March 15, 2016

2016: ITP Highlight # 02

'Holiyas' are indigenous systems that helps farmers prevent water logging and conserve rainwater underground for irrigation. Bunsen and Rathod explore their socio-economic and environmental impacts...

Pipe assisted underground taming of surface floods

The experience with Holiyas in north Gujarat

Jonas Bunsen and Rahul Rathod

Holiyas (also known locally as bhungroos) are relatively simple, locally applied, groundwater recharge and subsurface storage systems and may hold the potential to mitigate exposure of smallholder farmers to floods and droughts. However, little verifiable knowledge is available on their performance and impact. In 2015, the IWMI-Tata Program undertook an assessment of holiyas and bhungroos in Banaskantha district with the objective to empirically analyse the socio-economic and environmental impact. The results suggest that majority of respondents perceive the structures’ construction to be successful and report improvements with respect to one or more of the following criteria: flood mitigation, soil erosion, drought resilience, extent of the cultivation period, crop yield, cropping intensity and livestock rearing.

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