Water is life. 76% of the total available ground water is used in the agricultural sector. Ground water is withdrawn through wells and bore wells. Due to traditional cropping pattern the agrarian community still cultivating high water intensive and long duration crops. However, the quantum of extracted groundwater is not returned in any form and hence ground water depletion problem is witnessed across the country. Looking to the situation at present and to prevent more deteriorating in future, the most effective solution is to develop water resources, recharging to balance between water demand and supply. Just rain water harvesting is not the only solution, efficient and judicious use of water is needs of hour. Looking to the need of major water used agriculture sector, there is need to shift from high water intensive crops to less water intensive crops, long duration crops to short duration crops. Therefore Kamalnyan Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation (KJBF) has vision to develop water resources along with demand and supply side water management interventions, through participatory approaches
Ground water recharge through rain water
The scarcity of water has adversely affected the rural economy. To deal with big issues, the efforts to be needed to augment the natural resources and conservation of water which can be utilized for support watering to save life of standing crops. To overcome the problem of ground water depletion and absence of irrigation which has further led to dependence on kharif crops, the surface runoff is harvested during the rains. The excess run off in the form of surface storage and groundwater recharged is made available for support irrigation as well as to cultivate crops in the rabi season. Therefore bringing awareness to capture surface run off and promoting water use efficiency presumed as the best solution to protect and promote livelihood of the farming community. KJBF has initiated number of water harvesting measures such as construction of Farm ponds, construction of check dams, Excavation / construction of percolation tanks, recharging of existing wells through diverting rain water, Deepening and Widening of streams etc. with people’s participation
For Surface storage as well as to maximise ground water recharge, KJBF has been promoting construction of Check dams in River beds and Streams. Usually river water goes waste, which is harvested by constructing barriers of cement concrete or masonry structures; as a result ground water table in surrounding existing wells as well as water table in general is increased. Check dams plays a balancing role for recharge and withdrawal of surface and groundwater. KJBF has initiated construction of check dams in Deoli and Aarvi blocks of Wardha District. To create ownership among the farming community, they were involved in planning, identification of sites, execution of work and also contributed in cost of construction
Excavation / Construction of Percolation Tank
Since ancient time, people used to excavate percolation tanks, which also exist today. This reflects that water crisis is not a new problem of the current era, Our ancestors has faced same problems and also invented indigenous solutions like talab to overcome the same. Percolation Tank is a structure to impound rainwater flowing through a watershed, and a wasteweir to dispose of the surplus flow in excess of the storage capacity of the reservoir created. Other than river bed, creating surface storage and recharging ground water in waste land, where sufficient catchment and run off is available
Recharge of existing wells through diverting rain water
Wells are just ment to withdraw ground water for irrigation. Balance of ground water is not taking place hence recharging of well through diverting rain water in to wells has been proved simple, cost effective and extremely useful water harvesting measures. When feel thirsty, we take a glass of water and quench our thirst. Similarly, wells are the mouth of the earth, to full fill the thirst of the mother earth, rain water is diverted in to the existing wells. By digging a pit/ small pond near the well and diverting rain water through pipe outlets for recharging the well is the most acceptable water conservation activity in the Deoli and Seloo block of the Wardha district.
Well recharge at farm of Suresh Rao Khadse in village Ratnapur
KJBF team explained implementation strategies of the well recharge technique in the village Ratnapur. Suresh Raoji Khadse showed very keen interest for well recharge with 20 per cent his contribution. Our team members visited his well and decided to construct recharge pit near the well to collect surface runoff and divert it into well for recharge purpose. The location of this site is such that around 120000 litres surface runoff can be diverted into well to raise the water level in well. With this amount of water this farmer can grow one acre vegetables with drip irrigation system and improve his livelihood
Farm Pond is one of the best systems for conserving and harvesting rain water especially for support irrigation in dry spell and distress period. Rain Water harvesting through excavation of Farm Pond is not a new but just to utilize an indigenous knowledge of farmers on scientific manner to harvest surface run off of the agricultural land. The water management interventions has the potential to evolve as a catalyst to enhancing the water use efficiency and thereby increasing agriculture economy of the water stressed villages of Deoli, Arvi and Seloo block of Wardha District. KJBF has constructed Farm ponds of size 15 x 15 x 3 m of capacity to store 445 cum of water.
Revival of rivers/ Streams
Silting problem in the river beds and streams has caused severe problems like floods, water logging, soil erosion etc. As a result ground water recharge is stopped and duration of water flow has drastically reduced. Thus, revival of the streams of the Wardha district is the need of the region. KJBF along with community has taken has initiated deepening and widening of existing streams as suggested by the community to overcome the above problems, to increase surface storage, to increase river flow and to recharge ground water. Average width of 8 metre and 1.5 metre depth, 5000 metre deepening and widening in seven different streams has been done.
Interlinking of Water Bodies
In percolation tanks and ponds, water is harvested as per the storage capacity of the structures; however excess runoff usually goes waste in the surrounding area through waste weir. To minimise the wastage of the water and to maximise the surface storage as well as ground water recharge, near by percolation tank/ ponds is interlinked through construction of canal/ water channel. These innovative interlinking of water harvesting measures in water harvesting structures like percolation tanks, small streams etc. has been proved extremely useful, cost effective, feasible, environment friendly and could be an alternate of the river grid project at micro level. KJBF has initiated interlinking of percolation of tanks projects and four percolation tanks has been interlinked in Duttpur, Wardha
Water Management through Micro irrigation systems Sprinkler
It is one of the best efficient techniques of water management in all seasonal crops. The water is saved up to 60-75%. Farmers have accepted sprinkler irrigation systems as they are able to cultivate Rabi crops with available water. In flood irrigation systems, with available water they could not cultivate Rabi crops. KJBF have supported 60 farmers in 25 villages of Wardha district.
Adopt technology and earn more
Shaikh Abdul Majid of Vijaygopal village has 9 acres of land, out of which 6 acres is rainfed and 3 acres are under irrigation. He has three brothers. Abdul Majid’s elder brother has a puncture repair shop in the village. Utmost his brother can earn Rs.1500 from the shop. Abdul Gani has a floor mill running on diesel from which he earns Rs.800 per month.In 3 acres of irrigated land they have 5 sweet lemon, 5 oranges, 5 guavas, and 2 lemon trees. Along with horticulture they also take cotton, soyabean, and jawar in kharif and wheat, gram, and vegetables in rabi season. They have 30 ft. deep well for irrigation in their field. He explains his observation “Every year water level is up to 10 ft. in the month of May, but this year due to low rainfall water level is only up to 6 ft. in the month of November. So he didn’t want to sow wheat and gram this year. One day he came to know about K.J.B.F.’s farmers training in Wardha through village volunteer. He attended farmers’ training at Dattapur and came to know about the scheme of sprinkler set. He was already in the need of a sprinkler set to sow wheat. But he had no money for purchasing. His younger son, a 10th standard student gave him his saving from Sanchayani bank account in his school. At last he was able to purchase sprinkler set with the help of K.J.B.F.’s subsidy. He feels satisfaction. He has sown wheat and also wants to take brinjal and chillies for selling purpose with the help of drum kit drip irrigation system. He says it is possible to take wheat crop this year due to sprinkler set only. Abdul Ganibhai is very excited and happy; he says he earns 10 qt. of wheat every year with full water. But this year he will get 14 qt. of wheat due to sprinkler set only. Now his work of watering to field has reduced also this much water will be sufficient for his wheat crop & vegetables. Extra 4 quintal wheat means Rs. 5000-Rs. 6000 more in less water due to this scheme of K.J.B.F. He is very happy and thankful to Kamalnayan Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation, Wardha for doing his help on right time.
Drip saves water up to 80%. As per our field observation farmer gets more production with less water. Farmer accepts drip in higher returning & higher water requirement crop i.e. input cost also decreases i.e. because of Insect & Pest attack reduce due to maintain moisture contain in root zone, Less weeding cost, Less irrigation labour cost. Drip irrigation –Story
Further detail of water efficient micro irrigation devices in Agriculture development programme.
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