Success Story - Department of Land Resources

“Paani Aur Parivartan”
An Ordinary Story of change in Khori
District Rewari
A.Mona Sreenivas, IAS
Additional deputy Commissioner
Water is food and fire is the eater of the food.
Fire is established in water and
Water is established in fire
-Taittiriya Upanishad 3.8
Unkind Geography
• Rewari district has a dryland topography
• One lost river-”Saavi”
• Mostly canal based water supply
• Arid weather and depleting groundwater
• Located between the software capital
“Gurgaon” and the backwaters of Haryana
Khori- Snapshot
• Block Khol
• Population: 5000(approx)
• Caste composition: 25% jats, 25%SC,7%
brahmins ,6% ahirs
• BPL :350
• Aravalli range criss crosses this area
Watershed as a crying need
• Taken up in 1999-2000 under DDP 5th batch
• Reasons:
Water gushing down the slopes of the hills caused
damage to standing crops
It also cut into the land
Soil and land erosion
Water logging further damaged the crops
Yieids fell,productivity went down
The dilemma of both excess and scarcity of
Issue of Waste water
Issue of Wastage of water
Rampant deforestation in the hills
Drinking water crisis year after year
Shrinking unproductive land holdings
Activities for change
Expenditure in lakhs
Field bunding
Agro/social forestry on private lands
Stock pond(3 nos)
Diversion channel
Check dams (3 nos)
Afforestation on community land
Community organization
The Beginnings of change
• Three Check dams constructed to check the flow
of water from the hills
Protected the crops from damage
Checked further depletion of groundwater
Groundwater recharge
Agricultural revival
Productivity rose
Change unfolds..
• Water channels and nalas diverted excess rain
water towards a common drainage point
Waste water of the village drained to a johad
Water accumulated in a johad used for irrigation
Drainage point identified following rules of
natural flow of water and gravity
Indicators of Change
• Cropping pattern
• Per hectare productivity
• Pattern and size of land holdings
• Caste and land ownership
• Number of tractors
• Number of wells/tubewells revived
• Number and yield of milch animals
Social indicators
• Number of schools
• Enrolment and retention
• Opening of College of Education
• Number of SHGs
• Institutional deliveries
• Social harmony
• Increase in number and usage of toilets
Explaining Change
• Watershed initiative created awareness of the
need to conserve and manage water.
Link between water and prosperity
The watershed concept is not only physical,
economical,ecological but also social. Integrates
social resources with natural resource
Equity, sustainability, participation: keys to
Women and water
• In khori, women emerged as leaders of the
water campaign
Woman sarpanch Smt Kamla devi led the
Women’s burden as water providers in India
Women & girls responsibility to collect,
transport, store and manage water.
She gets to use the water last.
She is excluded from decision making on use
and distribution of water
Women and water
• In khori women decided the priorities
• Drinking water , water for animals, and
channelling waste water were set as
priorities above that of agriculture
• Empowerment of women
• Divided by caste, united by gender
• Women led plantation drive
Long term changes
• Watershed concept incurs costs instantly
but returns are often delayed
• Long term positive externalities involved
• Necessities collective action
• Need to fine balance support for socially
complex and diverse groups with differing
entitlements and rights of access and use
of resources.
Long term Changes
• Empowered user groups to develop
internal mechanisms for conflict resolution
and determination of rights
• Developing agreed norms for sharing costs
and benefits.
• Changes in land ownership patterns
• Smaller holdings also become viable.
• SHGs emerged to give structure to the
otherwise amorphous category of user