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Managing Water through education and conservation

Water conservationist approach to Planet 4.0

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Water conservationist approach to Planet 4.0

 

Gurdip Singh
Sarpanch Popatrao Pawar (centre) with his wife and Editor Gurdip Singh.

Over 30 years of water conservation work has helped raise the water recovery table at a depth of 35-40 ft, a much easier process of tapping ground water for farming.

This feat was achieved by water conservationist Sarpanch (head of a village committee) Popatrao Pawar. Excessive ground water tapping has sent the table level to 200 ft depth.

Sarpanch Pawar had shared his work of over 30 years with business executives at the IIMPACT 2019, a PAN IIM Alumni Singapore conference held in Singapore on 17 August 2019.

Pawar’s talk was entitled “Paradise Regained: From Drought to Prosperity” at a session aptly called “Planet 4.0”.

His work began in the 1990s, educated pupils and students as well as housewife on conservative use of water and the need for reforestation as well as tree planting at Hiware Bazar village.

Pawar’s work and Hiware Bazar water conservation model is being taught at institutions such as Pune University and IIT Delhi.

Elaborating, Pawar said he even convinced his village farmers to skip one season of Rabbi crop and save water.

By skipping one season of crop cultivation, everybody is now living a happy life as there is plenty of water, which along with fresh air, is important for life and farming.

Pawar, a leading college cricketer, cricket being India’s most influential sport, has toured 15 states and 350 districts which are facing acute water shortage.

“More than 80 per cent of these districts are adopting the Hiware Bazar model to conserve water,” said Pawar, who has also travelled in recent years to China, Israel and Malaysia among other countries sharing his knowledge of water conservation.

Touching on the massive water wastage in the country, he said housewives as homemakers have been educated to dispense water only per requirement. Schools from Primary level have been teaching pupils the need to save water and re-plant trees for the importance of having forests.

Farmers, used to flooding fields as their irrigation process, are now using irrigation drips, the biggest form of water conservation in farming and cultivation of crops.

He went on to suggest that India adopt an Israeli model of irrigation drips, which are designed with farmers’ input for they know the water need of each crop.

Pawar suggested that the Indian industrial take input from the country’s farmers in designing irrigation drips which is not done in making the current watering system.

He also called for crop cultivating as per climates, or crop patterning.

Cultivation of crops should be in climate zones, which helps in water management.

Pawar’s presentation underlines the importance of water in everybody’s life amidst the on going debates on climate change and water shortage being faced on the planet.

The Sarpanch was given a standing ovation by global IIM alumni and business executives after he presented his work of over 30 years on conservation of water, soil and forest. fiinews.com

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