Gatachiwadi is a village in Barshi, located in Solapur district of Maharashtra. It is famous for its toor dal and other agricultural products. This village that has a population of around 800 people was facing serious water scarcity and the farmers depended solely on rainfall. The rainwater storage canal that was already in place was 750 metres long but just four feet wide and three feet deep; this was not sufficient to cater to the village.
Help came in the form of Rotarians of RC Barshi, RI District 3132. They inspected the existing canal and planned to deepen and widen it, so as to collect sufficient quantity of rain water. The rainwater thus harvested can improve the ground-water level and meet the community’s water demands.
The old canal was expanded to 22 feet wide and 10 feet deep and it was further divided into seven pockets of nearly 100 metres each. The total project cost was ₹1,43,000. In just one bout of rainfall, all the pockets filled up with water and the percolation increased the ground water level five-fold. The total capacity of the pockets was 1crore 30 lakh litres and about 5 crore litres will percolate into the ground thereby strengthening the ground water level.
The harvested rainwater is not only an independent water supply but is also potable. Farmers were thrilled with this unique project as it will improve their farm produce and thus livelihood.