OVBI in partnership with The Art of Living acts as the “glue agency’, supplementing Government efforts. We follow a 3 pronged approach:
A. Financial and Administrative:
Supplement existing Government efforts with incremental funds and provide project execution, project monitoring, and social audit expertise to execute River Rejuvenation and Village well-being initiatives. Our implementation approach is such that every unit of of private sponsorship allows streamlining of 100 units of Government investment (1:100 magnification)
Adoption of erosion control measures, artificial groundwater recharge strategies, and rejuvenation of existing water bodies as short-term solutions. Extensive afforestation and change in water use patterns as long-term solutions.
Enabling expertise of professionals in the fields of -
Information Technology (Web Development, Internet of Things (IoT), Engineering and Data Sciences).
Geo experts (geologists, geo-hydrologists, bio-conservationists, agri-economists)
Existing practices and lack of education and awareness is a key bottleneck. Our social approach ensures that the local community is an economic and social stakeholder. Extensive training programs, sensitization drives, and capacity building programs are used to gain community goodwill.
This strategy has been a resounding success. An inspiring and dramatic instance of creating social equity co-investment occurred during the summer of 2016 in Latur Maharashtra. INR 5.25 Crore was mobilized by the community (over INR 11 Crore across Maharashtra), entirely from household savings, for an extremely large local river rejuvenation project!
RIVER REJUVENATION SCIENTIFIC METHODOLOGY
The scientific methodology used for rejuvenating a river requires a multi-pronged approach. At the outset, it requires understanding the topography of the area, rainfall pattern, run off rate, infiltration rate and water hold capacity. Satellite based remote sensing and collating the local topographical data helps identify the feasible location for river rejuvenation.
Water conservation plan includes, remedial measures, erosion control measures, groundwater replenishment and Rejuvenating water bodies :
De-silting: Remedial measures such as de-silting is required in many instances. De-silting provides not only smooth flow of streams and collection of rain water but also allows easier percolation of water to the underground and reduces shore soil erosion. Since this is an expensive and time consuming step, it has to be evaluated very early.
Boulder Checks: Boulder checks are constructed across the stream flow using locally available boulders and rocks. These boulder checks reduce the speed of water, thereby allowing more water to percolate and helping recharge soil moisture and support natural vegetation. Construction of boulder checks helps with controlling soil erosion and siltation of downstream water bodies.
Ground water Recharge strategies:
Recharge wells are constructed to allow percolation of running rainwater in the streams to lower aquifers up to a depth of 12 -14 meters. Recharge wells allows the water to infiltrate into deeper zones subsequently seeping downstream and across lateral horizons resulting in significant increase in groundwater levels.
Injection Wells: In areas where multiple streams meet more runoff is expected. To allow collection of water and to reduce erosion, an injection well is constructed and this puts water deep underground into porous rock formations, such as sandstone or limestone, or below the shallow soil layer. These wells are effective in raising water table in downstream areas and improve water levels in deep wells.
Rejuvenate water bodies:
Stepwells are wells, ponds or tanks in which the water is reached by descending a set of steps. Due to depletion of water table these wells are generally, dry and unused. De-silting & rejuvenating these ponds/wells or tanks will help store more water, which will be available during the periods of drought.