Budgeting water to plan for secure future of drinking water

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Water budgeting in progress, Mulgabal block, Kolar district

Manighatta Mitta is a small habitation located peripherally to M.Gollahalli village. It has 900 inhabitants. There are three bore-wells in this habitation to meet the drinking water requirements of the locals. However, the demand of water for irrigation by the agricultural sector has led to a gradual decline of groundwater levels. As a result, only one of these three bore-wells is functional, with water unavailable during the summer season. The bore well has a yield of 36,000 liters/day and meets the current drinking water requirements. However, it is uncertain whether it will be able to meet future requirements as well.

The local communities have a limited understanding of the science of groundwater. They are neither aware of how much groundwater is available nor do they understand the impact that their utilization practices is having on the sustained availability of the resource. However, water budget estimations conducted in their Gram Panchayat were found to be an engaging tool to capacitate the local community on simplified methods of estimating the total availability of water vis-à-vis demand.  

According to the water budget estimates, the Gram Panchayat received 75,942 cum of water per year. However, it was utilizing 3,66,130 cum per year. This gap between the demand and supply of water has resulted in overdrafts. The awareness generated by the water budget estimation exercises motivated the local communities to identify measures to improve both the utilization of groundwater and its supply. This included the construction of groundwater recharge measures, roof top rainwater harvesting, and the introduction of low water requiring agriculture and irrigation practices.

Having prepared a ‘Drinking Water Security Plan’ for the first time, people who participated in the exercise were enthused to take this to the next level and start working towards reducing their groundwater drafts vis-à-vis giving back through recharge measures

 

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