To promote water conservation and help enrich the health of the soil, Zuari initiated a watershed development project in Kohinkarwadi, a drought prone village in Pune, Maharashtra. This village has low to medium rainfall, with an average of 900mm. Watershed development helps collect water through soil and water conservation measures – increasing the water table in the process.
Zuari helped in constructing various water harvesting structures and undertook contour bunding and regeneration of biomass cover in the project village. In collaboration with Vanarai Pune(NGO), Zuari constructed numerous permanent structures -
a. Loose Boulders: Semi-permanent structures constructed to control soil erosion and to reduce the speed of runoff water. About 55 loose boulders were constructed in the village, to help increase the water level of nearby wells.
b. Contour Bund: A soil or stone bund, constructed along the elevation of land. In other words, a mechanical barrier across the slope of the land.
c. Gabion Structure: A semi-permanent structure similar to loose boulders, the difference being boulders are bound together by galvanized wire mesh (3 mm diameter) which increases the life of the structure.
d. Stone Bund: A simple bund constructed with locally available stones across the stream to control soil erosion and cutting of agricultural land.
e. Farm Pond: A small water harvesting structure constructed in the farm that helps increase soil moisture,allowing the usage of stored water for standing crops. Four such farm ponds were constructed in the village.
f. Masonry Check Dam: A small stone cement structure built across a stream to store water.
g. Nalla Training: This helps to avoid cutting of sides during water flow and damage to agricultural land. One such structure was constructed in the village.