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World environment day special: Polymer-lined ponds save water for farmers

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | RAVI RANJAN PRASAD
Published Jun 5, 2019, 1:22 am IST
Updated Jun 5, 2019, 2:56 am IST
Jalasanchay is an affordable end-to-end water conservation solution.
Over 200 billion litres of water has been conserved by using simple techniques of water conservation in various districts of Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
 Over 200 billion litres of water has been conserved by using simple techniques of water conservation in various districts of Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

MumbaI: A new technique to conserve water for irrigation by creating artificial farm ponds is getting popular in rain scarce areas of Maharashtra, Gujarat Rajasthan and Karnataka.

Jalasanchay is an affordable end-to-end water conservation solution.

 

It is a simple and practical solution to water scarcity for rural India— farmers dig a large pit in the farm and cover it with a polymer lining that does not allow the water to seep into the ground; this creates an artificial pond that captures rainwater and river surplus.

Over 200 billion litres of water has been conserved by using simple techniques of water conservation in various districts of Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

Maithili Appalwar, founder Avana, a strategic business unit of Emmbi Industries, is the brain behind this affordable solution. Emmbi Indus-tries manufactures various woven polymer based products like container Liners, protective irrigation system, canal liners, Flexi Tanks etc.

 

At 1 paisa per litre per year, Jalasanchay costs 1/10th of a concrete tank for the same size of water storage, making it viable for farmers. The solution is highly scalable as in less than three years, Avana has saved 200 billion litres of water in partnership with 5,000 farmers.

Avana has created large water reservoirs of 15,000 sqm and 20,000 sqm at Athani, Karnataka and Sangali, Maharashtra respectively.

Maithili Appalwar, CEO, Avana, says, “I think the key is realizing that innovation in technology is not necessarily about big investment. It’s about solving critical problems in the most efficient way possible. At Avana, we have always thrived to provide simple solutions at affordable cost, keeping in mind the social change it can bring to a society at large.”

 

In 2018, a report by NITI Aayog stated that India was facing the worst water crisis in its history. Over 60 per cent of the country is vulnerable to drought and one-third of the country’s districts have faced more than 4 droughts in the past decade. But, the worst is yet to come. By 2030, the country’s water demand will be double its available supply.

Conserving water and recharging the underground water table is critical for farmers who depend on it for their livelihood. But traditional water conservation solutions, such as concrete tanks, are unaffordable for the vast majority of Indian farmers.

 

Avana lines the bunds of percolation tanks to reduce the wasteful horizontal runoff of water.

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