March 20, 2020
On the occasion of World Water Day, Cairn Oil & Gas, Vedanta Ltd., has announced that it will work on a water workshop to strategize a roadmap for “Green Barmer”, in partnership with key Rajasthan state departments, NGOs, and think-tanks.
Lending vital support and encouragement for the water workshop, Barmer Collector and District Magistrate, Mr. Ansh Deep, said, “It is heartening to note that an initiative to plan a strategic roadmap for Barmer is being proposed by Cairn Oil and Gas, Vedanta Ltd., and PHED department. Being a water-scarce region, a multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral approach involving District Administration, Government departments, NGOs and industry partners would have positive ramifications for Barmer District. Cairn's experience in the field of Water Conservation through various CSR activities over the years is laudable. The joint water workshop will help expand such strategic water conservation efforts towards our “Green Barmer” vision”.
Cairn Oil & Gas, India’s largest private oil and gas exploration and production company, has already been leading the way in water harvesting and conservation in the arid district of Barmer in Rajasthan.
Talking about Cairn’s work in the region, Mr. Ajay Kumar Dixit, CEO, Cairn Oil & Gas, Vedanta Ltd., said, “I am proud that we have been integrative and strategic in our water conservation and harvesting measures. It is not one, but many initiatives, a web of which is contributing to the “Green Barmer” vision.”
“This World Water Day, we would like to present Barmer as a model of community-led development in water management and encourage every citizen to do their bit to save this precious natural resource”, he added.
Cairn has been operational in the Barmer region for over a decade and during this time, the district has witnessed a marked improvement in all macro-economic indicators. From being one of the most backward areas in the country, Barmer is now a shining example of how the presence of a responsible corporate citizen can impact the lives of people and communities. Among its various community initiatives, Cairn has focused on making drinking water available in a region otherwise marred by recurring droughts and a perennial shortage of water. Through several initiatives, the endeavor has been to enhance conditions through strategic interventions, in partnership with local people and communities.
The business appreciates that water is not a luxury but a basic need and is even more critical as a life source in the Thar desert. Water, therefore, threads through multiple initiatives as part of a large vision to transform the very ecology of the region.
Even as Hon’ble PM, Shri Narendra Modi, introduced the Jal Shakti Abhiyan in July last year to accelerate water conservation across the country, Cairn’s interventions over the last ten years have been actively and comprehensively addressing all five aspects of the Abhiyan.
Water conservation and rainwater harvesting
Micro irrigation systems green Barmer’s 1,214 “Wadi”, or agri-horticultural units developed
Rooftop water harvesting structures have been built in 85 schools, benefiting more than 6,000 students
More than 1,200 “Tanka”, or household water tanks, of capacity more than 20,000 litres each, have been constructed
Renovation of traditional water bodies and tanks
781 household “Khadins”, or water harvesting units, have been constructed
Dredging and regeneration of 25 “Nadis” (community ponds) with village panchayats and communities, which support dairy and animal husbandry initiatives to more than 7,000 families.
Reuse of water and recharge structures
An integrated watershed initiative that includes roof water-harvesting, farm bunding, drip irrigation, solar intervention, horticulture farming, awareness generation, covering ~2,200 hectares of land in partnership with NABARD, benefitting 500 families
Various methods of contouring, fencing, and plantation of more than 15,000 plant saplings implemented as a community engagement activity across three Panchayats of Barmer district and soon handed over to them
Cairn remains committed to continue and expand these initiatives to fulfil its “Green Barmer” vision. Recently, Cairn also discovered the presence of a massive saline water reservoir holding 480 billion cubic meters of water across Barmer and Jalore districts. Seismic surveys, petrophysical data, and detailed hydro-geological investigations conducted during the hydrocarbon exploration led to the discovery of these huge aquifers in the Barmer basin. These aquifers are a part of Thumbli water reserves and can potentially fulfil drinking water requirements of the region for many decades to come.
At present, Cairn contributes to approximately a quarter of India’s domestic crude oil production, with a vision to take it to 50 percent. Cairn is at the cusp of a transformation, having grown from 5 to 58 blocks, and ~6,000 to ~65,000 sq km of exploration acreage since 2018, catapulting it to become one of the largest exploration companies around the world.