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SAMAJ PRAGATI SAHAYOG

Village Jatashankar
Tehsil Bagli
District Dewas
Madhya Pradesh – 455227

Telefax : 07271-275757, 275550

core@samprag.org

THE SECRETARIAT

Participatory Aquifer Management Approach for Kankavati Sandstone of Kachchh District – Gujarat

The Kanakavati sandstone is spread across 4 blocks in Kachchh district of Gujarat and is the only dominant groundwater resource in coastal Kachchh areas. Around 5.43 lakh people in these 4 blocks – 3 lakh rural people and 2.43 lakh urban people depend on the shared aquifer for their water needs. (See Fig. 1).  Industries in the region - thermal power projects, ports and other manufacturing industries and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are also heavily dependent on groundwater making it economically significant.

 

Over time, there has been a severe stress on the aquifer which has affected both quantity and quality of water available. Three of the 4 blocks have been declared dark zones by the CGWB. The water has high TDS in all blocks, and over 50% of all villages in Abdasa block report saline ingress. The aquifer being shared between a variety of users and uses has led to competition and conflict between various groups.

 

Arid Communities and Technologies, (ACT) a Bhuj based organization has worked extensively in the Kanakavati Sandstone to demonstrate a science based, participatory approach to help manage the aquifer. The Participatory Groundwater Management (PGWM) Approach they implement espouses the following principles:

  • Groundwater is a common pool resource.

  • An aquifer-based understanding is necessary for groundwater management.

  • Groundwater management must be understood across different uses.

  • The units of groundwater management should be aquifers, watersheds and habitations.

  • Groundwater management requires long term engagement.

  • Management should catalyse community action.

  • Groundwater management should integrate formal and peoples’ knowledge.

 

ACT’s work in the Kanakavati sandstone began with an understanding in 20 villages and has spread to all 4 blocks covering rural and urban areas. It offers a rich insight into principles for managing this shared aquifer.