ACT attempts to strengthen livelihoods of communities in arid and semi-arid region by resolving ecological constraints through provision or facilitation access to technologies and engendering technologies.
UPDATES OF THE CURRENT MONTH
PARTICIPATORY GROUND WATER MANAGEMENT
Groundwater management is crucial for achieving water security in the country, as it meets the drinking water need of almost 85% of rural India. (Source: CGWB) Participatory Groundwater management involves a combination of sound science, appropriate technology and strong social commitment conserving and using Groundwater.
Definition of PGWM: Managing the groundwater and natural resources involving local community in the resources planning and management which will lead to sustainable and equitable management of the groundwater resources.
Groundwater is a common pool resource (CPR) by definition, but its management seldom reflects CPR principles. PGWM is an aquifer-based and community-centric approach that has emerged as an alternative for managing groundwater as a common pool resource. The current, conventional knowledge base on groundwater has little space to fill the existing gaps between what is desired in practice and policy and the academic pedagogy of groundwater. This major challenge is addressed in the PGWM by enabling the local communities to take informed decisions about water use, cropping pattern and crop water management through water budgeting.
Why PGWM required?
Today all the aquifers systems of the state are under stress of exploitation with Water level depletion and deteriorating water quality. The monitoring of these aquifers at Taluka / block level with several limitations and do not often provides a correct assessment. Due to Complex geological situation each block has several formations and each aquifer is not being monitored independently. This method is not recording the local shallow aquifers which are often providing the critical water security to the village. PGWM is required for one more important reason that is Groundwater development and management criteria are based on use pattern instead of hydraulic characteristics of aquifer such as specific yield, permeability, transmissibility etc. Up to 2007 whole blocks were classified based on water level depletion and water quality parameter was not being recorded.
PGWM is necessary because-
- Rampant exploitation of groundwater, unmindful of its recharge, has led to shrinking of groundwater aquifers in various parts of India.
- Inequity and suicides are grim consequences.
- Watershed planners forget that just as there is a surface water catchment, there also exists a groundwater.
- The sustenance and management of groundwater resources are not appropriately considered in the mainstream watershed management and other rural development programmes.
Importance of PGWM in current context
- Groundwater management not only by constructing structures but by making people aware about the sensitivity of the problem.
- Water related problems like drinking water & sanitation are commonly correlated to sources (wells) rather than resources. (Groundwater)
- Need an effort to integrate science and community participation.
- Glaring gaps in Groundwater
- Mostly Supply Augmentation
- No Demand Regulation hence over exploitation
- Lack of Aquifer data and hence understanding
- Demystification for community participation
- Lack of GW Paraprofessionals
- Aquifer mapping highly specialized function
- “Invisible” resource hence CPR principles difficult to understand
- Livelihood at stake hence sensitive
- Regulations non existent
- Drinking water not given due priority
- Lack of policy on groundwater