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There Is Only One Solution

The simplest way to make Cauvery flow again is to increase tree cover.

Support farmers to plant 242 crore

The campaign will support farmers to plant 242 crore, or 2.42 billion, trees through tree-based agriculture, covering one-third of Cauvery basin with tree cover.

Tree-Based Agriculture

Our vision will be achieved by incentivizing and motivating farmers to move from water-intensive conventional crops to long-term tree-based agriculture. Tree-based agriculture is the practice of growing fruit or timber trees along with conventional crops or on a full-fledged basis.

Benefits of Increasing Tree Cover

Bringing one-third of the Cauvery Basin under tree cover will result in the triple-benefit of:

  • Improving soil health by replenishing organic content in the soil 
  • Reviving the river and groundwater levels by increasing water retention in Cauvery basin by an estimated 40%
  • Augmenting farmer income through agroforestry, proven to Increase farmers’ income 300 – 800% in 5 – 7 years 

How Trees Rejuvenate Soil

Every year, India loses about 5.3 billion tons of soil! But under tree cover, soil is protected because of the litter – the leaves and branches that are shed by the tree and fall to the ground. If the ground is free from litter and cover, water flows freely and can take away the soil with it.

Studies have shown that the more closely an agricultural system resembles a natural forest in its canopy structure, tree spacing and ground cover, the less chance there is of soil erosion.

How Trees Revitalize Rivers

Trees help rain seep into soil because living and decaying roots make soil porous, by creating a network of well-connected, minuscule channels in the soil. Once water is absorbed, just as rainwater percolated downward into soil, water can percolate horizontally as well. This kind of underground “water flow” can feed water into streams and rivers, maintaining continuous river flow even after the rainy season is over.

How Trees Increase Farmers' Income

  • Agroforestry models have shown an increase in farmers’ income across India.
  • Isha has shifted 218,000 farmers to agroforestry, increasing farmers’ incomes 300-800% in 5-7 years.
  • Planting varieties of trees provides valuable fuel wood, fodder, fertiliser and medicine. Timber sale can tide farmers over difficult times. 
  • Trees improve and sustain the productivity of the farmland, reduce pests, prevent erosion, and reduce crop failure - all of which are common to single cropping or monoculture systems.

A Game-Changer for River Revitalization

Cauvery Calling is committed to resolute action on the ground. With an 83,000 sq km basin, the focus on Cauvery will offer a model for large scale implementation of this solution. It will set an example for a sustainable river revitalization process that the rest of India and tropical areas of the world can follow.

Cauvery Calling will demonstrate how ecology and economy can go together, and that reviving ecology can be a very lucrative process. Once this is demonstrated, it is inevitable that everyone will take it up.