The Mini Watersheds of the Sambhar Salt Lake is a long term water harvesting project that aims to creates pockets of freshwater around the Sambhar Salt Lake. As most of the ground water is saline and unfit for consumption and the surface water sources are few and far between, this has negatively impacted the local environment, health conditions of villagers who depend on these sources for drinking water and economic conditions of farmers and cattle rearers. In Phase I of the project which was co-ordinated by Foundation for Rural Recovery and Development (FORRAD), New Delhi and funded by CocaCola Foundation, 24 structures (anicuts, ponds and mini dams) were constructed in 16 villages around Ajmer, Jaipur and Nagaur districts.
A total storage capacity of 773 million litres has been created and a cumulative volume of 1.2 billion litres has been collected since its inception in 2012. The project has already impact around 86,000 people in around 24 villages and it is estimated that in the future 1,10,000 will be impacted by it.
The most important immediate outcome has been on revival of traditional livelihoods like agriculture and cattle rearing while indirectly daily wage labourers have been able to get direct employment at the watershed site or in the agricultural fields. Drinking water for human and cattle consumption has improved.