Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve
SRDS has a very clear goal - enough water for all farmers in Karnataka by 2020. Owing to the high replicability of the technique, SRDS believes this is well within reach. Once convinced of the technique and its merits, SRDS foresees a day when every farmer implements the recharge structure by himself on his tube-well. We believe word of mouth is the fastest means by which awareness about this technique shall spread especially in rural India. Thus, SRDS believes that by 2020, every tube-well in Karnataka shall be recharged either by SRDS or by the beneficiaries themselves. The technique can also be scaled up to different parts of the country or even the world, such is its potential and replicability.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
SRDS has reached out to 101 tube-wells with the following impact:
1. Quantity increase: The tube-wells recharged have shown an increase in water-output from 3 to 6 times. In some cases, dry tube-wells are working again.
2. Quality improvement: Sending of naturally filtered water back underground, results in decrease in the proportion of impurities in the underground water. This results in the tube-wells water losing its 'hardness'.
3. Crop cycle increase: Farmers use the recharged tube-wells to irrigate their fields even in the summer thus increasing the no. of crop cycles for them.
4. Crop diversification: In case of water-scarcity, most farmers are compelled to grow crops requiring less water. Water-availability means they are free to diversify.
5. Livelihoods impact: Higher agricultural yield improves farmers' livelihoods.
6. Conservation: The technique has resulted in immeasurably large quantities of water harvested in water-tables for use by future generations.
What is your projected impact over the next five years?
Over the next five years, we believe it is within our reach to spread our technique to at least 3000 tube-wells. With the recently increased acceptance to our technique, we believe implementation of our technique is the need of the hour and sooner or later, everyone shall realise this. Underground water tables are depleting day by day and sending water back down there to recharge them is the only solution. With the recent upswing in requests for our services, we see our demand trajectory setting a steeper upward slope over the next five years. With 3000 tube-wells recharged and healthy underground water levels, the agricultural productivity of the region should also see exponential growth along with a rise in the income of the direct beneficiaries.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
So far, our biggest challenges have been to gain funding for our projects and to convince farmers to let us implement a new technique on their precious tube-wells. The latter however has been on a decline for a while and we now see increased acceptance for our technique. The financial issue remains our biggest challenge although, with our recent successes,we have seen a rising demand from beneficiaries who are willing to invest the entire cost of the recharge structure by themselves without availing of any subsidy from our side. We expect to see more of such demand because farmers will pay for water, if nothing else.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Over the next six months, we aim to double the impact we have achieved in the last 3 years by reaching out to a 200 tube-wells.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
In a year's time, we believe we can spread the technique to 500 tube-wells.