Groundwater Recharge

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December 4, 2019 The 2015­-2018 drought, the longest, but less severe of droughts experienced by India raises alarm on the negative effects of future droughts on water security in the country.
India will see more droughts in the future. (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
November 27, 2019 Policy matters this week
An irrigation well at Randullabad, Maharashtra (Source: India Water Portal on Flickr)
November 18, 2019 Bangalore's water utility is understaffed, under financed and unable to service the city's water needs.
Image credit: Citizen Matters
October 25, 2019 Groundwater use has doubled in Pune. Comprehensive mapping of groundwater resources and better management and governance is the need of the hour.
Groundwater, an exploited resource (Image Source: India Water Portal)
October 24, 2019 An intern with Watershed Organisation Trust narrates his field experience from the villages of Madhya Pradesh, where farmers are using farm ponds to conserve water.
A farm pond constructed by Sheshrao Dhurve in Karaghat Kamti village of Madhya Pradesh
Demystifying groundwater for collective action
Experiences from participatory groundwater management efforts in Maharashtra tridmin posted 6 days ago

India is the largest user of groundwater in the world. Agriculture, rural and urban domestic water supply and increasingly industries are shaping the dependency on groundwater. More importantly, in the case of India as in most of South Asia, groundwater is critical to ensure drinking water security besides being the lifeline for the livelihoods of millions of small and marginal farmers.

Unless work on managing the demand is undertaken, the notion of ‘infinite’ groundwater will be hard to address. (Image: Rucha Deshmukh, ACWADAM)
Data, data everywhere, but where?
Involving the community in a data framework with the right incentives will have the second-order benefit of the community becoming decision makers with respect to water use. Amita Bhaduri posted 9 months 2 weeks ago

A few of us did an exercise where we closed our eyes and thought of the first four words that came to our minds when we thought of water data in India. Here is what we came up with:

The seamless flow of data from one program to another can be enabled if a few principles are kept in mind (Image: José Manuel Suárez, Wikimedia Commons)
Groundwater recharge needs grassroots solutions: A study of two techniques in Kerala
Although groundwater is emerging as a critical issue and has managed to encourage new government schemes, a generic solution of rainwater recharge cannot be applied across different regions. Amita Bhaduri posted 9 months 2 weeks ago

In Kerala, around half the urban population and 80% of the rural population depend on open wells on their domestic water needs. But in the last decade, the majority of observatory wells recorded an average annual decline of half a meter.

Rainwater is captured from the rooftop of the community hall and diverted to the sump before it is pumped into the open well. (Image by Authors)
Water wisdom of the Gonds of Garha Mandla
A peek into history shows how the Gonds of Garha Mandla managed their water needs with great ingenuity and wisdom by constructing and maintaining water tanks . Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 9 months 4 weeks ago

The Gond dynasties mainly flourished in the Central highlands of India. This region includes Sagar, Bhopal, and nearly half of Narmada valley, including the flanks of Vindhya and the Satpuda mountain ranges of southern Madhya Pradesh. The principal states of the Gonds were Garha-Mandla (1300 to 1789), Devgarh, Kherla and Chanda.

Kolatal, a traditional tank in Garha region of Jabalpur (Image Source: K. G. Vyas)
Where does the water in a well come from?
In the water sector, the focus on fixing demand and supply is taking us away from the real problem - the unnoticed groundwater dependencies in ever-expanding urban India. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 10 months ago

The environment versus development debate has increasingly become more polarised, with discussions in the public domain revealing a stark contrast of views. Development has increasingly come to symbolise ‘doing something’ and ensuring ‘visible outputs’, largely in the form of infrastructure.

An open well in Maharashtra (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos) Image used for representational purposes only.
Uttarakhand: Reaching the unreached
PSI addresses the shortage of safe drinking water in remote Uttarakhand villages through a participatory community-based approach to springshed management. Amita Bhaduri posted 10 months 2 weeks ago

People in remote hamlets left out by previous schemes like Swajal and Sector Wide Approach Program of the Uttarakhand Jal Nigam and Uttarakhand Jal Sansthan longed for household-level piped water supply for drinking and domestic purposes.

Women trudged long distances daily to fetch water for their basic household needs in Rupail (Image: People's Science Institute)
Drying veins of Ganga: Can we have ‘Nirmal Ganga’ with dying tributaries?
There is an urgent need to prioritise uninterrupted river flow over unpolluted flow in the Namami Gange programme. Amita Bhaduri posted 11 months ago

India’s Himalayan rivers have been a cradle of civilisational development and a centre for faith and culture for ages. Ganga being a fertile basin has been a significant contributor to our agricultural economy as well as our river-based agrarian development.

The Baand river is nearly dry even when the region saw above normal monsoon this year. Much of the riverbed is encroached by farms. (Image: Adeel Khan and Praharsh Patel)
Banking on rainwater harvesting
National Water Mission’s campaign aims at creating rainwater harvesting structures in various parts of India. Amita Bhaduri posted 11 months 2 weeks ago

National Water Mission’s (NWM) has launched a campaign ‘Catch the rain’ on a pan India basis to nudge the states and stakeholders to create appropriate rainwater harvesting structures (RWHS) suitable to the climatic conditions and sub-soil strata before the onset of monsoon.

As a part of the campaign, work is being done on various interventions such as water for productive use, improving irrigation practices, creating water recharge structures (Image: Pikist)
Understanding Atal Bhujal Yojana through the program guidelines
The program envisages promoting panchayat led groundwater management and behavioural change with a primary focus on demand-side management. Amita Bhaduri posted 11 months 2 weeks ago

Groundwater fulfills the drinking water requirements of nearly 85% and 50% of the rural and urban Indian population, respectively. 65% of the total irrigated area utilizes groundwater. It also caters to the water needs of the industrial sector in India.

Community participation is expected to facilitate bottom-up groundwater planning process to improve the effectiveness of public financing and align implementation of various government programs on groundwater in the participating states (Image: Water Alternatives, Flickr Commons)
Green court slams centre over groundwater withdrawal in dry areas
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 1 year ago

NGT slams centre over groundwater extraction in dry areas

A well in Rajasthan (Source: IWP Flickr photos)