Rural Water Harvesting | Centre for Science and Environment

Rural Water Harvesting


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Can India meet the 2012 deadline to provide safe drinking water to all rural homes?

PHED Case Studies – Ratlam, M.P.

Basindra Village, Ratlam District, Madhya Pradesh, is watered by the perennial Jhamand River. The river flows about 100 ft below the village and was once its only source of water. The 2-3 handpumps installed here in the 1970’s by the Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED) used to run dry in the summer. When the river would shrink in the summer, people would dig holes in the riverbed to procure water for their daily needs.

Water for the Nag along

Nag village, in Gangolihat block of Pithoragarh district quenched its thirst by capturing the rain water that is plentiful, but only during the monsoons. While the state is struggling to source water from drying rivers and ground water, the citizens of  Upper Naag (Malla Naag), found themselves better off by capturing the rain that falls on their village area.

Bamboo Drip Irrigation

Dating back 200 years, tribes in northeast India have used bamboo drip irrigation as a means of bringing water to seasonal crops. This timeless and traditional technology uses locally available material while harnessing the forces of gravity. An assortment of holed bamboo shoots zig-zag downhill, diverting the natural flow of streams and springs across terraced cropland.  The advantages of using bamboo are two-fold: it prevents leakage, increasing crop yield with less water, and makes use of natural, local, and inexpensive material.

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