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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


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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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Common sense, makes sense

Chewang Norphel, a retired engineer’s, initiative to harvest water through zings (ponds) and artificial glaciers has ushered in water and greenery in the barren landscapes of Ladakh.

Falling in the rain shadow area of Himalaya, Ladakh is a cold, mountainous desert. Glacier water is the only source of water, which is used by the people during summers. Norphel found a solution in artificial glaciers. The technique is simple. During winters, snow is collected through stone barriers and, diverted through earthen channels.

As part of the Leh Nutrition Project, Norphel has successfully completed 36 projects. Besides, he has also made ten artificial glaciers,benefiting more than 15,000 people of 24 villages.

While proudly sharing one of his experiences, he said,"It took almost a year to build an artificial glacier at Chamla village, With a water holding capacity of more than one million cubic feet, it is serving about 3,000 people from four villages. To minimise the cost, existing channels were desilted." Common sense, makes sense indeed.

For details:
Chewang Norphel,
Leh Nutrition Project,
Ladakh, Leh 194101

Unflinching faith

"The last time we had good rains was in 1997. But we will survive this drought as well. By god’s grace we have water", said Ram Karan, an old man of Laporiya village, Jaipur, Rajasthan. Though the region is ravaged with drought, Laporiya gathered to celebrate ‘Dev Uthni Gyaras’, a Hindu way for thanking the bountiful nature. They also performed pooja at three village water tanks that are completely dry. One cannot help asking what are the villagers grateful for? "These are the reason why there is water in our wells. We collect whatever little rain we get. Without these, Laporiya would have been history", shared Ram Karan.

About 189 families of Laporiya like, most of the other villagers of Rajasthan are facing worst spell of drought but what sets them apart is the unflinching faith in their water and soil conservation works.

For details:
Laxman Singh, GVNML, Laporiya, POGugardu,
Jaipur 303 008 Rajasthan


Jal bachao yatra

.Thousands of people from different villages in Junagarh district, Gujarat, travelled 23 villages on foot to launch a campaign to revive Meghal river, the main source of water for about 64 villages. Due to gradual neglect of its catchment area, the river has been reduced to a seasonal drain. The yatra was organised by the Aga Khan Rural Support Program (India), working in the region for more than 15 years. From December 23 - 26, as the journey progressed, people of all age groups, kept joining in. "When I saw them walking, I also joined. This is to save our village", shared Meeni Behn, a 75 year old lady. The yatra traversed the two streams of Meghal - Kalindri and Lathodaria then converged at Khorasa village where a public meeting was organised. Gram Sabha meetings were organised to discuss various aspects of water management. The journey concluded at Jund Bhavani Temple in Chorwad village, where people vowed to work for the revival. Stream-based committees were formed, which will is working out a strategy for making the river perennial again. A positive start.


Checking salt ingress

The 900 kilometre (km) seacoast between Porbandar and Una, Gujarat, once popular for its greenery and vegetation, is facing a serious salt ingress. It has increased from 1.5 km in 1948 to 15 km in 2002, destroying more than ten lakh hectares of arable land. The regions of Junagadh and Gir forest are affected by this. This ingress is caused by excessive pumping out of groundwater for both cultivation and industrial purposes.

A local NGO, Saurashtra Paryavaran Saurakshan Parishad (SPSP), is working towards a sustainable solution. By sensitising the affected village communities, ponds are being built to collect rainwater. The parishad has also effectively used religious tenants to get their message across. Nearly 22 environment guarding committees have been formed and green guards have been appointed. These committees are concentrating on replenishing groundwater through rainwater harvesting to check salinity. It is just a start.

For details:
Chandrasingh Mahida, SPSP,
Sondarda, Keshod, Junaghadh



Water accounting

Disaster Mitigation Institute (DMI), a Ahmedabad-based NGO, recently studied the water usage pattern in 23 villages of Kutch, Patan and Surendernagar districts in Gujarat. Following trends were observed. About 60 litres (l) of water is consumed at household level in summers, 48 l in monsoons and 45 l in winters. Stand posts meet 41 per cent of the needs. Village ponds cater to 60 per cent of domestic needs and to cattles. Village wells cannot meet the needs, adequately. Most of the respondents confirmed that the authorities spend a substantial amount of funds, for drought relief and the long term measures get neglected.

For details: dmi@icenet.net


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