“When the well is dry, we learn the worth of water”. With the declining water resources and the impending water crisis, water has become a costly and precious asset. To help prevent the future scarcity of water, Sachin Marti started the initiative of water conservation.
Vasai, is traditionally an agricultural area with abundant lakes and ponds. The traditional water ponds or Bhowkhals, as locally known, have been a lifeline for this area. These traditional water systems are over 200 yrs old and are an integral part of the ecosystem. The water from these ponds is used for agriculture and also preserves marine biodiversity. They play a big role in tiding over droughts and also have an important link to groundwater and therefore, the drinking water in Wells.
“I saw children walking for miles to collect drinking water, and I wondered as we have abundant water resources to provide drinking water, why would they to this task?, on asking them about this, they replied that the water available isn’t drinkable”. And thus, thus this initiative of water conservation was born.
Primarily, he is into restoration and conservation of these traditional water resources. There are three main tasks which are associated with this initiative. Firstly, the testing of water to ascertain it’s quality. He has observed that over the years the quality of water has indeed deteriorated, but people aren’t aware regarding it. Secondly, the cleaning and conservation of these resources. Typically, 5-35 families own a pond and so instructions are provided to them on the cleaning of the pond. This requires expertise on his part and also, support from the families which is hard to find. At times, monetary help is provided for this purpose. And his last task is groundwater mapping. There isn’t a concrete mapping of groundwater which has hampered the planning of usage of this scare resource. In order to utilise these water resources efficiently, a strong ground water mapping is needed, which is done by him.
Sachin Marti has been doing this noble initiative since the past 5 years with the help of funds provided by different organizations. The obstacles faced by him, at times lowered the pace of his work. Firstly, there was no documentation of the traditional water ponds and whatever information was available was oral. So, he had to visit every house and ask the people, then identify the problem and finally, work out a solution for it. Secondly, his educational background is social work which is quite different from the conservation of water resources. With the changing scenario in education and better job opportunities, they did not engage in agricultural activities. Thus, there was a lack of interest and ignorance regarding this issue.
Till date he has surveyed around 125-160 traditional ponds and has cleaned up atleast 5. Apart from this, he has conducted and also been part of many beach cleanups and has also, planted trees which are ideal for beaches. These help turtles lay eggs, this also aids biodiversity conservation. He has documented 251 migratory birds species since the past 5 years. In order to spread awareness on water conservation, he has been writing articles and also, has been part of many conferences regarding this issue. He has been taking forward this water conservation initiative since the past 4 years and still does so with vigour and enthusiasm like no other.
On asked regarding the solution to this water crisis, he say, “There is nothing we can that will permanently erase all the damage but we can prevent further damage to the environment and ensure its continuity”.
To contact Sachin Marti- 9975123589