Back to activities
11 Dec 2019 | Water management

Water Management

2 mins Read

70% Complete

Water is one of the basic necessities for life, and water scarcity is one of the most important limiting factors for sustainable development initiatives. Rural communities not only need clean water for drinking and basic hygiene, they also need water for growing crops and watering animals. At the same time, water has a destructive potential. Heavy rainfall over short periods can lead to massive erosion of soil, particularly on slopes where the soil is exposed. Rainfall over longer periods can lead to nutrient leaching as well as more catastrophic  events like landslides. Surface erosion is a natural process, but soil erosion in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region has increased drastically as a result of inappropriate land use and management, and the current amount exceeds the natural rates many times.

In the HKH region, water is generally found high up (snow and glaciers) or deep down in the valley bottoms. Most human settlements, however, lie inbetween on the mid slopes. Rainfall, the main source of water, is both seasonal and erratic in distribution, duration, and intensity. Water scarcity is a problem in most parts of the HKH region, even in those areas where the total annual rainfall is high. Cherrapunji in the northeastern Indian Himalayas is a good example: it is one of the world’s highest rainfall areas, but is called a ‘wet desert’ because it still suffers from water scarcity. Similarly, in Godavari, a typical mid hill area, 80% of the total annual rainfall falls during the monsoon period, the remaining eight months are more-or-less dry. Poor land management has led to increased water problems in the region; deforestation has increased surface runoff and decreased groundwater replenishment. For the estimated 150 million people of the HKH, water is a scarce commodity and improved water management practices are critical for ensuring the availability of drinking water, production of food, meeting the need for biomass, and for improved living conditions.

Water-related activities at the Godavari site focus on methods of water harvesting (collection, storage, and use of the run-off of available sources of water), to provide water for household and agricultural use, and land management practices to decrease runoff and soil erosion and increase water uptake and recharge of aquifers. Various methods have been tested that are appropriate for different needs and conditions. Sustainable harvesting of water, including rainwater, can contribute markedly to resolving the challenge of water scarcity for hill and mountain households.

 

11 Dec 2019 Livestock and fish
Livestock and Fish

Livestock are an integral component of the mixed farming system practiced by the great majority of farmers in ...

3D or Vertical Farming

Taking vegetables to a third dimension seems like the stuff of sci-fi movies, but in reality there are very effective ...

11 Dec 2019 Water management
Stone-Lined and Grass-Lined Waterways

Lining waterways is one way of reducing soil losses through seepage and preventing erosion of the waterway bed. Stone or ...

Puxin Biogas Plant

Biogas is potentially one of the most economical sources of energy for mountain farmers. In China, the Shenzhen Puxin Science ...

11 Dec 2019 Scientific research
Meteorological Monitoring

Agroclimatic conditions are extremely variable across the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region, and microclimatescan have a major effect on the ...

11 Dec 2019 Scientific research
Carbon monitoring

An inventory of carbon monitoring plots was conducted in May 2012 to establish a mechanism for long-term monitoring of forest ...

19 Oct 2020 Soil management
Mulching with leaf-litters

The benefits of mulching? Mulch is a covering, using straw, compost, or plastic sheeting, spread on the ground around plants ...

Trombe Wall (Solar Technology)

A trombe wall keeps rooms warm in winter and cool in summer! We demonstrate a simple trombe wall in the ...