Rajasthan’s nadis, an insurance against a dry summer
- In western Rajasthan, traditional water-harvesting structures brimming with rainwater.
Traditional water-harvesting structures - Nadis
- Nadis or talabs (ponds) are shallow depressions across the rural landscape in the arid regions of the Jodhpur and Barmer districts.
- The water collected in these tanks will satiate people, cattle and wild animals during the dry months.
- The nadis have been a part of rural life for ages.
- The rural communities store rainwater in these structures with the application of traditional knowledge and locally available materials in view of the highly fluctuating and scanty rainfall in the State.
- However, not all nadis are in good shape now.
- Several of them have fallen into disrepair, while others leak because of cracks in their embankment walls.
- The structures can even be a solution to flash floods.
Ramrawas Kalan model
- At Ramrawas Kalan, a village in Jodhpur, the two nadis undergo periodic maintenance.
- The two structures are Deoli and Chan, the latter being the bigger one and are in orans or sacred groves.
- The orans are associated with the local deities.
- Many varieties of trees in these orans slow the water run-off.
- Slower run-off of rainwater has led to more percolation in the local nadis and ponds.
- The orans are mini-oases in an otherwise arid landscape.
- The local Bishnoi community has worked hard to ensure the maintenance and functioning of orans and nadis.
- Bishnois follow the commandments for protecting the flora and fauna.
- These local systems are vital to maintaining resilience against global warming and climate change.
- Orans and nadis are “mixed water-pasture regimes” that need careful maintenance to protect their water-holding capacity and save rainwater.
Prelims take away
- Traditional water harvesting system