T R Sureshchandra
"When knowledge is combined with careful
observation, solutions are found,"says TRSureshchandra, an arecanut farmer from
Kalmadka, Karnataka. This is the way he solved his water related problems.
It all started in 1999, when he dug a 205 feet
deep bore well as a supplementary source of irrigation. The yield was good. He used 15
sprinklers together. However, to his dismay a year later the yield started dropping. A
thorough examination revealed that on the side of this bore was a rainwater harvesting
tank and in monsoon the excess runoff used to overflow touching the casing pipe - yet
there were no signs of significant natural recharge.
Suresh, a regular reader of Adike Patrika, a
local farm magazine, had some idea about artificial recharge. He started feeding the dry
well by siphoning water from the tank during monsoons. Positive results encouraged
him to revive another farm pond to ensure sustained irrigation supply.
(Profile send by Shree Padre, a journalist)
Department of Irrigation, Government of Rajasthan, Chaupsani Housing Board
Colony, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
He is an officer with a mission to work for the development of communities by
augmenting their water resources. His initiatives have been rewarded by the government.
Arun got this opportunity due to one of his transfers. In 2001, he was given the
responsibility of ensuring water supply to Kankani panchayat, Jodhpur. After visiting the
village and speaking to the villagers, he decided to begin rainwater conservation works in
three villages - Finch, Kankani and Shikarpura. Due to the work done on drainage line in
Finch and, linking two restored village ponds in Kankani, the level of salinity in
Shikarpura's water reduced considerably.
Tumkur Dt 572214 Karnataka
Shivanajayya is a person with multiple talents. He is the principal of a
pre-degree college, writer, organic farmer and a water conservationist.
He has a five acre farm in Tumkur district, Karnataka. The soil is red. Rainfall
in the region is highly erratic - as a result the farmers are completely dependent on
borewells. Following the practice, in 1990, he also got a borewell dug. The yield was good
for next four years after which it started falling. He was forced to lower the pump from
140 to 180 feet. Yet, the situation did not improve, adversely affecting the crops sown.
While trying to find a solution, he realised that barely 30 feet away from the
borewell flowed a seasonal rivulet, which had water till the month of January. This
encouraged him to go in for artificial recharge technique.
A deep trench was dug from the casing pipe to the riverbed ensuring a regular
supply. Blue metal was spread around the pipe and trench was refilled with soil. To check
the inflow of leaves or other materials, a mesh was tied on the outer end of the pipe.
Expenditure was not more than Rs 1,000. And, results are worth noting. The output has
doubled and the borewell runs for more than six months in a year.
(Profile send by Shree Padre, a journalist)
K G Vyas
7, New Adarsh Nagar Colony
Jabalpur 482004 Madhya Pradesh
Working as a geophysicist at different levels, Vyas has given a well researched
analysis guiding the state's policy decisions in favour of promoting rainwater harvesting.
Later, he also advised the government on technical aspects Rajiv Gandhi Watershed
Development Mission. Though he retired in 1998, the government continued to seek his
services till 2001. Very few know that he has been a reputed academician with a decade of
teaching experience. Vyas has also written two books on the subject - Economic geology
(1973) and Applied aspects of dugwell hydrolics (1993).
Ramadies Charitable Trust
5 (1050), 41st Street
TNHB Colony, Korattur
Ramani likes to be known as the 'crusader for rainwater harvesting'. Just a
couple of minutes of interaction will leave no doubt that he is truly worthy of this
To avoid buying water in the wake of 1988s severe water scarcity that had
gripped Chennai, he decided to undertake rooftop rainwater harvesting. The initial results
were not good. A considerable presence of salinity and iron in the water made it
unpotable. However, he never gave up. Through trial and error and, by using proper
filtration methods, his water-related problems were solved.
Ramani has set up the Akash Ganga project and introduced different types of
water conservation techniques in residence. As a result, not a single drop of water goes
waste in his house, which has been developed as a model. It is also open for the people to
come and visit.
After retiring from ONGC, Ramani started a trust called 'Ramadies' in 2000 -
offering consultative services to interested individuals and institutions. He has
completed 130 projects and the number is steadily swelling.