NRM Watershed Management

NRM Watershed Management
NRM Watershed Management
NRM Watershed Management
NRM Watershed Management
NRM Watershed Management
  • Project Report

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  • Project Owner

    Cairn India Limited

  • Project Title

    NRM Watershed Management

    Project Category

    Water Sustainability

  • Project Start Date

    September,09 2013

    Project End Date

    March,03 2023

  • Project Documents


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Barmer is the second largest district in the western of Rajasthan forming the Thar Desert. The variation in temperature in various seasons is quite high. Barmer falls under arid western agro-climatic zone with summer temperature ranging from 46 °C to 51 °C and winter temperature dropping to 0 °C. In past decade, every third year in Barmer was declared as a drought year. The livelihood of Barmer inhabitants is primarily based on rain-fed agriculture and dryland farming followed by livestock rearing. Dryland farming in the region is characterised by climatic risk, low cropping intensity and diversification in crop selection. To ensure sustainable livelihoods, livestock rearing is used as a supplement. The average rainfall in the district is 277 mm per year distributed over 10-15 days.

Rainwater Harvesting & Groundwater Recharge in Barmer, Rajasthan is one of the key intervention area of Cairn. This helps ensure availability of water round the year as well as convert uncultivable land into cultivable land, thus promoting agriculture as a mean of livelihood intervention. 

Till date 1056 Khadin, 28 community Nadi and 95 rain water harvesting structure have been developed under this initiative, conserving more than ~15lac cubic meter of water annually. 

This is a part of Barmer Unnati project. 


1. Construction of Small Water Harvesting Structures (Khadins) A Khadin is an ingenious rainwater harvesting structure, designed to harvest surface runoff water for agriculture and ground water recharge. It is an earthen embankment built across the general slope which conserves the maximum possible rainwater runoff within the agricultural field. The Khadin system is based on the principle of harvesting rainwater on farmland and subsequent use of this water-saturated land for crop production. The above photographs shows the amount of Rainwater harvested in a single rain during June- July,2015. During the year 2014 and 2015, the project took an initiatives to construct such structures and able to complete 157 structures in Barmer & Baitu block in rainfed regions. It is estimated that about 9,42,000 cum of rain water is harvested in situ and contributed towards ground water recharge and enhance the soil moisture regime for kharif crop production. Enhance the Production & Productivity Khadin can make arid wasteland productive and enhance the production and productivity of the land. Depending upon the amount of rainfall and consequent runoff received during the monsoon, one or two crops are grown. There is 2-3 fold increase in agriculture production, in comparison with non-Khadin conditions. This system assures the farmers of at least one crop even in very dry times. As on date 1056 khadin structures have been successfully created by Cairn. 

2. Renovation of Nadi Structure - Nadi a traditional Water Harvesting Structure in the Western Rajasthan is excavated or embanked for harvesting meager precipitation, to mitigate the scarcity of drinking water in the lean period i.e. early summer & during summer. Rain water collected in the Nadi from the runoff are made available for periods starting four months to a year after rain, depending on the catchment characteristics, the amount of rainfall received and its intensity. This is an ancient practice and the Nadis are the most important water sources of the region used for drinking purposes by human beings as well as livestock. But in due course of time, these Nadis are silted and hence the water storage capacity is reduced to a large extend. Hence, these Nadis are dried up during summer. Again due to lack of proper management practice, lack of maintenance, the community suffered a lot to get the water for drinking. With due request from the community and Panchayats, in 2014-15 on pilot basis, renovation work of two such Nadis was taken up with active participation and contribution from community. The process adopted in developing a Nadi is in partnership with Community. After obtaining the No Objection Certificate from the Panchayat, the renovation work initiated with active participation, supervision and contribution with active community participation. During the year 2015, two such structures are renovated and completed before the rain during June, 2015 and allowed the rainwater entry and harvested in the structure. During July,2015, it is estimated that 1,90,000 cum of water is stored in the two Nadi structures over a storage area of 5 hectares and also contributing towards ground water recharge. As on date, 28 community Nadi have been created which provides water all round the year to not only humans and livestocks but also harbors new varietie of birds. 

3. Construction of  Rainwater Harvesting Structures in schools - To help schools address the issues of water availability, in addition to the traditional tanks build in schools, Cairn took the initiative to develop rain water harvesting structures. As on date 95 rain water harvesting structures have been created benefiting more than 8000 government school students across Barmer district.