This project rehabilitates water storage reservoirs in two rural agricultural villages in India that experience low rain, drought prone conditions. These two areas include:
Village Hivre, in Taluka Purandar, where there are two stone bunds or small dams on a rivulet. One stone bund is full of silt or the flown mud. This has considerably reduced the storage capacity of the impoundment and much less water percolates into the ground from this storage. Both bunds are in disrepair. By desilting and repairing, the water holding capacity of the impoundment will increase. More water will percolate to the ground and area wells will produce water in the summer. 2000 families are beneficiaries to this project.
A 100 acre pond at Varkute village in Taluka Indapur is another draught prone, low rain area. There are 35,000 people in two nearby villages who take their drinking water from this pond. In summer months the lack of water is severe. Getting drinking water becomes a battle every day. Desilting this pond will help make village wells produce through groundwater recharge and extend water availability into the summer.
For sustainability, trusts will be formed among both beneficiary communities, with assistance from the government. Those bodies will a collect water tax. This tax will fund ongoing maintenance of these water storage structures.
The reasons for this project are as follows:
1. Groundwater depletion by indiscriminate drawing has become a global problem. But it is more acute in developing countries.
2. The Indian subcontinent (India + neighboring countries like Bangladesh) has a peculiar rainy season pattern. From mid-July to mid-October, it rains continuously for four months. The remaining eight months are completely dry. 90% of rain water in India flows through rivers into the sea. In summer months drinking water is severely limited in many areas.
3. This area of India has a high incidence of suicide by farmers due in part to the extreme drought conditions.
4. Rainwater harvesting will help sustain water availability throughout the year in these villages. This will help maintain the village population and reduce the number of villagers who migrate to the city slums.