The majority of the villages in Nagaland, a state on the far eastern side of the Indian Himalayan Region, are perched on hilltops. Communities in these villages rely on natural springs for their domestic and agricultural activities.
With an exponential increase in population since 1980s, and the corresponding increase in anthropogenic activities compounded by climate change, these mountain springs are drying up fast, leading to severe water shortages in many villages.
To tackle this, in 2016, the state’s Department of Land Resources initiated a pilot project in 11 sensitive villages on community-led Springshed development. The project aimed to rejuvenate drying and dying natural springs through recharge of the underground aquifers by employing appropriate engineering, vegetative and social measures. The efforts led to quantifiable increases in the discharge of springs in all the sites in subsequent years, benefitting the local population.
In partnership with various agencies, the state is applying the experiences and learnings obtained from the project in other villages with critical water issues.
The project was one of the recipients of Earth Care Awards 2019, a joint initiative of the JSW Group and the Times of India Group.
This case study was developed as part of the India States Climate Leadership Project of the Under2 Coalition.