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A Dam conserving Rainwater – preventing migration of villagers

26 Nov 2019

Introduction

Alaburu Gram Panchayat is located in Hagaribommanahalli block of Ballari District, and it has been facing water shortage issues. As a result, the families living there are prone to distress migration. In order to recharge the groundwater table and to increase the irrigation potential of the locality, the villagers of the Gram Panchayat have decided to harvest the rainwater by constructing multiarch check dams so that the effects of the drought are mitigated and durable water conservation assets are created. The check dams would help to prevent soil erosion, conserve soil moisture and recharge aquifer.

Implementation

In consultation with the Agricultural Department, the location for the multi-arch check dam was identified. The catchment area of the check dam is 25 hectares, and the storage capacity of this multi-arch check dam is about 4,250 m3. The work was executed by the Gram Panchayat in 2018–2019 under MGNREGS at a cost of Rs. 5.9 lakhs (Rs. 1.1 lakhs for wages and Rs. 4.8 lakhs for materials).The major challenges faced by the panchayat officials were to create awareness about the relevance of water harvesting structures and convince the villagers to create such assets instead of migrating to nearby areas in search of jobs.

Impact

The construction of multi-arch check dam resulted in an increase in the groundwater table; the storage of rainwater led to the cultivation of 12 hectares of additional land of farmers. It now supports the surrounding vegetation cover for livestock grazing and natural regeneration of the local forest area. In addition to an increase in the water table in wells and tube wells, the check dam also serves as the source of drinking water for more than 1,500 livestock. It also had a significant role in preventing the migration of villagers during the drier months.

Voice

“I am the beneficiary of this check dam and own 4 acres of land adjacent to it. During the short rainfall period, the water from the borewell was hardly enough to cultivate a single crop. After the construction of check dam, I am able to harvest two crops in a year”. —Shri Pampanna, farmer beneficiary, Alaburu village

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