Low-Cost Groundwater Recharge through Open Wells in Indian Semi-Arid Tropical watersheds uri icon


  • The traditional runoff harvesting facilities in Indian semi arid tropics (SAT) have degenerated due to lack of propermanagement and policy support. Due to vagaries of monsoon and scarcity of surface water in Indian SAT,dependence on groundwater has increased tremendously and water resource has transformed from communityresource to a private resource. Farmers have dug open wells to draw groundwater from shallow aquifers. Withadvent of bore well technology and subsidized power, there has been shift in groundwater extraction from shallowaquifers to deeper aquifers creating mining effect. Intensity of rainfall in Indian SAT is grossly adequate toadequately charge the aquifers. A study was made in a watershed at Kothapally, Rangareddy district, AP, torecharge groundwater thru diversion of clean rain runoff in 35 failed (dry) open wells. Quantity of groundwaterrecharged thru diversion of t~e nlnoff was estimated which averaged 96100 m3 over two yearof study. To store samequantity of runoff on land suiface, it would have required approximately 4 ha land area, Rs 20 lakhs as constructioncost and Rs 20,000 as annual maintenance cost. The enhanced water availability in open wells resulted intoincreased irrigated area in rabi and post rabi seasons. It resulted into increased area under fodder cultivation,milch animals, marketable milk production, area under flowers and vegetables. Area under irrigation and yieldincrease of annual crops was affected. Increased water availability culminated into increased income and livelihoodopportunities for farmers in the watershed

publication date

  • 2008