Villagers of Arjunabittahalli, India call her the “water lady.” It is her dharma, her duty, to ensure villagers use the water wisely. Every morning she turns on the water pipe’s valves in front of each home, the school, and the temples.
The water lady ensures that each home is not exceeding their share of water. She also checks for leaks in the pipes to be sure it’s not wasted. The water is sourced from a deep bore well, installed by the Indian government.
Abhalli Lake, the village’s less than half-filled lake, (mentioned in the last blog entry), would usually fill up completely for about two months during monsoon season. The problem is that climate patterns have changed for this village, making monsoon patterns unpredictable. There used to be steady monsoons, but not this year. That challenges the plants and crops that rely on monsoons.
Another reason that the lake is not full likely has something to do with the non-native eucalyptus trees in the village. The British planted these trees from Australia with the intention of drying up malaria-infested swamps. They may have served that purpose, but now these trees are multiplying exponentially and are still slurping up water from the ground like a straw.
As part of my yoga teacher training at the amazing Shrimath Yoga, we visited the village’s elementary school daily. Up next: how the 6 of us yoga teachers in training taught water conservation activities to 20 adorable kids, despite a language barrier.