Be water wise – The water story of Grape Country Eco Resort

by Team Conscious Carma

By Freeda Maria, Consulting Editor – Sustainable Tourism, Conscious Carma, As I write this piece for a story on how a barren land, touched by rough summers can be replete with water, all year round. I am reminded of the quote from the famous Amol Palekars’ Hindi film, “Thoda sa Romani ho jaye” wherein ‘Barishkar’ played by Nana Patekar speaks about water (jal).  What better way to emulate the dialogues and the strong scenes that invokes the activist in ‘Barishkar’? He promises to bring rain in a drought affected area for 5000 Rupees. And while asked by a man, if it was real water, his stellar response, shook the audience and created history.  It seems rather impossible to get such a feat of a job done, but there seem shocking stories of how people who did it.
The water story of Grape County is nothing short of a similar effort.
As I sit by the “Deck” (The restaurant of Grape County Eco Resort) and look around I see yonder that it’s not a terrain to have water all-round the year. The summers can get very harsh, dry, and with heat waves hitting you hard.

Read on to know, of the many concerted efforts and the pains to get perennial waters to the confines of Grape County Eco Resort

The picture says it all. as we look around the landscape is different from the green patch of GC
Extracted from map carta on 13/04/2022, you will notice the large lake and the greenery of GC.

Synergy has been created to fetch, conserve and preserve water. A well thought through system with months of research; gradient catchment from one pond to another allows filling up of all the ponds and lakes. The resort is almost tucked on slopes, with a stream skirting along one side of the boundary and roads winding through its undulating landscape. Focal points have been identified to allow digging of underground land for water to seep through and remain stored. Connecting mouths and the watershed systems are woven beautifully well, as seen the pictures if you look carefully.

The lake, the lifeline of Grape County Eco Resort

Water has a deep connection to the vision of our place, “Vasudaiva Kutumbhakam” “where all elements of nature co-exist peacefully and interact joyfully”, quotes the Chairman of Grape County Eco Resort, Kiran Chavan.

Its not always green, a lot of efforts go into making it one. the Director Mr Tejas (Left) at the site during construction days

He adds further, “The rivulet formed a natural source, that was vital for us, we had to keep it perennially water fed and that took care of our water system and our requirement.”

As I continue my conversation with the visionary Mr. Chavan, he relived every moment of their water story and explained vividly the process. “The landscape made it easy,” he says, “we planned to capture rainwater through four phases; in the hills, in the valleys, the plains and through planting of saplings/trees.”  My inquisitiveness rose, my ears grew more alert and the mind couldn’t wait to listen. Mr. Chavan mentioned, rainwater falling on the hills, was collected through the making of contours; which otherwise would ensure the water would run off.”  “The beauty of application of the technique running water must be made to walk, walking waters must be made to stand and the standing waters should be made to enter the sub soil and recharge the water table!” What an enamour.

Check dams were built to capture and store water in the valleys of this landscape and in the plains connecting ponds were dug, if one filled up the other would automatically fill to the brim. Though the distance of the ponds were not close to each other. Nature took course and acted the way it needed to. The most important of all the phases was the planting of 45,000 saplings/trees, the rainwater that falls on the leaves travels through the stem to reach the roots and remains there to reach the aquifers and recharge the water table.

And I pen down the thoughts of Mr. Tejas Chavan, Director and future torch bearer of the future of Grape County Eco Resort, “The most precious resource in today’s time is Water. It is our responsibility to conserve it for future generations. I wish everyone does take some small steps or big leaps towards this effort”. The Lakes at GC, the Bada Talaav (Big Lake), and two Chota Talaavs’ (Small lakes) in the plains store almost 21,000 crore litres of water! Where is the need to depend on outside sources?

Water is Vital, it gives life to a place. The fluid element has healing properties. I see and feel that vibration here at Grape County Eco Resort. As I finish writing this piece, I walk through this terrain to find the lakes full of water, the trees brightly coloured green and the birds singing and dancing to their tunes…a voila we are in the peak of summer.

Grape County is Replete with Water!
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The article is published in collaboration with Grape County.

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