Dams

WORLD WATER DAY 2018: INDIA’S POSITIVE WATER STORIES

On occasion of World Water Day 2018, SANDRP put together reports of remarkable water conservation work done by individuals, villager community and organizations across the country.

Good that UN report this WWD says[i]: “The efforts by local communities in India to improve water availability have been lauded in a UN report that highlights the importance of finding nature-based solutions to meet global water challenges…. The report notes that reservoirs, irrigation canals and water treatment plants are not the only water management instruments at disposal. It also cited the example of China’s Sponge City which aims to recycle 70 per cent of rainwater.”

Image result for un wwd 2018 nature based water solution report

But the UN report[ii] does not mention that local options should be the top priority and should be exhausted before going for large projects. Unfortunately, Indian water resources establishment’s priority is Large dams and river linking. The UN report also does not say that local systems are bound to be neglected and destroyed in the shadow of large projects and where the governance is top down, unaccountable, non transparent and non participatory.

MAHARASHTRA

Marathwada Kadwanchi village turns into oasis with water management According to this report the collective water storage efforts has benefited Kadwanchi village in Jalna district in Maharashtra to go in for high value crops such as grapes, ginger and chillies. The 455 families have nearly 600 wells. The villagers also built nine check dams apart from desilting nearly 25 km of stream. In past the villagers have created 347 farm ponds and added 40 more in 2017 to store monsoon water. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/in-arid-marathwada-village-turns-into-oasis-with-water-management-4572463/ (The Indian Express, 17 March 2017)

3 villages created an oasis in the suicide-prone region The report mentions positive outcome of watershed project implemented in Kadwanchi, Nandapur and Waghrul villages of Jalna district from 1996 to 2002. The success of the project has given farmers year-round access to water to irrigate 1,888 ha area. Even during the 2012-16 drought, farmers in villages did not have to bother about lack of rainfall. The project involved building continuous contour and absorption trenches in the hills and bunding on farm boundaries to recharge ground water and stop soil erosion. Also, check dams were constructed at several spots to store large volumes of water. Later, several small ponds in farms were constructed through a separate govt scheme, which boosted the water management program. An example of how watershed development in drought prone Marathawada can help communities on a sustained basis. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/how-farmers-in-3-marathwada-villages-created-an-oasis-in-the-suicide-prone-region/story-VcjqC0jEkWvyH2AQpKaznJ.html (Hindustan Times, 23 June, 2017)

Medieval aqueducts serve a thirsty city This is an amazing write up about 400 years old water system of Aurangabad and how it still serves large number of people but how badly the city is treating it. https://thewire.in/134690/aurangabad-aqueducts-serve-thirsty-city-even-theyre-destroyed/ (The Wire, May 2017)

Latur makes comeback as major foodgrain market Sustained campaign by a section of environmentalists and water experts has resulted in nearly 35% reduction in area under sugarcane in 2016, and many farmers have shifted to foodgrain and pulses. This is in addition to the good rainfall in 2016 and water conservation efforts during recent droughts. The report also says that area under foodgrain, pulses, and oilseeds in Marathwada has gone up by 4%, 30%, and 8% respectively, further leading to a whopping 80%, 180%, and 142% rise in yields. http://www.livemint.com/Politics/C5o2kLXDZtl3hi0lTsZAcK/A-year-after-drought-Latur-makes-comeback-as-major-foodgrai.html (Live Mint, 25 May 2017)

Budgeting every water cup India Water Portal report on how drought affected Jolegaon village in Aurangabad district has learnt to work around the water situation in their village. They have come up with the novel idea of a water budget for each household. This effort was made to cope with the severe drought situation that was persisting in the village since 2012. The budget lists out how much water should ideally be used by each of the 453 households in the village. The aim is to make optimum use of the 755 mm rainfall it receives. http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/budgeting-every-water-cup(India Water Portal, 17 August 2017)

The gram panchayat office of the Golegaon village where all the action takes place. (Source: 101Reporters)
The gram panchayat office of the Golegaon village where all the action takes place. (Source: 101Reporters, India Water Portal)

Doctor develops rainwater harvesting unit Dr Sachin Pawade from Wardha has developed a new and simple method called Bhoojal Moist Soil Unit to recharge groundwater. More than 50 people who have adopted this, claim that it has solved water problem in their area to a great extent. The unit consists of parts like an inlet for rainwater, cleaning port, filter and the outlet for the dug well or recharge point. The installation cost is just Rs 3,500. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/doctor-develops-rainwater-harvesting-unit-to-recharge-groundwater-level/articleshow/59568659.cms (The Times of India, 13 July 2017)

Ralegaon beats drought with indigenous water harvesting techniques The report highlights how water conservation efforts of going on for decades have helped Ralegaon  Siddhi  Ahmednagar district, sail through the drought years.  https://in.reuters.com/article/drought-india-environment-water/indian-village-beats-drought-one-raindrop-at-a-time-idINKBN16E0PA (Reuters, 7 March 2017)

Pune Citizens come together to save their water resources The report throws light on how Pune citizens are playing a role in improving water management in the city. http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/their-will-their-way(India Water Portal, 27 May 2017)

A retired teacher transformed a barren village with water conservation The village of Kadbanwadi in the Indapur taluka of Pune in is an example of this self-sufficient village due to efforts of Bhajandas Vitthal Pawar. Kadbanwadi has now 100 farm ponds, 3 percolation tanks, 27 cement bunds and 110 earthen bunds. https://www.thebetterindia.com/123663/water-conservation-kadbanwadi/ (The Better India, 7 Dec. 2017)

Bhajandas- Pawar- maharashtra- Kadbanwadi (1)
Bhajandas. (Image Source: The Better India)

Vidarbha With collective effort Yavatmal keeps away water problem The ongoing efforts since last two years made by a few residents of Yavatmal and Prayas to desilt Nilona reservoir the primary drinking water source for them since 1972. It also helped bridging the gap between the govt departments and the people. The Mission Deep Nilona (MDN) initiative is inspiring the residents of the neighbouring districts to take their problems in their hands and work towards solving them. http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/water-worried-no-more (India Water Portal, 10 March 2017)

Solar power solves water supply issue This is an excellent report that shows how solar power can help solve water problem of a remote village in Amravati district, the effort started over five years ago. http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/solar-power-solves-water-supply-issue(India Water Portal, 10 Jan. 2018)

RAJASTHAN

Desert tribes secure clean water for flocks and families The report highlights the importance of beris,traditional system of harvesting rainwater, that have been working as lifesavers for both humans and animals in parts of western Rajasthan for centuries. Shaped like matkas (pitcher), these shallow wells are dug up in areas with gypsum or bentonite beds which prevent the rainwater from percolating downwards but guide them towards the wells through capillary action. Last year, Ramgarh and its surrounding villages hardly received any rain. But even then, these beris are fully charged.

Image result for How desert tribes secure clean water for their flocks and families
(Image Source: The Times of India)

The traditional beris were made of wood.  The success in these water-harvesting projects has come by forging a partnership with locals. Netsi villagers provided voluntary labour required to make the beris functional again. Over the years the bhils learnt to use water-saving techniques such as toba, which allows rainwater to be stored for drinking, and dhora, a technique that ensures rainwater storage for irrigation. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/how-desert-tribes-secure-clean-water-for-their-flocks-and-families/articleshow/58866382.cms?from=mdr (The Times of India, 27 May 2017)

Laxman Singh a wizard with water Efforts put in for years by Laxman singh has made Laporiya village in Jaipur rich in water resources despite scarce rainfall. A passionate campaign launched by them 25 years ago to harvest the little rain they get and plant trees has sent groundwater levels up. It has ensured the wells always have water and their lives are better for it. It takes long for a village to go from no-water to enough water but Laporiya is proof that it can be done.  The inspiration for the campaign is Laxman Singh, then a young scion of the main landowning family in the village and now an elder at 61. http://civilsocietyonline.com/hall-of-fame/wizard-with-water/(Civil Society, 2017)

The doer from the Thar There are many unsung heroes who go about their good work silently. Chattar Singh is one such hero who has revived traditional water management system of the parched Jaisalmer villages.  The report celebrates his work and wisdom. http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/doer-thar (India Water Portal, 10 Jan. 2017)

Lessons from a reborn river Despite being located in water-stressed region Alwar district stays in a stable equilibrium due to revived Johads and forests which make it possible for water to be stored underground. Because of strong communal interdependencies, all villagers stuck to sensible crops for the region, and maintains the Johads. The community, the Forests, the Johads, the choice of crops, all worked together and reinforces one another. A fascinating account of how Arvari community rejuvenated their rivers and what are the lessons. http://www.firstpost.com/living/lessons-from-a-reborn-river-what-the-water-conservation-effort-in-alwar-teaches-us-3463070.html (First Post, 21 May 2017)

KARNATAKA

Water alternative for Bangalore Three communities in southeast Bengaluru – Rainbow Drive, Adarsh Palm Retreat and Renuka School adjacent to Kaikondarahalli Lake, have created water management plans to solve problems like water shortage, reliance on borewells and flooding. Knowledge and understanding of their groundwater system has allowed these communities to make smarter decisions when it comes to withdrawing groundwater and making the conscious effort to recharge water back into the earth. http://bengaluru.citizenmatters.in/bangalore-water-problem-solutions-21016(Citizen Matters, 22 Aug. 2017)

Bengaluru scientist harvesting rain for last 22 years The family of AR Shivakumar a senior scientist in Bengaluru is doing without a water connection for last two decades. It is using treated rainwater not just for bathing and washing, but also for drinking. The senior scientist has built a water harvesting system that yields more than 400 litres of water daily. The water harvesting system is simple – water from the sloping roof is collected in underground tanks, where the purification process happens. https://www.ndtv.com/bangalore-news/bengaluru-man-hasnt-paid-water-bill-in-22-years-why-thats-a-good-thing-1674126 (NDTV, 27 March 2017)

Book on saving Bengaluru from a water crisis Rainwater Harvesting & Wastewater Treatment can provide potable water (@140 lpcd) to 15 million people in Bengaluru that too without exploiting ground and depending on remote water sources explains K.C. Subhash Chandra & G.V. Hegde who have jointly authored a book titled Bengaluru Water Resource Management – Challenges and Remedies. http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/Saving-Bengaluru-from-a-water-crisis/article17318982.ece (The Hindu, 17 Feb. 2017)

Thirsty Vijayapura reaches into ancient bawadis In a positive development, Vijaypura city administration is learnt to be working on revival of  21 huge, open wells, built around 500 years ago. These Bawadis are being filled with water after desilting. As a result they are becoming source of potable water to arid city. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/thirsty-vijayapura-reaches-into-ancient-bawadis/article19198527.ece (The Hindu, 2 July 2017)

(Bawadis. Image source: The Hindu)

Innovative way of borewell recharging Maharashtra-based Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari Pratishthan has initiated water conservation efforts in Karnataka with focus on borewell recharging. In Solapur taluk too the foundation has reportedly facilitated the recharging of 5,000 borewells. In Karnataka, the foundation is working in Kalaburagi, Raichur, Koppal, Vijayapura and Dharwad districts. The foundation has named this campaign as Jala Punar Bharan. So far, the foundation staff has prepared around 30 borewells for recharging. http://www.deccanherald.com/content/620708/innovative-way-borewell-recharging.html (Deccan Herald, 4 July 2017)

Members of Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari Pratishthan working with farmers to dig a trench around a borewell. Dh Photo
Members of Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari Pratishthan working with farmers to dig a trench around a borewell. DH Photo

Oz educator inspires farmers to recharge groundwater Shazar Robinson, 70, spends six months a year in Hubballi (North Karnataka) to create awareness about borewell recharging among farmers. She’s an adviser-consultant with Hubballi-based Sankalpa Rural Development Society (SRDS), which is involved in borewell recharging through rain water harvesting for a decade. She doesn’t get paid by SRDS and stays here on her own cost. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hubballi/oz-educator-inspires-farmers-to-recharge-groundwater/articleshow/62974469.cms (The Times of India, 19 Feb. 2018) 

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Shazar Robinson, 70, spends six months a year in Hubballi to create awareness about borewell recharging among farmers. (Image Source: The Times of India)

TAMIL NADU 

How S Ranganayaki brought water to an entire village Encouraging story of a woman who ensured, through her own initiative that a canal was desilted and water flow to the village that was blocked for decades was restarted in Cuddalore district. http://www.firstpost.com/living/tamil-nadus-water-warrior-how-s-ranganayaki-brought-water-to-an-entire-village-3314406.html (First Post, 7 March 2017)

S Ranganayaki
(S Ranganayaki. Image Source: First Post)

Youths’ contribution ensures desilting of irrigation tank Without waiting for the PWD’s assistance for desilting a irrigation tank, residents of Pottal near Palayamkottai in Madurai district mobilised fund to complete desilting of the water body. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/residents-contribution/article18560849.ece (The Hindu, 24 May 2017)

Residents of Pottal near Palayamkottai desilting a waterbody in their hamlet. (Photo Credit: m lakhsmiarun;m lakhsmiarun – m lakshmiarun, The Hindu)
“If PWD joins us

Crowd funding restores ponds in drought-hit The severe drought led to an unusual crowdfunding campaign to restore a Thiruvaimur-Thamarai pond in Nagapattinam.The effort raised more than Rs 1.1 million on crowdfunding site Milaap. With this help the pond was cleaned and de-silted earlier with half those funds. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-climatechange-funding-idUSKBN1AC02L(Reuters, 26 July 2017)

Documentary on water bodies ‘Coimbatore’s Last Drop,’ a 20-min documentary aims at creating an awareness about the city’s much abused lakes  Selvachintamani, Muthannan, Singanallur, and Ukkadam, and the Noyyal River. The film looks into the water stories of a farmer, student and a mother. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/documentary-on-water-bodies/article20464045.ece,

Water bodies help prevent flooding, recharge groundwater Volunteers of the Environmentalist Foundation of Indiaworked with urban local bodies and restored 32 water bodies across& increased the water holding capacity by 18-22%.  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/water-bodies-restored-before-monsoon-help-prevent-flooding-recharge-groundwater/articleshow/61718453.cms (The Times of India, 20 Nov. 2017)

RWH structures raise groundwater table Construction of 600 rainwater harvesting structures since 2005 by Siruthuli NGO have been helpful in improving the groundwater table in Coimbatore city. The group is recommending of construction of about 2000 such RWH structures across the city. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/rainwater-harvesting-structures-raise-groundwater-table/article22832404.ece (The Hindu, 23 Feb. 2018)

KERALA

On Karnataka-Kerala border, harmony flows with water In a rare display of bonhomie, the villagers belonging to Manila in Karnataka and Puttige in Kerala join hands to build a katta (temporary barrage) across the Shiriya River to face the summer. River Shiriya which acts as the border between two States has its origin near Kolthige village in the Puttur taluk of Karnataka. The practice has been on for about 30 years. The water stored in the barrage helps irrigate about 120 Ha land comprising nut gardens and paddy fields of both the States. It recharges the groundwater in the region. The 50-metre long barrage is built using boulders, sandbags and plantain trunks. But now the Manila panchayat had been urging the Karnataka government to build a permanent barrage, which seems like a sad turn. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/On-Karnataka-Kerala-border-harmony-flows-with-water/article17151656.ece (The Hindu, 3 Feb. 2017)

(People constructing a barrage using boulders, sandbags and plantain trunks at the Balekallu village across Shiriya river. Image Source: The Hindu)

State fights drought with recharged wells Well-recharging programme called Mazhapolima (Rain Bounty) spread from Thrissur district to all parts of the state. https://www.villagesquare.in/2016/12/26/kerala-fights-drought-recharged-wells/ (Village Square, 26 Dec. 2016) 

Reviving the lost ponds In May 2017, replicating the success of ‘Entekulam’ first phase, Kochi district administration decided to revive ‘100 ponds in 50 days’ with the help of community. Under the ‘Entekulam’ first phase 53 ponds were revived. Under second phase about 85 ponds were revived in 37 days. As per Collector around 20 years back the district had 2,500 ponds but now only 600remain. http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/2017/may/09/reviving-the-lost-ponds-1603007–1.html (The New Indian Express, 9 May 2017)

Local residents and volunteers cleaning up Thaikavu kulam in Maradu. (Image Source: The New Indian Express)

TELANGANA

Ancient Gond wells yield water all year A ‘kui’ (traditional water harvesting technique) dug over a century ago in arid Asifabad, still fills the needs of the tribals of Kanchanpalli. The Gond people say that the water level in this well increases whenever there is rainfall in the catchment areas of the Kadem, a stream about 15 km away. This indicates that an underground stream connects the two; the Gonds call this subterranean stream the Satganga. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/ancient-gond-wells-yield-water-all-year/article18410284.ece (The Hindu, 8 May 2017)

Perennially full: The kantam well of Kanchanpalli in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. S. Harpal Singh , The Hindu

Human intervention reverses fluorosis Madhava Yadavalli village slowly recovered from the ill-effects of high fluoride content in water with the help of rain water storage tanks. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/human-intervention-reverses-fluorosis/article19875324.ece (The Hindu, 17 Oct. 2017)

GUJARAT

Village auction their sewage water The small town of Kanodar in the Bansankhtha district of Gujarat have started to auction of the sewage water. The bidding happens every year. The sewage water is used in farming, for irrigation purposes as there is low groundwater prevailing in the village. Due to the following of this idea the village Panchayat has received revenue of Rs. 80,000. http://www.india.com/buzz/this-gujarat-village-should-get-the-award-for-best-out-of-waste-as-they-auction-their-sewage-water-2349580/(India Times, 25 July 2017)

Simple pit &  pipe technology transforming farmlands into an oasis A simple groundwater recharge technique is transforming farmlands in Gujarat. The simple pit and pipe system simply captures standing water during rains, thus freeing arable land from water logging while recharging groundwater to use for irrigation during the lean season. This is encouraging report on how an Ahmedabad-based innovator whose irrigation system, bhungroo (‘straw’ or ‘hollow pipe’ in Gujarati), based on rainwater harvesting, has revolutionised the lives of farmers here. Bhungroo essentially seems a groundwater recharge scheme, but one that seems to last long. 3000 such units have already been installed in Gujarat and several other states. http://www.thehindu.com/society/this-simple-technology-has-transformed-gujarat-farmlands-into-an-oasis/article22529034.ece (The Hindu, 27 Jan. 2018)

(Bhungroo in use in a field  Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji, The Hindu)

BIHAR

Nalanda awarded for water conservation A model of water conservation— Project Jal Sanchay—adopted successfully by the authorities in Nalanda district, was conferred the national award for excellence under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Program by the ministry of rural development. Under the project, dozens of check dams were constructed and more than a 1,000 km of traditional ahar-pyne irrigation system were dug up and traditional water bodies were desilted and renovated, accompanied by campaigns to create awareness about rainwater harvesting.

Nalanda DDC Kundan Kumar, who is in charge of the project, said it was the first such project to start under MNREGA. He said the traditional form of water conservation can not only prevent villages from devastating floods as witnessed in the district for the last several years, it can also prevent underground water depletion. The project has also helped to generate employment as hundreds of people across the district now thrive on fishing in these ponds.The district had received this award in 2012 also. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/nalanda-awarded-for-water-conservation/articleshow/59241013.cms (The Times of India, 21 July 2017)

Ancient Mauryan technology brings water, hope to dry Magadh Acute water crisis of Gaya looked irreversible but professor Rabindra Pathak was certain that the answer lay in the long-forgotten and crumbling aqueducts and water reservoirs that irrigated the fields and fed ancient India’s most glorious empire.He pored through old books and scriptures, and found that reviving the dilapidated network of pynes and ahars was the lone solution.Pathak founded the Magadh Jal Jamaat (MJJ) in 2006, a network of individuals working to revive the neglected pynes and ahars.

Convincing people to participate was not easy in a fragmented society, where nobody was willing to part with an inch of land.They persuaded villagers to form committees and donate anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 1,000, depending on the size of agricultural plots they owned, and revived the 125-km Jamune Dasain pyne and 159-km Barki pyne. These two complex channels, rebuilt with help from social worker Chandra Bhushan, brought water from Falgu, a tributary of the Ganga.

The impact was instantaneous and miraculous. About 150 villages along the Jamune-Dasain pyne and around 250 villages along the Barki canal have been able to irrigate their fields for the kharif and rabi (monsoon and winter) crops, and grow vegetables, pulses and oilseeds as well.The farm distress eased significantly. Life changed for marginal farmers. People began to say the water system’s revival was the second-best thing to have happened to Gaya after the Buddha’s enlightenment. In Gaya, residents, officials, military and police personnel joined the mission to build check dams and clear ponds of encroachment and debris.

A check dam built by villagers along with Maghadh Jal Jamaat near Sijuaghati in Imamganj-Dumaria area.
A check dam built by villagers along with Maghadh Jal Jamaat near Sijuaghati in Imamganj-Dumaria area. (HT Photo)

The Magadh region has four medium and major irrigation projects, including the Sone canal. But these irrigate only 30,000 ha in parts of Gaya, Arwal, Jehanabad, Aurangabad, Nalanda and Nawada districts.The Mauryan network brings water to the remote countryside, which seldom got any help from government agencies because of Maoist insurgents active in those areas. http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/ancient-mauryan-technology-brings-water-hope-to-dry-magadh-in-bihar/story-aMtlAukgnrYEFR4vjB1DrL.html (Hindustan Times, 04 Jan. 2018)

MADHYA PRADESH

Restored farm ponds help Sahariyas tide over drought Even as State reels under severe drought, residents of a tribal village in Shivpuri dist who were denied access to water have collectively restored farm ponds to harvest the meager rainfall to fulfill their water needs. https://www.villagesquare.in/2017/08/23/restored-farm-ponds-help-sahariyas-tide-over-drought/(Village Square, 23 Aug. 2017)

Pooran Adivasi near his farm pond with some water, even as the rest of the landscape wears a parched look. (Photo by Nachiket Sule)
Pooran Adivasi near his farm pond with some water, even as the rest of the landscape wears a parched look. (Photo by Nachiket Sule, Village Square)

BUNDELKHAND

Farm ponds helped Mahoba farmer in drought year Purushottam Chandra a farmer from Bahadurpur Kalan village in Mahoba’s Kulpahar tehsil has been reaping good harvest despite low rainfall. The 57-year-old’s success has been largely thanks to the 35m length x 30m width x 3m depth farm pond that he built only in June. This pond, occupying one-fourth of an acre and capable of storing around 24 lakh litres of rainwater accumulated during the monsoon, has made it possible to provide two irrigations enough for the rabi pulses crop. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/harvesting-rainwater-insulating-fields-against-drought-in-bundelkhand-uttar-pradesh-4991987/ (The Indian Express, 21 Dec. 2017)

bundelkhand, Bundelkhand drought, Bundelkhand news
Purushottam Chandra standing on the bund of the farm pond near his chana field in Bahadurpur Kalan village of UP’s Mahoba district. (Express Photo: Praveen Khanna)

UTTAR PRADESH

Allahabad villagers revive old ponds with Sharmdan Voluntary actions by village have revived many ancient ponds in more than a dozen villages including Sonvarsa, Juhi and Ramgarh under the banner of Jal Jan Vikas Abhiyan in Allahabad and Pratapgarh districts. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/allahabad/villagers-hard-work-makes-ponds-brim-with-hope/articleshow/59643701.cms (The Times of India, 18 July 2017)

SIKKIM

Ice towers could turn deadly lake into water bank An excellent report on how scientists in Sikkim are trying to deal with the risks of GLOF. They plan to to turn the excess water into towers of ice for farmers to use in the warmer months .http://news.trust.org/item/20170206090845-rgnnd/ (New Trust, 6 Feb. 2017)

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ASSAM

Afforestation changes life and landscape Reforestation in some villages of Assam bordering Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/afforestation-changes-life-and-landscape-how-a-district-in-assam-lost-a-forest-gained-a-future-4997615/ (The Indian Express, 25 Dec. 2017)

HARYANA

Harvesting Rainwater effectively An innovative project that makes rainwater harvesting easier and more effective in certain areas of Mewat village with increased groundwater salinity. http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/harvesting-rainwater-effectively (IWP, 15 Feb. 2018)

Spread of fresh harvested rainwater under the ground
(Image Source: India Water Portal)

PUDUCHEERY

Low-cost technology, helping villagers treat wastewater Based on a technology designed by Prof S.A. Abbasi from Pondicherry University, Chinna Kalapet’s low-cost wastewater treatment plant (called SHEFROL bioreactor) uses aquatic plants to absorb chemicals, pathogens and microorganisms from wastewater, making it fit for irrigation. https://www.thebetterindia.com/89733/shefrol-wastewater-treatment-chinna-kalapet-puducherry-university/ (The Better India, 2 March 2017)

(Image Source: The Better India)

S Vishwanath Articles On Water Options:

Let’s go back to the open well The open well made groundwater visible. It provided water but also communicated the availability of the resource varying by the season and by the year of good rainfall or bad. Humans had to change their behaviour based on the resource availability. Water had to be used with discretion in summer time till the advent of the rains and recharge. The open well also rewarded good behaviour. If a percolation tank was dug close by and rainwater harvested, the well would fill up and stay full for a longer time. This was in fact a common practice. http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/Let%E2%80%99s-go-back-to-the-open-well/article17318972.ece (The Hindu, 17 Feb. 2017)

Lessons in reusing Wastewater Wastewater is no longer a resource below the radar. As water shortage kicks in, as groundwater tables fall, as drought has more and more of an impact the city cannot stand in splendid isolation from its rural hinterland. The response of Bengaluru has been interesting to the shortage felt in nearby areas. Sweepingly large investments are being made, to pick up secondary treated wastewater and fill up tanks in the districts of Kolar, Bengaluru (Rural), Chikkaballapura and even Ramanagara.

Over 770 million litres of treated waste-water will eventually be moved out of the city to be used for agriculture purpose and to fill groundwater in the surrounding dry districts. Investments envisaged are well over Rs. 2000 crore in capital cost alone. If implemented well, it will have enormous consequence for the city. The city will itself have less wastewater for itself but importantly the farmers will have access to nutrient-rich waters for irrigation. Investing in science and knowledge to track these projects for health and environmental externalities, apart from the economic one, would be a great learning lesson and water wisdom.” http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/lessons-in-reusing-wastewater/article19427874.ece (The Hindu, 4 Aug. 2017)

In 2018 controversy has arisen, following IISc studies, if Bangalore is sending the sewage without adequate treatment and thus creating possibility of contamination of groundwater and soils in the receiving areas. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bengaluru-project-to-fill-tanks-with-treated-sewage-water-from-bellandur-lake-stirs-row/story-L0cuLLZDSPr7B96nnMf5kI.html (Hindustan Times, 14 March 2018) 

Benefits of Water Tanks The tank water harvesting system is a project linking the sky and the earth. It is a much bigger project than the linking of rivers for at its heart it teaches the lesson of cooperation and living within ecological means of a place. Building strong equitable communities is to build water resilience. Understanding that would be water wisdom. Vishwanath Srikanthiah calls system tanks way advanced than inter linking of rivers. http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/the-benefits-of-tank-water-harvesting/article19811533.ece (The Hindu, 6 Oct. 2017)

Tackling detergents in water bodies The excessive presence of detergents in waste water and leaving it without treating causes foam in water bodies. A well functioning STP followed by a constructed wetland can completely eliminate the phosphates and foam. Each and every one of our lakes should have a small well-functioning waste-water treatment plant followed by a wetland so that the waters stay alive and clean. A very educative piece by S. Vishwanath highlighting this common but important problem causing havoc on water sources. He lists possible remedial steps that can be taken at individuals, communities and govt levels to undo the harmful impacts of detergents. http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/Let%E2%80%99s-go-back-to-the-open-well/article17318972.ece (The Hindu, 3 May 2015)

Compiled by Bhim Singh Rawat SANDRP (bhim.sandrp@gmail.com)

END NOTES:

[i]https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2018/03/21/un-lauds-indias-efforts-in-finding-nature-based-solutions-to-global-water/

[ii] http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0026/002614/261424e.pdf

2 thoughts on “WORLD WATER DAY 2018: INDIA’S POSITIVE WATER STORIES

    1. Sir, I do not think we would be able to advice. However, if you let us know the location of land and your back ground and what you plan to do with the land, may be we can suggest some persons.

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