India is the biggest consumer of groundwater for agriculture in the world. Overexploitation of groundwater and intensive irrigation has created severe problems for groundwater management in India. Exhaustion of water tables, groundwater contamination, saltwater encroachment and water logging are some of the major outcomes of overexploitation and intensive irrigation.
Groundwater is also the major source of drinking water in India, especially in rural areas. According to the department of drinking water supply (DDWS), Government of India, nearly 90% of the rural water supply currently is sourced from groundwater.
Humana People to People India started its water initiatives as a sub-component of HPPI’s Community development projects, working with people in impoverished rural and urban areas and creating access to safe and clean drinking water, which is one of the most essential pre-conditions for better health in village communities and families in urban slums.
This involves working out location specific procedure and agreements within the user community for sustainable use of water. These procedures emphasise drinking water security as their primary focus. Sustainable use of groundwater involves recycling waste water and economizing water usage.
The projects involve implementation of low technology water conservation techniques and training of farmers on water saving cultivation methods. These technologies involve construction of roof top rain water harvesting units, dry dug well recharge systems, ground water recharge in village ponds and using drip irrigation and other water saving cultivation methods. The technologies and experience accumulated has been applied in several projects in Dausa, Bundi, and Alwar Districts of Rajasthan.
HPPI also adopts the Rope Pump model, a low cost / low technology pump as a method to achieve safe drinking water and provide hands-on training to village’s black smiths and water technicians, on fabrication, installation and maintenance of the pump.
Water quality testing and installation of domestic de-fluoridation units, community mobilization and awareness drives on government water supply schemes and watershed management are other important activities undertaken as water initiatives.
HPPI works in collaboration with state, government and private organizations, to fight the imminent problem of land degradation and scarcity of drinking and irrigation water due to depletion of ground water table. Groundwater recharge and water initiatives have reached out to 68 villages in Alwar District of Rajasthan for effective water resource management