By Dr Amal Kar
The author is Principal Scientist and Head of Division of Natural Resources and Environment Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI), Jodhpur.
Despite sizeable knowledge of water conservation systems, compulsions of modern era developments have gradually turned the Thar poor so far as availability and workable traditional water harvesting systems are concerned. Sadly, it started with groundwater irrigation that turned much of the desert green.
Water is one of the most precious commodities for survival of mankind. Nowhere is this more true than in a desert. Survival instinct has compelled the desert dwellers historically to search for water, both surface and groundwater, to cluster near water sources, to find ways to use water perfunctorily, and to develop water conservation practices. Western Rajasthan, which contains the major part of the sandy Thar Desert of Indian subcontinent, is no exception when traditional practices for water conservation are...