The MARVI project is funded by the Australian Water Partnership (AWP) and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Key partners of this project are Western Sydney University, CSIRO Land & Water, International Water Management Institute, Development Support Centre, Arid Communities and Technologies, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology and Vidya Bhawan Krishi Vigyan Kendra.

The overall aim of MARVI is to improve the security of irrigation water supplies and enhance livelihood opportunities for rural communities in India. Specifically, MARVI's focus is to develop an effective participatory groundwater monitoring program at village level, assess the effectiveness of current rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge structures and develop demand management strategies that will make the groundwater use sustainable.

In the MARVI project, we used ‘transdisciplinary’ approach (different from multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches). The approach is basically understanding and developing the science of groundwater management through team approach. In this project, we had researchers from different disciplines (irrigation, hydrology, hydrogeology, social science, economics, agronomy, soil science, rural development etc.) and each one of them contributed their unique expertise in the broad area of groundwater management but at the same time they worked outside their own disciplines. This way we endeavoured to understand the complexities of the whole project, rather than one part of it. Overall, the transdisciplinary approach allowed the researchers in the project to go beyond their own disciplines to inform one another’s work, capture the complexity of groundwater management and helped them to create a new understanding beyond individual disciplines as to what is happening with groundwater at the village level and beyond.

To manage groundwater, modelling and assessment tools are being developed so that they can be reliably used with easily available local information. The study areas of MARVI are Aravali district in Gujarat and Udaipur district in Rajasthan, India. Both districts are in hard rock aquifer areas and provide a diversity of transdisciplinary issues in groundwater recharge and management.

Monitoring of watertable in dug wells: BJ Hari Ram Gadri.

Groundwater depth sensor can be used for continuous monitoring of water level and supplements data collected by BJs.

Water literacy at an early age is important for future water security.

MARVI researchers with Meghraj BJs.

Sharing ideas and learning together.

Glimpses of activities during fieldwork.

Participants of the Groundwater Policy Workshop (February 2013) in Ahmedabad.

Farmer engagement and dialogue with them is critical for cooperative management of groundwater.

MARVI National Workshop Participants in Ahmedabad - May 2017.

A banyan tree at Sunderpura School in the Dharta Watershed, Rajasthan - A symbol of the MARVI's growth since its inception in February 2012.