The Jal Bhagirathi Foundation (JBF) in Rajasthan, India are now funding their own sand dams but still require technical support with design & construction whilst we establish this innovative technology in the most-densely populated arid lands in the world.
Fifteen sand dams have already transformed the thousands of people and communities are asking to build more in the Jodphur, Jalore and Balmer Districts of Rajasthan - contributing 20% of the cost themselves.
Farmers are reporting that saline water has turned sweet enabling to not only drink healthily but grow a range of fruit and vegetables new to the Thar Desert.
Simon Maddrell, a leading expert in sand dams, is spending three weeks with JBF in December to site and design dams as well as initiate construction on several others.
Whilst consultancy of this kind would normally cost £13,500 - Simon is trying to raise only £2,700 so that any donations will deliver five times their value to communities needing clean water.
Case Study Impacts from Thumba ka Goliya, Jalore District, Rajasthan:
- Output from government tube wells has increased by 50% and water availability increased from several hours to 24 hours per day.
- The impacts originally affected tube wells for 23 farmers but be 2015 it was realised that 109 private tube wells in the area were positively impacted.
- Water levels reported by local farmers in the tube wells previously were at 75 metres but reduced to 60 metres by 2015 and 45 metres in 2016.
- The salinity reduction has enabled a change of agricultural crops from castor to vegetables and even Thai apple.
- The nearest farmer to the sand dam, Mahavir Singh, who originally transitioned his farming to chillies and carrots could now expand his area of cultivated land by ten-fold.
- In 2016, with the help of the India Government horticulture department, he is now growing Thai
Apple for the first time ever in Rajasthan. The farmer will not get a proper crop for twelve months but already has an order for his whole crop destined for a supermarket in Delhi.
"It's the Thar Desert and we are growing Thai Apple - it's a great achievement." Kushpal Singh