BELGAUM: It was more than 10 decades ago when the villagers of Mutaga and Sambra of Belgaum taluk established a water conservation project, the benefits of which are being availed till date.
In the current scenario, when many villages are facing dearth of even drinking water, this project, which helps in maintaining the irrigation requirements of the two villages, is like a beacon for many.
According to the villagers, about 100 years ago there was severe water scarcity during summer.
Thus began the water conservation project, which would help them conserve rain water during monsoon and use it in summer.
The hill beside Sambra airport was the best source for the villages to collect rain water and store it in their lakes.
They constructed a few check dams on the nala, which streamed the rain water from the hill to lower areas and channeled the water to their lakes.
As soon as the nala starts to flow during monsoon, Mutaga village is the first to get water.
The villagers block the water flow of the nala with the help of the check dam and divert it to their village.
There are three lakes in Mutaga - Bharam lake, Teen lake and Domne lake, which are flooded with the diverted rain water.
As soon as they are full, the check dams are opened and the water starts flowing towards Sambra.
It is then the turn of Sambra villagers to block the water flow with the help of check dams and divert it to Basavanna lake, Tambada lake and Kamal lake.
After these lakes are filled, the villagers open the crest gates allowing the water to continue its journey.
The farmers of Mutaga and Sambra are a content lot as they have enough water to irrigate their fields.
The village wells have water even in peak summer because of the underground natural streams.