Cotton Supply Chain:
Madhya Pradesh, India
Over the years India has been grappling with intense and rapid depletion of groundwater stores driven by human-caused climate change and over-extraction. Over-extraction for agricultural purposes has been characterized by unsustainable extraction of groundwater over a longer period of time. While monsoonal rainfall contributes to groundwater recharge, water that seeps through the soil collects deep underground in the gaps between rocks and layers of porous rock, known as aquifers. The pumping out of this stored water lowers the water table. Unlike rivers or lakes, recharge of groundwater can take years to augment the recharging of the aquifers. Water management policies and practices are therefore paramount to raise awareness about the issue and regulate utilization of water in different sectors.
Background of Project
Cotton farming is one of the main occupations in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh. However, the region faces issues of water scarcity and inaccessibility and the groundwater levels go as down as 39 meters in some villages. The project envisions to implement a water budget to promote judicious utilization of water for humans, agriculture and livestock.
A participatory water budget plan is being developed to improve watershed in the Pandhurna block. The initiative is spread out over four villages. After the participatory water budgeting training & capacity building of the identified population, water use efficiency strategies in cotton farming and revival of water harvesting and watershed infrastructure will be implemented to improve the groundwater level in the region.
Water Budgeting plan will promote a collective movement towards sustainable judicious utilization of water for irrigation, domestic purposes and livestock – which when augmented with recharging of the aquifers through rainfall and water harvesting units will improve the health of the water ecosystem in the region significantly. Recharged aquifers lead to direct economic benefits that the community derives as well as enhanced health benefits with access to more water for drinking & sanitation in the region.