Thursday, March 6, 2008

Water scarcity is often the reason for conflict among different communities .

The yatra team ,after a series of meetings and discussions with local communties found that a proper management of water is urgently required.The team witnessed many traditional systems of water conservation.Growing needs , and depleting water resources both call for local water management.
In Andhra pradesh and Tamilnadu the local community is using local water bodies for irrigation and other purposes.They used to have ponds , through which the rain water is conserved and havested.

Andhra Pradesh was known for its traditional water bodies at one point of time .Today large number of such bodies have vanished .
In Adilabad district there were at least 350 ponds but today only 10 are left.The water bodies are managed by the local people only.
Village Etchora in Adilabad have the total supply of water through ponds . No pump or machinery is used.The ponds catered needs of the vilage.Another important thing that was noticed was traditionally 10% of the total produce of the village was used for the to maintenance school and other community institutions.There was a “community system”.Later when Britishers entered the village and introduced the Patta system.This broke the community system of the village.

Similarly in Mysore there were around 50,000 small and big ponds.The community in the District still believe in the tarditional system and at one of the village the villagers were digging the pond with the help of cattle and it was also decided whosover from the village goes to the site should dig it .A community approach was seen here.Moeover there was a concept of plantation around such water bodies “Nirmal Shrubs” as they are called were palnted around, so as keep the surrounding clean.

At another place a chain of ponds was catering the local water needs.The ponds were made in way that, allows excess water from one pond to flow naturally through a trench into the next one . Thus, rainwater flows horizontally, at lower velocity, with minimum degradation of silt.

Yatra team found that Andhra Pradesh and Tamil nadu has impressive local water harvesting systems. When the country is facing water crisis and it is only going to worsen in future, an initiative to conserve and harvest water by traditional methods can be a good and a sustainable solution.

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