Read/listen to what rural India has to say about water conversation — practices they follow, problems they face, and community driven solutions invented by them. This was done in partnership with The Alternative.
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Catch Every Drop: Voices from Gram Vaani
As a part of Catch Every Drop, has partnered with Gram Vaani’s Goonj, a voice-based social platform, The Alternative brings you voices from villagers on how they conserve water, their challenges, the traditional methods of water harvesting they continue to practice that we can learn from.
Water Conservation is extremely important: Deepak Kumar Singh from Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand called in to share his opinion on water conservation in Jharkhand. He believes that the people of Jharkhand are themselves responsible for the water crisis that has emerged today in their state. People don’t conserve rain water and waste it without any reason which is the main reason for water scarcity during summer season. He informs The Alternative that people of Jharkhand typically consume water from wells, ponds and rivers. Adding to this piece of information, he further shares that due to industrialization, all these water bodies have been polluted. He gives a live example of Damodar river which has become the official industrial “effluent-dumping” river of the state.
Illegal mining: Cause of constant depletion of Underground Water Table – Rupak Mahto from Kherabera Village, Chaita Panchayat, Topchanchi Block of Dhanbad District called up to share his grievances on depleting underground water table due to illegal mining. Through his message he complains about the receding ground water due to constant drilling and rock blasting over Jamia river for illegal mining. He reports to have written to a lot of officials and tried to contact journalists to gather support to discourage such activities, but none of this has worked so far. Using Jharkhand Mobile Radio as a platform, he requests the authorities to take a note of this matter and act swiftly.
Causes of Water Pollution: Mohd. Rajauuddin from Jamtara district of Jharkhand called on Jharkhand Mobile Radio to discuss the causes of water pollution. In his opinion, the rising population has led to a demand for rapid industrialization. Due to industrialization, industrial effluents being produced in factories are being dumped in the rivers of Jharkhand causing water pollution. Adding to it, he also alleged that the population living in villages using ponds and rivers for bathing their cattle, washing their clothes, that is furthering the cause of water pollution.
Ways for water conservation: Championing traditional ways of water conservation in Jharkhand, Mukesh Kumar from Tisri Block of Giridih district shares with The Alternative that since the ground level of Jharkhand is not even, at some places it is elevated and at others it is relatively low-lying, water conservation through traditional methods helps a lot. Elaborating more on this, he says that, by making check dams and ponds over relatively small rivers (tributaries), water is traditionally conserved. Talking about the aspect of water pollution in Jharkhand he explains that industries and factories have been strategically built near rivers in Jharkhand, so that they are able to dump the industrial waste into the river, which in turn pollutes them.
Rising levels of Water Pollution in the State – Basudev Turi from Gunjardih village, Nawadih block in Bokaro district called up to share his take on the matter. According to him, traditionally in the villages of Jharkhand, water conservation and utilization is done by using wells, ponds, whereas, in big cities boring wells suck all the underground water, leading to depleting underground water table. He cites this as one of the reasons, due to which the situation of water crisis has arisen in the state. He cites industrialization as the one of the prominent factors in giving rise to water pollution and scarcity. Elaborating more on the matter, he says that the state policies are such that they give rise to troublesome situation as water pollution. In the name of investing in their state, the industries and factories are discharging hazardous effluents in the rivers of the state. Talking about Damodar river, he says that the water used to be so pure that people could use it for drinking purposes but now it is deemed unfit for any form of utilization. He further goes on to naming the projects that have immensely contributed to polluting the rivers – Patratu Thermal Power Plant, Bokaro Thermal Power Plant, Chandrapura Thermal Power Plant, Damodar Valley Project, Swarnarekha Water Project, etc. He reports that in addition to these projects there are a lot of coal washeries in the region that have promoted levels of water pollution in the state.