Water capture and management is at the heart of human survival needs. And people in certain regions of India have really been feeling the struggle of capturing water in a way that will allow them to grow abundant crops and keep the villages hydrated.
Enter the Paani Foundation Water Cup – a yearly contest that challenges villages in the state of Maharashtra to create the most water harvesting structures in a 45-day period. And over the course of just a few years, hundreds of billions – yes, billions – of gallons of water have been captured because of these structures.
- According to Andrew Millison who is a permaculture educator and Horticulture instructor at the University of Oregon, this contest results in the largest water restoration project on the planet.
Sometimes the results of this competition have lasting, positive effects for the locals. Through carefully placing short rock walls and shallow trenches (also known as swales) around their land to capture and direct rainfall, one village was able to transform their land from dry and arid to green and lush in just one year.
- In the past, the village had to import water during dry seasons, but this has not been necessary since implementing the water management system.
And the benefits don’t stop there. Better water management means better farmland, which means better health and social systems in the village.