Instead of looking at tapping water from rivers and streams, the society and the Government could draw lessons from the Palakkad model to solve the problems of water – both for drinking and irrigation purpose, suggests Shree Padre, environmentalist and executive editor of farm magazine Adike Patrike.
He told The Hindu that a government-sponsored body had proved that in an area that received a meagre 600 mm rainfall, a simple method of catching the rainwater where it falls was the best solution. He said the Attappady Hill Area Development Society has, through soil and water conservation methods, ensured that they not only do not draw water from the Kodungarapallam, but were instrumental in witnessing the magic of the dried up river beginning to flow with water after a gap of 10-15 years.
Similar experiments have been made in north India too. He gave the example of the Nandyali in Jaipur district. “Models are there. But who will bell the cat?” Mr. Shree Padre asked.
To tap water from rivers was an old concept and engineers unfortunately think only of this only when there is a water crisis. The community also expected the same thing from the government machinery, he regretted.
In his opinion the concept of vented dams was a failed experiment but suggested that someone could make a study of this.
Closer home there were many rainwater harvesting projects running successfully. The technique recharged the groundwater, he added.
The dried up Kodungarapallam was revived with water conservation methods