A broken down school in Givha, Saharsa district, Bihar, destroyed in the floods after the Kusaha breached in 2008
This article voices the agitation of the people of Saharsa District in Bihar for building an embankment on the Kosi River, which destroyed many people and property in the 2008 flood.
Posted on 29 Mar, 2010 12:18 PM

When the foundation stone for the Kosi embankment was laid on January 14, 1955, near Nirmali in Saharsa district in Bihar, euphoric people shouted, Aadhi roti khayenge, Kosi bandh banayenge (we will eat only half a chapati but we will surely build the embankment), writes the prolific engineer and activist Dinesh Mishra in his book, “ Trapped! Between the Devil and the Deep Waters.” No one really paid any attention to the protests and the fears of the people who would live with these embankments and what would happen to their lives.

A twist on RWH
Fogwater harvesting in Nepal
Posted on 18 Sep, 2009 10:39 AM

A twist on RWH : fogwater harvesting in Nepal:

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How to measure water percolation rate
An easy on the field method to calculate water percolation rate
Posted on 15 Sep, 2009 04:53 PM

To measure how fast water percolates into the soil, you need to measure the time it takes for a specific amount of water to soak into a specific area of soil. The easiest way to do this is to get a length of cylindrical pipe that is sharp enough to push (or hammer) into the soil at one end. Mark it with two lines – one is the line to which you insert it into the soil, and the other is the line to which you fill the water.

How to measure slope and mark contours
A brief on how to measure slope by making use of gravity with a protractor and a straw
Posted on 15 Sep, 2009 04:43 PM

You can measure slope by making use of gravity. Find a protractor for measuring angles. Attach a straw across the straight edge of the protractor.

Watershed scale planning- Application of rainwater harvesting techniques
Two examples of a watershed scale application of rainwater harvesting techniques.
Posted on 15 Sep, 2009 04:20 PM

The first project was conducted by the BAIF Development Research Foundation in the Hassan District of Karnataka. They created a linked network of 350 farm ponds covering 700 hectares of the watershed.

How to create a farm pond for water storage
Details on how to make a farm pond
Posted on 15 Sep, 2009 03:56 PM

The ideal farm pond should be dug into the ground in a naturally low-lying area. Some of the soil that is removed can be used to construct an earthen berm around the pond, which should be planted with trees and grasses for stability. The shade and wind protection provided by the raised mound and vegetation will reduce evaporative losses.

Groundwater recharge structures
A brief on groundwater recharge structures
Posted on 15 Sep, 2009 03:41 PM

Side view of a simple soil pitWhere conditions are favorable, it is better to recharge the groundwater than to create surface ponds for storage. This approach minimizes evaporative losses, and often improves water quality. Recharge structures can be anything from a small pit simply dug into the soil, to a borewell converted for recharge. Recharge structures are useful in sloping landscapes where the water would not otherwise have time to sink into the ground before running off.

The how and why of tank restoration
Restoration of tanks- More cost effective that building new ones
Posted on 15 Sep, 2009 02:19 PM

Where possible, it is much more cost effective to restore existing tanks, than to build new tanks. Restoration can involve silt removal to increase the storage capacity of the tank and reduce evaporative loss. The silt can be used to restore the earthen bund, and any remaining silt can be applied to nearby farmland. The outflow structure can also be improved.

Tank Development - Design and features
A write up on building tanks for water conservation and storage
Posted on 15 Sep, 2009 02:11 PM

If the intention is to develop a tank by holding back a large amount of water, then the dam must be carefully designed (with the assistance of experienced local people or engineers).

How to create check dams for water conservation
A series of pictures that show one farmer’s success with building a percolation tank just upstream of a series of check-dams.
Posted on 15 Sep, 2009 01:07 PM

In addition to controlling gully erosion, check dams also serve to slow the movement of water, allowing increased percolation into the soil. Just above a check dam is a good place to put in a percolation structure. Silt that builds up behind the dam creates good farmland, which can be planted after the rains while it retains moisture. The following series of pictures show one farmer’s success with building a percolation tank just upstream of a series of check-dams.