Termites are not just pests; can show way to drought control

May 19, 2016 0 Comments

Bengaluru, May 8: You only know that termites, popularly known as white ants, are nasty pests because they munch away your wooden furniture. But ancient Indians knew these insects can be our saviors in times of drought like the one parts of India are now experiencing. They knew that termite mounds which these insects build are indicators of nearby ground water.

As drought-hit India is striving to quench the people’s thirst by dispatching water trains and using satellite images to detect ground water, this simple method, that only requires a survey of termite hills, has escaped the attention of the authorities.

This ancient knowledge contained in the Brihat Samhita of Varahamihira, the sixth-century astrologer, astronomer, and hydrologist, was first put into practice about three decades ago by E.A.V. Prasad, a geology professor at Tirupati’s Sri Venkateswara University.