1. Improvements in groundwater levels: The primary impact of the project has seen improvements in groundwater levels in the 7,500 Sq. km implementation area, over 65% of which is classified semi critical, critical or overexploited by GSDA. Extensive afforestation, and construction of water recharge structures, has increased the base flow in all streams and water bodies in the region. This has rejuvenated rivers that flow through the region, transforming them from episodic (having flow for only three months or less) to ephemeral (having flow for three to nine months), leading to a widespread impact to the region's biodiversity and ecology.

 

2. Increasing farmers’ incomes: The improved availability of water leads to direct socio-economic growth of a population of 70 Lakh, 70% of whom are directly dependent on agriculture. The consistency in water supply  augment farmers’ incomes through improved agricultural yields and increase in the number of crops per year, directly reducing farmer suicides.

 

3. Curbing water tanker mafia:  This has helped to curb the water tanker mafia that has proliferated in the target regions during the past decade. The water shortage disproportionately affects young girls and women, as girls under the age of 15 are twice as likely as boys to sacrifice their education to fetch water for the family. A drastic change in this social situation was observed, as water sources within the village were rejuvenated.

 

4. Community Engagement and employment generation: Further, a significant proportion of the project executed under MGNREGA generated 6.5 lakh days of direct rural employment. 900 Jal Sevaks (Water Warriors), trained through capacity building workshops, created focused grassroots leadership in the villages. 30,000 people were further sensitized through multi-level engagement, consisting of trainings, meetings and mass media use. This approach of community engagement facilitated social equity - in Naganadhi River Rejuvenation project in Tamil Nadu nearly 90% of the ongoing project workers are women.

 

5. Multiple partnerships with the Government: The success of the projects undertaken in partnership with the Government have resulted in major changes to water policy and current Government structures. The River Rejuvenation projects in Karnataka are now being closely monitored by the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department, Government of India, to learn, and replicate similar models elsewhere.

 

Future Outreach:

Going forward, 70 lakh people from water deficient regions spanning 25 districts in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan will be directly benefited by the improved availability of water.