Chittoor, an arid district in Andhra Pradesh, faces seasonal drought. This causes acute water scarcity, leading to very low drinking water availability. Dhan Vayalagam foundation has focuses on developing and renovating traditional water harvesting structures as an effective way to collect rainwater and recharge groundwater, and helps people access water through the summer months. This was done through:
- Building Social capital: To establish sustainable local management by building different user groups called Vayalagams and networking them towards water conservation.
- Conservation and development of tanks in cascade: Rehabilitation of traditional tanks in a cascade approach to enhance the availability of water for agriculture, livestock, domestic and other uses.
- Agricultural development: Introduction of effective water management practices, improved crop yields; and establishing marketing linkages.
- Promotion of simple technologies such as rainwater harvesting , biosand filters (to improve water quality) and
- Hygiene promotion – demonstration of Ecosan units and hygiene promotion.
- Around 6 village tanks renovated and rehabilitated. This included:
- De-siltation of feeder channel to improve the inflow of water into the tanks.
- De-siltation of tank beds which created additional water storage capacity of about 13,066 Cu Mts (13.07 Million Lts).
- Tank silt application to crop fields contributed towards enhancing the soil fertility and in reducing the use of chemical fertilizers.
- Improved water holding capacity of the tanks and enabled fish rearing activities in these tanks.
- Tank rehabilitation significantly contributed to groundwater recharge.
- Rooftop rainwater harvesting made a viable option for household water security, with six households adopting this technology.
- Over 15 Biosand filters introduced to provide safe water.
- Over 12 Ecosan toilets were demonstrated.
- Through various development schemes of the government, approximately Rs. 65 lakh was leveraged