February 26, 2005

2005: Highlight # 17

What impact does decentralized water harvesting have on equity in access to water and the efficiency of water use? Tilala and Shiyani discuss...

Small Water Harvesting

A Sustainable Way for Equity and Income Generation

Hiren Tilala and R.L. Shiyani

Past studies on water harvesting had focused more on the technical efficiency of water harvesting structures, impact of interventions on hydrological regimes, and overall socioeconomic impacts at the village level. The issues of intra-village equity in access to water and efficiency of water use were not well-researched. The received wisdom is that improved local hydrological regimes and increased water use encourage farmers to engage in wasteful practices. A study carried out in Raj Samdhiyala village, which has seen intensive water harvesting shows that there is greater equity in income distribution among the farmers of the village, than that in the control village. Also, the water use efficiency in crop production is enhanced with increased water availability in farm wells.

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