Kedila GP shows way in water conservation

Kedila GP shows way in water conservation

Ponds and watercourses protected by bunds and check dams in Kedila Gram panchayat of Puttur taluk have been yielding good results in water conservation. 

The gram panchayat has been imparting a strong message in water conservation and watershed management for the state. The area was subject to chronic water scarcity and the farmers had to pump water from streams and borewells to their land to carry out the farming activities. However, this year the panchayat scripted its water conservation success story by its water conservation projects under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Kedila GP PDO Gokuldas Bhaktha said that as many as 10 bunds have been constructed across water courses that flow in the gram panchayat limits during 2013-14.  

The work helped in re-charging groundwater level resulting in a visible increase in agriculture production especially paddy. The move to build and protect bunds and check dams cropped up after the area turned dry during summer as the laterite and soil failed to absorb rainwater gushing through streams and rivulets in the region. 

 The success of the project owed largely to the panchayat’s efforts to create awareness among the masses about the need to conserve water. 

“The response of the people for the project was overwhelming,” the PDO added. He said that over 100 acre of paddy fields and arecanut and banana plantations have been irrigated by constructing bunds in the region. Water flows to paddy fields and arecanut, coconut plantations through conduit. 

By ensuring adequate water supply to the water starved fields, the panchayat ensured food security. It also helped in generting employment  and enhanced the standard of living of labourers, he added.

Temporary bund was constructed by collecting sand from the streams in sacks and heaping it at Peramogaru.  At a few places soil has been used for constructing bunds. The bunds have been constructed at Denthadka (2), Peramogaru, Ganadakatya, Sathikallu, Edurkala,  Kampa, Melina Kampa, Karimajalu, and Valthaje.  As a result, Dombaiah Moolya, Koosappa Gowda, Eshwara Gowda, Paustine Pais, Benny Lasrado and other beneficiaries have not been using pumps to lift water from streams to irrigate their paddy and arecanut plantations for the last few months. 

 “In all the bunds water is stored for about one kilometer, which can irrigate the land for the next two to three months. This in turn has saved electricity,” said the PDO. “The construction of a bund at Melina Kampa has irrigated around 12 acre of land. In fact, the ground water table in and around the bund has increased and my arecanut plantation has enough water,” said a contractor and added that the stored water is also used by children for practising swimming. At the same time, water is stored in three check dams by constructing temporary bunds in the GP limits.  MGNREGS Ombudsman Sheena Shetty said that the Kedila GP is a model for the rest of the 202 gram panchayats in Dakshina Kannada district. “If all the gram panchayats follow traditional method of conservation of water, then the ground water table would drastically improve in the district over a period of time,” he said.

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