SRIJAN Initiatives on DOHA Model: Convergence, Collaboration, and Cross Learning…

Written by Stutilina Pal, SRIJAN India | June 26, 2020

How the Doha model of groundwater recharge saved the livelihoods of farmers.

A Doha canal at Rajini village (India Water Portal)

District Tikamgarh, SRIJAN (Madhya Pradesh), by virtue of being located in Bundelkhand has very undulating topography, erratic rainfall, and unpromising agriculture. With erratic rainfall, the agriculture lands located in the vicinity of the small streams are left with a limited source of water for irrigation. These shallow streams, running dry without any scope for recharge take its toll on the rabi crop. To address the issue, SRIJAN, made an effort to construct small pond like structures called “Doha” along the stream. This allows the arresting of water during monsoons, leading to creating additional water potential, which otherwise was not tapped earlier.

So far 23 such structures have been constructed covering the 3 villages and stream length of 4 kms, benefiting more than 150 families. The intervention will provide the farmer with the much-needed source for irrigation. The district administration has hugely appreciated the effort and promised their support in the long run.

Benefits of Doha model

  • Low cost and eco-friendly water harvesting structure.
  • Can recharge groundwater tables even with 300 millimetres of rainfall.
  • No land acquisition is required.
  • Water storage below ground level, so no risk of side scoring.
  • Water-logging problem of nearby land could be reduced.
  • Drinking water problems can be mitigated.
  • Most suitable to 500 to 800 millimetres of rainfall zone.
  • Replicable at any stream in any region of the country.
  • Construction cost per tetra cubic meter or TCM (1000 cubic metre) of Doha is very less than compared to the construction cost of government structures. For example, the construction cost for Doha is Rs 70000/TCM whereas the government estimate is Rs 1,50,000/TCM for the same work.

It’s a very cost-effective method of water conservation and also very effective in terms of well recharging and moisture conservation of farming lands in and around that stream, usually these are 2nd, 3rd order streams ….. around which only small and marginal farmers have land holding, rich farmers should be landed around 4th order and above streams.

Step-by-Step procedures are being shown


Ms. Stutilina Pal is leading Bundelkhand team and BIWAL programmers with Ashish Ambastha leading PMU at Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. Ms. Stutilina Pal has also taken initiatives on repair and renovation of Drinking water sources of Bundelkhand in times of Corona with support from Gram Panchayat, Community contribution, and some funding and technical support from SRIJAN. The following study was done by Dilasha Team on Doha Model and its impact on Agriculture.


With Implementation Grant support from Axis Bank Foundation, Caring Friends, Arpan Foundation ( USA) and Institutional Grant support from Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives (APPI) and necessary Government of Convergence through CFT, MGNREGA, District Administration and support from AIGGPA (Atal Bihari Institute of Good Governance and Policy Analysis), Bhopal as the knowledge partner, the initiatives has been protecting and conserving water sources while supporting the communities post lock -down to adopt the new normal. and to ensure protection of Kharif crop.

Related to SRIJAN’s initiatives on Doha Model

For more details on Doha Model, you can contact Ms. Stutilina Pal, Program Manager, SRIJAN India, New Delhi | |

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