Posted by John Farrow on Aug 27, 2019
John presented an update on our club's project to restore a 1,500 Hectare watershed in India.  This project is a joint project with District Clubs, Rotary International, the agricultural bank owned by the Indian Government and the local communities.  The first phase of the project is complete, and the following are excerpts from the report.
 
Please find the latest report for GG1636771 - Watershed and Integrated Rural Development Project in three villages, Krishnagiri, Tamilnadu State, India. Leadership of this project in District 7040 is by Rotary Club of Cataraqui-Kingston while the International Partner is Rotary Club Stavanger International in Norway. The host club is Rotary Club Madras Coromandel in District 3232. (Note - this club was visited by our Friendship Exchange Team to India)
 
The project is a unique partnership with NABARD, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (owned by the Gov't of India), Rotary, National Agro Foundation and the local communities. The project is valued at US$378,000 with the community contributing 16% and NABARD and Rotary/The Rotary Foundation each contributing 42%.
 
The first phase of the project, to restore 10% of the project area or 140 hectares along with education and training in agriculture methods and related income generating schemes is complete. Outcomes are as planned. Now work begins on the second phase of 1,260 hectares. In acres the total project is approximately 3,456 acres in size. 
 
Contributors to the project locally were;

•RC Plattsburgh Sunrise: US$500 + 5%

•RC Arnprior: US$1,000 + 5%

•RC Shawville: US$1,000 + 5%

•RC Clayton: US$1,000 + 5%

•RC Hawksbury: US$2,000 + 5%

•RC Cataraqui-Kingston: US$6,000 + 5%

•and District 7040: US$10,000 District Dedicated Funds.

 
Several strategies for rain water retention were put in place in the first phase area.  One type shown below is called a Field Bund
 
 
 
Farmers were also given ploughs which would turn the earth to a deeper depth, preserving water retention.
 
 
 

Outcomes of the project (please not 1 lakh = 100,000

• Regular monitoring and observation was done by the watershed development team. The following are the impact assessed by the team:

• New water harvesting structures :51.36 lakh liters capacity

• Rejuvenation of existing water body : 17.22 lakh liters [Additional]

• Fallow land in to cultivation : 53.6 Ha.

 

Assessed Impact

• Increase of water table in bore-well : From 740 feet to 38 feet

• Increase of water table in open well : 25 feet to 2 feet

• Rejuvenation of almost dried bore well : from 440 feet to 80 feet

• Rejuvenation of dried open well : from 27 feet to 2 feet

• Cropping intensity : 165%

• Changes in cropping pattern : 35% of CBP area (137.6 ha)

• Productivity improvement : 115%

 

Rain water harvesting details through various water bodies

• Rain water harvested in surface storage :183.75 lakh liters

• Rain water harvested in sub surface :91.5 lakh liters

 
John concluded that the first phase results are remarkable, and that the project will now be fully rolled out to the other 90% of the watershed area.
Although this project's full effects will only be felt long after our original contribution, we should be very proud of our involvement.  Further updates will be provided to the club when the are available.
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