Resources are classified into two types on the basis of the extent of use: 1. Renewable Resources 2. Non-Renewable Resources.
1. Renewable Resources:
Some resources are used year after year. Even after using them once. They can be renewed for use many times. They do not get exhausted. Such resources are known as renewable resources.
Water is one of the natural resources found on the earth and inside the earth. Sea water is saltish. It is not fit for drinking but sea water evaporates and goes up in the form of cloud. It returns to the earth and again in the form of rain. Rain is the chief source of water.
There is no water without rain and there is no life without water. The rain water when it falls on earth flows to lower areas and collects in tanks. A part of rain water sinks underground. This underground water is also available to us. When we dig wells, we get water. Thus the rain water, which is the chief source, is used for many purposes.
During summer the water in the wells and tanks dry up. Water famine may be caused. We use the available water for different purposes namely for drinking, washing clothes and vessels, for agriculture and in industry. While using water for these purposes, a lot of water is wasted. Sometimes in towns tap water is also wasted. We have seen water flowing from damaged pipes or leaky taps. We do not take quick decision to repair it.
This kind of wasting water should be avoided to. Now-a-days bore wells are sunk both for drinking water and for agricultural purposes. There are no instances of even bore wells going dry. This has resulted in water scarcity.
Sometimes we do not get adequate rainfall due to failure of monsoons. We have to make the best use of river water also. Otherwise it flows into the sea. So we have to plan very well and make the best use of water resources, as water is very essential for life.
Land is an important resource as human beings live on it and get most of their needs from the land. It has many resources. The earth’s topography surface is divided into mountains, plateaus and plains. Land features control the economic activities of human beings, like settlements, clothing, agriculture, including food, commercial activities, transportation, etc. Usually fertile river plains are densely populated. Deserts, mountainous regions, thick forests and ice-covered regions are very sparsely populated.
Soil is another important resource. It is necessary for agriculture, vegetation, industries and human living. Fertile soils like alluvial, black soils, red soils; laterite soils and forest soils are useful to grow crops. Many industries use soil as raw material e.g., bricks, pottery, roofing tiles, etc. Soil is also used for the construction of the roads, reservoirs and buildings.
Forests play an important role in human life since ancient times.
They also control human economic activities.
Forests can be divided into:
1. Natural forests, and
2. Artificial forests (planted by human beings).
Man is destroying natural forests continuously therefore, through afforestation and other methods he is trying to bring a balance in the environment. Many types of wood found in forests are useful to man. Forests maintain the balance in the distribution of carbon dioxide and oxygen.
Forests reduce temperature and help to bring rainfall/forests prevent soil erosion as the roots of the trees hold soil particles. They provide shelter to wild animals. Today all the countries of the world are taking interest in conserving and developing forests.
Conservation of forests:
Protection of forests from man, animals and other natural destruction is called conservation of forests. This can be achieved through developing social forestry. A new tree must be planted for the cutting of every tree.
Only seasoned or dry trees must be cut. Implementing plans like must protect forests ‘Vanamahotsava’ important forests must be declared as ‘Reserved forests’. If we conserve forests, we will give the best environment to our future generation.
Wind is also a useful natural resource. Without it man cannot breath. With the help of wind man is producing electricity. In olden days commercial ships were sailing with the help of winds. There were also windmills, the earth’s temperature, moisture, rainfall, clouds and distribution of dust particles are controlled by the wind.
vi. Solar energy:
Solar energy is indispensable to life. Organisms cannot survive on the earth without it. Countries in tropical and temperate regions can utilize better the solar energy. Rajasthan, Gujarat and western part of Madhya Pradesh is India’s most suitable regions for using solar energy.
These regions are having an average of 300 days free from cloud cover. Hence these regions have been considered as “India’s future electricity producing centers”. We use solar heaters, solar cookers, solar lamps, etc., to tap and better utilize solar energy, the solar energy center has been established at ‘Gurgaon’ near Delhi.
2. Non-Renewable Resources:
Many resources may get exhausted after some years. These are called non-renewable resources.
There are power resources like Coal, Petroleum, Natural gas, etc., and mineral resources like Iron ore, Copper, Gold, Manganese and Bauxite. When once used these get exhausted completely.
Man cannot create them once again in today’s industrial age but man is using these resources recklessly. Therefore there are signs of their getting exhausted.
In Karnataka the Kolar Gold Fields are to be closed as gold ore has been recklessly extracted from the area.
Today, due to shortage of copper, the world is forced to use aluminium in preparing electric wires and other materials.
Some of the world’s developing countries are exporting their natural resources in huge quantity. In future these countries may face trouble e.g. India is exporting Iron and Manganese ores to Germany, Iron to England, France, etc.
Therefore in future these minerals will become scarce. Hence, nonrenewable resources must be used carefully in a planned way. Resources play a very important role in the overall development of a country. If we conserve them we can bring balance in environment and achieve economic development.
Coal, Petroleum, Iron, Copper, etc., are Available in Mines:
Millions of years ago thick forests were buried under the layers of the earth. Later due to great pressure and heat these forests were converted into solid carbon matter, which is known as coal. Coal is also called ‘Fossil fuel’ Coal is used as a source of energy in many chemical industries. Coal is also a raw material. Coal is used as fuel. It is useful in other ways also. When coal is heated in the absence of air we get coke.
During this process a number of other substances like tar and naphthalene are found at different stages. From these products D.D.T. (D.D.T.= Dichloro Diphenyl-Trichloroethane) plastic, medicines, paints and many other useful things are made.
On the basis of carbon content coal is classified into four categories:
Among these types anthracite is of good quality coal. It is black in colour, gives more heat with little smoke and leaves little ash. Its deposits are limited in the world. Bituminous coal is second in quantity. Its colour varies from black to brown. Its deposits are more extensive in the world. China is the largest producer of coal in the world, contributing 26 per cent of the world’s total production.
U.S.A., Russia, India, Australia, South Africa are other important coal producing countries.
Petroleum or mineral oil is an organic matter mined from the earth. It is a liquid, consisting of hydrocarbons in different proportions. It is believed that petroleum has been formed by decomposition of plants and animals that existed in the ancient times.
Petrol is used as fuel for cars, scooters and buses. This is purified petroleum oil, found in deep underground wells and it is pumped out from these wells. First we get raw petroleum. This cannot be directly used to run machines. This is purified. During the purification process, tar, kerosene, diesel, wax, petroleum jelly, etc., are obtained, finally petrol is got. Tar is used in making roads; paraffin wax is used in making candles.
About two-thirds of the total reserves are found in the region around the Persian Gulf in Southwest Asia. U.S.A. is the largest producer of petroleum in the world. It is also known as the largest consumer of the oil in the world.
Hence, it is importing oil from Gulf countries such as Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, U.A.E., etc., these countries export nearly 75 per cent of their total production and earn a lot of money. Therefore, these oil exporting countries have become the richest countries in the world.
In India, Assam, Gujarat and Mumbai high area are oil producing regions. The Indian Government has set up ‘Oil and Natural Gas Commission’ (ONGC) in 1956. Their main objective is to explore oil and natural gas deposits. At the same time Oil India Limited (OIL) is set-up to produce, refine and to market the petroleum products.
Some minerals are found underground iron, manganese, etc., in the form of ores. This is dug out from mines. Steel is obtained from iron. Iron and steel are useful to us in our daily life in many ways. Needles, nails, stainless steel vessels, rods, etc., are all made of steel or iron.
Rocks are present both on the earth and inside. Gold and minerals of silver, aluminium is found in rocks. Rocks are used for building purposes. Granite is very strong so it is largely used for construction of buildings. Rocks have different colours. Granite takes high polish. It is exported to many foreign countries. We can know the history of the earth by studying the nature of rocks.