Kolar district has the highest number of tanks in the State of Karnataka. However, it has been facing acute water scarcity in recent years with tanks not filling to their maximum capacity due to silt accumulation. The repercussions are largely borne by the farming community who are unable to provide sufficient irrigation for the crops. Villagers rely on groundwater for agriculture and household needs leading to over-exploitation of groundwater. To help address this issue, S M Sehgal Foundation with support from NVIDIA is implementing a water conservation project in Kamasamudra village of Kolar district.
The initiative is designed with an integrated approach for village development through groundwater recharge where a traditional tank will be desilted, and fifteen farm ponds will be developed. This will improve the volume and quality of groundwater in the long run and provide water security for households and agriculture purposes. Farmers will have increased water access for irrigation and livestock, which in turn will improve productivity and the overall economic condition of local villagers.
Mr. Ramamurthi is a project beneficiary from Janagutte Village. He is a member of Village Development Committee (VDC) & Tank User Group (TUG). He says, “For a long time, we have been struggling with limited sources of water for farming and livestock. Through regular meetings set up by S M Sehgal Foundation with the VDC and TUG, we are educated on the sustainable use of water and its management. We have also planned the rejuvenation of the water tank and the construction of new farm ponds to replenish the groundwater table. We are confident that with this initiative, we will have enough water for our livestock and for farming. This will allow us to live more comfortably and support our families. We are grateful for the initiative taken by NVIDIA and the S M Sehgal Foundation to help farmers like us. We will continue to work together to create a sustainable and prosperous future for our village”.
Ms. Laxmi, a beneficiary from village, Janagutte and a member of VDC & TUG says, “My village has been facing water scarcity. Most of the residents had to travel long distances to access meagre supplies of water, which were put to use for basic needs and agriculture. Things changed recently when the S M Sehgal Foundation initiated a tank renovation project in our village. It was a huge relief to us as we are sure that we will be able to access a stable source of water. Being part of the Tank User group (TUG), we have been actively involved in the planning and implementation of the tank work and farm ponds. We can grow more crops and get more income. We believe that this project will bring positive changes to our village and our lives”.
The activities under the project include desilting and deepening of Jangutte tank, enhanced rainwater harvesting, and groundwater recharging, flood control, facilitating rural development, environmental sustainability, and strengthening of bunds along with the establishment of fifteen farm ponds. To monitor and measure the changes in the groundwater table, a piezometer has been installed downstream. TUG, VDC members, and the local community are aware of water conservation practices and are actively involved in the planning, implementation, and maintenance of the water structures.
And as the slogan goes, ‘Caring for water is caring for all.’