ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Small Water Harvesting Structures

This is with reference to the article by M Dinesh Kumar et al (EPW, 30 August 2008) and the discussion by K V Rao et al (EPW, 9 May 2009). The authors of the article and the discussants later have overemphasised harvesting of rainwater through smaller structures (hereinafter, water harvesting structures or WHSs) either for groundwater recharge or for critical i rrigation (augmentation vs utilisation).

But the smaller WHSs are meant for various other purposes besides groundwater recharge or critical irrigation. First, these WHSs are designed for mellowing the “erosivity” of the runoff, thus reducing soil erosion. They are also meant for preventing further expansion of the drainage areas. Second, these structures ensure better biomass generation in the fields and that too on a sustainable basis. Third, if they are so designed, the structures could be a source of drinking water for the livestock. Concurrently, the water can also be used for other purposes like preparing spray solutions, cleaning and washing of livestock, etc, as practised in Bundelkhand and Vidarbha regions. Thus, while considering the economics of the small WHSs, the tangible as well as intangible benefits must be considered.

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