Villagers hope to get water from 'useless' borewells

ZP identifies 26 points in Kolnadu, Munnur GPs


Realising the fact that a permanent solution is better than superficial treatment for the problems, Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat has taken up borewell recharging project on experimental basis in these Gram Panchayats with the hope that the scarcity of water can be tackled to a large extent.

About 9 villages and 12 GPs in Ullal and adjoining areas have had drinking water problem for a long time. Administration as well as elected representatives without conducting indepth study of the area only went on digging borewells, which have failed utterly and proved that borewells are not the solution for the problem in the area. ZP had two options to tackle the water problems, either to supply surface water, which is not cost effective or to get water from MCC shelling out over Rs 22 crore, again a costly affair.

Taking the middle path, ZP conducted a survey in the area and took Munnur and Kolnad GPs to implement a pilot project of recharging borewells. The works are being done by Oasis Rain Water Harvesting System Mangalore, a wing of Chikmagalur based organisation named Farmland rainwater harvesting system.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer S Shivashankar said that there are over 200 bores in these two GPs and the geophysical characters and problems of Munnur and Kolnad are distinct in nature. While Kolnadu comes in dry belt, Munnur is facing problem due to sea water incursion making available water saline.

Accordingly, ZP has identified 13 points (3 open well, with roof top rainwater harvesting system, 10 borewells) in Munnur and 13 borewells in Kolnad. Since nature of problems are different in two GPs, a system called ‘Injection well method’ (tackling salinity) will be taken up in Munnur while ‘Direct Recharge method’ will be implemented in Kolnad. The recharge system has witnessed success in districts like Chikmagalur, Bangalore, Shimoga etc, and in Kolnad and Munnur, they are expecting 60-80 per cent success.

Oasis Rainwater Harvesting System Technical staff Deepak D’Souza informed that they commenced the works in July, 2009, when the rains had subsided. However, proceeding with laying of infrastructure, the works will be completed by another 45 days but the benefits of the project in Munnur and Kolnad will be reaped only in 2010-2011. ZP has estimated the project to cost about Rs 19 lakh.

Under this system, Injection wells are dug in 5 ft radius around the existing borewells. The water is collected in the silt trap in close proximity, which gets percolated to the borewell after filtration in the injection well.

Each of the point can collect about 2,500 kilo litres of water while roof top rainwater harvesting units can collect 325 kilo litres of water. Another positive point about this system is that there is absolutely no need for the people to maintain the same. It only requires cleaning of the trenches once in a year, which can be done by GP easily.
Based on the success of this pilot project, ZP will take up this system in larger scale in all of the areas which have water scarcity.

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