News & Notes 698:A reminder and appeal from the FAMC

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698 icon.jpg   News & Notes 698
6 May 2017

A reminder and appeal from the FAMC

As you are probably all aware, the state of Tamil Nadu and our region is under severe drought conditions, to the extent that the state has approached the central government for Natural Disaster Relief funds. The bandh that occurred recently was partially related to this situation as the farmers are suffering from crop failure and, as a consequence, had asked for debts to be waived or postponed until such time as they could recover.

However, it is not just our bioregion that is affected. Farms in Auroville are also suffering from the drought conditions, which is leading to wells failing and therefore crop reduction. This will cause Auroville’s food production to go down, which will also result in negative impacts on our economy.

Consider the following:

  • Catchment ponds are at their lowest levels in recent history.
  • There may be some tough calls necessary between agricultural water needs for food production and other water use. (For example, Matrimandir uses as much water as a farm, about 240m3/ day.)
  • In several farms, borewells are drying up. Farmers have to lower their pumps deeper in the well where possible, and/or abandon crops that they had planted. All this will have severe financial consequences for the farms.
  • Specifically, from Priya of Buddha Garden: “We got some pretty shocking information about our well in Buddha Garden today. It dried up completely seven times in the last month and is running at less than half its usual output. We may have to close off some of the gardens completely.”

In spite of all of this, there are still many people watering ornamental plants with a hose pipe at mid-day, washing motorcycles and cars, and generally carrying on with their water use as usual.

Therefore, this is an appeal to all of us to be extra conscious of our use of the very precious natural resource and asset that we all depend on: water. Please try to reduce usage to the bare minimum, including gardens and especially grass. Consciousness about water use is a must at all times, but now more than ever.

We hope you will each take this to heart and make a real effort to do what you can to conserve water in every aspect of life.

Thank you for your understanding and consideration.

With hope,