India has a rich history of water conservation and management. The case of Tamil Nadu is quite interesting – this state does not have many perennial rivers, and depends on its rain-fed river systems. Additionally, a few of its regions are rain shadowed. In spite of these challenges, many regions across Tamil Nadu practice agriculture.
Ponds play an important role in Tamil Nadu’s rainwater management. Small shallow ponds (locally known as kulam or kuttai), either natural or man-made, are located close to farmlands. Farmers rely on these ponds to capture rainwater during monsoons and recharge groundwater through percolation. These ponds are used by farmers for irrigation and domestic water needs.
Today, several of these ponds are neglected and dried up due to the popularity of alternative water supply systems such as borewells and tankers. E.F.I’s restoration goals include the restoration of these small, but significant water management structures!
Recently, E.F.I. restored the Karegoundampalayam Pond, located in Annur. Annur is a suburb located 30km from Coimbatore. This place is surrounded by croplands, and is well connected via roads to the villages nearby and Coimbatore city. Farmers follow a mixed cropping pattern, cultivating a variety of millets and oilseed crops throughout the year. Farmers who are able to source water during summers grow an additional crop in the summer months. Therefore, restoring the Annur Pond would greatly benefit the farmers to collect and use rainwater effectively.
The inlets that bring water into the lake were clogged by weeds and garbage. To restore the pond, its surface was levelled, weeds were removed, inlets and outlets were cleaned, and bunds were constructed to enhance water-retention. Islands were also created with the soil that was removed while levelling the pond. Native trees were planted on these islands to create a welcoming habitat for birds.
The pond is spread across 2.3 acres and is fed by rainfall and canals carrying surface run-off into the pond. Karegoundampalayam pond is now ready to be filled by rains in the upcoming monsoon season!
News article on the successful restoration of Annur Pond, and the positive impact it has had on Annur’s farmers
Thank you to the local community for their active participation and showing support for this effort!
E.F.I actively organizes clean-drives, wall painting events and plantation drives in Coimbatore.
Volunteer for Coimbatore & her environment with E.F.I.!