Call to revive traditional water storage systems

Our Bureau Mangalore | Updated on October 28, 2013 Published on October 28, 2013

The traditional and local water systems play a major role in conserving water than mega schemes such as river water diversion, according to experts.

In an interaction with media and engineers here on Monday, Ashis Panda, consultant with India Water Portal, said the participation by the community in Rajasthan helped rejuvenate the Nanduwali River.

Communities from around 17 villages in 22-km stretch of the river participated in the programme to rejuvenate the river. Around Rs 30 lakh was spent in five years. This has started yielding results, he said.

The community in these villages used the traditional and local systems for water harvesting. With the help of these systems, the rainwater was harvested and conserved.

Over the years, this process helped improve the water table in the region. Cultivation of crops is being taken up in that area, he said.

When the meeting was informed that the Karnataka Government is planning to divert river water from the Ettinahole in Malnad region to Kolar and Chikballapur areas by spending crores of rupees, Ashis Panda said the rejuvenation of traditional water bodies along the stretch should be considered.

The proposed amount for river diversion can be used for rejuvenating several traditional water systems and rivers in Chikballapur and Kolar regions, he said.

Srikanta Prasanna, another representative from India Water Portal, said coastal Karnataka has various traditional water systems such as ‘madakas’ and ‘surangas.’

(Madakas are natural percolation ponds, surrounded by slopes on three sides. The bund on the fourth side is a man-made structure. ‘Surangas’ are man-made water caves, where people dig horizontal structure like tunnels to draw water).

Some madakas in the region have the history of more than two centuries. Such structures should be conserved for better water harvesting, Ashis Panda said.

Some rainwater harvesting methods adopted by various institutions in the region were also discussed.

Ashis Panda said the India Water Portal is documenting and sharing the best practices in water management across the country. The local decentralised water systems should be put to better use based on the requirements of each region, he said.

Shree Padre, an expert in rainwater harvesting, spoke on the occasion.

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Published on October 28, 2013
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