Raj Samadhiyala, Rajkot
District, Gujarat

Population: 2,000
Initiation of water harvesting: 1986

Water is a major agent of change in this village. Hardevsingh Jadeja, the former sarpanch and the present block president of 90 villages in Rajkot district, is proud that his village has generated an income of Rs 5 crore, much higher than expected. In 2001, the village generated an income of Rs 4.5 crore (see Down To Earth, Vol 10, No 6, August 15, 2001). It is one of the few villages in Gujarat to have had three bumper crops in a single season.

Nearly 15 years ago, its people faced a major water crisis. The groundwater table had receded to a depth of 250 metres. By 1985, villagers started to build check dams and tanks by using funds under the District Rural Development Authority (drda) programme (see Down To Earth, Vol 10, No 2, June 15, 2001).

They built 45 check dams over an area of 1,090 hectares (ha). Last year, the village received 400 mm of rainfall while this year, even with no sign of rain, water is available at a depth of 15 metres.

Easier availability of water also led to an increase in cultivated land area (see table: Water benefits).
With last year's bumper harvest, the village granaries are full. The villagers have planted trees and constructed pipelines to supply drinking water to individual homes.

Both Jadeja and Devji Baba, the present sarpanch are members of the powerful village development committee (vdc), the body that takes decisions on village welfare schemes, their management, finance and people's participation. It has the power to even overrule decisions of government officials that may be detrimental to the interests of the village. This body has also ushered in social change. "Anyone found littering or wasting water is fined Rs 50. "It is mandatory for all girls to attend school," Jadeja informs.

Now the village uses remote sensing technique and geographic information systems (gis) to locate subsurface dykes to store water. These are natural underground water channels, which have gone dry over time. But once excavated and injected with rainwater, these help in faster recharge of ground water. Jadeja has a gis map of the entire taluk . He has also helped in building check dams in the neighbouring villages of Aniala and Kasturbadham, which has benefited the entire region under Jadeja. This village shows all the necessary ingredients for success: A visionary leader, a village institution to take decisions and community participation in resource management

Parameters 1985:Pre-water harvesting 2002: Post-water harvesting
Land under cultivation (ha) 865 930
Land irrigation (ha) 258 418
Ground water level (m)Pre-monsoon 250 15
Post-monsoon 50 1 to 3
Perennial drinking water wells 2 14
No. of trees 16,000 51,000
Per hectare income (Rs) 4,600 31,000
Source: Lalakiya, Jayesh, Unpublished Report, A Study on Efficiency of Check Dams as a Water Harvesting Techniques for Saurashtra, SBST, CEPT, pp21

December, 2002
Raj Samadhiyala has survived the drought of 2002 as well. Jadeja says, "Earlier village was only doing rainfed agriculture but now we are taking three crops. The agricultural production has gone up to 35 to 50 Mun (1 Mun = 20 Kg) of groundnut from 5 Mun. They are also growing cotton now." Virendra Bhai, a shop owner says, "My income has almost doubled as compared to that od eighties. Now there is no credit business"

Source: Down To Earth, June 30, 2002
Also read: Down To Earth, January 15, 2001

No water
Water war
Look up!
How to harvest
    In rural areas
 n In urban areas
Jal yodhas
Way ahead
Center for Science & Environment CSE Store Equity Watch Gobar Times Down to Earth
Now buy viagra online from different online pharmacies and sort out all sexual performance related issues. You can get comprehensive and up to date source of drug information online. Not only Viagra, but you can buy cialis online also at some discounted price. From the site casino online also you can buy these.