Hydrogeology in Watershed Planning - Samaj Pragati Sahyog

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Hydrogeology in Watershed Planning - Samaj Pragati Sahyog

  1. 1. HYDROGEOLOGY IN WATERSHED PLANNING: A PRACTITIONER’S VIEW P.S. VIJAY SHANKAR Samaj Pragati Sahayog, Bagli, District Dewas, Madhya Pradesh
  2. 2. SAMAJ PRAGATI SAHAYOG: AN INTRODUCTION Samaj Pragati Sahayog is a grass-roots voluntary organisation founded by 8 professionals from academic disciplines representing various Social and Life Sciences Its basic mandate is the empowerment of the people. SPS is committed to capacity building and mobilisation of rural communities for development.
  3. 3. Headquarters MADHYA INDIA PRADESH One of the most backward, Dewas district neglected and drought-prone tribal pockets of India -- the Bagli Bagli tehsil of the Dewas district, Madhya Pradesh
  4. 4. HOW WE STARTED • The Dewas Town Experience in 1990 • Severe, man-made crisis of groundwater on account of unplanned industrialisation of a small town • Initial watershed work – Neemkheda ponds • Lessons learnt on working in different geological settings – successes (percolation ponds in recharge areas) and failures (irrigation ponds in dolomites). • Beginning of our collaboration with ACWADAM – which is now more than a decade old.
  5. 5. GROUNDWATER AND SURFACE WATER BASINS • Watershed defined as a surface water basin is inadequate • The notion of groundwater catchment has to be brought in • The two catchments need not overlap always • Hydrogeology & the correct location of watershed structures • Aquifer properties (T & S) are highly variable • This needs micro-level study and mapping • The true watershed community is one which shares an aquifer
  6. 6. FROM MAPPING TO TYPOLOGIES • Rock strata do not occur in isolation • Composite rock strata with varying aquifer properties and physical layering gives rise to groundwater typologies • Typologies are not just physical entities. They go with a historically governed pattern of groundwater use by communities • Hence, groundwater typology is a socio-physical category • The vexing issue of scale: determined by the degree of interconnections between aquifers (“zone of interference”)
  7. 7. FROM TYPOLOGIES TO STRATEGIES • The emerging idea is that groundwater is a community resource • From this perspective, watershed development involves strategies to ensure the protection and the sustainable and equitable use of groundwater by the community • Two key ideas: • a) separation of Right to Water from the Right to Land – the revolutionary idea of Pani Panchayats • b) distinction between Basic and Economic Service – KR Datye - following the principle of “specific egalitarianism” (James Tobin)
  8. 8. FROM TYPOLOGIES TO STRATEGIES • Using these ideas we work out a scale of priorities for each typology (drinking water, water for livestock, protective irrigation, irrigation for second crop, other uses) • To match the priorities, also work out the range of strategies for community management of groundwater in each typology • Not a technical exercise; an exercise in social decision making backed by a scientific understanding of water • People’s Institutions (PRI, VWC, SHGs, FPC) play a crucial role • Village agreements on the basis of such detailed work
  9. 9. FROM TYPOLOGIES TO STRATEGIES PROTOCOL TI T2 T3 T4 T5 Sample Village Nbor Ptlab Nkhd Bklya Stpri Recharge Area Protection Efficient Use of Individual Wells Pump Capacity Regulation Regulation of Depth and Distance Regulation of Crop Water Requiremt Community Sharing of Wells
  10. 10. TYPOLOGY 1 CHARACTERISTICS • Hilly, Forested Topography • Underlain by Hard Rocks (Basalts of Deccan Trap) • Seasonal Streams Carrying High Runoff • Low and Uneven Availability of Groundwater • Small Agricultural Component • Acute Shortage of Drinking Water: Attempts by PHED, SPS • Water Quality Issues
  11. 11. TYPOLOGY 1
  12. 12. Section – Typology 1
  13. 13. Protocols for Typology 1 • Top Priority: Drinking Water • Protection of Recharge Areas • Limited Water Harvesting in Discharge Areas (the stream) • Community Use of Water in Groups • Regulation of Deep Drilling • No Irrigation Well within 50-75 m of Any Drinking Water Source • Regulation of Cropping Pattern through Agricultural Programme
  14. 14. TYPOLOGY 5 • Flat Topography • Underlain by Dolomitic Limestones (Vindhyans) • Low Water Availability in the Shallow System • Variable but High Availability of Groundwater at Deeper Levels • Low Scope for Water Harvesting (High Permeability) • Rapidly Growing Agricultural Component Fuelled by Competitive Drilling of Deep Bore Wells
  15. 15. Protocols for Typology 5 • Top Priority: Regulation of Groundwater Overuse • Ban on Fresh Drilling of Bore Wells • Regulation of Pump Capacity and Pumping Hours • Protection of Drinking Water Sources • Community Use of Water • Regulation of Cropping Pattern through Agricultural Programme
  16. 16. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR POLICY? • A National Programme on Groundwater Management • Mapping of Aquifers and Developing Location Specific Protocols • Groundwater Pilots: Detailed Work in Specific Situations • Focus on Demand Regulation • Focus on Community Management and Equity • Focus on Empowering People’s Institutions • The Context of NREGA: Fund Availability vs Use • Methodology of Estimation of Groundwater Potential Need to be Changed
  17. 17. Thank You

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