The 3R approach of retaining, recharging and re-using water provides water of acceptable quality in rural areas. Retention is the second element in this approach. It slows down the lateral flow of groundwater and creates a large wet buffer in the subsoil, making it easier to retrieve and circulate water. Retention affects the groundwater table and soil moisture and chemistry, which lead to improved yields of rain-dependent agricultural areas.
There are many techniques for groundwater retention and they vary from simple to sophisticated. Some examples from all over the world:
– earthen gully plugs
– subsurface dams and sand dams
– shutters, so called ‘needles’ in Central India
– controlled subsurface drainage systems
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