Farm Ponds for Securing Agriculture in Rainfed Regions: call for sustainable approaches

“Farm Ponds for Securing Agriculture in Rainfed Regions: a call for sustainable approaches” was co-hosted by WOTR, W-CReS, NRAA, and ECOBARI on 13th of October 2022. The webinar aimed to foster dialogue on the use of farm ponds in rural communities, focusing on equity, income security, and ecosystem health, particularly concerning groundwater. The event featured prominent speakers, including researchers, government officials, and professors, and brought together diverse stakeholders such as development practitioners, NGO representatives, and researchers. Community-level representatives also shared their experiences in water governance practices.

The webinar highlighted concerns about the unsustainable use of groundwater in farm ponds, resulting in the drying up of shallow wells, reduced groundwater availability, and widened inequities. Researchers presented findings on the impact of farm ponds on agricultural output and aquifers, emphasizing the need for adaptive strategies. Participants stressed the importance of policy-level interventions to promote equitable groundwater management and discourage excessive extraction and the use of impermeable linings in farm ponds. They also discussed challenges related to monitoring issues like seawater contamination and the use of treated sewage water in farm ponds.

Community representatives shared positive experiences of watershed development and effective water budgeting methods. They advocated for viewing groundwater as a communal resource and proposed the establishment of groundwater governance standards. The event concluded with key takeaways that called for unconventional ideas, policy implementation for sustainable groundwater management, and the adoption of water stewardship approaches. Overall, the webinar emphasized the significance of farm ponds for securing agriculture in rainfed regions, highlighting the need for sustainable practices, equity, community participation, and responsible groundwater usage.

Resources to be added: Farm Pond Playlist- .

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