Glimpses of books
Neglect and Restoration of Minor
Irrigation Tanks in Krishna District, India. A local - level case study of motivation,
capacity and partnership interventions
Tadipally, Maruthibala publishers, Nuzvid, India, pp 288
Tanks are traditional earthen reservoirs
constructed in dry upland reservoirs to store rainwater. Once the pride of Indian rulers,
currently only about 50 per cent of these structures are in use. In a country that boasts
of an agrarian economy, with forecasts of impending water crisis, it is strange that there
is a declining trend in the use of tanks. Obviously the potential of minor irrigation
works lies ignored.
This book examines the factors responsible for
the neglect of these water bodies. It address three basic questions: why are the tanks of
India lying dilapidated, are we ready to manage these currently state- owned minor
irrigation sources and is there no way we can utilize rainfall better before it merges
into the sea?
The book introduces the reader to the tank
irrigation system: from the concept and status, to reasons for their decline, with
specific examples from Nuzvid and Agiripalli mandals in Krishna district of Andhra
Pradesh. Reasons for non restoration of tanks are examined. Political inclinations are
assessed. To focus on an economic approach to the non-restoration of tanks, a hypothetical
tank is created with cost-benefit analysis to examine the costs and benefits that accrue
at the individual farmer level, community and larger context. The author correlates the
social capital- based on defined criteria- of the village with their
willingness to restore and manage tanks. The studies reveal a lack of confidence of the
villagers in the state as well as in themselves, in working together and restoring tanks.
However, in villages with higher social capital, optimism levels were higher.
The author describes initiatives taken by him
along with the Society of Human Integrity and Prosperity in the dryland regions of Krishna
district in Andhra Pradesh to successfully restore these tanks. The author views tanks, a
common property resource, as the catalyst to bring communities together, and defines
various criteria so that Mahatama Gandhis vision of village development can be
|Hope for the millenium
In the face of dire predictions about the impending water crises CSE organised a
public lecture on 6th January, 2000 to coincide with the release of the millenium issue of
Down to Earth. The cover story of this issue was Harvest of Hope (see section
Campaign in this newsletter). The message of the public event was clear: it is possible to
meet water demands by valuing rainwater and harvesting it through community efforts.
the need and the impact of community based water management, Anil Agarwal, director of CSE
highlighted the impact of outstanding efforts of communities, who, in the face of extreme
adversity, had brought about dramatic change in the ecology and economy. Not only did
these efforts increase water availability, but also resulted in an increase in biomass
availability, agricultural production and improved economy. These efforts also put a halt
to distress rural- urban migration. He pointed out that drought and scarcity are not
problems of availability but of management of the vital natural resource. According to him
two historical discontinuities ought to be corrected : the replacement of the
communitys role by government and the focus away from rainwater.
To present their first hand experience at community water management, were Hardevsinh B
Jadeja, the sarpanch of Raj Samadhiyala village, Gujarat and Harnath Jagawat, director, of
N M Sadguru Water and Development Foundation, a Dahod- based non government organisation.
Jadeja, recalled the conditions in the village 15 years ago, when Raj Samadhiyala
village was declared a desert zone, where nobody wanted their daughters to wed men from
this village. Today the situation has undergone a tremendous transformation, thanks to
soil and water conservation. While parts of the state and surrounding villages are in the
grip of drought, drinking water is not scarce in this village. There is water enough even
for irrigation. This has been possible because the village community has been harnessing
rainwater to meet their water needs. The villagers have built 52 check dams and planted
trees. From 1,600 trees some years ago, the figures have now reached 15,000. Jadeja stated
that his fathers annual income 15 years ago was Rs 1.5 lakhs from his fields 15
years ago. Presently Jadejas annual earning is Rs 10 lakhs.
N M Sadguru Water and Development Foundation have undertaken a similar initiative
across 350 villages on the borders of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. 35 local
rivers and rivulets are now perennial, not seasonal. According to Jagawat, in many places
villagers have stepped in to take charge of planning as well as building their own masonry
President KR Narayanan has seen the efforts of Tarun Bharat
Sangh in Alwar and is convinced
For further details please get in touch with us. If you would
like to book a seat, let us know.Contact
Indira Khurana/ Eklavya Prasad, Natural
Resource Management Unit
Centre for Science and Environment
41, Tughlakabad Institutional Area, NeW Delhi 110062
E-mail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Ph: 011 26083394, 2608 1124, 26081125
Fax: 011 26085879
|The CSE invites you to see
for yourself the dramatic impact of community -based rainwater harvesting. Through pani
yatras. Both, in rural as well as urban areas.
Pani yatras are guided tours
being organised by CSE as the central secretariat of the National Water Harvesting
Network, to areas where communities have managed water. Successfully. And shared the
fruits of their labour.
A pani yatra will allow you to interact with the institution that has brought
about community action, and thecommunities themselves.It will give you a chance to see for
yourself water harvesting structures that have changed the ecology and the economy of the
region. And brought about change.
Planned pani yatras include Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Alwar, Sukhomajri,
Jhbaua, Ralegan Siddhi and Chennai.