Here’s the challenge:
Check dams work – they are effective in recharging the water supply to the underlying aquifers. They are not that expensive to build here in India, but we want to find a better way.
The last one we made was a concrete and rock structure. Solid – will last, but there was no provision made for over flow or allowing the water to be released if required. The only way excess water could pass was over the top.
There were many things learnt in the construction of that dam which have served to make our resolve stronger to progress and create more. Of course with modifications .. so that the learnings we had from the last one are not wasted – but used to make the process better.
Now we are asking – is there a better way to build a check dam? We will go on a study tour in December – (you are invited!) to look at traditional methods of water harvesting and learn from those, but in the meantime we would like to present the question:
What if we could build a low cost dam – that could be quickly and easily constructed – possibly with the use of the local river stones and earth mounding – that would be strong enough to withstand the onslaught of the monsoonal floods. What if we could find materials that are readily sourced – and a method that can replace the expensive and environmentally inferior concrete based wall.
Here’s one idea – perhaps off the wall. But it may begin the enquiry process – take the big plastic barriers they use during road building – cut a hole in the top – place them across the river bed, fill them with stones to make them really heavy – and use something (?) to join them together and fill in the gaps between them and at the edges of the river bank. Possible?
Do you find this challenge as interesting as we do? If so would you like to join us looking for an answer?
There are literally hundreds of small subsistence farmers in rural India who will thank you from the bottom of their hearts for your efforts.
If we discover a way to do this cheaply, efficiently and effectively we can build more dams, and help more people faster!
Creation is often a joining of two or more diverse ideas or methods – perhaps we can discover an answer together?