Well! Seeking attention wouldn’t be easier than that, could it? So, now that we have your attention, here is the time and reason to get a little serious!
The ishaoutreach.org is now taking the greatest of the initiatives that are forbidding the green lifecycle to outrun it’s potential. The more common feature of this river is that the name “Cauvery” literally means “one who brings abundance.” But this once mighty river is mighty no more.
Last year, the suffering of farmers and their suicides in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in the Cauvery basin, have made national headlines. The depletion of Cauvery and the distress of farmers are two manifestations of the same problem.
- Cauvery has depleted over 40% in the last 70 years
- 87% of the basin’s original tree cover has been lost
- During the summer, Cauvery is unable to reach the ocean
- 70% of Cauvery basin’s soil suffers erosion
- 83% of farmers in Tamil Nadu and 77% of farmers in Karnataka are in debt
- 17 districts in Tamil Nadu were drought-hit in 2019
- 15 of the last 18 years have been drought years in Karnataka
- Almost half the Cauvery basin suffers critical groundwater depletion
Why Cauvery Is Dying?
Cauvery, like almost all rivers in India, is forest-fed. Historically, this region was covered in forests and tree cover. The soil was constantly replenished with nutrients and organic matter by animal waste and plant litter. Organic matter allowed the soil to absorb water, and thus feed Cauvery.
As Trees Disappear…
Growing human populations and inefficient agriculture practices have led to an extreme loss of tree cover and the soil is no longer sufficiently replenished. The soil no longer absorbs water efficiently and suffers erosion instead. The soil, having lost its ability to retain water, is unable to sustain Cauvery. As a result, the river is drying up. The falling water levels and dying soil are taking a devastating toll on our farmers, who suffer failed harvests and crippling debt.
To reverse this dire situation, revitalize Cauvery, rejuvenate the soil, and improve farmers’ income, Cauvery Calling will support farmers to plant 242 crore trees. It is estimated that these 242 crore trees will increase water retention in the Cauvery basin by about 40%.
There Is Only One Solution
The simplest way to make Cauvery flow again is to increase tree cover.
Support farmers to plant 242 crores.
The campaign will support farmers to plant 242 crores or 2.42 billion trees through agroforestry, covering one-third of Cauvery basin with tree cover.
Our vision will be achieved by incentivizing and motivating farmers to move from water-intensive conventional crops to long term agroforestry. Agroforestry is the practice of growing fruit or timber trees along with conventional crops or on a full-fledged basis.
How Trees Revitalize Rivers?
Trees help rain seep into the soil because living and decaying roots make soil porous, by creating a network of well-connected, minuscule channels in the soil. Once water is absorbed, just as rainwater percolated downward into the soil, water can percolate horizontally as well. This kind of underground “water flow” can feed water into streams and rivers, maintaining continuous river flow even after the rainy season is over.
A Game-Changer for River Revitalization
Cauvery Calling is committed to resolute action on the ground. With an 83,000 sq km basin, the focus on Cauvery will offer a model for large scale implementation of this solution. It will set an example for a sustainable river revitalization process that the rest of India and tropical areas of the world can follow.
Cauvery Calling will demonstrate how ecology and economy can go together, and that reviving ecology can be a very lucrative process. Once this is demonstrated, it is inevitable that everyone will take it up.