The challenges 

Located in the coastal region, the salinity ingress due to over exploitation of ground water had contaminated the water table. This adversely impacted the quality of drinking water as well as the water used for other purposes including agriculture – the primary source of livelihood.

Scarcity of quality water was leading to several problems :People were forced to rely on tanker water, which affected their health. It increased the drudgery and health issues for women. The women’s  productive time of women was killed was spent bringing water from far off sources, which could have been better utilised in some other income generation activities. Girls usually dropped out of school to extend help in fetching water.

Flagship initiative — water resource management 

ACF engaged with the community and identified a strong need for a large-scale water harvesting program in the region and worked in partnership with government, corporate, civil society organisations and the community to revolutionise the water scenario in this stricken area.

The WRM program focused on three main categories:

Drinking Water

To enhance drinking water supplies, ponds were renovated/deepened for recharging drinking water sources, and roof rainwater harvesting structures were promoted and installed. Also, water distribution systems were harnessed, and hand pumps and bore wells were fixed.

Water Harvesting

To harness water, a series of check dams were built. While having a focus on interlinking rivulets and canals, we installed tidal regulators and percolation wells, and farm ponds were built with mined out pits being used as water reservoirs.

Water Conservation & Management

Our focus has been on promoting micro-irrigation, as well as drip and sprinkler irrigation systems to replace the traditional flood irrigation techniques.