Reducing water runoff

Published: 08 January 2021
Last edited: 08 January 2021

The purpose of restoring water sources, especially community ponds, is to increase water infiltration by lowering the rate and volume of water runoff during the rainy season and to store rainwater for use during the dry season.  The project supported the protection, repair, and rehabilitation of springs and old ponds, thereby improving the water supply. Panchase receives a high volume of rainfall during the rainy season, so these ponds store water for later use rather than letting it run off. This water is used well into the dry season to irrigate crops and as drinking water for domestic and wild animals. By reducing runoff, the project also reduced soil erosion and landslides in the area. Additionally, the measure increased water infiltration and contributed to ground water recharge, which benefits areas downstream, as well as the overall ecosystem.


Alliance and partnership development
Collection of baseline and monitoring data and knowledge
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Education, training and other capacity development activities
Enforcement and prosecution
Evaluation, effectiveness measures and learning
Sustainable financing
Sustainable livelihoods
Technical interventions and infrastructure
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

  • Technical knowledge of water source restoration before engaging the community groups in implementation of activities 
  • A strong rapport between the communities and the project team  
  • The project focused on developing measures that addressed issues already considered problematic by the communities, which helped ensure strong community support for the measures
  • Ponds were chosen for restoration based on priorities determined by the communities themselves 

Use of local knowledge regarding water source location and resource use

Lessons learned

  • Using a participatory approach to address community problems ensures more interest in and ownership of project interventions 
  • Handing over the project implementation responsibility to community groups increases community ownership and commitment, but technical and managerial training must be provided before transferring responsibility
  • Perennial water sources are necessary to ensure a year-round supply of water and therefore effective water-retention. 
  • Interventions should be integrated with other relevant activities, such as agriculture, to ensure sustainability 
  • To protect community ponds from damage due to rural road construction, it is important to enforce appropriate safeguard measures