Skip to main content

Traditional water management systems key to water security'(downtoearth)

Describe your work in Kachchh and Bhuj region

I focus on land and water resources management. Kachchh is an arid region. Every morning brings with it the uncertainty of water. Rainfall is irregular and so the problems of the area are compounded by drought. Large-scale deep boring has led to the depletion of ground water resources.

I developed a new approach for water management. I turned to traditional systems of water resource management instead of unsustainable solutions devised through water engineering.

My organisation focuses on four things: knowledge-based research and planning, institution building, capacity building at the rural level, documentation, and dissemination of information.


What are the traditional ways to mitigate drought?

Traditionally, water resources were planned and conserved for at least three years. The catchment areas of rain water were diverted to community ponds. Structures to store water were also constructed. People had a geological solution.

I implemented a watershed project in this region and encouraged a decentralized drinking water model. I got to know that every rivulet has an aquifer. I have been using these aquifers for setting up a storage system for drinking water. I rediscovered and reinvented a traditional system which was lost.

How have your efforts affected the lives of villagers?

I feel that in changing times, solutions to such problems must involve a synergy of traditional and modern practice. Now villagers have realised that if a source of water can be created at local level then they need not depend on the government’s project to bring water from the Narmada river.

Structures like ponds, lakes and check dams, have been constructed in a traditional way using modern technology. The government only planned to solve city’s problem by excluding the rest of the population. I am pursuing  decentralised plan so that people can make their own decisions.

What kinds of problems are you facing in the course of your work?

Convincing people to adopt new ideas is the main challenge. Another issue is that the government is not recruiting para water workers even after training them.

How are you helping at the policy level?

I was the member of the ground water working group of the Planning Commission, and I proposed the idea of para-advocacy. The Planning Commission accepted the idea of enlisting para-water workers who will participate in water conservation programmes at the panchayat level, and help villagers construct water conservation infrastructure like check dams and ponds. A temple was constructed near a lake in Bhuj city that blocked the water movement of lakes. After village residents intervened, the administration has ordered its demolition.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…