Water was one of the most highly worshiped deities in the Rig Veda.
Infact one of the highest Gods in Vedas, is Indra, the king of Gods who is also the God of Thunder and Rain in addition to being the God of Heaven and War.
There is a wonderful video of Vedic Shlokas about Indra and how he brought rain by slaying a dragon.
People say that blood is thicker than water.
But they cannot drink blood, to live they can only drink water.
Even blood is mostly made up of water.
Even the human body and brain is made up mostly of water.
A man can go for two weeks without food, but cannot last 2 days without water.
Water is the source of all existence.
The analysts in the USA dept of defense predict that the next wars will be fought over water.
This may come true in Bharat by 2020.
I was always amazed at how the Indus Valley Civilisation just disappeared, even though it was so well organized and an ideal civilisation.
Unlike the theory of some dumbass racist Westerners who attributed the decline of the Indus Valley Civilisation to a white Aryan master race who invaded them, the decline of the Indus Valley Civilisation was solely because they had run out of water.
They depended on the Saraswathi river and when that dried up, they had to abandon their cities and move eastward to the Gangetic plains.
The greatest of civilisations have failed when there was no water.
That is why it is so important to ensure that our watersheds capture all the rain that has fallen to them.
This is to be done in the form of lakes, recharge wells, contour trenches, percolation ponds and pits, farmer ponds and in the growing of paddy in watershed areas and protection and increase of forests and native vegetation in the watershed areas.
Sand mining is the worst enemy of a river and ground water recharging as a whole.
Sand mining should be strictly regulated and minimised and alternatives to sand must be found.
We were better off in the old days.
All our old tanks and traditional irrigation systems were built by Kings who had vision and with the community labour of the villages.
According to a colleague of mine:
The kingdoms of Raja Rajendra Chola and the Vijaynagar Kingdom rose to great prosperity and power because of the well planned irrigation systems which gave rise to great agricultural production.
This rise in agricultural production was mainly on account of people’s involvement and extremely well designed and sustainable irrigation systems.
These Chola rulers linked a temple, a tank and development under supervision of temple trust and extended the same on vast scale.
People’s faith in the temple deity made them donate labour in making tanks and digging small drains from the tank for irrigation as donation to the temple.
The impact was tremendous as they were able to export rice and spices to southeast Asian countries and these temples were able to create huge reserves of gold.
There were possibly more tanks during this period all well maintained. These started drying up subsequently without meaningful attention given.
The historical famine of South Arcot in year 1870 or so awakened the then British Govt but not much was done to rejuvenate the tanks.
The problem of crop failure before the Green Revolution was not because of poor farming practices, it was because of the failure of rains and abandonment and destruction of the traditional water conservation and utilization practices of Bharat by the wretched FUKUS colonists who favoured centralised schemes like large Dams and canals.
They had real freedom and Swaraj since they managed their own water resources, grew their own food, sewed their own clothes, stitched their own shoes and administered justice within the village itself without any slavish dependence on the FUKUS colonists for any of their “wonderful” systems which is still followed by our “coconut” government which swears by and rigorously adopted these same systems of exploitation.
So FUKUS colonists destroyed and abandoned all the traditional irrigation and water management systems of Bharat and adopted centralised irrigation systems that made the villages total slaves to the whims and fancies of the distant government who had no feeling or even inclination to resolve the pressing issues of the farmers.
This idea of large major dam and major canal based irrigation was introduced by the wretched British colonists.
It is most unsuited to a country like Bharat.
Sustainable and long term cost effective and efficient water management and irrigation cannot be done by building huge dams and canals.
This has to be done at a completely decentralised level of each village with continuous local community based maintenance and rejuvenation of the village pond or lake, streams, drainage systems, environmental conservation and preservation of Devarakadus and vegetation especially along the water bodies and drainage systems and finally the construction of small anicuts to harvest flood waters and also at the farm level by and rejuvenation and recharging of borewells and open wells and farm ponds.
In Bharat, the rivers are slow moving compared to rivers in Europe and silting of dams is a major problem here.
In Bharat rainfall is seasonal and highly concentrated and not consistent and spread out like Britain and Europe.
Europe also has snow which melts slowly and percolates into the ground more and ensures more consistent input into the rivers.
Bharat is more suited to tanks and small reservoirs, tanks, small anicuts and barrages, check dams and definitely not for large dams and canals.
The method of large dams displaces millions of people, causes tremendous environmental damage and benefits a fewer amount of people than the damage the dam caused when it was built.
Also because water is suddenly available copiously and for free, farmers waste water and overuse it and this leads to salinity of the soil which renders it unsuitable for cultivation for a long time.
The cost of “modern” large dam based irrigation systems are more than 10 times the traditional irrigation systems and will only last 40 years.
Whereas traditional decentralised irrigation systems can be built for 1/10th the cost, and cost much less to maintain and if maintained well, they last forever and also improve the ground water levels in the surrounding areas.
Decentralised irrigation systems are also more easier and economic to implement and there is greater transparency, accountability and community participation and public involvement.
The current irrigation schemes are centrally managed by the Public Works and Irrigation department which is a den of corruption and plagued by the corrupt sarkari bureaucrats, ignorant and even more corrupt Representative DFIs and crooked irrigation contractors.
Some of the biggest and most profitable scams have occurred in the irrigation and public works department.
The irrigation scams that happened in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and other states are worse than terrorist attacks.
What the terrorists involved in these scams have done is worse than the terrorist attack of 26/11.
These terrorists have committed genocide and a crime against humanity by destroying the lives of affected farmers and their families and they have committed highest treason against the nation by seriously compromising its food and water security.
The terrorists involved in these scams deserve the strictest of punishment as mentioned in my laws for corruption and confiscation of all their own, their families and their cronies assets including their chaddies and banians and they should be whipped and put to hard labour and the thumb and index fingers of their strong hand should be cut off.
In the terrorist attack of 26/11 about 166 people died and about 400 people were wounded.
Though there was widespread condemnation of the attack, and rightly so, there is not one mention in the presstitute media of 50 times the number of farmers that have died in farmer suicides and continue to die every year.
35,445 people committed suicide in India, of which 13,754 were farmers (11.2%). Of these, 5 out of 29 states accounted for 10,486 farmers suicides (76%) -Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala.
In 2012, the state of Maharashtra, with 3,786 farmers’ suicides, accounted for about a quarter of the all India’s farmer suicides total (13,754).
According to a survey by Maharashtra based Dilasa Janvikas Prathishthan, since January of 2014 to April of 2015, more than 800 farmers have died in Maharashtra and at least 250 took their lives in the first four months of 2015.
According to our Chief Minister Niddanna (sorry typo meant Siddanna 🙂 ) more than 400 farmers have committed suicide in Karnataka from January to August 2015.
Of course not all of these suicides were due to shortage of water.
Some of it was because of poor crop planning, monocropping and burden of debt even for unnecessary expenses, but a major part of these suicides was due to crop failure because of shortage of water.
The govt of Tamil Nadu is quite different.
They are making serious efforts at ground water recharging, restructuring and rehabilitation of tanks and it is very well organized.
Here is a good article about the revival of the traditional irrigation system in Tamil Nadu.
There is a long held notion that river linking in India will be a good thing.
The river linking plan should be abandoned.
It is the most idiotic plan framed by a set of clueless half-witted incompetent imbecile dumbasses with no knowledge of financial analysis, civil engineering, water management, hydrology, environmental science, ecology and social rehabilitation.
I dont think this has even been done in the past in Bharat or anywhere in the world for that matter and has dangerous permanent and irreversible ecological, environmental, social and financial implications.
It should never be done, even if it is being promoted by Representative DFIs with more devious self-interests and so called “smart” people like TV Spiritual Gurus, Judges, celebrities and other such people with completely half-baked and barely pathetic knowledge since it does not fall in their realm of expertise.
The cost of recharging surface water, ground water and implementation of the steps I have mentioned at the end of this article will create surplus and sustainable irrigation potential at a fraction of cost of dumbass river linking projects.
I have read the Gadgil Committee report.
However there are some flaws in the Gadgil Committee report not in the main list of activities but in the regulated list.
Looking at this I think like all Committee reports, the Gadgil committee report also gave more weight to University Professors recommendations instead of including the ground realities faced by the local people on the ground.
If the report really has to be implemented, it must first take into account the ground realities faced by farmers on the ground.
Most farmers do not have an opposition to the banning of the main list of activities.
However a lot of them have opposition to the list of regulated activities.
Even minor current day farming practices like building farm road and digging ponds and drawing electric wires are coming under the cover of regulated activities.
It is very easy to say regulated activities, but considering the corruption in Bharat, any regulation is just a means for officials to take bribes and a means for residents to give bribes to break the regulations.
However if the above flaws are corrected, the Gadgil Report is most ideal because it primarily calls for local participation by ordinary informed, enlightened and selfless local people to implement this report.
It is the selfish vested interests of devious Dalal Street Pimp/Lala Businessmen and Representative DFIs, and ignorant self proclaimed middlemen of God, who incite the ignorant locals in these regions to protest against the Gadgil Report.
I am sure than more than 95% of the ignorant dumbasses who are protesting against the Gadgil Report have not even read it.
We must make maps and plans and designs of the entire country using local consultants and local engineers with local experience and knowledge and implement them on the ground in a phased manner of 20 years
This should be done in a completely decentralised and transparent manner with full supervision, input and accountability to the general public especially those who will be affected and also benefit from these plans.
I got this valuable insight below from dealing with my colleagues with vast and many decades of experience.
- Abandon the current useless and unsuitable practices for Bharat like large dams and Irrigation canals and centralised irrigation systems.
- Replace the current system of centralised irrigation management with decentralised village based participatory irrigation management schemes as it existed during the time of the Cholas and Vijaynagar kingdoms.
- Map all the watersheds and basins of historical rivers, lakes and ponds and drains, update them with the latest satellite imagery and compare them to the old historical maps, detect and remove encroachments. Apply harsh punitive measures including demolition of houses to those who violate these laws.
- Desilt and remove the accumulated silt and restore the old drains into the tank, rebuild the traditional drainage systems and drains that contribute the water to these lakes and ponds.
- Add additional tanks and new drainage systems based on the traditional Chola and Vijayanagar designs.
- For every 7 sqkm, there should also be at least one 100 acre tank attached to the local village temple for and maintained by the local community. Water use from this tank must be carefully moderated and dispersed. People who use more water from these tanks must pay higher rates than regular users.
- There should be at least 1/2 acre farm ponds for every 10 acres.
- People whose lands are acquired for the above purposes must get a compensation for their lands and also a lifetime permanent portion of the water tax collected from the surrounding lands that benefit from these tanks. They should also get first preference for fishing rights and boating rights in these tanks.
- Implement low cost irrigation and water conservation measures in a decentralised manner using community participation.
These measures include:
- Check dams and vegetation along streams and drainage channels
- Small impounding bunds to put back rain water back into ground water reservoirs
- Digging of farm ponds, contour trenches and recharge wells for each cluster of farm watersheds. These do not need to be done for each farm especially if the land holdings are very small (< 1 acres). It should be done where the water will be conserved the most in an area of a minimum of 2-3 acres. This can be shared by surrounding farms and the farm owner whose land was used for water conservation should get a share from the sales of his farmer neighbours.
- Centralise outlets of sewage along drains and outlets into the water body and set up natural sewage cleaning systems before the water is let out into the drains and allow only storm water to flow in the drains of the lakes and rivers.
- The idea of creating sewage treatment plants to handle this problem at the end point is a complete fallacy and will never serve its purpose. Do not allow people to empty their sewage and other industrial waste to Storm water drains in the first place. Apply harsh punitive measures including demolition of houses to those who violate these laws.
- Prepare Digital Terrain Models, Geological and Geophysical maps of the entire country and identify the areas where future lakes and small balancing reservoirs can be built and also the geological fractures where direct recharging of the aquifer can be done so that the aquifer can be recharged more quickly than just percolation.
- When awarding construction contracts to contractors, do not just go on lowest price alone.
The main curse of project failure is because of shady contractors with no credentials under quoting and compromising on quality. There should also be a warranty period given by the contractor for maintenance and defect rectification and also for minimum guaranteed life of the project.
The law for works contracts must be implemented.
- Education and motivating and incentivise farmers to grow crops suitable for their rainfall and ground water pattern. Just education and motivation of farmers will not do, a support price or some sort of pricing incentives should be given so that farmers have some monetary incentive to raise more water conserving crops.
- Removal of highly subsidised electricity for agricultural pumps. Most of these free electricity subsidies to not reach the actual poor farmer it was intended for. It is mostly middle class and rich farmers that misuse these subsidies and who actually can afford to pay for electricity.
- The practice of over consumption and wasteful consumption of water is the first thing that needs to be stopped.
- Water use from pumpsets should be metered and slab wise charges should be introduced. Electricity used by pumpsets should be metered and slab wise charges should be used.
This will not cause the ruin of farmers. In fact it will encourage them to use water resources judiciously and also ensure that they participate in maintaining local water systems instead of just depending on government schemes.
This judicious control of water resources was done even during the time of Kautilya.
In fact greater taxes were imposed on those who used mechanical pumps in those days.
Following was the Water Tax during the time of Kautilya. This water tax was in addition to the land tax for cultivating the lands belonging to the king.
Revenue from Crown Agricultural Lands(SITA)
Water rate for taking water from the water works built by the King:
1/5 if lifted manually
1/4 if lifted by bullocks
1/3 if lifted by mechanical means (modern day pumps)
1/4 for taking water from natural reservoirs, or irrigated from rivers, lakes and tanks.
It was quite excessive in my opinion, but remember even under this tax system the wealth of Magadha was unparalleled all over the world.
Kautilya imposed the water tax because the government actually implemented irrigation facilities with a planned, sincere and well intentioned manner for the greater good of the nation and its people.
So the state had a right to ask for water taxes from the farmers, since it first sincerely did its duty to provide efficient water resources to the farmers.
The government of Bharat can only have a right to ask for the above water taxes from farmers only once the above schemes are implemented.
However before we can demand taxes from farmers, first the farmers have to be given back the privilege and wealth that they had during Kautlilya’s times.
Farming should first be made the most respected and profitable profession, even more than a software engineer working for an IT/BT coolie.
Read my article on how the condition of farmers must first be restored to their historical privileged status and well being if Bharat has to regain its lost glory.