Case Study of the Day: Drinking Water Management- Mazhapolima Initiative

Background: The Thrissur District Administration along with NGOs in Kerala, have launched an artificial groundwater recharge programme called Mazhapolima.

About Mazhapolima Programme

  • The district’s increased dependency on groundwater had led to drying up of the open surface wells and had deteriorated the quality of existing water sources.
  • At such a situation, the district administration introduced Mazhapolima program, with following interventions:
    • In the rainy season, the rooftop rainwater was led through pipes with sand filter at the end, to open dug well to replenish the aquifer.
    • Under this initiative, employees of NGOs received training to install roof water harvesting systems.
    • Intervention gave subsidies to poorer households especially in overexploited groundwater blocks and in areas of high salinity.
  • Impacts noticed:
    • It resulted in abundance of drinking water, free from nitrates, iron content and with reduced salinity.
    • The Money earlier spent on obtaining drinking water through tankers is now being spent on building self-sustaining rooftop rainwater harvesting structures.
    • Recharging units have resulted in increased groundwater levels.
  • Taking cue of the programme, there is a need for many more community based interventions, to make great strides in confronting water stress in the country.

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