At least 330 million people are affected by drought in India, its worst water crisis in four decades.
Consecutive years of drought, shifting rainfall patterns and the disruption of natural groundwater recharge mechanisms have crippled the ability of rain-fed rivers to replenish themselves. The result of this crisis is crop failures, water wars between states, falling farmer incomes (in an agrarian economy), and their consequent inability to pay-off loans, leading to a full-scale farmer suicide epidemic.
OVBI's Project Water Is Life, in collaboration with local NGO, The Art of Living, aims to restore these rivers to their original state through the Jal Jagruti Abhiyaan program, working with the local village community.
On-going River Rejuvenation projects undertaken by OVBI :
MANJARA RIVER REJUVENATION :
The scarcity, and the agrarian crisis emerging from consecutive drought years has its epicenter in three districts of the Marathwada region, in the state of Maharashtra.
Manjara is the main river which flows from the northern boundaries of the state of Maharashtra continuing into the southern states of Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
OVBI's Project Water Is Life has adopted an area of 96.5 sq. miles (250 sq. kms) – twice the size of San Francisco, covering 20 villages.
Water table has risen from 800ft to 50ft in the areas covered. Acres of dry abandoned farmlands are being reclaimed, forest and green cover increased, soil erosion and rainwater run-off significantly restricted.
This project will benefit an estimated 30,000 villagers in phase 1.
Upcoming River Rejuvenation projects:
PALAR RIVER REJUVENATION :
This is an ambitious interstate River Rejuvenation project, which when completed will not only bring back water to the parched districts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu but will also create a model in interstate River management. 135 Sq.miles of Chikballapur District has already been treated under the project, and work is in progress in Kolar district of Karnataka and Vellore district of Tamil Nadu.
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