‘Jalasamrudhi’ improves groundwater levels in Nemom block in Kerala capital

Inventive methods of water conservation include farm ponds, groundwater recharging pits, diversion of water from quarries and construction of check dams in streams

September 28, 2022 09:12 pm | Updated 09:12 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

MGNREGS workers digging a farm pond in Kattakada.

MGNREGS workers digging a farm pond in Kattakada. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Major improvement in groundwater levels has been registered in Nemom block, as per the report of the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) published recently.

From 1,355.17 million cubic metres (mcm) in 2017, the groundwater availability in the block has increased to 4,909.68 mcm in 2020 when the measurements were taken. The Jalasamrudhi project for water conservation in the Kattakada constituency is cited to be one of the reasons, as the recharge of groundwater from rainfall during the monsoon season is recorded as 4,299.22 mcm, almost four times higher than the recharge recorded in the other blocks in Thiruvananthapuram district.

Under the Jalasamrudhi project, inventive methods of conservation, including digging of farm ponds, making groundwater recharging pits in institutions, diversion of water from quarries, and construction of check dams in streams, have been used since 2017 to bring about a drastic change in the groundwater situation in the region. Artificial recharging arrangements have been made in 45 institutions in the region, including schools, police stations, hospitals, police quarters and anganwadis.

More than 400 farm ponds have been dug with the help of MGNREGS workers in various parts of the constituency since 2017, enabling the storage of large quantities of groundwater. A total of 20 ponds, which had fallen into disuse over the years, have been revived till now, while three more are being brought back to life. Inland fishing is being promoted in many of these ponds, each generating a revenue of ₹1 lakh per pond for consortiums of fish farmers in the region.

Ponds formed in quarries, which have fallen into disuse, are being used to recharge ponds and wells located downstream. Water testing labs have been set up in schools, with students also taking active participation in the water conservation activities.

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