Groundwater overexploitation is a significant problem in many parts of India, especially in groundwater dependent dry land regions such as Maharashtra. However, villages with unexplored groundwater resources often fall within the “dark zones” categorization and therefore are not allowed to access their water resources. In this project, two partners collaborated to help create access to groundwater resources and ensure sustainable management in one such village in Pune district.
ACWADAM, with its understanding of geohydrology, demystified the concept of managing groundwater through systematic field research. This was followed by defining a set of groundwater management protocols based on the characteristics of the aquifer. This exercise also demonstrated that different management methods need to be evolved, as aquifer boundaries differ from administrative boundaries.
GGP, is an organization that has more than three decades of experience. It pioneered the Pani Panchayat model through which GGP motivated the people of the village to collaborate to harness their water resources for common good. GGP used ACWADAM’s scientific understanding and helped the villagers access groundwater in a sustainable manner. The project illustrated the potential of participatory watershed management to address water security issues. Measures such as optimum usage of pumps, modified cropping pattern which could match water availability and raise productivity etc. were adopted.
Findings from this project have the potential to influence small scale appropriate approaches to groundwater/aquifer management techniques in rural areas.
Over past four decades GGP through its Pani Panchayat model has worked towards the creation of an aquifer-based participatory ground water management system. Started by Vilasrao Salunkhe in 1970s, this is a unique model for sustainable groundwater management.
ACWADAM, is a non- profit organization working to promote the groundwater Hydro-geology and conduct research on water resources, particularly using the science of groundwater, with an emphasis on sustainable and equitable management. It aims to develop ‘demystified’ understanding of the science of groundwater from a “common pool” perspective. It works to improve approaches to watershed development and groundwater management through hydro-geological inputs.