Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 17:
Subsurface recharge through rain water harvest management has proved to be successful in 10 blocks of six districts in Odisha.
Subsurface recharge, an innovation by some retired Odia engineers was today reviewed at a high level experience sharing meeting here at the State Secretariat chaired by chief secretary JK Mohapatra in a step forward towards implementation of climate change action plan in the state, said an official release.
Mohapatra reviewed the techniques and its application wherein this group of engineers led by the engineer Banamali Naik explained the technique, its application, possible cost involvement and outcomes.
Basing on pilot outcomes, chief secretary Mohapatra advised to replicate the technique in 40 -50 drought prone blocks this year. He said to make it successful over a large area intensive awareness among the people and meticulous training of the implementing engineers was necessary.
The release said department of Water Resource and Odisha Watershed Development Mission (OWDM) has been advised to take up intensive awareness activities on the value of rain water and benefits of harvesting it at subsurface level.
Engineers implementing the project will be trained through direct field exposure and the OWDM has been advised to coordinate and monitor the project and its replication, the release added.
Discussions revealed that surface storage of rain water, though helpful for ground water recharge, has certain limitations. Sufficient water cannot be stored in a surface reservoir that can support cropping over any significantly large area.
The experts opined that one 20 hectare Water Harvesting Structure (WHS) can at best hold maximum 17% runoff water from a watershed area of 500 hectare.
The ground water recharge also gets limited through surface storage, because reservoirs get silted up very soon which prevent significant seepage down to the subsoil.
The group of engineers better known as BB Consultants, led by Naik basing on its observation and experimentation over a long period of time has discovered the technique of storing water at subsurface level.
This subsurface level storage will be within 10 meters of surface level, from which vegetation can source its water requirements, wells will be recharged, canals will get water and such storage will also add to moisture level of the soil.
The low cost technology with an investment between Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 was piloted in blocks like Tarabha in Subarnapur, Maneswar in Sambalpur, Barkote in Deogarh, Ghatgaon and Patana in Keonjhar, Padmapur, Paikamala, Bhatli and Jharbandh in Bargarh and Banapur in Khordha districts.
The application of the technology facilitated through NABARD and other corporate agencies has yielded targeted benefits.
Principal secretary Water Resources S C Mohapatra, secretary Panchayati Raj Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh, director Agriculture S Gopalan, director Watershed Development Mission Sujata Kartikeyan along with other experts and senior officers participated in the meeting.