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Reviving traditional water tank (Vayalgam) management and governance practices in rural Tamil Nadu

DHAN Foundation (Development of Human Action)

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HUF’s programme with DHAN Foundation operates in the Gundar Basin of Tamil Nadu. Communities in this region managed and governed a network of thousand-year-old interconnected tanks to conserve water. Over the years, the contribution of communities to manage their water resources had become dysfunctional. In many of these tanks, the bunds are weak, sluices are leaking, water spread area is silted and supply channel is encroached, creating an adverse bearing on farming.

Our partnership with DHAN aims to augment the supply of water in Gundar, by rejuvenating and repairing the water tanks, removing tank encroachments and deepening them. Sustainability of water tanks is achieved by strengthening community institutions (Vayalgams) which collectively govern and manage their water.

This programme activated 50 water tanks in 391 villages across the Gundar basin. An estimated 25,000 farmers have benefitted from the programme. 10,800 hectares of agricultural land has been stabilised by driving adoption of water-responsible practices.

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