PresenterRaj Rengalakshmi - M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Ecotechnology, Chennai, India
Panel46 – Sustainable Regeneration of Water Infrastructures: An Invitation to Forge Interdisciplinary Governance & Policy Design Thinking
Springs are primary source of water for drinking, domestic, irrigation and livestock among the hill dwellers, who are socio-economically marginalized. However, in the recent past, in many hills, discharge from springs is either declining or drying-up due to both climatic and anthropogenic factors. Increasing incidences of high rainfall, erratic distribution, longer dry spells, delay in the onset and early withdrawal of rains are key climate drivers altering spring hydrology. In addition, changes in land-use and land cover in the sloppy terrains, degradation of water storage infrastructures further intensify the crisis by adversely reducing infiltration of water. Besides, shifts in local governance on management of common resources from traditional to elected systems changed the local value and management practices among the locals. The reduction in spring flow, deepens vulnerability of women and children, as they are primarily responsible to fetch water for domestic use and men and women farmers by impacting on crop production. In this backdrop restoration of springshed is attempted in Jawadhu hills, India among tribals by developing a joint restoration plan with village panchayat adopting valley-to-valley approach. The paper will elaborate status of springs, social and governance systems including norms, values and institutions, process adopted in restoration in partnership with local government and mobilization of financial resources from different developmental schemes.