Landscape Design
Water Conserving Design in Rurban India | James L Wescoat Jr
LA 49
A Nallah-Front Village in Jamnagar District, Gujarat

The residents of the village Jivapar attempt to create a sustainable 'rurban' waterscape by targeting a nallah and improving the drainage system. With the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services already making efforts in the housing and sanitation departments, villagers express their interest in expanding that scope to the small nallah which is, currently, in a state of deterioration.
A design charrette in Mumbai identified the intriguing case of a rural village that was interested in a comprehensive approach to nallah restoration and water planning. The village of Jivapar in Jamnagar district, Gujarat, has 535 families (2,814 persons), and it has many urban qualities. A man skypes with his son who is working in the Congo. Others work in a nearby petrochemical complex. A group of women produces, packages, and distributes fried chips to a district market. There are high levels of literacy, elementary environmental education, and an adult reading centre. About half of the adult workers are farmers and a quarter are farm labourers, but most have non-farm revenue as well. The village supports a weekly travelling dry goods market and has good access to the coastal highway to Jamnagar.

Like many villages in this part of Gujarat, Jivapar lies at the intersection of two farm roads one of which crosses a small nallah. As in most rurbanizing regions, this nallah is in deteriorating condition. Not as bad as an inner-city nallah, to be sure, but it lacks a well-defined channel, floods regularly behind a poorly designed bridge, and is accumulating debris along its banks. Fields and roads drain into, rather than away from, the central chowk. Still, the village has a new piped water supply, and most houses have individual taps and toilets. As water supply increases to the homes, so too does grey water discharge into the lanes.


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