Restoration of traditional small water bodies in Braj - The South Asian Journal of Tourism and Heritage

The importance of Kunds, traditional water bodies, in Braj loosing in the battle against urbanisation

KundsThis paper published in the South Asian Journal of Tourism and Heritage begins by highlighting the importance of the traditional small water bodies in Braj, commonly known as kunds, as important freshwater sources as well as an important part of the culture and the traditions of the area.

There were 1000 such kunds, which used to be the source of fresh water in Braj in earlier times. The water was used for multiple purposes like irrigated agriculture, domestic uses, drinking water for cattle, bathing etc. Due to rapid urbanisation, lack of maintenance and prolonged negligence in the last 50-100 years, most of the kunds today have become silted up and are nearing extinction.

The impending crisis for fresh water has forced the planners and policy makers to take cognizance of these traditional water bodies and an urgent need has been identified for taking necessary measures to restore the kunds. The present study thus aims at understanding the reasons for deterioration of the kunds and makes some technical suggestions for revival of these kunds.

The study identifies the common reasons for deterioration of the kunds as:

  • Rapid urbanisation
  • Non-point loading
  • Eutrophication

The study recommends some probable restoration techniques to revive the kunds so that they can fulfill fresh water needs in the area in the future and includes:

  • Use of storm water interceptors
  • Use of techniques such as Dilution/Flushing/Withdrawal
  • P inactivation
  • Sediment removal.

The paper argues that diagnosis of the problems and their present condition or severity in a kund should be the primary task. After evaluating this, appropriate cost-effective treatment(s) should be selected on an urgent basis to achieve a particular objective in the Kund like control of algae growth, minimization of external or internal loading, sediment removal, etc.

A number of papers and research related to the restoration of water bodies in the Braj region can be found on the the Braj Foundation website. The Braj Foundation has catalyzed a systematic series of research pertaining to the restoration of ancient water bodies in the Braj region in association with Department of Water Resources Development, IIT Roorkee.


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