Reyes-Garcia V.; Aubriot O.; Ariza-Montobbio P. et al. 2011. “Local Perception of the Multifunctionality of Water Tanks in Two Villages of Tamil Nadu, South India”. Society and Natural Resources. 


Using data from free listings and a survey in two villages of Tamil Nadu, India, we discuss local perceptions and uses of water tanks, a traditional irrigation infrastructure. We hypothesize that both farmers and nonfarmers perceive and use water tanks for purposes other than irrigation. We found that informants recognized the importance of water tanks for irrigation, but also acknowledged other socioeconomic uses and ecological functions. Marginal sectors (i.e., Scheduled Castes) use tank resources in more diverse ways than other sectors of the population. Findings are relevant for development. International organizations working on the revival of water tanks aim to transfer water management to farmers for the purpose of irrigation. By recognizing that tanks benefit people other than farmers and in ways other than providing irrigation water, organizations working on tank rejuvenation could achieve a more equitable management of tank resources.