Water Replenishment Project to ensure water availability in Punjab
Groundwater has been a traditional source of irrigation in Punjab. But since last many years it has been depleting fast. Due to this drinking water quality is also going down. The continuous cultivation of Paddy with wheat has also caused the groundwater table to go down considerably.
Virender Kumar, Sarpanch of Panwan village is a witness to this problem of reducing water table and says that the reducing levels of water cause a lot of difficulties for small farmers.
Rajinder Singh Nijjar of Alternative Development Initiatives is of the opinion that People based planning and implementation is an essential ingredient to sustain the technology. The organization’s study was based on the findings during the field visits including Topographical GPS, Geohydrological Survey, Focussed Group Discussions with village communities and other stakeholders from government.
During the study the officials from the Alternative Development Initiatives found that Punjab has got very peculiar geohydrological properties as far as the water resources are concerned .Almost all of the state has got a flat terrain without any gradient and comprises of sand, silt and clay. Thus in absence of any drainage system, there is very limited scope for runoff. In this kind of setup, in earlier days people used to dig out ponds for water harvesting. These ponds were the natural depressions to collect water.
So the organization decided to rejuvenate some of the ponds under the sustainable water resources, development and management programme of Pepsi Co and selected four villages in Bhwanigarh block on the basis of the catchment and the rainfall pattern.
After designing the ponds, they started the excavation and now the ponds are excavated by 2.5 to 3 metres depth. These ponds will collect good amount of water during a normal rainfall. Since the sedimentation and silt clays which were deposited at the bottom of the ponds were removed, the infiltration rate will increase which will help to recharge the groundwater in the area.
Virender Kumar, the sarpanch says that they are thankful for this initiative of Pepsi co and ADI. Previously when the rainwater used to come up with high intensity, a lot of problems used to arise. Now due to this newly created pond, the rainwater gets stored and overflows towards the other side. Due to this water quality has become good and safe for drinking.
Jarnal Singh, a farmer believes that without water there is no farmer and with this intervention, Pepsi co and ADI have secured their future.
The sustainable water resource development and management programme is expected to benefit a total agricultural area of more than 3500 acres and will improve groundwater impacting around 150 farmers in and around these four villages. The total population of more than 5000 people in these villages will be getting benefitted in the long run.
PepsiCo entered India in 1989 and in a short period, has grown into one of the largest MNC food and beverage businesses in the country. PepsiCo’s growth in India has been guided by “Performance with Purpose”, its fundamental belief that the success of the company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around.
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