Historically a water-rich country, India is now facing a water crisis. With 16% of the world’s population but only 4% of the world’s water resources, India’s demand for water is outstripping its supply. Some projections indicate that India’s reservoirs of groundwater will dry up by 2025 in several states if the current rate of usage continues.
See the difference Water For Life is making
In India, Developing World Connections is partnered with ‘Sahyog Sansthan’, a grassroots non-profit in Rajasthan based out of the city of Udaipur. India’s water issues are perhaps most significant to the country’s farming population. This is a semi-arid, drought prone area and if monsoon rain fails, chronic lack of water is a constant challenge intensifying the plight of India’s rural poor. Nearly half of India’s population depends upon farming, yet nearly two thirds of all fields lack any type of irrigation system. Monsoon rains occur July to September and are vital to livelihoods. It is imperative to harvest and conserve rain water through low cost measures. Increased availability of water is an important long-term asset for marginal families earning their livelihood through agriculture and livestock rearing.
Water-harvesting structures increase the productivity of arable lands
Water For Life assists farmers to transform desert into arable, productive farmland. This has included mapping rivers and smaller waterways that develop during the annual monsoon and then designing water containment structures to conserve and direct this sole source of water. These structures range from rock and cement walls and groundwater containment systems, to large dams and crop irrigation channels. The results of these efforts are readily visible one year after construction, when new crops of wheat, barley, corn and other vegetables are growing where nothing has grown for years. Enhanced yields means farmers are able to provide for their families and increase their income by selling excess produce.
DWC has a goal to build 50 water harvesting structures which will provide water and food security for about 1,500 families. Each village invests 25 percent of the project cost. It takes them two to three years to save this money. Please help us make their project a reality.