Low rainfall and recurrent droughts in Kutch district of Gujarat are a common sight. Considerable receding of ground water levels and the corresponding scarcity of water for drinking and irrigation purposes made the rejuvenation of the Faradi dam in Mandvi Taluka was imminent. one of the many villages in rural India dependent mostly on rainwater. The situation of Faradi Dam has been had been deteriorated by the mining effluents in the pond leading to low percolation roles and water shortage in the entire region.
For the household and agriculture usage of water, the TDS (total dissolved solids) count in the bore well was above permissible limits. This led to low agricultural productivity. Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL)-led “Project Varsha” was initiated to address these issues by deepening the already existing dam of Faradi Village. Dams help in collecting and conserving rain water. This replenishes the ground water in wells of surrounding areas, which will fulfil water requirements of the community living in the vicinity.
This intervention has brought a positive change in the lives of 2,500 farmers living across nine villages in Mandvi. The project has helped irrigate approximately 1,700 acres of land. 90 per cent of the project cost was borne by CGPL and the community contributed the remaining 10 percent. The total soil evacuated during this activity was 1,30,000 m3 and the project was completed within the specified deadline. Most importantly, the process of generation of community contributions were initiated and the contributions were deposited into the community level bank accounts.
Apart from the regular excavation work, an initiative to study the efficiency of the reservoir was also started. The main aim behind this was to support participatory irrigation using both, surface as well as groundwater resources. As part of the Faradi dam rejuvenation project, monitoring networks have been set up in villages for the assessment of impact of the renovation on all the implementation sites. Monthly and seasonal monitoring is being carried out by Bhujal Jankaars. Village-level groundwater monitoring committees have been set up. The quality of the various sources of drinking water and their sustainability is being ascertained.
Today, Faradi Dam has become one of the most significant water harvesting structures in the region, serving a huge catchment area stretched over a radius of 10 kms covering nine villages. For the assessment of the water quality, regular meetings involving all stakeholders are organised by the village level committees. The dam as undoubtedly transformed into a boon for the villagers owing to collaboration between them and CGPL.