Bjelkeman's travel notes

Travels with the cloud in my pocket.

Watershed as the foundation to stand on

Abhijeet Kavthekar from WOTR is explaining about the Darewadi watershed project.

Today we visited a small watershed management area, Darewadi, which has been implemented by WOTR and the inhabitants of the villagers in the watershed. The project was implemented between 1996 and 2001.

The improvement of the ecosystem is visible to the naked eye and the groundwater level has risen from 6 meters depth to 3 meters. Villagers have managed to go from one crop per year to two or three crops. There is no need to bring in tankers for drinking water, there is less distress migration, the ecosystem is healthier, children spend more time in school, there is much better collaboration in the village, there is less soil erosion, over one hundred thousand trees and plants have been planted which soak up carbon dioxide (more than 95% of the trees survive today). The list just goes on and on.

The villagers have gone from selling 2 million Rs worth of agricultural products per year to nearly 12 million Rs. The total budget for the watershed work was 9 million Rs. In other words, after the work has been done, you earn back the investment every year. With a return like that you should be able to make a business case for this, rather than hunting hard to find grants.

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Filed under: Development aid, Hydrology, India, Water management

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thomas@bjelkeman.com

Co-director: Akvo Foundation

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