In the arid and dry landscape of Rajasthan, a village in Northern India, which is two hours away from the state capital Jaipur has proven to be completely drought-proof. Village Lapodiya stands out as a lush green oasis. Reason being small structures called ‘chaukas’ (a method for harvesting rainwater, typically used in arid areas that are subject to monsoon rains) constructed on the farming fields which harvests rainwater.
“We traveled the entire country to explore the condition of the water supply. We studied grass, trees and forests and after understanding all these aspects we created a design in which when rain falls, water gets filled up to nine inch. If it rains more than that water gets transferred to another ‘Chauka’, and it goes on upto three or five or 10 chaukas. Later it goes to small ponds, and then to small lakes and then to big rivers,” said Laxman Singh, the man behind the mission.
Singh says that the village started to practice the system in the year 1995 and has been very successful since. He claims to have replicated the system in almost 50 villages nearby, in a state popular for its arid climatic conditions.
“Nine inch of water goes into the ground and it increases the moisture and moisture leads to better quality of grass and trees. Dew falling in the night causes water dripping on every leaf and often it is enough for plants. Prosperity comes with better agriculture in the villages which happens when we have enough water,” adds Laxman.
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