HomeEnvironment & Bioregion > Environmental work > Update on water conservation activities

as posted in News&Notes # 459

Update on water conservation activities in the International Zone, 2012



We enlarged the rainwater tank in Ayarpadi, which has now a capacity 633 m3. The tank will be fed by the gully coming from Bharat Nivas.
Several bunds along the area in Ayarpadi were raised and improved. The rice fields profited from last year’s bunding.
The large pond in the Internal House was also enlarged, trenches were dug to lead the water from the road to Solitude into this pond.
Bunds were improved, corrected and enlarged. An outlet from the pond in the Tibetan Pavilion was created. Outside the Tibetan Pavilion is now an extra reservoir to deal with the heavy runoff.

In Solitude we cleaned and deepened the gully and we added some percolation pits. Next to the Tibetan Pavilion on Bharat Nivas site we improved the small pond of last year. Trees broken by the cyclone were removed by the BN team. This pond should now prevent water coming from BN into the Tibetan compound. Three bunds on the adjacent road were made to facilitate the water going in the right direction. A nice surprise was the finding of pieces of large petrified wood. The Tibetan Pavilion will place them in their patio.
We improved the pond next to the Tibetan Pavilion, enlarged the pond and raised the bunds for the new container dwellers.

Next to the small pond near Visitors Centre a larger percolation pond was made to let the water percolate further away from the road.
This was a request from Road Service. Road Service could use the soil elsewhere and transported it. The trench along the road was filled in partly as the inlet is now in the new pond. Opposite Visitors Centre were two already existing big holes. These holes are now converted in catchments ponds and connected to the adjacent gully. We were restricted by an electric cable going to Visitors Centre. Next to these two ponds was a small one, full with broken bricks and other waste. We shaped this pond in the same way as the others. Where ever we work we try to remove the Sisyphus, which is a horrible thorny creeper totally infesting this area. If it is not removed and maintained, this area will become the Sleeping Beauty’s overgrown habitat. Last year we made several small percolation pits along the gully. Some had still very clear water and I was happy to see two small kingfisher birds. Three of these pits were made larger and became small ponds.

Soil was taken by Road Service, Moorthy, Herbert and Matrimandir. The rest of the soil was used for bunds. In Savitri Bhavan we made some bunds and percolation pits. Three percolation ponds were made and we did additional bunding between Unity Pavilion, Bharat Nivas and the Language Lab. The bunds on the road are not speed breakers, but water breakers, trying to slow down the run off and lead the water off the road into the ponds. We completed this year’s work with a percolation pond in Recueillement.

During these five weeks we worked 291 hours with the JCB and the expenditure was Rs 164.302. Nota bene, all the ponds, kolams and pits are filled every year with soil, leaves etc. This substance forms a valuable enriched topsoil and is very good for the plants and trees.

So I would like to advice the stewards and caretakers next to such a water body to take it for garden use, when the water has percolated.
This helps to maintain them and let them work properly year after year. Please don’t throw your garden waste into the gullies and canyons.
Our canyons, gullies and other water bodies are the life lines in Auroville and its bioregion. As David Stein so rightly advised they should be protected by a green zone of at least 10 m.

Thanks for the harmonious support of all the stewards, IZ group, Road Service and L’Avenir. L’Avenir had made it very clear that our water ways have a priority above all. I hope all future L’Avenirs will endorse the  same.



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