The coastal communities in our operational areas, live in an ecosystem deprived of large freshwater resources. This leads to dependence upon groundwater resources to meet irrigation and consumption needs. However, the scanty rainfall and high evaporation rates result in sub optimal recharge of groundwater resources.
The unprecedented increase in groundwater exploitation since the 1960s to meet e increasing demand for water has led to withdrawal of huge quantities of groundwater. As the withdrawal rate is much more than the recharge capacity, the hydrological balance between fresh water and sea water has been disturbed.
The indiscriminate usage of groundwater resources has resulted in intrusion of sea water into groundwater aquifers. As per Salinity Ingress Prevention Cell (SIPC), Government of Gujarat, Salinity ingress has increased at the rate of 0.5-1 km per year in Coastal Gujarat, which has turned 12% of the state’s land saline and affected 1500 coastal villages.
CSPC works on both the supply and demand sides for effective water management. Various interventions are undertaken to augment the water supply on the one hand and to reduce the water demand on the other.
Some of the key activities Undertaken for Demand Management The demand of water is managed by undertaking water budgeting exercise through intensive engagement with the communities. This exercise is crucial as it explains to community members the demand-supply mismatch. Apart from this; water usage is regulated through Promotion of Micro Irrigation Systems such as Drip, Sprinkler and Laser irrigation techniques, crop planning, Promotion of low water and drought resilient crops and through installation of moisture meters and water meters at farms.
Supply Side Interventions Water supply is increased through construction of water harvesting structures such as check dams, desilting of check dams, river treatment, farm ponds and well recharge; construction of civil structures at hotspots for ground water recharge; and augmenting aquifer capacity through fracturing led recharge techniques.
The organisation also regularly undertakes well inventory and periodic water sample collection to constantly monitor quality of water resources and track the extent and intensity of salinity ingress.