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To Increase Ground Water Levels : Advice & Contact Info Required - Bhandara Dist, Maharashtra

I am basically from a "major rice producing area" in Bhandara District, Maharashtra, region name is "Chauras". We used to take 2 crops yearly of rice, So you can understand the amount of water we were having. Our major water source was ground water & water pumps used for irrigation.

The last 2 years have shown a decline in water levels. Which has hit production with farmers revising their cultivation from 8 to 5 acres now due to reduced water availability. Running a pump overnight used to supply three acres, while at present the practice does not even support one acre. This is to outline the severity of the issue at hand.

So what should we do now? Actually I live away from my home. I am in Pune. So I can't go regularly there and can explain the farmers about the issues and what we should do. My plan was to build "BANDARAS" on the small "nala"(smaller than river). So that we can do rain water harvesting.

Can you suggest any other methods that would be apt to the situation or provide the contact information of some organization who will be able to help the farmers by providing information & assistance?



1. Water for growing rice/paddy crops with less water

Water that you are using to grow rice is ground water.It is very clear that ground water levels in India are dropping alarmingly.This is happening because water drawn from the ground water table is much more than the natural re-charge rate(during the rains).Rain water harvesting is something you will definitely have to implement in your area without any delay.You also need to use less water to grow rice and any other crop that you normally grow.

India Today's Special Issue for Sept 28th featured a State of States Conclave which was held in Delhi which was attended by all the Chief ministers of the various states in India.The conclave was addressed by the Finance Minister, Minister for Agriculture and several others.

Mr.Sharad Pawar,Minister for food & Agriculture addressed the gathering on the theme- Second green revolution What the states need to do.He summed up the situation appropriately thus: " We need to produce more from the same land with less water".

Some pathbreaking work has been done in India specifically on growing rice with something like 25% of the water normally used.This portal had a blog about this by Pepsi(yes the MNC that makes Pepsi Cola).I am sure you will find it on the portal.I have also visited an NGO which works with a number of villages in Andhra Prades close to the karnataka border which has also done similar work.The NGO is known as The Timbaktu Collective.

If you need help to contact this NGO let me know.




2. Thank you

Thank you sir for your  suggestions.

Going to home soon. I will try to form a local small organization with my local friends regarding the issues we are facing. With the organization will try to find the new ways and to do some creative work...Hope I will succeed in it.

Will give you feedback once I come back from home.



3. Preserving or increasing ground water levels

Thanks for your reply.Your idea of forming a group consisting of your local friends and other acquaintances is an excellent idea.If you can persuade each friend of yours to bring another friend of his to join the group it will be great and your group will grow.I wish you luck in your efforts.

Last month, the India Today magazine dated 28th Sept,09 which is a special issue with the cover story "State of the States" ranking all the Indian states is a regular annual excercise done by this magazine.It recently held a convention on the same subject to which all the state chief ministers were invited.Mr.Sharad Pawar, Minister for Agriculture was one of the cabinet ministers who delivered a talk on " Second Green revolution- what the states need to do". One statement in his address for me sums up the entire address.Mr.Pawar said " We need to more from the same land with less water".

In order to do this you and all agriculturists should stop pumping water out of the ground just because power is free.It is time to switch to micro irrigation because there is not enough water for conventional methods.Rain water harvesting is absolutely essential as this with along with other measures and conservation of water will help raise the level of your ground water.

I would be happy to help you with ideas and advice.


4. Response from people was not good to start water conservation

Well I came back from home now...

I had chat with my local friends and they raised certain queries regarding
water level and its solutions.

1) within 2 years we will have water from "Gose Khurd Dam On Wainganga River",
throgh canals. So water levels will automatically get increased.

2)If we created the "bandharas" on "nala" (smaller than river) then though water will be stored,
it will get utilized by the nearby farmers for there fields.

Mainly their intention is that govt will do something for them.
They dont want to do it by their own.
(all of them have done there education max upto 10+2)

Though they have plenty of time, they do timepass in playing cards and gossiping.

When I visited some well's in the rice (paddy) crop field. I observed
one of them have implemented a technique where waste water goes back to well.
Details : when we supply water from well to rice farm, it create a pond near well.
then that farmer named "tiku" made a small canal or hole from that pond and send that
pond water back to well.

Water Saving Technique near water pump

I explained them that water will be big issue for us in future. But responses were not good.

Any way I decided to open a small library containing books, magazines on agriculture, water conservation at my village.
So that it may possible that gradually I will get response from them.

( Actully I had this experiment done with the childrens from my villages. I have one library for childrens only.
 Initially I got less response. And when I was not in the village no one was coming home to collect books for reading.
 it was around 5-6 month back..
 this time when I went home, I saw the register with many names... they were coming to my home even when I was not  there.
 around 15 childrens now regularly come and collect books for reading. 3 childrens now like books so much that
 they have read maximum books. This library is free of cost, I collect/purchase books by my own)

What do you think? do you have any more ideas to get response from the people. I am sure each one
get negative response when trying to convince people initially.

lets hope for the best.

5. I have research the internet

I have researched the internet on how to solve some of your problems. You can check out the link

You can search in Google for possible answers to your problems. Wish that could help.


Work hard and play hard


- Jena Thesis

6. To Increase Ground Water Levels : Advice & Contact Info Required

Dear Sir,


Your Chauras receives an average annual rainfall of 1100 to 1400 mm of rainfall.  400 years before, may be much before the Kohali community had Architectured and studded the area with small, medium and bigger tanks in your belt.  There are historical reports that Krishnadevaraya send his men to learn and collect information on the technological ingenuity from your area for spreading the traditional tank establishment under his empire in the southern part.  

It is very strange to learn about the fall in ground water level, in spite of, good average rainfall, recharge structures with numerous traditional tanks, favourable geohydrology with Darwar rock terrain.  Is it due to what reason.  Does not the streams and minor rivulets that joins the Venuganga riiver seized its flow.  

May be the traditional tanks might not got desilted for many many years. The seepage into the ground water body might have got reduced since 1950 when the management of traditional tanks changed hands from the farmers into the government department.

Your idea of constructing Bhandaras sound good.  I advise you to deal that recharge measures in a watershed basis and this will be more effective.  Your observe the which or the tanks that are not desilted for past many many years and try to take steps to desilt it. Only by your entire community it can be initiated.

As you said organize your friends and other formers to effective manage your own resources.

In addition finding the cause for such sudden fall in water level and low quantity of pumping is also important.

On example is the might valley north of Coimbatore where the river Noyyal and its tributaries are recharging the ground water in the region. The water level has gone down from just 20 feet to 200 feet over a period of about 30 years.  Recently a study conducted in a participatory way indicates that one the stream that contributed heavy flow from the western hill got diverted into Kerala and none bothered over this.  This isw also one of the reason for loosing a recharge source and addition to heavy utility of ground water beyond the recharge.

I encourage to go ahead in forming groups and construct numerous like the Kohaly community.  


With best wishes,

A. Raja Mohamed

Coastal Energy Pvt Ltd




7. One more Water saver from Bhandara

Hello Mr. RShahare,

I am from Bhandara Dist and from same chauras area. I have already seen the thing u discussed above very closely. Even due to excess use of ground water for use agricultural activity, some of land were declaired as DARK SHED AREA, where farmers were not allowed to dig well or MSEB was not allowed to supply electricity on the well/bore.

You are interested in incresing water level for AG. But as you said that friend circle wants Govt to do something for them and they don't wanna take step ahead, it is really hard to promot them for this things. But i appreciate your efforts. But as you know that Gose Kh. Project has started water storage in his reservoir and soon water will start flowing through it's canal benifiting nearby farmers (which is already done by Govt.).

But my interest is in RWH (Rain Water Harwesting) for domestic purpose where Dam or other facalities are not available for individual. If you or any one have knowledge @ RWH project installed in Bhandara, Nagpur or near by District, Please let me know.

8. Very interesting exchange

Very interesting exchange that came to my notice rather late. It is nice that you are a techie, because a techie understands that it is naive to think that every problem has an easy and satisfactory solution. I am afraid your problem, falling ground water levels + rice cultivation + a population that prefers to just pass time playing cards, has no satisfactory solution.  It is difficult to explain why so in an email exchange. Since you are in Pune, and because you seem to be driven by a social spirit to do something, I invite you to visit the “National Water Academy” at Khadakwasla (see for contact details) and we can discuss this. Meanwhile :

1: Bhandara district is a major rice producer in Maharashtra because the area under rice cultivation is very large. However, the productivity is less than 1300 Kg/Ha which is very poor as compared to around 2500 Kg/Ha in Konkan or Sangli-Kolhapur area. (see You need to contact the nearest agricultural university, or WALMI Aurangabad, to know why productivity is so low in your area.

2: Respondents from the Civil Society will recommend to you the SRI (System of Rice Intensification) which is said to improve productivity significantly. However, this is still in experimental stage in India and does not have the status of a proven technique. Also, it has some other costs, e.g. a lot more labour input. (see

3: Every one will tell you that rainwater harvesting will improve ground water levels. But no one will tell you what will be the quantitative extent of improvement. This results in setting an unattainable objective. Very briefly, if your objective is to solve drinking water problem and take one low water requirement crop per year, then yes, rainwater harvesting will have a significant impact. If you are planning to continue cultivation of rice, take more than one crops annually, then rainwater harvesting will not have any perceptible impact. When we appreciate the rainwater harvesting work done by Rajendra Singh, Anna Hazare, Popat Rao Pawar , etc. we tend to forget that these places do not grow rice. In the Tarun Bharat Sangh’s work, it is one of the conditions to impose a complete ban on rice or sugarcane cultivation.

4: Very likely, the solution to your problem lies in moving away from rice to some other crop. Contact WALMI Aurangabad to know more about this.

Chetan Pandit

National Water Academy.

9. Natural farming - farmer Kailash Murthy from Karnataka

Natural farming is the solution to all the problems mentioned above as there is average rain fall of greater than 1000mm in this area. We must make sure we follow 100% natural farming with 100% mulching.

When 100% mulching is implemented, it takes less water and yields better results as green mulching acts as fertiliser. You can visit this site where it shows the experience of farmer Kailash Murthy growing rice using natural farming in small piece of land and using very less water .

Once the natural farming is done automatically the water level will increase as the earth is never exposed to sun in natural farming. All 12 months the field/earth to be mulched . Also we need to find the right rain harvesting technique to get water for 2 to 3 months in case if we find short of water.

  • No chemicals are added to the fields
  • No external fertilisers/pesticides to be purchased

One more point, when natural farming is implemented with 100% mulching, during rain, water will be absorbed by the field and no water will go out of your field.

For more information about natural farming, you can contact him:

Mr. M.K. Kailash Murthy,
Academy of Natural Farming, Doddinduvadi village, Kollegal,
Chamarajanagar district, Karnataka.

Email :
Mobile numbers are 9880185757 and 9845125808

10. Discussions on ground water

I am coming from South Bangalore. In the last 5-6yrs, Bangalore's ground water, even in South Bangalore is decreasing alarmingly. Getting drinking water is a problem now. I do not know how to solve this issue but we keep looking for solutions.

In this context I looked into pros and cons of dams built across many rivers. Some places it is mentioned that the dams have negative impact on the ground water particularly in the downstream area. I had also evaluated the drainage systems of our places  to see whether they are right. Once, one of the comment made by one of the bore well water suppliers was that, because of moving out from septic tank to drainage system in many localities the ground water level is getting disturbed.

Recently I initiated a discussion among our colleagues on the use of ground water to many of industrial activities and agricultural activities. I am still worried on our costing of the product (particularly for the export market), whether it is rightly done considering the amount of water used. My fear now is, we are looking at the export market, trying to earn some returns without appropriate costing, particularly for the natural  resources used like water.

After going through these discussions, I thought I' add my thought on this.


11. Very happy to see such healthy conversation - Do contact me

I'm really happy to see such healthy conversation on agriculture. I think I can also contribute to this developmental process as now I am serving at Bhandara.

Do contact me @ 8806242447

12. How can I increase ground water level? I'm from Adilabad, AP

Is there any way to increase ground water level? I am from Adilabad (andrapradesh).

The minimum temperature in summer is 43-46 degrees. In my village the water level in the summer totally goes, not a single drop of water comes from my bore-wells. People are facing lots of problems with out water. Everybody knows the value of water.

I would like ask you, is there any way to increase the ground water level by planting tree or by preserving rain water or by any means. If there is a solution, could you please suggest how to implement this. If you get a chance to review my post, please reply. At least I can try to overcome this issue for next year.

Thanks for your support.

13. Rainwater harvesting - Simple and lost cost recharge option

Has your bore dried up? Is there a solution or a cost effective method?

Here is a permanent solution to re-charge your bore with rain-water harvesting. So that all the rain fallen atop of your house will be percolated (drained) in the earth and subsequently your bore will be recharged and you will get uninterrupted continuous water.

Rainwater harvesting is a simple and low cost technique. It requires low capital investment and operating costs compared to conventional systems.
So my dear friends please dig a pit and divert all the rain water to it.

During time of rain, all the water from roof tops fall below and flows out and joins in the nearby tank (lake). After filling the tank (lake) Cheruvu, water flows down to bigger (Saroornagar) tank, after filling the bigger (Saroornagar) tank, excess water flows down to Musi River. From Musi to Krishna river and then goes to sea. Unfortunately, we are not storing the rain water by increasing ground water levels properly.

During the time of rain, water will not absorbed by the soil for more than 4-5 feet. Because, below 5 feet, the soil is very hard and hence water will not be absorbed easily and water flows towards downwards. Therefore, you have to specifically dig up a pit of 6-10 feet, fill it with pebbles, gravel and sand and connect the roof top water to this pit. So that all the rain water fallen on the roof will be slowly absorbed into the Ground. With this ground water levels will be increased without any doubt.

Rain water harvesting pit must and should be maintained by all those who have bore wells, like apartments, individual houses, commercial establishments. Those who are making provision for rain water harvesting are not only helping themselves but also helping the society to a greater extent. With this, we can do a bit of contribution to the society (like, give something back to the Society). Residents, officials and leaders must participate and make good use of rain water in recharging the ground water levels, so that next time, during summer, we will not face any water scarcity.

In Tamil Nadu, rainwater harvesting was made compulsory for every building to avoid ground water depletion. It provided excellent results within five years. In Rajasthan, rainwater harvesting has traditionally been practiced by the people.

Please do take (discuss) help from those who already have rain water harvesting facility or you can take help from website.

14. Plant more trees for rain fall

Planting more trees bring rain because plants transpire. Transpiration is a process by which aerial parts of the plants lose water as water vapour during photosynthesis.This water is added to the normal moisture of the air thus making the air saturated faster and brings rain.

In other words, transpiration of the plants play a important role in the water cycle as it adds moisture to the air .

15. Increase ground water level

Hi everybody,

I am Santosh Kumar from Hyderabad, facing water shortage. Now a days we are not getting bore water even in the rainy season from our borewells, which is more than 250 feets. The major problem is we are not recharging ground water level naturally. We are building houses with out leaving any space, concrete roads, not even single feet of gap for water to sink in. I am very bothered about rain water simply getting drained and over flooding.

So I request each and ever one of you to please dig sinking pits in your houses. Please divert rain water in your houses to pits. And to our bore (hole). I have an idea that govt should drill bore in all colonies on main road and cover it safely and also see that only rain water coming on slopes and stagnant water sink directly into the ground. I think this is the only way to recharge the ground water. Think of it we can also divert our rain water in our houses into our bore holes. The holes should be made very deep on water floating and flooding and stagnant areas. It will take some time but it will definitely sink to ground and increase our ground water level. Please those of you have political power and can manage things please think about it . And react fast, please save water

17. Distance between borewell and RWH pit

Can we dig a pit away from the borewell at about 10 feet distance for rain water harvesting. I am from Hyderabad and am planning to divert the water coming out from washing area into that pit. Can that distance (10 feet away from borewell in the same line) solve our issue? Kindly advise. As we have no sufficient place nearby the borewell.

18. Need info on RWH for farm land near Daund, Maharashtra

Dear Sir, I am Ganesh from Pune. We have a few acres of Land in Daund Tehsil (Khor Village)which does not get sufficient rain and has no river or canals nearby from where we can get water for agriculture.

Major crops we have are Jowar and Bajra. I am very much interested in farming but due to insufficient wated I am unable to do so. I've read about rain water harveting and would like to know where can I get information and help regarding the same.

I wish atleast I could grow some trees in our land but even that is not possible due to water scarcity. How should I conserve rain water in our field. Please let me know if anything can be done.

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