CAREWATER's recent solicitation for comments on IWP blog (click here), on their research study on dugwell recharge draws attention to a little-known programme of the government of India on decentralized groundwater recharge through the use of farmer dugwells. The programme which seems to have been initiatied on the ground in March 2008, aims to part-subsidise farmers to use their dugwells for artificial recharge. According to Sunderrajan Krishnan of CAREWATER this programme is a response to water stress in hard rock areas of the country and is aimed at rejuvenating hard rock aquifers across the country. The idea is to divert rainfall runoff into open wells as a means of harvesting rainfall runoff and increasing recharge into aquifers. Some documents related to this programme are attached here: Master Plan for Artificial Recharge to Groundwater in Indiahttp://www.indiawaterportal.org/tt/gwm/policies/MASTER%20PLAN%20Final-2002.pdf .
This plan from CGWB seems to serve as the framework and thinking behind the program. An analysis and critique of this plan from Tushaar Shah: https://www.indiawaterportal.org/tt/dwm/policies/India's_Master_Plan_for_Ground_Water_Recharge_-_Critique_-_Tushaar_Shah.pdf
Under the guidance of CAREWATER, the following report was produced that describes the actual progress of the programme on the ground in the states of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. According to the report, in some places the project is in active mode and significant amount of money has been disbursed: dug-well-prog-thesis-final-report