We chose this land for its dying water source. We wanted to find a way to regenerate a watershed with simple techniques. You can read more on how we regenerated it here.
To be short, we witnessed nature regenerating a stream with our efforts. We protected the land, nature grew forest there. We built checkdams and percolation pits, nature absorbed and stored it. We call it cultivating water. During the rain, we walk around the campus and make sure that as much water is percolated as possible. Since our farm land is like a super sponge, diverting running water from the paths to the farm is a good method of percolating. Its a rain shadow area, so it is important for us to ‘cultivate water’
The water source dyed in 1984, a year after we started living on this hill. Everyone else had to leave the hill. We stayed back on the hills to see every change that happens in the watershed. We used to go and walk through the valley during the rains. There was no sign of any spring. Our scientist friends suggested it might take a 100 year for a stream to regenerate. However, the stream re-generated after 7 years. Gradually all the residents came back. The water level goes down once in a while when the rains are very low. But when it happens, ours is the last place where the water dries up. The stream dried out three times in the last 30 years. While we know the importance of cultivating water, our neighbours are yet to understand the significance of the same.