are found in Chitoor and Cuddapah districts in Andhra Pradesh. They are reservoirs to store runoff. Cheruvu embankments are fitted with thoomu (sluices), alugu or marva or kalju (flood weir) and kalava (canal).

Kohli Tanks
The Kohlis, a small group of cultivators, built some 43,381 water tanks in the district of Bhandara, Maharashtra, some 250-300 years ago. These tanks constituted the backbone of irrigation in the area until the government took them over in the 1950s. It is still crucial for sugar and rice irrigation. The tanks were of all sizes, often with provisions to bring water literally to the doorstep of villagers.
These are check dams or diversion weirs built across rivers. A traditional system found in Maharashtra, their presence raises the water level of the rivers so that it begins to flow into channels. They are also used to impound water and form a large reservoir.
Where a bandhara was built across a small stream, the water supply would usually last for a few months after the rains.
They are built either by villagers or by private persons who received rent-free land in return for their public act
Most Bandharas are defunct today. A very few are still in use.
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The community-managed phad irrigation system, prevalent in northwestern Maharashtra, probably came into existence some 300-400 years ago. The system operated on three rivers in the Tapi basin - Panjhra, Mosam and Aram - in Dhule and Nasik districts (still in use in some places here).
The system starts with a bandhara (check dam or diversion-weir) built across a rivers. From the bandharas branch out kalvas (canals) to carry water into the fields. The length of these canals varies from 2-12 km. Each canal has a uniform discharge capacity of about 450 litres/second. Charis (distributaries) are built for feeding water from the kalva to different areas of the phad. Sarangs (field channels) carry water to individual fields. Sandams (escapes), along with kalvas and charis, drain away excess water. In this way water reaches the kayam baghayat (agricultural command area), usually divided into four phads (blocks).

The size of a phad can vary from 10-200 ha, the average being 100-125 ha. Every year, the village decides which phads to use and which to leave fallow. Only one type of crop is allowed in one phad. Generally, sugarcane is grown in one or two phads; seasonal crops are grown in the others. This ensures a healthy crop rotation system that maintains soil fertility, and reduces the danger of waterlogging and salinity.

The phad system has given rise to a unique social system to manage water use.

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Tanks, called kere in Kannada, were the predominant traditional method of irrigation in the Central Karnataka Plateau, and were fed either by channels branching off from anicuts (chech dams) built across streams, or by streams in valleys. The outflow of one tank supplied the next all the way down the course of the stream; the tanks were built in a series, usually situated a few kilometres apart. This ensured a) no wastage through overflow, and b) the seepage of a tank higher up in the series would be collected in the next lower one.
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The Ramtek model has been named after water harvesting structures in the town of Ramtek, Maharashtra. A scientific analysis revealed an intricate network of groundwater and surface waterbodies, intrinsically connected through surface and underground canals. A fully evolved system, this model harvested runoff through tanks, supported by high yielding wells and structures like baories, kundis, and waterholes. This system, intelligently designed to utlise every raindrop falling in the watershed area is disintegrating due to neglect and ignorance.

Constructed and maintained mostly by malguzars (landowners), these tanks form a chain, extending from the foothills to the plains, conserving about 60-70 per cent of the total runoff. Once tanks located in the upper reaches close to the hills were filled to capacity, the water flowed down to fill successive tanks, generally through interconnecting channels. This sequential arrangement generally ended in a small waterhole to store whatever water remained unstored.

The presence of the Ramtek ridge in the middle, having a steep slope on both sides, results in quick runoffs and little percolation. This might have led the residents of the southern plains of the Ramtek hills to construct different types of water conservation structures (like tanks) where they could trap the maximum
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