November 12, 2019

Community Works For Water

Investor: Community Members
Project: Revival of Traditional Ponds
Location: Nagaur & Pali, Rajasthan
Duration: 2004 - Ongoing

When you visit a village in Rajasthan, you are bound to find a pond close by - a village water body that supplies water for drinking, domestic and livestock purposes. One of the most ancient and traditional structures for rainwater harvesting in the dry desert state, it is estimated that there are about 83,000 ponds in Rajasthan.

But the changing social mileu has meant that many of these water bodies have fallen into disrepair-due to improper maintenance and the advent of modern forms of water supply. Across communities, ponds seep water, have become polluted and are full of silt-reducing the quality and volume of water available.

In 2003-04, ACF decided to revive 4 ponds in Rabriyawas but knew, that in order to make the project sustainable for the future, they must involve the local community - to ensure they embrace and manage each pond for future generations. They got to work in the communities of Balada and Lakholav - with ACF committed to the supply of machinery for de-silting of ponds, whilst the huge manpower and transportation required for the removal of silt from the site, was provided by the community.

This soil was high in nutrients and provided a great resource to add top soil to farmer fields and build farm bunds to trap and channel water. So hand in hand, they got to work. ACF deployed machinery for pond excavation, shaping and de-silting, whilst women and men rolled up their sleeves- bringing in tractors from fields to shift the huge quantum of soil to nearby fields.

Together they revived the ponds, resulting in an additional 10,880 m3 water storage capacity in Balada, and 3626 m3 additional water storage capacity in Lakholav. And the ripple effect in the community was unbelievable.

Farmers were able to bring 120 acres more land under cultivation, wells in the surrounding area were recharged, and soil fertility improved. There was a 66% decrease in dependency on piped water and 57% decrease in tanker water. Expenditure on water reduced 67% in Lakholav and 14% in Balada, and expenditure on health reduced by 22% in Balada and 47% in Lakholav.


  • Rs. 6.78 CR invested in pond revival
  • 441 Ponds revived
  • 1.91 lakh people impacted
  • Over 3 MCM water storage created
Tags: Water
November 12, 2019

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