A measure to recharge groundwater at village level

A measure to recharge groundwater at village level

As the district faced acute shortage of water in summer, the authorities, in association with non-government organisations, have started a silent revolution in water literacy by digging percolation pits to allow recharge of the groundwater.

It is said that water table in the district depleted from 12.66 metres in April 2015 to 12.37 metres in April 2016. This prompted the Department of Mass Education, zilla panchayat, Department of Public Instruction, Jana Shikshana Trust and Mangaluru Press Club to start a campaign to recharge the groundwater. Accordingly, Naringana gram panchayat in Bantwal taluk decided to dig at least 10,000 percolation pits by the end of July.

Jana Shikshana Trust Director Sheena Shetty told Deccan Herald that the campaign has motivated the gram panchayat and the residents to dig the pits to recharge groundwater table.

The pits, like trenches, would also be dug at panchayat premises, schools, anganwadi centres, places of worship and all the households wherever the land is available. Fruit-bearing saplings would also be planted on vacant land and school premises. Already 150 pits have been dug manually as well as using the excavator at Naringana. The fee for the service of excavator is raised through donors, Shetty added.

There are 1,087 households, 11 anganwadi centres, one church, one bhajana mandira, one temple, two daivasthanas, five mosques and five schools in Naringana gram panchayat limits.

The work on percolation pits was taken up at Bolar church premises on Sunday. It will be taken up at Kalmanja on Monday, Montepadavu on July 20, Kallakodi on July 21 and Naringana gram panchayat premises on July 22.

Naringana gram panchayat president Ismail said, “Naringana faced acute water crisis in summer. We used more tankers to supply water. This made us to look for an alternative way to increase the water level. The gram panchayat has taken up the work on recharging borewells at Kallakodi and Naringana schools. The pit and trenches will help recharge groundwater in the future.”

Apart from this, Santhosh, a high school teacher at Naringana, has also prepared a documentary on the need for groundwater recharge and has been creating awareness among the masses in this regard.

Shetty said a similar movement to recharge groundwater table would be taken up at Manila in Bantwal taluk. A preparatory meeting would be convened on July 25 and water expert Sreepadre would deliver a talk on the need for water harvesting.

Zilla panchayat CEO P I Sreevidya, in a recent meeting, said water conservation efforts would pave way to address the lack of water in summer. If rainwater harvesting is taken up, then it would recharge the undergroundwater table and also ensure adequate water in borewells.

The work on borewell recharge structures could be taken using the funds under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Scheme, she added.