Community based efforts of water management
A scarce yet vital resource like water cannot be left to the machinery of the state alone. WATER IS EVERYONE'S BUSINESS. Community effort is needed to revive age old traditional water conservation methods and harmonize them with the modern water conservation techniques. VK-NARDEP activities in this field involves:
Deepening of Ooranis (Ponds)
Renovation of traditional water harvesting structures
Artificial Rain Water Recharging
Roof Water Harvesting
Uniqueness of VK-NARDEP method is the involvement of entire village community in the renovation and creation of the water harvesting/management structure resulting in the feeling of ownership and removal of alienation from the water resource.Our work of renovation of temple tanks after 25 years in Kanyakumari district had a cascading effect. Now many people and voluntary organization are coming forward to carry out such work.
The NGO had conceived the idea of rainwater harvesting almost 16 years ago and it has become a big hit today.
In the case of Ramnathpuram district, for instance, it used to be a case of water water everywhere and not a drop to drink. Surrounded by the sea, the only water available was salinated water. However this district does not have a water crisis at the moment. The artificial recharging of tube wells has really worked well in this area.
Artificial recharging of tube wells, which is relatively a new concept, is more effective compared to rainwater harvesting. For over two days the rainwater is collected and stored in ooranis. All the rainwater gets accumulated in the water-table, which is around 200 feet below and can be used any time. This apart, the Kendra is training over 1,200 panchayats in Tamil Nadu to undertake similar projects. If implemented properly the water crisis can be solved to a large extent. The key to the sucess of such projects is the cooperation of the government and the members of the village. During all the water conservation projects of VK-NARDEP, no problem arose from members of the villages. Instead, they had lent a helping hand in the implementation of the projects. In the view of VK-NARDEP, the conservation of water has to be a people's movement. Only if they are involved in such projects will they realise the importance of water. At the kendra, we insist that people work alongside them in the project, so they will maintain it better.