Thursday, 23 August 2012

Awareness Needed For Rainwater Harvesting: Part-I



No rain, moisture and water scarcity are the few words that haunts every body at particular time in every year.
Standing crops in the field become retarded, stunted and drying up in absence of soil moisture. Crop field cracked up due to excessive moisture stress in many localities finally lead to loss of crops in the field itself.
   In Tripura, Boro paddy, wherever cultivated with balance moisture often fail to flourish in long dry spell. As location specific, the most affected crop is Boro Paddy. 
  Of course, there are plethora of other crops too that being grown with preserved moisture also suffers the same set back.
  However, months’ agony and anxiety for water and water scarcity quietly ends once continuous rain takes place in monsoon. The rain brought out by the south west monsoon is the main that influences the farming pattern in the state. 
   Of course, it will again depend how uniform and well distributed the rainfall is. But, this time there is fear for drought like situation in many states due to rainfall deficit.

People not yet realized:

   Well, this water scarcity and its suffering is not new to the people and farmers of the area. But what they do not realize is how to tackle this often recurrent problem most effectively and efficiently.
   This is recurrent problem in every year and causing lot of problems to the people especially associated with the farming.
    A good part of cropping time is wasted due to the moisture stress in that particular period of time.
  There’s less sensitization amongst the people around the concept of rainwater harvesting and water preservation. People in general have little knowledge in Rainwater harvesting systems and their subsequent usage in farming and other domestic usages.
  In the village level, there is not much observation on this concept except “water pond “a way of water conservation for dual purpose of fish rearing and domestic usages.
   Other than this, there’s no such activity to help conserve Rainwater and water resource for future utility especially for farming.
    Actually, the knowledge and realization in the aspect of water preservation and rain water harvesting system is not understood by most of the people.
  As a result, huge quantum of precious resources is lost untapped. Had the system been in place, there would have been many aquifers by recharging the ground water table in the need of time.

Departmental Approach:

    There is couple of departments that deals directly for ensuring water supply and conservation structure. These departments explore and spread the concept of water harvesting structure in different areas of the state. 
     This is to improve the situation through construction of rain water harvesting systems and also providing rain water collection systems.
     But, matters of the facts are the results of these departmental endeavors were less than enough in field level. The activity observed in the rural area is construction of lunga bundh, pond, and development of water shed and water harvesting structure in the catchments areas.
  However, there seems to be less participation by the people who actually needed this. Here, again, the lunga bundh constructed has not been considered as the structure for rain water harvesting or water preservation or conservation structure.
      It is (lunga) rather considered more for creating side income through fish rearing and also meeting other domestic water usage. Of course, in other way round, it is correct to a certain extent.
    As a result, the purpose of very rain water harvesting remained in the lack luster condition. Therefore, the very concept fails to find a good path of popularization among the target groups. 
    When the target group fails to realize the given concept then its popularization becomes difficult and time taking.
Tripura bestowed with good topographical condition:
   In the given topographical condition and rainfall pattern, Tripura could easily hold a place for creating a sizeable quantum of rain water harvesting and water conservation structures. Why because? You have lots of accessible site that could easily be converted into good rain water harvesting structure. 
   Say for example lunga lying areas, water streams in the catchments areas, these are the places of natural site that could easily be converted into water harvesting structure.
   This could be useful in the long run for crops cultivation in the catchments areas. In other areas where there is less chance for assured irrigation facility in the near future also holds good for the system. 
    But that has not been happening till date. However, departments are implementing projects, but participation by the people is must for achieving desired result.
   People do realize that water is also one of the main constraints in crop cultivation and subsequent farm profit. But coming with alternative and effective mechanism in dealing with the recurrent problem is the point that requires really a great deal of work. 
   Although, there’s realization for water but knowledge for tackling and tackling proactive action is not seen.
  Well, it is already hard fact that increasing irrigated area is becoming near impossible due to several intervening problems. And, now, the existing water resources are also drying up in the given situation increasing more area under irrigation in future would pose big problem.
    In the situation this, there would be much more problem in future for water crisis. If the situation is not dealt in the time, it may further accelerate the problem

Involvement of people:

    Simply, one sided motivation will not help in improving water health in the state. The state receives fairly good amount of rain fall during monsoon and in pre-monsoon too. Nevertheless, water resources, like major rivers, streams dams, lakes (natural and created) dries up during the prolong dry spell. 
    This dry up situation is encountered from the month of January to April in almost every year.
   “Water shortage was anticipated in the Palatana power project too, news reports that the company has already taken steps to create rain water harvesting structures for avoiding any such problems in future. 
     The power company which is about to start generating power in a couple of month’s time is said to have allotted a share of fund for creating rain water harvesting structure as media reports”. And this is the actual water scene in the state and it how worrying it is.
     All these prevailing conditions should be eye opener for all of us to learn and behave rightly for dealing with the situation for greater benefit of the people of the state.
    The first and foremost thing that requires immediate attention is the people’s realization. People should know how to tackle the situation to their favor and utilize precious rain water resource effectively. 
   This is really needed for future betterment, farm operation & other human needs.
      The time has come for us to spread the water harvesting concept to the remote of the remotest region and create awareness among the people about the importance of water conservation and rain water harvesting for secure future.
    However, awareness and real field level implementation should go hand in hand for realizing the real field level result through mass participation.
                     

    Agritangkol dated 23.08.2012         

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