Rain water conservation crucial to eradicate drought

Monsoon water is the primary source of water. It needs to be stored scientifically and systematically.

Mumbai: Geologist Suresh Khanapurkar, credited with the "Shirpur pattern" of water conservation, today said that measures like construction of small check dams and putting a check on wastage of rain water through scientific storage hold key to prevent drought in Maharashtra.
"Monsoon water is the primary source of water. It needs to be stored scientifically and systematically," Khanapurkar said at an interaction organised by the Mantralaya and Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh.

He also advocated technique-based water conservation.

"Instead of big dams, small check dams are a practical solution to the water woes of people as they can be constructed at affordable cost and do not involve land acquisition or rehabilitation. One needs to study geological map of the state before undertaking water conservation techniques," he said.

The Shirpur pattern was introduced by Khanapurkar, a former PWD engineer, over a decade ago to arrest water flowing from the hills and ensure percolation, raise the ground water level and thus create water availability throughout the year.

He proposed that each village should have at least five check dam structures.

"Structures should be such that they are small in size and large in capacity of water storage," he said.

Khanapurkar said that water in the dam`s command area should not be allowed to flow into the sea and that in non-command area can be utilised for drinking and agriculture purposes during summer.

"De-silting of reservoirs and canals should be a continuous process so that storage capacity is added," he added.