Madakas are manmade structures for storing rainwater that was abundantly prevalent in Kasargod District of Kerala. Pallas on the contrary, were similar structures but not man made. Pallas and Madakas met the water requirements of the settlements around these structures.
They were not just water bodies but were an important part of society. People would come together to build these structures and maintain them by removing silt deposited in them from time to time. This process brought the society together and taught the lesson of sharing and conserving water resources.
This book gives more details on these Madakas and Pallas and how the destruction of these structures by the introduction of borewells and pumps, which is in turn leading to not just water scarcity but also societal disharmony.