Rainwater Harvest Relief for Drought-prone Areas
BHUBANESWAR: After an innovative idea of storing water at subsurface level through rainwater harvesting proved successful in 10 blocks of six districts, the State Government, on Saturday, decided to replicate the model in drought-prone areas.
A group of engineers of the State have developed a technique of storing water at subsurface level by using low cost technology. The subsurface water storage will be within 10 meters of the surface from which vegetation can source water and ground water can be recharged. Besides, such storage will significantly improve the moisture level of the soil in drought-prone areas.
“This is a low cost technology in which the investment per hectare will be between `15,000 and `20,000,” said a senior officer after a meeting with the engineers.
The group of engineers led by Banamali Nayak explained the new technique to senior officers of the Government at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary JK Mohapatra here.
As surface storage of rainwater, though helpful for ground water recharge, has its limitations and sufficient water cannot be stored in a surface reservoir that can support cropping over a significantly large area, the group developed the technique of storing water at subsurface level.
The technology was taken up on pilot basis in the blocks like Tarabha in Subarnapur district, Maneswar in Sambalpur district, Barkote in Deogarh, Ghatagaon and Patana in Keonjhar district, Padmapur, Paikmala, Bhatli and Jharbandh in Bargarh district and Banpur in Khurda district. The application of the technology has yielded targeted benefits.
The projects have been done through Government agencies like Western Odisha Development Council, Western Odisha Rural Livelihood Project, Integrated Watershed Management Project and Chilika Development Authority.
Application of the technology have also been facilitated through Nabard and other corporate agencies in Bansapal and Ghatagaon blocks of Keonjhar district, Thakurmunda block of Mayurbhanj district, Mohana block of Gajapati and Hinjilikatu block of Ganjam district. Mohapatra asked the Water Resources, Agriculture and Panchayati Raj departments to replicate the technique in about 40 to 50 drought-prone blocks.