1 Used in India to denote problem zones in groundwater maps. The zones are categorized based on annual groundwater withdrawals in relation to utilizable recharge: more than 100% of withdrawal to recharge ratio is called 'overexploited'; 85-100% 'dark'; 65-85% 'grey' and less than 65% 'white'.

2 For the past few decades, drinking and domestic water to cities and towns is supplied through pipelines sourcing from either surface water or groundwater.

3 As per the Indian Meteorological Department, a meteorological drought is said to occur when the deficiency of rainfall at a meteorological subdivision level is 25% or more of the long-term average of that subdivision for a given period. The drought is considered 'moderate' if the deficiency is between 26% and 50%, and 'severe' if it is more than 50%.

4 Prolonged meteorological drought causes hydrological drought in the form of scarcity of surface water and declined groundwater levels, resulting in severe shortage of water for both human and animal needs.

5 Agricultural drought is said to occur when soil moisture and rainfall are inadequate during the crop-growing season to support healthy crop growth to maturity. For crops, this causes extreme stress and wilting. Technically, for the purpose of assessment, agricultural drought is defined as a period of four consecutive weeks of severe meteorological drought with a rainfall deficiency of more than 50% of the long-term average or with a weekly rainfall of 5 cm or less during the period from mid-May to mid-October (the kharif season) when 80% of the country's total crop is planted, or 6 such consecutive weeks during the rest of the year.

6 According to the Central Groundwater Board, Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India, the dark zones in India are growing at a rate of 5.5% per annum; if corrective measures are not taken, by 2017/18, roughly 36% of the blocks in India will face serious problems of overexploitation of groundwater resources.

7 Gadhwada is a cluster of 27 villages (including the study villages) in Satlasana taluka of Mehsana district in north Gujarat with similar sociocultural conditions.

8 VIKSAT Nehru Foundation for Development, Thaltej Tekra, Ahmedabad, is engaged in promoting people's institutions for natural resource management and livelihood enhancement for the last three decades through its five field offices, all located in arid and semiarid regions of Gujarat.

9 The BPL income generally considered as per the World Bank norms is $1/day or Rs 17,000/year. We have used a generous figure of Rs 20,000/year.


11 Tree Growers Co-operative Societies, a common form of village-level institutions in Gujarat registered under the Co-operative Societies Registration Act.

12 Bhiloda taluka Lok Van Kalyan Sahkari Sangh Ltd., a taluka-level federation of village-level institutions, registered under the Co-operative Societies Registration Act.

13 Sanghathan Kshamata Manch-SAKSHAM; Secretariat at VIKSAT, Ahmedabad. SAKSAM is a state-level federation of federations registered as a Trust and Society.

14 VIKSAT and one of the villages have been awarded the prestigious national award - Indira Vriksh Mitra Award - in 1999 and 2005 respectively.

15 National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development is established as a development bank, in terms of the preamble of the act: 'for providing and regulating credit and other facilities for the promotion and development of agriculture, small scale industries, cottage and village industries, handicrafts, and other rural crafts and other allied economic activities in rural areas with a view to promoting integrated rural development and securing prosperity of rural areas and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto'.

16 AGRAR is an international collaborative research project of which VIKSAT is a partner. The project is supported by DFID-UK and coordinated by British Geological Survey, UK. Available at:

17 Under the National Food for Work Programme (now renamed National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme), the Government of India has identified 150 back ward districts for preparation of District Perspective Plans, which are underway. VIKSAT has prepared such a perspective plan for Sabarkantha district including artificial recharge activities as one of the major components.

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