95 villages made water sufficient by rejuvenating springs
Dimapur, June 4 (EMN): By rejuvenating 105 springs, a total of 11,857 households in 95 villages of Nagaland covering 23 blocks across 11 districts have become all-weather water sufficient.
It was an outcome of a springshed management project by a consortium of partners comprising Rural Development (RD) and Land Resource departments (LRD), Tata Trusts and the North East Initiative Development Agency (Neida).
An update from Tata Trust stated that mountain springs are the lifeline and the primary source of water for domestic and agriculture purposes in Nagaland. It added that demand and need for water for drinking and agricultural purposes has increased in recent years. Despite receiving abundant rainfall, it observed there was depletion in groundwater and mountain aquifers in the region.
In 2018, the consortium of partners took up the springshed management project on a pilot basis in the state of Nagaland, focussing specifically on springshed rejuvenation to provide drinking water security in 100 villages in rural areas of Nagaland. The overall project goal was to develop a state-wide springshed development programme to achieve sustainable water security and enhance resilience of vulnerable mountain communities to climate change. The project also aims to build up expertise in the state of Nagaland on a scalable, scientific and participatory approach to spring revival.
It stated that Neida, an initiative of Tata Trusts, in collaboration with Peoples Science Institute, Dehradun, and ACWADAM, Pune, supported in enhancing the capacity of para hydro-geologies of LRD in coordination with the stakeholders. LRD has allocated human resources, develops detailed technical reports (DTR) and supervises the project implementation, while RD department provided the implementation cost in the form of MNREGA labour days for treating springsheds as well as facilitated and supervised the implementation.
Report also stated that the project provided an innovative model of Public Private Partnership (PPP) where the resources from existing government programmes were leveraged with non-government funding partners joining hands to provide solutions to rural communities.
Case study of Enhulumi village
Enhulumi village in Phek district with about 230 households is perched on a hilltop. The village depended on seven springs for drinking water and domestic needs. During a PRA exercise, it was found that the springs in the village have been drying up in the last 10-15 years and the community faces acute water shortage particularly during the lean seasons from December – April or until monsoon arrival. It was under such circumstances that the village was selected as one of the pilot villages.
It stated that Mewi Dzukhou (spring) was selected for rejuvenation under the project through a participatory approach. The spring water was collected in a dug-out spring box which has a storage capacity of about 3000 litres which provided sufficient water to about 100 households in the village during monsoon. During lean seasons, however, the households depended on other springs in the village for their domestic water requirements.
After the signing of agreement between the stakeholders and the village council, para-hydrogeologists from the Land Resource department had trained the community representatives on the significance of springshed management, demarcation of recharge area and the effects of sanitation on water quality.
Guided by the para-hydrogeologists, it stated that activities such as measuring of slope, contour line mapping and construction of staggered and contour trenches were undertaken. The rejuvenation works were implemented in June 2019 which saw participation of 143 villagers.
Report stated that post the springshed treatment, the discharge measurement recorded in March 15, 2020 was 1.53 LPM resulting in 2,203 LPD showing increase in water flow by 70% and in March 15, 2021 increased to 2.41 LPM supplying 3,470 LPD which was an increase of 158% over the pre-treatment of the spring. The highest spring discharge measured was on October, 2020 with 19.35 LPM providing 27,864 LPD which supplied more than requirement of 27,500 litres for 500 people, report added.
Wekhrolo Lohe, data collector in Ehulumi village, has reported manifold increase in spring discharge and that the surplus water is used for agricultural purposes.
It added that the village council chairman has expressed his wish that the overflowing spring water be connected through pipelines to the village that would provide access to potable drinking water for more than 100 households. He also shared that the community had resolved to conserve and protect the recharge zones of the springs for all developmental and farming activities.
It further stated that the community led by the village council are managing the operation and maintenance of the spring and carries out regular de-siltation of the trenches.