Pandutalav, a small quiet village nestled in the dry teak forests in the tribal pocket in Dewas boasts an authentic rural way of life. This little dot on the map is known for its attempts to introduce indigenous varieties of crops, in particular pearl millet these days.
While enhanced irrigation coverage has been hailed as an important way to improve agricultural productivity, it continues to lag behind in India and agriculture continues to be rainfed, subject to the vagaries of the monsoon.
Arecanut is generally grown in the Malnad area of Karnataka, which receives high rainfall. However, it is also grown in dry land areas of Tumkur district, also in Karnataka, using groundwater.
While most parts of the country are facing a water crisis, here’s a case from the arid state of Rajasthan, where decentralized initiatives are solving water issues. Dungarpur in southern Rajasthan has exemplified how community participation with local level planning processes are working towards improving rainwater harvesting and recharge of groundwater.
Since the 25th of July, there have been four consecutive weeks of surplus rainfall which have compensated for the delayed onset of monsoon and the deficient rains recorded in June and early July. July had ended with a countrywide deficit of 9%, but vigorous Monsoon conditions took the rains to a surplus of 1% as on August 25.
P Sainath has been documenting stories from rural India for over three decades now.
Vishwanath Srikantaiah, popularly known as the 'Rainman', has been in the news recently for his ambitious project to build one million recharge wells in Bengaluru. Given the dire situation we find ourselves in vis-à-vis water, the initiative could not have come at a better time.
India is, by far, the world’s largest groundwater economy. India’s annual withdrawal of fresh groundwater (253 Billion Cubic Metres in 2013) amounts to one fourth of the global total and is more than that of China and the US combined. Over 80% of water extracted is used in agriculture. The share of tubewells in net irrigated area rose from a mere 1% in 1960-61 to over 40% in 2013-14.
Maharashtra is reeling under drought this year too, with the situation in Marathwada particularly bad.
Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) is organizing the Indian National Groundwater Conference (INGWC-2020) to discuss 'Groundwater Resources Management for Sustaina