A NEW BEGINNING

 






By the people
  

IN FOCUS

Open letter to the
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Khandwa,Catching every droplet
The lost pond
 

CAMPAIGN

From the courtroom
Face to face
Destroy, then revive

INITIATIVE

Woman power
Paying up
A tiny oasis in Uttar Pradesh
Smile!
CII’s water meet
Rotary’s initiative
Brick by brick
Nurturing the future
CSE’s pilgrims in Madhya Pradesh
Taking initiative
Experiments with water

NEWS FROM GUJARAT

Pure rain
In a great hurry!

JAL BIRADARI

As priceless as amrit
Reviving pynes

JAL YODHA

D V Subramanaian
Ashutosh Agnihotri


NEWS FROM CHENNAI

Rain centre inaugurated
The Alacrity cycle
Porous roads
Plumbers’ meet
Women’s meet


CSE' LATEST DESIGNS

Making a mark in Laburnam

TECHNOLOGY

Pollutants to bind roads
Make your own rain gauge
Smart farming tool
Techno tit bits


CLASSROOM

WATER WISDOM

FUNDING AGENCY

NEWS FROM ABROAD

WATER IN NEWS

AN OPPORTUNITY

READERS SPACE

BOOK/DOCUMENTS

VISUAL WATCH

WEB INFO

EVENT

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Vol. 4   

No. 4

August-September  2002

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WOMEN and WATER
Woman power

Meet some of the women from Karnataka and Maharashtra, who are doing pioneering work in the field of rainwater harvesting. Overcoming all the hurdles, they have scripted success not only for themselves but also for many others.

Janaki
Being illiterate, poor, belonging to a backward community and being a mother of five have not thwarted Janaki, a woman in her forties to use her innovative skills and solve the persisting water problem. Her village is Kepulakodi, about 32 kms from Manglore, Karnataka.

To avoid a km of slippery walk down the hill during the monsoons, she came up with the idea of using her saree to harvest rains to meet drinking water needs. First, she firmly attached the saree with bamboo sticks to keep it static against heavy rains and winds. Then, its four corners were tied with bamboo, while giving it a funnel shape, so that water can easily sieve into the pitcher. "Even 15 minutes of rain is sufficient to meet cooking and drinking water needs", shared Janaki. Impressed by its user-friendly applicability, a local non-governmental organisation, Maithri Trust, is promoting it.

V Radha and Manisha Mhaiskar

Paying up

Since 1987, the people of Olavanna panchayat in Kerala have been successful in regulating their water usage by paying for the every drop that they consume.

It all started when the people decided to take charge instead of approaching state water board for help. Their panchayat supported them. Community-based societies were set up and small piped water schemes and meters were installed with people’s contribution. Later, panchayat chipped in, bearing the installation cost, partially.

The rules of the game are strictly adhered. Each household is entitled to draw a monthly quota of 400 – 500 litres (l) of water, which varies across schemes and seasons. Over-consumption attracts penalty. In schemes with a relatively small population, meters are not installed, as people keep a tab on each other’s consumption. Olavanna’s experience is an example that state can follow to solve the persisting water scarcity.

For further information

Olavanna Gram Panchayat
Kozhikode, Kerala
Tel: 0495 - 430788

They are senior officers from the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) posted in Aurangabad and Wardha districts of Maharashtra respectively. Their style of functioning has ensured active community participation in developing water supply schemes, without spending a penny out of the state exchequer.

Initially it was very difficult for V Radha to convince people of Sarola village, to revive their dry 30-year percolation tank, which is today brimming with water. It is the only village among the 700 in Aurangabad district – not to suffer water scarcity. Things took a positive turn, when instead of financial support, she offered farmers to freely use the self-dug out silt from the pit. On its part, the administration has ingeniously modified the Employment Guarantee Scheme – allowing people do water related works for employment.

In Wardha, already three schemes were underway – Jalada, Sampada and Vasundhara – when Mhaiskar came on deputation. Her challenge was to consolidate and sequence the existing schemes to make water supply sustainable, by involving the community. The administration has ensured transparency at every level.The state government has applauded these initiatives, as replicable models.

Each of these stories celebrates the willingness to reap the harvest of water at minimal cost.

Source: Harsha 2002, How Janaki stopped going down the hill to fetch water, Indian Express. V Radhika 2002, Three women and a water revolution, Newstime

A tiny oasis in Uttar Pradesh
In a state that is plagued by alarming depletion of groundwater tables, one area stands apart - the Lakhaoti Branch Canal command area. First the achievements. A uniform increase in the groundwater table by six to seven meters. About 26 per cent increase in the average net income of the farmers. Despite adopting more intensive cropping patterns, the water pumping cost has been on the decline.

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Source: IWMI’s research update 2002, A success story in reversing groundwater decline

These assessments were jointly done by the Water and Land Management Institute (WALMI) of Uttar Pradesh (UP), State’s irrigation department and International Water Management Institute (IWMI). All this was accomplished within a period of ten years by the government of UP on an experimental basis in this area. In 1984, the government embarked on the mission of harvesting excessive monsoon runoff for artificial recharge and irrigation. "It transformed an earthen irrigation system into a highly productive groundwater recharge system – simply by switching from providing irrigation during the dry season to providing canal irrigation only during the monsoon." (See illustration: The technique) This technique works wonders in areas with good aquifers, surplus monsoon water and no problem of soil salinity or waterlogging.


Copyright 2002 Centre for Science and Environment
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