Tharparkar, geographically spread over km, is a chronically poor, with an estimated population of 1.65 Million (2017). Of them 95% people live in around 2450 rural villages. The 80% of people’s livelihood is dependent on rain fed agriculture and livestock.
There happens a drought often every second years and half of total population migrate to plains of Indus in the north with travel up to 100 to 1000 km in search of wage labour and they stay there until Thar gets next rains.
The limited ground water is ultimate source of water for people in Tharparkar. The quality of ground water is saline to brackish with high concentration of various salts and minerals, which are dangerous for human as well as livestock health. The dug-well is found only sustainable source of groundwater, rather the experiences of installing of RO Plants, Solar Power submersible Pumps, Tube-wells, Hand Pumps and Wind Mills have also introduced in Tharparkar, but such schemes are not yet proved fully successful and most of all such schemes are not functional even due to various reasons.
In normal day villagers averagely spend around 4-6 hours to fetch 4-5 pots (50-60 litters) of water from dug-well. However, during the dry period, they collect water throughout the day including at nights. During this period, households may spend as much as 8 hours per day to collect water, so the social life of villagers is also restricted. It has been observed that the ground water table in Tharparkar is depleting day by day and the future industrial development (Specially, Open Pit Mining) will affect ground water very badly.
Rain Water Harvesting and Recharging ground water:
About a decade earlier people of Tharparkar are practicing rainwater harvesting for their drinking purpose as well as stock water but the source is not reliable. Climate change also affect the area and practices of indigenous peoples. Earlier peoples were very environment friendly and now we are technology friendly, so our bad practices affected the Natural Pond Ecosystems.
Peoples of Tharparkar & their livestock can enjoy this sweet water for couple of months because these open natural ponds can’t store the water for longer periods due to extensive evaporation and seepage as well.
It has been observed that; vary day people of Tharparkar are used to of rainwater harvesting and we are destroying their indigenous practices while “Rainwater Harvesting and Ground Water Recharging is only Solution to Protect Water for Future Generation in Thar Desert”.