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Small dams revive dry rivers and mitigate local climate change in India’s drylands

Small dams revive dry rivers and mitigate local climate change in India’s drylands Purpose– This study aims to assess how small check dams built across rivers in India’s drylands can revitalize rivers during dry season and mitigate local climate change consequences. The surface- and groundwater resources are increasingly under pressure throughout India. The imminent climate change consequences will further aggravate the crisis and this paper has addressed this difficult issue. Design/methodology/approach– This study was conducted in India’s dryland districts, namely, Dahod in Gujarat and Jhalawar and Banswara in Rajasthan state, to assess the impacts of small dams. Data on dams, sustainability, groundwater levels and benefits to farmers were systematically collected to analyze advantages offered by check dams with reference to climate change mitigation. Findings– The study shows that 356 check dams built during 1990-2012 across the tribal drylands of India, with a cost of USD 17 million, benefited over one million people from farming communities. The dams also increased groundwater levels in villages, revived rivers during dry season and increased forest growth along rivers, ultimately mitigating local climate change-imposed negative consequences. Research limitations/implications– Data on small dams are limited in India, as public have no access to such data because the work is done mainly by local contractors. Practical implications– The check dams, the role of which is highlighted here, are simple, eco-friendly and cost-effective. If it is adopted across the vast drylands of India and elsewhere, it has the potential to increase agricultural output; guarantee food security; enhance groundwater resources; and, above all, mitigate local climate change consequences. Social implications– If check dams are built in large numbers across India, it has the potential to increase agricultural output; guarantee food security; enhance groundwater resources; and, above all, mitigate climate change. Originality/value– The highlighted results and discussion will guide scientists, politicians and policymakers to make informed decisions to combat India’s future climate change consequences. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management Emerald Publishing

Small dams revive dry rivers and mitigate local climate change in India’s drylands

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1756-8692
DOI
10.1108/IJCCSM-12-2014-0141
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– This study aims to assess how small check dams built across rivers in India’s drylands can revitalize rivers during dry season and mitigate local climate change consequences. The surface- and groundwater resources are increasingly under pressure throughout India. The imminent climate change consequences will further aggravate the crisis and this paper has addressed this difficult issue. Design/methodology/approach– This study was conducted in India’s dryland districts, namely, Dahod in Gujarat and Jhalawar and Banswara in Rajasthan state, to assess the impacts of small dams. Data on dams, sustainability, groundwater levels and benefits to farmers were systematically collected to analyze advantages offered by check dams with reference to climate change mitigation. Findings– The study shows that 356 check dams built during 1990-2012 across the tribal drylands of India, with a cost of USD 17 million, benefited over one million people from farming communities. The dams also increased groundwater levels in villages, revived rivers during dry season and increased forest growth along rivers, ultimately mitigating local climate change-imposed negative consequences. Research limitations/implications– Data on small dams are limited in India, as public have no access to such data because the work is done mainly by local contractors. Practical implications– The check dams, the role of which is highlighted here, are simple, eco-friendly and cost-effective. If it is adopted across the vast drylands of India and elsewhere, it has the potential to increase agricultural output; guarantee food security; enhance groundwater resources; and, above all, mitigate local climate change consequences. Social implications– If check dams are built in large numbers across India, it has the potential to increase agricultural output; guarantee food security; enhance groundwater resources; and, above all, mitigate climate change. Originality/value– The highlighted results and discussion will guide scientists, politicians and policymakers to make informed decisions to combat India’s future climate change consequences.

Journal

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 21, 2016

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