The south campus of BHU located at Barkachha in Mirzapur considered an economically backward district of Uttar Pradesh, finding ways to develop water management system and most importantly providing water was a top priority.
“Despite all odds, BHU’s South campus leads by example and the nearly 2,700-acre campus has become self-sustaining for its water needs, perhaps the first and only such campus in the country … the campus has developed its own Water Management and Supply System. It also created rainwater harvesting structures to meet the water needs of agriculture and cattle,” Prof. VK Mishra, Professor in-charge, South Campus, BHU said.
Mishra further said that Mirzapur has only 40 per cent cultivable land with no fixed irrigation facilities. The farmers there have to be satisfied with specific dry land/rain based crops. “Irregular rainfall distribution, widespread erosion, soil erosion, nutrient depletion and submergence of cultivable area are the challenges involved in agricultural activities. The soils here (in Mirzapur) are of low depth, fertility and organic matter status, which makes it difficult for the soil to grow. Limits nutrients. and water holding capacity,” he said.
Professor in-charge of BHU’s South Campus said that the campus has a total of nine check dams, two runoff water collection ponds and three wells to store rain water. “Each check dam can hold up to 2 lakh liters of water. The water from the check dam is used to irrigate the agricultural fields in the campus. Presently the water collected in the check dam is being used on about 40 hectares of land. .” said Mishra.
He further added that check dams are also used for fish farming. In addition, there is a large farm pond with water storage area of 100 m x 100 m with an average depth of 3-4 m and two runoff water reservoirs. “These captives and ponds store water for irrigation for a short period from July to December,” Mishra said.
To meet the daily needs of drinking water for the South Campus, Mishra said surface water is pumped from the Lower Khajuri Dam at Barkachha. The dam is about 2.5 km from the campus for which the university has laid a pipeline. The university has constructed a pumping station on the dam. Water is pumped into the filtration unit built in the campus. Under this exercise, about 12-13 lakh liters of water is being pumped which is then filtered and treated for drinking.
“The water is stored in two collection tanks of 5 lakh liters capacity. Raw water pipeline has been laid from the filtration unit to the Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences to maintain the cattle and other animal shelters,” he said.
First published:March 18, 2022, 6:28 pm