Most people reading this probably have a comfortable supply of water to drink, bathe and use in their daily lives. However, water is no longer as abundant a resource for many people in several parts of the country. What’s even more unfortunate is the fact that most of these people rely on water heavily for both life and livelihood.
Many north-western and south-eastern states have been identified as ‘over exploited’ or ‘critical’ blocks of India where groundwater is stressed.
According to Livemint, this problem dates back to the Green Revolution in India. It was a time when the dependence on water had increased due to the revolution, and the policies provided incentives for ground water extraction instead of focusing on extending surface water irrigation to unirrigated regions. According to data on falling water tables in India, ground water started becoming more and more inaccessible.
This is the reason The
Since 2008, it has built watershed projects (including storage and check dams) in over 500 ‘over-exploited’ and/or ‘critical’ villages. Their single goal is philanthropic -to support the villages in this crisis situation of managing the water tables.
In most cases, when it rains,the water gets wasted by going through the drainage or simply evaporating. As a solution, the initiative aims to store the water where it falls. They block the drainage line and create a series of check dams so that when it rains, the water is stored. If it overflows in one dam, it goes over to the other, and so on, until eventually all the dams get full. If the ground is thus recharged, which is an important part of water restoration, hand pumps and wells can also access water –making the vital resource readily available to the community.
Here is a video of how the lives of the people of Bundelkhand were profoundly impacted by the implementation of the water sustainability project.
As a part of Anandana’s initiatives, the projects also focus on empowering women to take up supervisory roles. ‘Pani Samitis’ i.e. water committees are formed in regions where water conservation initiatives are undertaken to formulate and execute norms and procedures around the maintenance and sustainability of the community water projects.
With such initiatives on the rise, one can hope that these areas will someday be relieved of their water crisis and the natural resource would once again be available and accessible in abundance for everyone.