Management of Natural Resources Revision Notes

Notes Class 10

Please refer to the Management of Natural Resources Revision Notes given below. These revision notes have been designed as per the latest NCERT, CBSE and KVS books issued for the current academic year. Students will be able to understand the entire chapter in your class 10th Science book. We have provided chapter wise Notes for Class 10 Science as per the latest examination pattern.

Revision Notes Chapter 16 Management of Natural Resources

Students of Class 10 Science will be able to revise the entire chapter and also learn all important concepts based on the topic wise notes given below. Our best teachers for Grade 10 have prepared these to help you get better marks in upcoming examinations. These revision notes cover all important topics given in this chapter.

Natural resources can be broadly categorized into two types, viz. exhaustible and nonexhaustible.
Management of natural resources is all about their judicious use in a way that the exhaustible resources can last for many generations to come and non-exhaustible resources can be maintained in as pristine form as possible.

There are many consequences of exploitation of natural resources. Some examples are given below:

  • Burning of fossil fuels creates air pollution. Excess amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to global warming. Some polluting gases; like oxides of nitrogen and sulphur lead to acid rain, which is harmful for living beings. Acid rain is also harmful for monuments and buildings.
  • Excess exploitation of groundwater leads to a drastic fall in water table. This is the reason many places are experiencing acute shortage of drinking water.
  • Overuse of fertilisers and insecticides leads to soil pollution and soil erosion.
  • Many pollutants are directly flown into water bodies. This has resulted in water pollution in many rivers, lakes and even in oceans.

Coliform bacteria originate as organisms in soil or vegetation and in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals (fecal coli). This group of bacteria has long been an indicator of water contamination and possible presence of intestinal parasites and pathogens. Coliform bacteria are relatively simple to identify, are present in much larger numbers than more dangerous pathogens, and react to the natural environment and treatment processes similarly to pathogens. By observing coliform bacteria, the increase or decrease of many pathogenic bacteria can be estimated. 

Management of Natural Resources Revision Notes

Where are these bacteria found?
Sources of bacterial pollution include runoff from woodlands, pastures, and feedlots; septic tanks and sewage plants; and animals and wild fowl. Domestic animals contribute heavily to the bacterial population. Many coliform bacteria may be directly deposited into natural streams from waste in water and runoff from areas with high concentrations of animals or humans.

How could coliform bacteria enter a water system?
The most likely sources come from where the water is used—the spigot, sink, or unclean containers. Another is backflow from a contaminated source such as a sink-top carbon filter, bucket of water, or puddle at the end of a hose. Also, reduced pressure or suction in long water lines can draw in bacteria-laden water or soil into pipes through joints.
However, the presence of bacteria is not always related to illness. The water could have been  contaminated through improper sampling. Children may become ill because of unsanitary conditions in the home. Who sampled the water and how? How sanitary are your practices in food handling, personal hygiene, etc.? Do the children wash regularly? These are more likely routes for contamination than the water itself.

The Ganga runs its course of over 2500 km from Gangotri in the Himalayas to Ganga Sagar in the Bay of Bengal. It is being turned into a drain by more than a hundred towns and cities in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal that pour their garbage and excreta into it. Largely untreated sewage is dumped into the Ganges every day. In addition, think of the pollution caused by other human activities like bathing, washing of clothes and immersion of ashes or unburnt corpses. And then, industries contribute chemical effluents to the Ganga’s pollution load and the toxicity kills fish in large sections of the river.

Inertia in taking action to reduce the level of pollution stemmed largely from a widespread belief that the Ganga, as a holy river, had the ability to purify all that came into contact with it. Although there is some scientific evidence for the Ganga river’s high capacity to assimilate (i.e. biodegrade) a large level of organic waste input, including pathogens, but no river can sustain its self-purifying power with this kind of over-use, misuse and abuse of its waters. 
The Ganga Action Plan (GAP) originated from the personal intervention and interest of our late Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi who had directed the Central Board for the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution, now Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to do a comprehensive survey of the situation in 1979. CPCB published two comprehensive reports which formed the base for GAP in Oct 1984 but was not presented to the nation formally  due to assassination of Smt Indira Gandhi. 
In Feb 1985, the Central Ganga Authority (CGA) with the PM as Chairman was formed, with an initial budget of Rs 350 crore to administer the cleaning of the Ganga and to restore it to pristine condition by our late PM Sh Rajiv Gandhi. In June 1985, the Ganga Project Directorate (GPD) was established as a wing of the Department of Environment. GAP was launched on June 14, 1986 by Sh Rajiv Gandhi at Varanasi.

Development is necessary for making all around economic development. But development often comes with a price in the form of environmental damage. Sustainable development means following certain practices which help in saving our environment from damage. This is necessary for maintaining the earth in a good shape so that future generations can also enjoy the bounty of nature.


  •  Reduce: We should reduce the consumption of various resources wherever possible. For example; we can reduce the consumption of electricity by switching off lights and other appliances when they are not required. While leaving the home, one should always check for fans and lights and switch them off. This can not only help in saving electricity but also in saving the fuels which are utilised in electricity production. We should immediately repair a leaking tap so that precious water can be saved.
  • Recycle: There are many items which can be recycled again and again. Recycling is another way of reducing the demand for natural resources. For example; by recycling paper, we reduce the demand for wood and thus help in saving the forest.
  • Reuse: Many items can be reused many times. For example; old newspaper can be used for packing many items. Old envelopes can be used for doing rough work while doing your homework. Old plastic bottles can be used for many other purposes.
Management of Natural Resources Revision Notes

Question. What changes can you make in your habits to become more environment friendly?
Answer: We should try and know about how our choices affect environment. Use of renewable resources and biodegradable stuffs should be promoted. For example
(a) Use of paper bags instead of plastic,
(b) Use sources of energy like LPG, alcohol, etc., which do not cause pollution,
(c) Use of substances which can be recycled or can be reused.

Question. What would be the advantages of exploiting resources with short-term aims?
Answer: There should be a judicious use of natural resources as they are limited in nature. We should not exploit resources for our short term gains as this would only lead to depletion of natural resources for the present generation as well as generations to come. Hence, we can say that there are hardly any advantages of exploiting natural resources for short term gains.

Question. How would these advantages differ from the advantages of using a longterm perspective in managing our resources?
Answer: In the case of a long-time perspective in managing our resources, these resources will last for the generations to come. This management ensures uniform distribution among the people. It conserves the natural resources for many years and not just for a few years, as in the case of a short-term perspective in conserving natural resources.

Question. Why do you think there should be equitable distribution of resources? What forces would be working against an equitable distribution of our resources?
Answer: Natural resources of the Earth must be distributed among the people uniformly so that each and every one gets his share of the resource. Human greed, corruption, and the lobby of the rich and powerful are the forces working against an equitable distribution of resources.

Conservation of forests and wildlife is necessary to protect the biodiversity. This is important because loss of biodiversity leads to ecological imbalance. But any conservation effort for forest and wildlife must keep the interests of all stakeholders in mind.

The stakeholders who are directly or indirectly affected by forest are as follows:

  • People living in or around forests; as they depend on various forest produce for their livelihood.
  • The forest department which is the owner of the forest land.
  • Various industrialists who depend on forest for many raw materials. For example; the beedi industry needs kendu leaves as raw material. Wood is used as raw material in many industries.
  • The wildlife and nature enthusiasts.

Before the beginning of the colonial rule in India, forest dwellers were free to utilize the resources from forests as they wished. But things changed when the British rulers took over the control of the forests in India. They restricted the access of forest dwellers to forest resources. This created huge problems for many people who had traditionally been dependent on forests for their survival.
After the independence of India, the forest department took over but the interests of forest dwellers continued to be ignored for a long time. The forest was cut to obtain timber for making railways and for various construction activities. The cleared forest was replaced by planting eucalyptus trees which led to the problem of monoculture. Growing a single species is called monoculture. It disturbs the biodiversity of an area.

There are many examples which suggest that involvement of local communities is necessary for any conservation effort. The Bishnoi community of Rajasthan is one such example. Amrita Devi Bishnoi is still remembered with reverence for the way she fought for protecting the khejri trees in Khejrali village. She; along with 363 other people; sacrificed her life for theprotection of khejri trees in 1731. The ‘Amrita Devi Bishnoi National Award for Wildlife Conservation’ has been named in her honour.
Another example is of the nomadic herders of the Himalayas. The nomadic herders used to graze their animals near the great Himalayan National Park. Every summer, the nomadic people brought their herds down the valley so that the sheep could get plenty of grass to eat. When the National Park was made in that area, the nomadic herders were stopped from grazing their sheep in the protected area. Now, in the absence of grazing by the sheep, the grasses grow very tall in the region. Tall grasses fall over and prevent fresh growth of grass. This shows that by excluding and alienating the local people from forests, proper conservation efforts cannot be carried out.

The Chipko Movement began in the early 1980s from a small village; Reni in Garhwal district. The women of the village began hugging a tree to prevent the cutting of trees by the contractors. The Chipko Movement later spread to other parts of India. It had been instrumental in stopping deforestation to a large extent.

In 1972, the forest department realized its mistake while reviving the degraded sal forests of Arabari forest range. Arabari forest lies in Midnapore district of West Bengal. The earlier methods of policing and surveillance were a total failure as they often led to frequent clashes with local people. It also led to alienation of people from the conservation programme. Then came a forest officer; named A K Banerjee; who was a real visionary. He involved the local people in the revival of 1,272 hectares of forest. In lieu of that the villagers were given employment in silviculture and harvest and were given 25% of the harvest. They were also allowed to gather firewood and fodder against a nominal payment. Due to active participation of the local community there was remarkable revival of the Arabari sal forest. By 1983, the value of the forest rose to Rs. 12.5 crores.

Question. Why should we conserve forests and wildlife?
Answer: We should conserve forests and wildlife to preserve the biodiversity (range of different lifeforms ) so as to avoid the loss of ecological stability. A large number of tribes are the habitants in and around the forests. If the forests are not conserved, then it may affect these habitants. Without proper management of forest and wildlife, the quality of soil, the water sources, and even the amount of rainfall may be affected. Without forest and wildlife, life would become impossible for human beings.

Question. Suggest some approaches towards the conservation of forests.
Answer: Various approaches are required for the conservation of forests. Afforestation is one of the most important approach. Besides this 
(a) Deforestation should be banned.
(b) People should be made more aware about importance of forests.
(c) The protected areas should be managed by local people which would be quite efficient.
(d) National parks and sanctuaries should be formed to conserve the biodiversity.
(e) Hunting should be banned and laws should be formulated against hunting.
(f) There should be proper laws for exploitation of forest resources.

Water harvesting is an age-old concept in India. Khadins, tanks and nadis in Rajasthan, bandharas and tals in Maharashtra, bundhis in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, ahars and pynes in Bihar, kulhs in Himachal Pradesh, ponds in the Kandi belt of Jammu region, and eris (tanks) in Tamil Nadu, surangams in Kerala, and kattas in Karnataka are some of the ancient water harvesting, including water conveyance, structures. These are still in use at many places. 
The traditional water harvesting structures are location specific and have been perfected by people over a long period of time. They take into account the local geography and the need of the local people and hence are highly efficient.
The traditional water harvesting structures usually focus on recharging the groundwater rather making an open reservoir. It has several advantages. Unlike surface water; the groundwater does not evaporate and thus loss because of evaporation is prevented. The groundwater does not provide a breeding ground for the mosquitoes and hence is good for public health as well. The groundwater is relatively protected from contamination by human activities.

A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Reservoirs created by dams not only suppress floods but also provide water for such activities as irrigation, human consumption, industrial use, aquaculture, and navigability. Hydropower is often used in conjunction with dams to generate electricity. A dam can also be used to collect water or for storage of water which can be evenly distributed between locations. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees  (also known as dikes) are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions. 


  • Once a dam is constructed, electricity can be produced at a constant rate. If electricity is not needed, the sluice gates can be shut, stopping electricity generation. The water can be saved for use another time when electricity demand is high. Dams are designed to last many decades and so can contribute to the generation of electricity for many years / decades.
  • The lake that forms behind the dam can be used for water sports and leisure / pleasure activities. Often large dams become tourist attractions in their own right.
  • The lake’s water can be used for irrigation purposes.
  • The build up of water in the lake means that energy can be stored until needed, when the water is released to produce electricity.
  • When in use, electricity produced by dam systems do not produce green house gases. They do not pollute the atmosphere.


  • Dams are extremely expensive to build and must be built to a very high standard. The high cost of dam construction means that they must operate for many decades tobecome profitable.
  • The flooding of large areas of land means that the natural environment is destroyed.
  • People living in villages and towns that are in the valley to be flooded, must move out. This means that they lose their farms and businesses. In some countries, people are forcibly removed so that hydro-power schemes can go ahead. 
  • The building of large dams can cause serious geological damage. For example, the building of the Hoover Dam in the USA triggered a number of earth quakes and has depressed the earth’s surface at its location.
  • Although modern planning and design of dams is good, in the past old dams have been known to be breached (the dam gives under the weight of water in the lake). This has led to deaths and flooding.
  • Dams built blocking the progress of a river in one country usually means that the water supply from the same river in the following country is out of their control. This can lead to serious problems between neighbouring countries.
  • Building a large dam alters the natural water table level. For example, the building of the Aswan Dam in Egypt has altered the level of the water table. This is slowly leading to damage of many of its ancient monuments as salts and destructive minerals are deposited in the stone work from rising damp caused by the changing water table level.

Water harvesting is the act of collecting and storing rainwater for future use. This can be done in areas of low or high rainfall amounts using tanks and cisterns. Collecting rainfall can reduce the amount of run-off, flooding, and erosion in prone areas. This is especially relevant in urban areas where the land has been used to build infrastructure, and the rainwater run-off has nowhere which can result in flooding. In more rural areas when the water is collected, the runoff into rivers and ponds is reduced which in turn slows the contamination from surface fertilizers and pesticides. If the collected water is to be used as drinking water, it can be treated and used in environments where drinking water is scarce. Another use for the water is for nondrinking purposes such as flushing toilets. Homeowners and farmers can reduce their water bills and the use of ground water by using the collected water for irrigating crops, lawns, and trees. This benefits the environment by conserving the levels of ground water, which in many areas is precariously low.
Why adopt rain water harvesting system?

  • Reduces the runoff volume and the peak flow, hence mitigate floods.
  • Recharges ground water thus is a solution to water shortage problem in winters.
  • Reduces the cost per litre of water since a large amount of power that is consumed while pumping water from subsurface aquifers can be saved
Management of Natural Resources Revision Notes

Question. Find out about the traditional systems of water harvesting/management in your  region. 
Answer: There are many traditional methods of water harvesting or management. These are khadis, ponds, tals, etc. Also wells have been dug for drinking water and irrigation purposes. Canals have been developed and water reservoirs are made by government for providing proper drinking water.

Question. Compare the above system with the probable systems in hilly/ mountainous areas or plains or plateau regions.
Answer: In plains, the water harvesting structures are crescent-shaped earthen embankments. These are low, straight, and concrete. In hilly regions, the system of canal irrigation called Kulhs is used for water harvesting. This involves a collection of rain water in a stream, which is then diverted into man-made channels down the hill sides.

Question. Find out the source of water in your region/locality. Is water from this source available to all people living in that area?
Answer: The source of water in our region is ground water. Water from the source is available to all the people living in that area.

Coal and petroleum are the main energy resources for us. But since these are exhaustible in nature so we need to find out alternate sources of energy. Scientists are working on developing some alternate energy sources so that dependency on coal and petroleum can be reduced. Some examples are given below:

  • Solar energy is being used to produce electricity at many places. Although the technologies for solar energy are still costly but future prospects look bright.
  • Fuel cell is another development which may help in replacing the internal combustion engines from automobiles.
  • Hydrogen is being used as fuel in buses and cars in many countries. Hydrogen; when used as a fuel produces water as a byproduct. Thus, hydrogen can be an environment-friendly fuel.

Question. What changes would you suggest in your home in order to be environment-friendly?
Answer: Certain changes can be incorporated in our daily work at home, to make it more eco-friendly
(i) We should plant different kinds of shady plants, fruit and vegetable bearing plants, etc.
(ii) There should be less use of insecticides and pesticides.
(iii) Food should be properly stored to avoid its spoilage, thereby preventing the wastage of food.
(iv) There should be proper drainage system for the water to pass in the drains.
(v) There should be proper disposal of water.
(vi) Dustbins and other waste products should be properly covered and the garbage should not be dumped around the houses.
(vii) Proper sanitary and hygiene methods must be adopted.

Question. Can you suggest some changes in your school which would make it environment friendly?
Answer: (i) To make our school environment eco-friendly, it is essential to plant different kinds of shady and fruity trees. Different flowering plants should also be planted.
(ii) No waste material and used paper, foil, empty packets should be spread all over the school.
(iii) Water facility should be in good condition.
(iv) Rooms should be proper ventilated.
(v) There should be proper provision of dustbins for the disposal of waste.
(vi) There should be big and clean play grounds.

Question. We saw in this chapter that there are four main stakeholders when it comes to forests and wildlife. Which among these should have the authority to decide the management of forest produce? Why do you think so?
Answer: The forest department of the government should have the authority to decide the management of forest produces. This is because the forest department is the care taker of the forest land and is responsible for any damage to the forest.

Question. How can you as an individual contribute or make a difference to the management of
(a) forests and wildlife,
(b) water resources and
(c) coal and petroleum?
Answer: (a) Forest and wildlife
(i) We should judiciously use the forest products.
(ii) Felling of trees for paper, timer, etc., should be controlled.
(iii) Killing of wild animals for their skin, etc., should be banned.
(iv) Afforestation should be practised.
(v) Management of the forest should be given to local people.
(vi) We should try and preserve biodiversity we have inherited.
(b) Water resources
(i) Leaking taps should be repaired.
(ii) Water from industries should not be directly dumped in the river water.
(iii) Use of insecticides and pesticides should be minimised, which are washed away with rain and contaminate river water and underground water.
(iv) Methods like rain water harvesting, construction of cannal should be promoted. Construction of dams may also prove beneficial.
(c) Coal and petroleum
(i) Use of coal and petroleum as a source of energy should be minimised,
(ii) Use of CNG or LPG as fuels in automobiles.
(iii) Renewable sources of energy like solar power, hydropower, wind energy, tidal energy, etc., should be used. It is a better to walk over a short distance rather than going by car or

Question. What can you as an individual do to reduce your consumption of the various natural resources?
Answer: Natural resources such as water, forests, coal and petroleum, etc. are important for the survival of human beings. The ways in which we can reduce the consumption of various natural resources are as follows:
(i) We should stop the cutting of trees (deforestation).
(ii) We should use recycled paper to reduce the cutting down of trees.
(iii) We should not waste water.
(iv) We should practice rainwater harvesting.
(v) We should practice car pooling to avoid the excessive use of petroleum.
(vi) We should use alternative sources of energy such as hydro-energy and solar energy.

Question. List five things you have done over the last one week to –
(a) conserve our natural resources.
(b) increase the pressure on our natural resources.
Answer: (a) Conserve our natural resources
(i) Limited use of water
(ii) Plantation in free areas
(iii) Irrigation of plants
(iv) Limited use of petrol/diesel
(v) Smokeless fuel utilization
(b) Increase the pressure on our natural resources
(i) Extra use of water
(ii) Day and night lighting
(iii) Unnecessary trafficking by car
(iv) Burning of polythene and wastes
(v) Destroy the plants

Question. On the basis of the issues raised in this chapter, what changes would you incorporate in your life-style in a move towards a sustainable use of our resources?
Answer: One should incorporate the following changes in life-style in a move towards a sustainable use of our resources:
(i) Stop cutting trees and practice plantation of trees.
(ii) Stop using plastic and polythene bags for carrying goods.
(iii) Use recycled paper.
(iv) Throw biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste into separate bins.
(v) Waste minimum amount of water while using and repair leaking taps.
(vi) Practice rainwater harvesting.
(vi) Avoid using vehicles for short distances. Instead, one can walk or cycle to cover short distances. To cover long distances, one should take a bus instead of using personal vehicles.
(vii) Switch off electrical appliances when not in use.
(viii) Use fluorescent tubes in place of bulbs to save electricity.
(ix) Take stairs and avoid using lifts.
(x) During winters, wear an extra sweater to avoid using heaters.

Management of Natural Resources Revision Notes