Community organisation in groundwater management – A presentation by ACWADAM
Community understands groundwater management and its processes.

community organisationThis presentation by ACWADAM on community organization in groundwater management deals with the processes involved in people’s mobilization and participation. The requisites of groundwater management include: resource enhancement, demand management, equitable distribution, institutional mechanism and controlling of free riding. It deals with groundwater management at a local scale when compared to aquifer management.

Aquifer management involves:

  • Identification of aquifer on the basis of geology;
  • Identification of recharge and discharge areas;
  • Assessment of aquifer capacity and yield through aquifer mapping;
  • Protection of recharge area and increasing the groundwater level through artificial recharge in recharge area (based on the geology);
  • Treating groundwater as a common property resource;
  • Encouraging community use of groundwater and restricting individual use;
  • Putting in place an institutional mechanism and legal back up for community groundwater management;
  • Awareness generation regarding groundwater and science of hydrogeology.

The steps in community organization are outlined in the presentation as -

  • Understanding the community and water situation
    • Availability of drinking water and irrigation
    • Pattern of water use and distribution
    • Level of scarcity of water, season-wise, social group-wise
    • Community efforts and government efforts for dealing with the situation
  • Need Identification: Drinking, household purposes & cattle and irrigation
  • Information sharing
    • Making people understand the water situation of the area/watershed.
    • Sharing geological and hydrogeological information gathered from the watershed with the community (concept of aquifers, maps, underground water movement, availability of groundwater in the watershed etc.)
    • Sharing the idea of community groundwater management with the community
  • Mobilization
    • Consensus building among the community for implementation of community-based groundwater management system
    • Gramsabha resolutions for backing the community-based groundwater management system
    • Liaison with concerned government departments
  • Group building
    • Building the community level organization/user groups
    • Regular meeting and sharing the future strategy
    • Trying to develop the protocols through community participation 
  • Group formation
    • Finalization of groups
    • Finalization of protocols
    • Setting up the practical mechanism of groundwater sharing.
    • Capacity building of members for long-term sustainability of the system
  • Implementation
    • Operationalizing community-based groundwater management system.
    • Regular monitoring of the implementation
    • Linkages with PRI institutions
    • Registration of the groups with irrigation department
    • Regular monitoring

This presentation is part of the training modules on planning, development and management of groundwater with special reference to watershed management programmes by ACWADAM. Please write to ACWADAM at for sourcing these presentations.


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