Mewat District

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An innovative project makes rainwater harvesting easier and more effective in certain areas of Mewat village with increased groundwater salinity.

One of the major causes of deterioration of water quality is the increase in overall salinity. Total hardness and the presence of materials like fluoride, nitrate, iron, arsenic, and toxic metal ions determine salinity levels in groundwater. With the demand for groundwater growing rapidly, its exploitation is also accelerating which causes depletion. Depletion of groundwater changes the flow (both direction and velocity) of the groundwater which may cause the inflow of polluted water into the freshwater aquifer from surrounding areas.

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Complete sanitation is important for everyone. A collective effort is needed to make it happen.

Social media has brought the world to our desktop where information is available at the click of a button. The issues now are not just related to a particular community, region, state, or country; they are global. We get attached to them directly or indirectly and share our opinions on them, which is an easy and powerful way to contribute towards addressing issues we care about.

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The government’s nutrient-based subsidy has done more harm to the soil than good. Only sustainable agriculture can save the nutrient and water holding capacity of the soil.

Bhanu is bracing herself for an income loss this year. The wheat she sowed after bajra in winter did not give her the productivity expected. Her soil health is declining, she says. To top it all, she is afraid there will be deficient rainfall this year in her village in Ferozepur Jhirka in Mewat in Haryana. A semi-arid water scarce region with very low annual rainfall of about 300-550 mm, increasing the productivity of crops in her land looks bleak this year.

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Lalit Mohan Sharma of Sehgal Foundation, Gurgaon speaks to India Water Portal about innovative solutions to sail through Mewat's water crisis.

What is the exact problem as regards groundwater salinity, fluoride and water scarcity in Mewat, Haryana? Is the area underlain with saline groundwater aquifers? What is the status of surface water in the area? Can it not reduce dependence on groundwater?

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An innovative rainwater harvesting structure stores sweet rainwater below the ground, within a saline aquifer.

356 students and the teachers of Government Middle School in Sukhpuri village of Mewat district, Haryana are a happy lot now that they have access to potable water right within their school premises. The groundwater in the area was saline making it unfit for consumption.

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People from all walks of life, villagers, NGOs, govt officials and water experts participated in the World Water Day celebration in Mewat that was organised by the S M Sehgal Foundation, a rural development NGO working in the district.

Implementing rooftop rainwater harvesting, treating the catchment and building a community water tank are some reasons why Patkhori village is starting to sail through its water crisis.

Mewat, a historical region comprising of the present Mewat district of Haryana and parts of Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur districts of Rajasthan, lies in a semi-arid belt. It experiences variable rainfall annually and receives, on average, 336 mm to 540 mm, as per the Mewat Development Agency.

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Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Government of India, and Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, President, Federation of India Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), gave the First Prize (Water Initiatives by NGOs) of the 2013 FICCI Water Awards to the Institute of Rural Research and Development (IRRAD), an initiative of S.M. Sehgal Foundation, on 6 August, 2013. The Awards Function was held at FICCI in Delhi.

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