Here is a compilation of essays on ‘Natural Resources’ for class 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short paragraphs on ‘Natural Resources’ for school and college students.
Essay on Natural Resources
- Essay on the Concept of Natural Resources
- Essay on the Water Resources
- Essay on the Land Resources
- Essay on the Biological Resources
- Essay on the Mineral Resources
- Essay on the Energy Resources
- Essay on the Human Resources
Essay # 1. Concept of Natural Resources:
All means of satisfying human needs, at a given time and place, are resources. Thus “Resources” are means for attaining individual and social welfare. Natural components like land, water, minerals, forests, wildlife, energy-or even man himself-are considered as resources as well as resource-creating factors.
A major global concern has been whether the present rate of global population growth will be sufficient to meet up the resource needs for mankind’s survival and comfort? Thus there lies the quest for sustainable use of resources to meet up the ever-increasing needs of human populations. Recent technological innovations helped a lot in solving the problems of resource depletion at a faster rate.
Essay # 2. Water Resources:
Water is the most vital resource for life. In our planet earth, approximately 97.2% water lies in oceans as salt water while 2.15% in frozen ice form and the remaining 0.65% remains as fresh water either on surface or as ground water. Available fresh water resources are very limited.
The demand for fresh water has increased day by day and will increase with the rapid growth of population, agriculture and industry. As a result the fresh water reserve depletes day by day too. The requirement of clean water per person is about 2.7 liter per day, thus the global requirement is about 16.5 billion lit per day only for drinking purpose. Agriculture is also one of the major consumer of fresh water resources.
Rivers constitute an insignificant amount (0.001 or 0.1%) of the land surface. Only 0.0001% of water of the planet earth occurs in river channels. In spite of these low quantities, running waters are of enormous significance to humans.
If travellers from other solar systems were to visit our lovely, cool, blue planet, they might call it Aqua rather than Terra because of its outstanding feature: the abundance of streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans of liquid water. This is the only place that we know of anywhere in the universe where water exists in liquid form in any appreciable quantity.
Liquid water covers nearly three-fourths of the earth’s surface, and during the winter, snow and ice cover a good deal of the rest.
Not only is water essential for cell structure and metabolism, but water’s unique physical and chemical properties have a direct impact on the earth’s surface temperatures, its atmosphere, and the interactions of life-forms with their environments. Water has many unique, almost magical qualities. Without the wonderful properties of water, life would not be possible here.
Let’s look in more detail at some of these properties and how they affect life:
1. Water is the primary component of cells and makes up 60 to 70 per cent (on average) of the weight of living organisms. It plumps out cells, thereby giving form and support to many tissues. It is not just “filler“, however, but has vital biological roles. Water is the medium in which all of life’s chemical reactions occur, and it is an active participant in many of these reactions.
2. Water is the only inorganic liquid that exists in nature, and it is the solvent in which most substances must be dissolved before cells can absorb, use, or eliminate them. These substances include food molecules, mineral nutrients, gases, hormones and other chemical communicators, and waste by-products of metabolism.
When molecules dissolve in water, they often have a tendency to break into positively and negatively charged particles, called ions. Ions are significant participants in cellular reactions.
3. Water molecules themselves can ionize, breaking into H+ (hydrogen ions) and OH– (hydroxyl ions). These ions help maintain the acid/base balance in cells, helping to offset (buffer) fluctuations caused by the release of other ions during metabolism.
The term pH refers to the relative abundance of H+ ions in a solution. On a pH scale from zero to fourteen, seven is neutral, values lower than seven are acidic, and those higher than seven are basic (Fig. 4.2). A proper pH balance is critical to healthy cellular functioning.
4. Water molecules are cohesive, tending to stick together. You have experienced this property if you have ever done a belly flop off a diving board. This cohesion causes capillary action, which is the tendency of water to be drawn into small channels.
Without capillary action, movement of water and nutrients into groundwater reservoirs and through living organisms might not be possible. Because of its cohesiveness, water has the highest surface tension of any common, natural liquid. The surface of water, where it meets the air, acts like an elastic skin strong enough to support small insects.
5. Because water has a high heat capacity, it helps protect us from temperature fluctuations. It can absorb or release large amounts of heat energy before its own temperature changes.
For this reason, large bodies of water such as the oceans and the Great Lakes have a moderating effect on their local climates. Without the presence of liquid oceans, the surface temperature of the earth would undergo wide temperature fluctuations between day and night as do the moon and Mars.
6. Water exists as a liquid over a wide temperature range that for most of the world (at least during summer months) corresponds to the ambient temperature range. For most substances, the freezing point is only a few degrees lower than the boiling point.
This means that they exist as either a solid or a gas, so that inorganic liquids are relatively rare. Organisms synthesize organic compounds such as oils and alcohols that remain liquid at ambient temperatures because they are so valuable to life, but the original and predominant liquid in nature is water.
7. Water is unique in that it expands when it crystallizes. Most substances shrink as they change from liquid to solid. Ice floats because it is less dense than liquid water. When temperatures fall below freezing, the surface layers of lakes, rivers, and oceans cool faster and freeze before deeper water.
Floating ice then insulates underlying layers, keeping most water bodies liquid throughout the winter in most places. Without this feature, lakes, rivers, and even oceans in high latitudes would freeze solid and never melt.
Water has a high heat of vaporization. Because of the amount of heat it absorbs in changing from a liquid to a vapour state, evaporating water is an effective way for organisms to shed excess heat. Many animals pant or sweat to moisten evaporative cooling surfaces.
Why do you feel less comfortable on a hot, humid day than on a hot, dry day? Because the water vapor-laden air inhibits the rate of evaporation from your skin, thereby impairing your ability to shed heat.
The heat absorbed when water vaporizes is released when condensation occurs. This accounts for a large transfer of heat from the oceans over the continents as water vapour turns into rain. Altogether, these unique properties of water not only shape life at the molecular and cellular level, they also determine many features of both the biotic and abiotic components of our world.
A number of unwise use of fresh water resources that are depleting availability are:
(a) Extraction of ground water at rates higher than its recharging allowing the incursion of saline water in aquifers and subsidence of ground;
(b) Pollution with persistent toxic chemicals;
(c) Inefficient technology for water use; and
(d) Change of water runoff and infiltration patterns by deforestation and soil erosion.
Therefore, in coming decades, stress will be laid on management of water use pattern through developing water-efficient technologies in agriculture and industry and also imposition of water pricing system. In India, over 4000 BCM of water is received from rainfall, which is perhaps among the highest in the world.
Fourteen major river systems share 83% of the drainage basin, account for 85% of the surface flow and serve 80% of the total population of the country. There are also 44 medium and 55 minor rivers which mostly originate in the coastal mountains and 80% of their discharge occurs during the monsoon months. The estimated utilizable surface water is around 690 BCM.
With respect to ground water reserve in India, the estimated available ground water to be over 433 billion cu. m. and the annual exploitable potential is estimated 3.99 BCM (GOI, 2006) of which only one- fourth is utilised currently. In spite of fairly high amount of available freshwater, India has a very low per capita availability of drinking water, about 1720.29 cu m per year.
There were a large number of swamps and wetlands in this country, which are essential for a balanced ecosystem, but these areas are currently disappearing for human transformation. The water resource crises is no longer a futuristic prediction for India.
It is an increasing prevalent feature, resulting from an overall disruption of the hydrological cycle. Thus the vital need for a National water policy to ensure sustainable availability and use of water for diverse objectives.
The average annual availability and also utilizable surface water in different water basin of India in shown in Table 4.4:
The other categories of Inland water resources of India is shown in Table 4.5 (state-wise database):
In India, there are four major sectors where water requirement is the prime concern. As per water use pattern, water demand in India by 2010 AD might follow the following pattern viz., for ‘agriculture & livestock’ 80%, for ‘power generation‘ and other industrial uses 12.8%, ‘domestic‘ 7.5%.
The river basin wise ground water potentials are given in Table 4.6:
Dependence on groundwater has increased considerably over the last two decades. Groundwater sources contribute more than 85 per cent of the drinking water requirements in rural areas, about 76 per cent of irrigation requirements and more than 50 per cent of the urban and industrial water supplies.
Excessive withdrawal of groundwater has resulted in the drying up of aquifers in many parts of the country. In the search for water, deeper tube wells are sunk to access water from fossil aquifers which cannot be replenished. In the Indus Basin as a whole, groundwater pumping is estimated to exceed recharge by 50 per cent.
State wise dynamic fresh groundwater resources are given in Table 4.7:
Water is utilised in enormous quantity over the year—particularly in agriculture, industries and domestic purposes. In tropics, water demand increased many-fold during past few decades. At the same time, due to improper collection of surface water, water bodies get polluted or lost through run off or evaporation.
Waste water generated in industries of municipalities/cities are also thrown off into rivers. More and more ground water is withdrawn for domestic and agricultural uses. These situations aggravate the entire water demand and supply problem. Thus there is a great need for comprehensive water conservation planning in all countries.
April 2002, Government of India declared “National Water Policy” where greater emphasis was given on surface water collection, storage and rational utilisation, as the ground water level depleted very fast in different parts of the country.
In addition, water scarcity leads to excessive ground water withdrawal which, in many places, is contaminated with fluoride or arsenic. With the rising water demand in agricultures the irrigation requirement enhanced very much during past four decades. This situation accelerates more water crisis.
In tropics, monsoon is fairly widespread, so the scope for collection and storage of rain water is enormous. Unfortunately, over the years, such attempts were grossly ignored and for that reason ground water consumption was enhanced very much. Thus there is a great need for water storage facilities and efficient utilisation for multifarious purpose.
Watershed management and appropriate adoption of irrigation technologies are the two prime actions needed for water conservation. Conservation of lakes, oxbow lakes or other categories of wetlands are the prime requisite of rainwater storage. At household level, rain water also harvested by a number of techniques.
(a) Construction of traditional ring well (kua),
(b) Roof-top rainwater harvesting and storage.
Waste water treatment and reuse for irrigation, aquaculture or even industrial purposes is also a part of water conservation strategies. In earlier days river water lifting was made for public water supply, industrial use and also for agricultural purposes. But due to scarcity of river water, we are more and more dependent on the groundwater.
In recent decades some parts of India and about half of Bangladesh are facing crisis of ground water which is contaminated with arsenic. Thus there is great need for surface water collection, storage, treatment and supply at household level for domestic uses. It was suggested that roof top rainwater harvesting and storage into underground tank, followed by chlorination may lead to better domestic water supply
In different parts of our country, rainwater harvesting was attempted in different ways.
Some illustrations are given here:
In Madhya Pradesh, more than 1,000 check dams, 1,050 tanks and 1,100 community lift irrigation schemes have been implemented in Jhabua district. The result-brought proofing achieved and food production increased by 38% in between 1990 to 1995. Moreover, micro-watershed project with people’s participation in Ghelhar Choti village. Jhabua district has been implemented.
The result is that cultivated areas increased and yield per hectare doubled. Low cost small farm reservoirs along with improved crop and soil management systems tried in erstwhile Chhattisgarh state and it augmented ground water storage saved paddy from water stress during extended dry spells in 1990-91 and 1991-92.
District administration in Dewas made root top rain water harvesting mandatory for all houses having tube wells and banned tube well drilling. This resulted in improved soil moisture and recharged first aquifer.
In Andhra Pradesh, percolation tanks and check dams constructed in chronically drought-affected Rayalseema region and it helped in drought proofing. In Maharashtra, more than 7,000 percolation tanks built after the severe drought of 1971-72 .All areas under the influence of the percolation tanks converted into green lands.
The town planners in Chennai realised the utility of rain water harvesting in 1993, when the building by-laws were amended to ensure all new structures to have arrangements for rain water harvesting No water or sewage connection would be given if a new building did not have provisions for rain water harvesting as per the new rules. The decision has led to a rise in ground water level.
In Chandigarh, rooftop rain water harvesting recharges ground water through injection well in one of the C SIO buildings. This caused a rise of 2 metres in water level. In Jodhpur district of Rajasthan, Gramin Vigyan Vikash Samity motivated the residents of 25 villages and built 2000 storage tanks (tankas). Each house has a tanka (a water collection structure) lined with lime and alum to keep the water fresh for 4 to 5 months.
Roof top rain water harvesting and recharging of wells as a movement initiated by the Saurashtra Lok Manch Trust in Mandlikpur village of Rajkot district in Gujarat has prevented drying up of wells Aga khan Rural Support Programme in Junagadh and Surendranagar districts of Gujarat, Saurasthra harvested ram water by check dams and percolation ponds involving beneficiary farmers.
As a result optimum utilisation of harvested rain water was achieved. Vivekananda Research and Training Institute in Kutch, Bhavnagar (Gujarat) and Amreli districts constructed rain water harvesting structures .
This helped in improving ground water quality and controlling the declining water level. In Amravati district Maharashtra three percolation tanks and ten cement plugs benefiting an area of ha and 100 ha, respectively, have been constructed.
The following are the proposed policy measures adopted for rainwater harvesting:
(a) Provide at least one roof-top rain water harvesting structure for every 200 sq. m. plot in urban areas.
(b) Revive or rehabilitate all village ponds.
(c) Subject to technical feasibility, provide at least one check dam/KT weir/sub-surface dyke in each streamlet with a catchment of 1 to 3 sq. km.
(d) Ban construction of irrigation wells/tube wells within a radius of 200 m or less (depending on scientific criteria) of the drinking water supply well.
The Action Plan during 2000-2003 included:
(a) Prepare national and state level water harvesting perspective plans.
(b) Develop plans and implement roof-top rain water harvesting measures using 100.000 wells (existing, defunct and/or operative wells) to be used in the first instance.
(c) Provide rural drinking water wells with recharge facilities, covering 1 lakh wells.
(d) Harvest and recharge city storm water in 100 towns.
(e) Revive and rehabilitate 1,000 dying village ponds.
(f) Design and construct 200 percolation tanks, 5,000 check dams/bhandaras and 1,000 sub-surface dykes.
(g) Recycle secondary treated urban waste waters through aquifers at 5 centers.
(h) Identify potential aquifers in drought-prone areas and declare these as Ground Water Sanctuaries.
A number of donor agencies are currently involved in India’s Water Sector Development the details given in the Table 4.9 below:
Essay # 3. Land Resources:
Land is another most vital resource as it will be used for production of crops and other biological materials needed for food fodder, medicine, fibre and associated materials.
The volume of production depends on the extent and yield capacity of the cultivable land, which, in turn, is flexible according to human attitude The physical limits of cultivable land are temperature, moisture, topography and soil. Its availability and cultivability also vary according to the human social pattern, particularly the use pattern of energy.
India has a total land area of 2.4% of the world total, but supports a population over 17% of the world. Thus the per capita land availability was only 0.48 ha. as against 8.43 ha in former USSR (undivided) and 0.98 ha in China.
The major land use classification of India is given in the Table 4.10:
Essay # 4. Biological Resources:
Although our understanding of the earth’s organisms — its biological resources — is still imperfect, there is no doubt that the abundance add and diversity of living organisms provide many benefits and make our world a beautiful and interesting place to live.
Unfortunately, rapidly expanding human populations and resource consumption now threaten to deplete three types of biodiversity:
The number of species, the genetic richness within species, and the variety of biological communities in the world.
At the end of the great exploration era of the nineteenth century, we now believe that more than 1.7 million species presently known, this is a just small fraction of the total number as expected to exist on earth. Major fraction of the organisms are yet to be discovered and clarified.
Biological resources are diminished or destroyed in a number of ways. Natural changes in the environment eliminate once successful species or reduce their numbers to mere remnant populations.
Humans disrupt ecosystems and extirpate species, both deliberately and accidentally. There are three kinds of losses of species as noticed today, viz. depletion of abundance of a once plentiful species, species extinction and ecosystem disruption.
There is an increasing gradient of seriousness in these losses. Humans have a long history of biological resource depletion. We have reduced biological abundance or driven species into extinction in a number of ways (Fig. 4.3).
Forests play a vital role in regulating climate, controlling water runoff, providing shelter and food for wildlife, and purifying the air. They produce valuable materials, such as wood and paper pulp, on which we all depend. Furthermore, forests also have scenic, cultural and historic values that deserve to be protected.
Before large scale human disturbances during past couple of decades, forests probably covered 6 billion hectares (15 billion acres). About two- thirds of the forest is classified as closed canopy forest (over 20 per cent or more cover) and the rest is open canopy forest or woodland (canopy cover less than 20% of the ground).
Broadly speaking, there are six principal types of forest, viz. cool coniferous forest, temperate mixed forest, warm-temperate moist forest, tropical moist evergreen forest, tropical moist deciduous forest, and dry forest. The distribution of different forest types primarily depends on the temperature and rainfall regime of the concerned region.
The richest and most diverse terrestrial ecosystems on the earth are the tropical forests. Although they now occupy less than 10 per cent of the earth’s land surface, these forests are thought to contain more than two-thirds of all plant biomass and at least one-half of all plant, animal and microbial species of the world.
Brazil has by far both the largest total area and the highest rate of deforestation in the world, estimated to have been 6.8 million hectares of forest cut annually between 1986 and 1991. The rate of destruction of tropical forests are most prevalent than any other region.
In India, the forest cover area ranging from about 6% to 25% as varies from state to state. In 1989, an assessment of forest cover was attempted by using NRSA remote serving data (Table 4.10). This indicate that the average forest cover area is about 19.47% as against non forest area of 78.40%. Again among the forest area only 11.51% area having dense forest (i.e., > 40% crown cover).
Other than forest, there is vast biological resources found in aquatic systems, viz, lake, reservoir, river estuary, sea and ocean. Till date the global community is primarily dependent on biological resources of land, except fishes and some other seaweed from aquatic system. In the present century more attention perhaps will be focused on an aquaculture as the land productivity is almost at maximum level.
The distribution of diverse biological forms in the globe is both horizontally and vertically over the year. The existence of life is noticed from arctic to autistic zones, in varied forms. Identically, there is also a great extent of vertical distribution of life in both terrestrial and aquatic environment. Up to 10,000 meter microbial life exists on earth (i.e., Parabiopheric zone).
Similarly, in water, up to a depth of 5,000 meters, (i e abyssal zone) life exists, though Euphotic zone i.e., surface water showed maximum productivity.
Essay # 5. Mineral Resources:
A variety of minerals both metals & non-metals were exploited by mankind over centuries. Most metals used for industrial purposes occur in the earth’s crust (i.e., 10-70 km thickness). These metals can be mined economically where considerable exploitable deposit exists.
There are three categories of metals in the earth crust:
(a) Structural metals like iron, aluminium,
(b) Scarce metals like Cu, Pb, Zn, Mg, Ni, Hg etc. and
(c) Precious metals like Au, Pt and Ag etc.
In addition to crustal layers, metals are also deposited as poly-metallic nodules at the oceanic beds. Many countries in Asia and Europe have considerable mineral deposits. A major quantity was already mined out for human utility.
Among the mineral rich countries, India is one. The states like Rajasthan, Bihar, Orissa, Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam. AP, MP, Maharashtra, Karnataka have a number of mineral deposits. As per estimates made by Geological Survey of India, India has more than 22 different types of minerals in considerably high quantity.
In most cases, they are already mined out partially. If the current rate of exploitation continues and if there is no further new exploration of deposit then our mining activity might be completed by 2020. At present most of the minerals are mined out on land deposit, not mere coast line or sea bed deposits.
Essay # 6. Energy Resources:
In general, the world shares of primary fuels in 2000, was dominated by oil (38.1%) followed by solid like coal and lignite (25.6%) and natural gas (20.9%). The total renewable gross consumption makes up 8.9 per cent of the total primary energy.
Once again these composite indicators hide wide variations in fuel mix. It is anticipated that biomass and solid fuel energy will continue to decline as oil—gas, nuclear and renewable energy penetrate the economics of NICS and developing countries.
Most of the world’s energy comes from fossil fuels, viz., oil, coal, natural gas or nuclear materials. Crude oil is a mixture of liquid hydrocarbon compounds sometimes found permeating sedimentary rocks. There are some 600 sedimentary basins in the world.
About 200 of them are unexplored for petroleum, because they are in the polar regions, deep water, the remote interior of continents or are restricted for political reasons, another 240 have been explored to some extent without making commercial discoveries and the remaining 160 are commercial producers.
Coal is another important fossil fuel found in carboniferous deposits. About 10 major countries have 92% of the 2000s estimated reserves. It is estimated that 113 x 1012 m3 of recoverable reserves of natural gas has an energy value equivalent to about 103 x 1010 tonnes of oil.
Identically the stipulated world uranium deposit varies widely for country to country. Crude oil, coal, natural gas and uranium are all primary raw materials which need processing before they can be used as fuel.
In India, estimated annual energy availability lies somewhat between 2,50,000 MW, of which over 90% obtained from conventional sources. The relative energy requirement in urban and rural areas from various sources varies distinctly.
For instance in urban area transport, industry and household requirement are considered to be more prominent than rural areas. In addition energy consumption pattern also changed with time (Table 4.18). The primary energy sources of India are also shown in pie chart.
Essay # 7. Human Resources:
Human being are at the center of two different equations. First it is for them that other resources are being utilised and second, they themselves are resources and if adequately developed are capable of unleashing an unprecedented scale of productive forces. Yet, this probably is the most under-utilised resource in our country.
A sizable part of our labour force does not engage in any form of work and most of those who do work, work only for a fraction of a day, week, month and year, and that too not efficiently. Such a state of affairs has drained our agriculture—except in plantation and a few market-oriented sub-sectors — of much of its vitality.
These attitudes towards work could survive over a long period of history only because of the traditional institutional framework of our society. The situation has become more and more serious as these attitudes and institutions are handed down to an ever-increasing population from their predecessors.
Though more determined steps have been taken in the field of family planning in the last couple of years, the labour force will continue to increase somewhere between 2-3 per cent, till the end of the twentieth century. As a consequence of high population, human resources are bulky under-utilised over the years.
Thus on the subject of human resource development, the appropriate emphasis should be given on concept of ‘Investment in Man’ which is of recent origin and has not been given due recognition both in theory and practice, particularly in developing countries.
There is hardly any doubt that the interdependent and self-supporting system of attitude sand social institution plays a dominant role in the utilisation of human resources and, in fact, all resources.
Over post couple of decades attempts have been made for improvement of human resources in all tier through primary mass education followed by job- oriented training as well as high education, better skill development for national and international competition.
As yet the success is very meager, there is a need to define the problem more explicitly and to set up appropriate institutions for monitoring of investment on human development.