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A rich harvest

IN FOCUS

On the right track?
Groundwater or poison?
Punjab, ready for desi solutions
Saga of tanks


CAMPAIGN

Ways to destroy
Squatters or owners?
VIPs strangling Dal
Restoring Bis Hazari
Lakes in News

WATER LITERACY

For water security
The facilitator
Let us try this out?
Water carnival


INITIATIVE

Sabdoo, surging ahead
Pioneering work
Reasserting rights
Haryana documents
Mission possible


FACE TO FACE


JAL BIRADARI

Common sense, makes sense
Unflinching faith


NEWS FROM GUJARAT

Jal bachao yatra
Checking salt ingress
Water accounting


NEWS FROM CHENNAI

Legally armed
Cultivating temple tanks
Syndicate residency’s endeavour Optimising benefits


JAL YODHAS

P K Senapati
Surinder Bansal
Shree Padree
Anil Rana
M N Mitra


CSE'S LATEST DESIGNS

TECHNOLOGY

Fog collectors
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NEWS FROM ABROAD

South Africa: Water apartheid
Kenya:
Drought busting
Japan: Water wizards
Turks & Caicos Islands:
A unique system
Nepal: Spouts return

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REDERS SPACE

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Vol. 4   

No. 6

December 2002-January 2003

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Rural water wealth

"Avdhuta, gagan ghata gharani re, Pachim disha sa ulti badli,Rum jhum barse meha.Utho gyani, khet sambhalo,bah nisrega paani."

A call of a well known Indian poet, Kabir, to the farmers to manage the soil and water works as the monsoon comes knocking. Rain has always occupied a place of significance in an Indian farmers’ life.

India can be divided into 15 ecological zones. And, each zone has a distinct system of harnessing rainwater. Although, being increasingly marginalised by newly emerging techniques, these traditional wisdoms continue to exist and flourish - ensuring water and life for many.

In the western and central Himalayas, diversion channels - kuhls or guhls were built to draw water from hill streams or springs. The length of these channels varied from 1 - 15 km, and carried a discharge of 15 - 100 litres per second. In Meghalaya, bamboo pipes are used to tap spring water for irrigation, which finally reduces to 20 - 80 drops per minute at the site of the plant, functioning like drip irrigation. The zabo system of cultivation is practised in Kikruma village of Nagaland. It is an intelligent combination of forestry, agriculture and animal care with a soil erosion control.

The ahar - pyne system of irrigation is prevalent in south Bihar. Ahars are rectangular catchment basins, and pynes are channels built to utilise the water flowing from the seasonal streams. Kunds in Thar desert, are covered underground tanks with an artificially prepared catchment area to improve runoff. The entire structure resembles a flying saucer or a stupa to many. Khadins are a perfect example of runoff farming. It was developed by the Paliwal Brahmins of Jaisalmer around the 15 th century.

Kasargod district, Malabar, has Surangams. It is a tunnel dug through a laterite hillock from the periphery of which moistures seeps out. Eris, tanks of Tamil Nadu, while irrigating vast tracts of land also maintained the ecological harmony of the region.

It is evident that down the ages, healthy relationship between technology and water governance systems has prevailed. However, today, bureaucrats frown and pop umbrellas when it pours.

'Dying Wisdom'
a book by Anil Agarwal and Sunita Narain about the dying traditions of local rainwater harvesting is also available in Hindi. Contact CSE's Sales Department at: sales@cseindia.org
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