Need the methodology for data collection for participatory hydrologic monitoring - Want to know if the data has been analysed

From Sunderrajan Krishnan, INREM Foundation, Anand, Gujarat

Posted 26 April, 2011

Dear members,

I work with the INREM Foundation based in Anand Gujarat. I am a member of two Planning Commission working groups for the 12th Five Year Plan on “Water Database Development” and “Sustainable Groundwater Management”. In the context of water databases, there is interest in looking at current practices of participatory hydrologic monitoring (PHM) experiences across the country.

By PHM, I mean community involvement in hydrological data collection, generally but not necessarily, coordinated by an NGO. I am trying to put together such experiences in the context of national water data collection and exploring if PHM can be a basis for bridging the gap between national/state hydrologic networks and the needs of localized water resource management.

It has been observed that many NGOs have been collecting hydrologic data, mostly for specific project purposes. These efforts have been lauded as contributing to people’s involvement and generating knowledge for answering local questions, but there has also been criticism and reluctance to accept this data as being “un-scientific”. However, this had also led to a lot of innovation in this context – in data collection, in using local knowledge, in merging with other databases and in utilizing these data for localized planning purposes. Irrespective of opinions, PHM is being followed today by many NGOs.

I request Community members to provide the following information:

  • What is the methodology used for data collection, frequency and scale of observation and type of data recorded (groundwater levels, rainfall, stream flows, surface runoff, soil moisture, aquifer geometry, check dam water levels, water quality, etc.)? If possible, please mention the location of the observations, the organization and contact information
  • Has the data been verified and analysed further, and if so, how? Has it been merged in any way with local knowledge or state/national water databases?
  • How has the data been used in decision-making?
  • At what scale was the data collected, and please provide suggestions for scaling up these instances.

Your inputs will feed into the two working groups of the Planning Commission.

See the below attachment for response