Duel among duals - Popular science of basaltic hydrogeology in a village of Saurashtra - A paper by CAREWATER

Tradition and history show their scientific prowess over centuries of existence. Yet, the learning of formal scientific knowledge challenges it. A dichotomy or just two different languages?

Carewater INREM FoundationThe report by Carewater INREM Foundation deals with the duel between popular science used in decision making by farmers and the formal science of hydrogeology that is based on scientific data collection. These two parallel streams of knowledge exist together, sometimes complement, and at other times are at conflict. People’s knowledge on hydrology is not ‘dying’, but thriving and growing well, refreshed continually by interfaces with science. In hard rock areas, the high hydrogeologic variability makes observation as important as theory since it is localized, pervasive and relevant to the needs of people.

This innate knowledge in society has enervated the action on conservation of water over the past two decades. Pockets of knowledge sources such as well drillers and farmers who are the final decision-makers in villages are repositories of this science. Harnessing them towards the state-organized data collection can potentially open up a new direction for localized groundwater management.

The study focuses on the Thorivali village, Jasdan taluka of Rajkot district in basaltic Saurashtra, which is recognized for groundwater recharge and conservation. Decisions on well drilling, location of ponds or recharge structures are made within the context of multiple points of knowledge sources. Innate terminology such as kanh, aadwan and pad are used for describing hydrogeology, but these words have their roots in the local language. The main structures such as dykes and pore interspaces are easily located by knowledge generated through years of both, vertical and extensive horizontal drilling.

The study concludes that –

  • Comparison of the village hydrogeology with regional-level databases show that there is much richness of information stored within these knowledge sources.
  • The larger-level picture of surface lineaments available through geophysical and remote sensing studies, imparts a global picture to this localized knowledge and a potential fusing of these two can be highly potent.
  • The role of knowledge sources in decision making, i.e. in well drilling has been described.

Download the report here:


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