lynsey addario, photographer

India: A Harvest of Water

Long at the mercy of the monsoons, some Indian farmers are sculpting hillsides to capture runoff, enriching their land and lives.

National Geographic

Before and after drought comparison of the Valley
  
A Water tanker, was hired by the organizers of a rally in beed city, is mobbed by the Dalit caste and the landless at a demonstration in support of more rights for dalits and landless, including more access to land and water on May 20th 2009.
  
Reveling in the luxury of a soaking, guests at the Wet 'N Joy theme park near Shirdi dance to a Bollywood beat. Tapping the drought-prone region's aquifer for nonessential uses diverts water from farmers who need it desperately.
     
  
 Over one million Indians from the state of Maharastra flock to the Pandurpur at the culmination of a pilgrimage from across the state to mark the pilgrimage that Saint Dynashewar made to Pandurpur around 1200 ad. The ceremoney of Ashadh Ekadashi, which is marked by the lunar calendar, usually falls in the height of the monsoon season, after farmers have sown their  seeds, and are waiting for weeding.The holy ceremony falls on  the 14 July, 2008.
  
 Over one million Indians from the state of Maharastra flock to the Pandurpur at the culmination of a pilgrimage from across the state to mark the pilgrimage that Saint Dynashewar made to Pandurpur around 1200 ad. The ceremoney of Ashadh Ekadashi, which is marked by the lunar calendar, usually falls in the height of the monsoon season, after farmers have sown their  seeds, and are waiting for weeding.The holy ceremony falls on  the 14 July, 2008.
  
Indians graze their cattle around the village of Satichewadi after eight consecutive days of rain at the end of the monsoon season, September 13, 2008. After months of waiting for rain in the rainshadow, most of the land and cropped have been flooded, though bunds and man-made percolation tanks have been filled. Chandrabhaga Pawar, 60, grazes her cattle on her land, mostly flooded by the rains of the past week. most villagers assume their badri rop has been lost to the rains, and will rot.
     
  
  
Indians graze their cattle around the village of Darewadi after eight consecutive days of rain at the end of the monsoon season, September 14, 2008. After months of waiting for rain in the rainshadow, most of the land and crops have been flooded, though bunds and man-made percolation tanks have been filled as per the planning of the watershed program. darewadi is more than 10 years on into the watershed program, and most of the village's land is carefully sculpted to prevent water from running off.  The sitting water is absorbed back into the land, which raises the water table for when the drought arrives.
  
Pooled amid the system of trenches and dams created in Satichiwadi, rainwater soaks slowly into the ground. That moisture will help sustain crops and increase grazing for herds of cattle and goats.
     
  
  
The Karande family grows water-intensive onions as a cash crop, benefiting from more than a decade of land contouring around Darewadi. Before, they subsisted on millet scratched from parched fields.
  
     
  
  
  
     
  
  
  
     
  
Prohibited from felling trees under Satichiwadi's new watershed rules, Nandabai (at left) and Sakhubai Thama Pawar prepare a meal for 20 family members over fires fueled by small branches.
  
In the village of Gunjalwadi, one-year-old Sarika Walunj's monthly weigh-in records her growth. The watershed program here has led to more crops and better nutrition and to the increased prosperity