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Vetiver has done its job! 14 years later stable slopes, clean road drains, and now mainly native species

News from India

Monday, September 13, 2010

My friends Surinder and Valerie Hara farm 100 ha of high yielding poplars alongside the Yumuna Canal in Haryana.  Because of serious flooding the canal was closed and now 1 million cusecs of flood water is passing through their area and farm - see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6GlAtoV1hA&feature=email.  This water was heading for New Delhi.  Strange that there is not much in the press about these floods?

In the meanwhile Shantanoo Bhattacharyya in Assam responded to an email on how he has used vetiver for the stabilization of Brahmaputra river bank
"No disaster so far especially along the Brahmaputra where I never expected vetiver to stand up to the fury of the Brahmaputra, it is working fine. Let me remind, Vetiver was pitted against Geotextile works, side by side. The geotextile failed at a small stretch. About 100m out of the total 1000m.Our vetiver work was 500m. No damage sofar. Only problem is the siltation. The siltation due to the plants is so heavy that it is burying the plants. You have some pictures- (same occurred on the Mekong in Cambodia).

But I have doubt about one small project. It was a small river which people term as the MAD river. I thought it would be a very simple project. But this time the hydraulics  changed and there is huge erosion on the upstream side of the vetiver planting,  I think the erosion will propagate and eat into the planted area. I will write to you after the flood subsides.
regards Shantanoo"

The Irrigation Departments throughout India should take note of Shanatnoo's work and start using vetiver for canal bank stabilization - the need for canal closure might not be so great then!

Dick

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