their administrations going beyond the city boundaries to lift water from distant sources to meet the rising demand.
Even one intense shower can lead to water-logging, as was seen in Gurugram city last year.
The problem these cities face is common: most of the traditional water bodies in the cities and towns have been ignored and today these water storage structures are no more than ruins or sites of archaeological value.
Photo: Archaeological Survey of India The structures were built to address the regular occurrence of problems like floods and droughts in India.
Traditional water bodies were built to harvest the rainwater and prevent any flooding into the city core and use this water for various purposes; even to tide over the situation of drought.
Poor management of these water bodies is one of the main reasons as is encroachment of the water bodies because of urbanisation and unplanned development.
In rural areas, there is impetus to adopt the watershed approach and construct farm ponds and other water-harvesting structures.
Rural India is still managing some of these traditional structures.
This initiative could be expanded to explicitly promote the revival of traditional water bodies to help better manage the water resources of the city besides reducing urban heat effects and promoting eco-balance, as intended in a smart city programme.

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