Irregular and heavy rains in the last few years as well as uncontrolled borewells by villagers and farmers in the surrounding areas have led to severe water scarcity in many villages during the summer.
Most of the villages have streams and the concept of chain dams at different heights is old. But Dr. Ajit Gokhale designed the removable embankment so that it could be completely taken off. The dam does not even have pillars so there is no obstruction to the flow of water from the stream during the rainy season. The main advantage of this is that there will be no accumulation of sand / soil in the stream or soil from the fields on both sides. When the monsoon ends, the dam will be erected around Diwali, which will help to recharge the groundwater by keeping the water in the creek for a longer period of time. This will directly or indirectly benefit the surrounding farmers and overall the village as well.
And the special feature of this dam is that it does not hinder the movement of fish during the breeding season. Many fish hatcheries are located in small mountain streams and farms. At the beginning of the rainy season, the fish ascend from the water on the opposite side of the slope. All normal check-dams or Kolhapur style dams obstruct the route or increase the speed of the water to such an extent that it is difficult for the fish to climb, thus reducing the overall fish population. The dams are largely responsible for the global fisheries drought. This new design of the dam could provide a way to increase the breeding of fish.
The dam was completed in the 1st week of December with the financial assistance of Neerja Foundation. When the dam is fully filled, it will store about 38 lakh liters of water and the entire stream (due to all the three dams) will store about 70 to 75 lakh litres of water. Now this accumulated water will seep through the ground and help to increase the water of the surrounding wells and borewells. This will be a perfect example of water retention, water retention.
We plan to do similar work in the next few months at Karsud (Vikramgad) and at Mahim near Palghar.