India Placeholder

Integrated water resources management

About the Implementing organization


Country: India

Year of establishment: 1972

Type of organization: Legally recognized non-profit status


We have focused on low-cost rainwater harvesting (RWH) structures. Site identification and construction of structure were done through the participation of watershed committee and farmers along with ICRISAT staff. The low-cost structures are proven for sustainability, equity as well as cost effectiveness. A number of rainwater harvesting structures such as check dam, gully control structures, farm ponds, loose boulder structures, percolation tanks and well-recharging pits were constructed which altogether created 94,000 cubic meter storage capacity over the seven years. Moreover, in-situ interventions such as field and stone bundling were also developed in these villages to enhance the green water availability and reduce soil erosion.

Nature Element


Type of Action

Sustainable use / Pollution prevention, clean up / Awareness and education

Sustainable Development Element

Food security / Water security / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)


Environmental Impacts

It was estimated that water harvesting structures created are harvesting approximately 282 million liters of rainwater every year, and 80% of it get recharged into the groundwater aquifer. About 948 million liters rainwater has already been harvested over the seven years period. In addition to groundwater augmentation, this initiative has also reduced soil erosion.

Sustainable Development Impacts

Groundwater is one of the important source of drinking water and for irrigation. Increase groundwater recharge by 282 million liters per year and introducing various agriculture water management interventions, farmers were able to save 20-30% of water and energy with increased water availability and this has increased overall systems performance. Water productivity in pilot villages was increased from 15 to 35% depending on crops and rainfall pattern. Various AWM interventions not only enhanced water resources availability in pilot villages but also helped in strengthening various ecosystem services. Soil loss has been reduced from 10 ton/ha to 3 tons/ha. Thus, this solution has a positive impact on SDGs on No poverty, zero hunger, and clean water and sanitation.


The GoI has adopted a community watershed management approach to improve rain-fed agriculture and it could as well be the entry point to improve livelihood opportunities in rain-fed areas through increased rain-fed food and feed production and also through maintenance of the natural resource base, which is the lifeline for rural enterprises.


Low crop yields and high risk of crop failure are associated with dryland agriculture in the semi-arid tropics (SAT). Frequent dry spells and excess rains are the most common characteristics of in the SAT, which often cause water stress situation and land degradation during the rainy season. Thus, implementation of integrated water resource management is most suitable option to improve the rural livelihood and environment in present climate change scenario. ICRISAT is replicating this initiative by undertaking number of research and development projects from state, national governments (example, 13 model watershed projects of MoRD); and private agencies (Tata Trust, Coco Cola India Foundation, JSW, Asian Paints, SAB Miller, Asian Paints, Power Grid Corporation, RECL etc.) targeting to enhance water resources availability, water use efficiency, improving income and livelihood in different agro-ecological regions of India.

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