In 2004 we helped the people of Nagdarwadi to build a storage tank, install a pump and lay 2 kilometres of PVC pipes to deliver water to fields that had never been irrigated before, thus enabling the farmers to get a much better yield from their land. This project, which marked the start of Equitable Water's work (see History), combined with the watershed development work done by our partner Sanskriti Samvardhan Mandal (SSM), has also provided a clean source of drinking water for the village. Previously they had to walk great distances to get clean water.
The pictures below show the work in progress and after completion.
Until around 20 years ago, Sagroli (about 80 km Nagadarwadi) benefited from water that was stored in two large natural reservoirs, each around 50 acres. They were not deep, averaging around 3-4 metres. These ‘tanks’ were well managed, protected by low stone or earthen banks and provided irrigation water to hundreds of small farmers who grew 2-3 crops a year, including paddy (rice).
One, near an ancient village temple site (rebuilt a few years ago), served many purposes, including fishing. Temple tanks have a centuries-old, even sacred, history in India of serving the community. These sacred structures also served a very practical purpose - that of maintaining ground water tables and replenishing community water supplies. Remnants of beautifully carved stone sluice gates and idols nearby bear witness to this. In ancient days, temple tanks were constructed to the east of every village, and multipurpose tanks to the west. Today, many are abused or in a state of disuse, their potential and original purpose all but forgotten. Modernisation and ill-conceived or non-existent water policy has resulted in innumerable such tanks drying up, often with catastrophic effects on the community.
The second tank, about a mile from the first, had a more straightforward function of irrigating low-lying paddy fields. Both had silted up and were useless for the purposes they once served.
Read about how Equitable Water helped repair these tanks and restore many livelihoods here.