Udaipur : Udaipur model would be adopted across the country for capacity building, research and development and making impact for sustainable ground water management. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been inked between Central Ground Water Board (CGWB),Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation,Ministry of Jal Shakti, and MARVI partners–Western Sydney University, Australia; CSIRO Land and Water, Australia ; Vidya Bhawan Udaipur ;Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, Udaipur; Arid Communities and Technologies, Bhuj, Gujarat, Development Support Centre, Ahmedabad.
“This MOU will help a greater cooperation in training, education and research to achieve water security for agriculture, urban, industrial and environmental purposes. It will also help in the development of grassroots and village level capacity building and support for ground water monitoring and management and improve livelihood of village communities in India.” said U.P. Singh, Secretary, Jal Shakti Ministry in a conference held on the occasion, recently in New Delhi. The MARVI system (Managing Aquifer Recharge and Sustaining Groundwater Use through Village-level Intervention) approach is focussed on engaging village communities to monitor, use and manage groundwater at the village level, informed Anil Mehta, Principal Vidya Bhawan Polytechnic college.
MARVI partners have been working collaboratively for participatory groundwater management and livelihood improvement in India since 2012.As a part of MARVI project, a smartphone app, called MyWell, was developed to enable collection and sharing of monitored data of well water levels, rainfall, water quality and checkdam water levelsto help local communities to better manage scarce groundwater reserves.
Based on MARVI experience, a new ‘Jaldoots’ program, a Hindi word meaning ‘water messengers’ has been initiated by the Jal Shakti Ministry for implementation across India. Jal Doot are local volunteers involved in development of village level science for community engagement and participatory water management. This approach of village level engagement is being proposed for sustaining ground water yields and managing aquifer recharge through village level interventions as well as monitoring and assessment of water resources availability in space and time at the village. The main aim of the Jal Doot program is to help and educate village communities through an intensive capacity building of selected rural youths.