TITLE: INTENSIFYING THE ON-GOING DESILTING WORK UNDER DISTRICT
ADOPTION MODEL IN NASHIK DISTRICT, MAHARASHTRAPROJECT FUNDED BY: TATA TRUST, GALAXY SURFECTANTS, ATE CHANDRA FOUNDATION GHARDA CHEMICALS
PROJECT DURATION: 2017- 22
In the pursuit of sustainable rural development, Yuva Mitra has embarked on transformative initiatives that have not only revitalized water bodies and landscapes but also empowered communities through enhanced water resource management. Over the years, Yuva Mitra’s dedication to addressing water scarcity challenges has yielded significant positive impacts that resonate across Maharashtra’s agricultural heartland.
In 2016, Yuva Mitra initiated a bold step towards mitigating water scarcity by launching a campaign to de-silt existing water bodies. The primary objective was to bolster water holding capacity and facilitate the percolation of these reservoirs, thus leading to groundwater recharge. The anticipated outcomes were ambitious yet essential: ensuring year-round water availability for agricultural needs, particularly during the Rabbi and summer crop seasons. By securing a steady water supply, this initiative aimed to elevate farmers’ income and contribute to local economic growth. Moreover, the initiative ingeniously repurposed the excavated silt from the water bodies, enriching barren farmlands and enhancing land fertility, ultimately leading to increased agricultural yields.
Building on the success of its initial endeavors, Yuva Mitra collaborated with the Water Resources Department of Maharashtra in July 2020 for a comprehensive project targeting water use efficiency and productivity enhancement. This multifaceted initiative centred around both off-farm and on-farm investments, strategically coupled with market linkages, within the command areas of the Nandur-Madhyameshwar express canal. The scope of the project was ambitious: to bring 35,000 hectares of irrigable land under irrigation over the next five years. Achieving this goal would require the establishment and reinforcement of 123 Water User Associations (WUAs) to ensure equitable water distribution and optimal utilization. Additionally, the project aimed to promote micro-irrigation across 5,000 acres and pilot participatory groundwater management strategies in the project area.
One of the most significant highlights of this initiative is its profound impact on local livelihoods. By focusing on agriculture-based opportunities, Yuva Mitra aimed to increase net income by up to 20% for around 40,000 farmers. This ambitious undertaking not only enhances economic prosperity but also contributes to the overall well-being of the community. Moreover, the project aligns perfectly with evolving water resource management principles, emphasizing participatory decision-making and adaptive capacity to address complex water allocation challenges.
Yuva Mitra recognizes the critical role water plays in various aspects of human life, from agriculture to ecosystems, health, and dignity. Their commitment to effective water resource development and management is a testament to their dedication to water security for all. By devising and implementing comprehensive scientific interventions, such as catchment area development for drought resilience, Yuva Mitra’s impact extends to 65 villages within the Dev River basin in Sinnar block.