Mr. Sikandar Meeranaik is the CEO of Sankalpa Rural Development Society in Hubballi – Gadag , Karnataka. He says water is the biggest multiplier in agriculture – with no water the rural economy collapses. Sankalpa Rural Development Society’s work with rainwater harvesting through borewell recharge addresses the major issue of lack of a regular water supply for small to marginal farmers in areas challenged by drought, changing patterns of rainfall.
India has 4% of world’s water but 17% of the world’s population. Agriculture takes approx 80% of the available water mainly from ground water with availability of that water shrinking steadily. Farmers believe the only choice is to dig more and more bore-wells resulting in further depletion of ground water level. This combined with climate change, and the resulting erratic weather patterns is bringing a sharp fall in agricultural productivity and causing devastating impact on farmers’ lives and the livelihoods of those engaged in agricultural activities. Farmer suicide rates are a national disaster with the consequences on their families and communities a far reaching tragedy.