Katta and Madaka

With the increasing use of bore well and pump sets, traditional water conservation methods like katta and madaka are disappearing.

  • What is a katta method of water conservation?

Katta is a traditional method of water conservation used in parts of Kerala and Karnataka. These are structures built across rivulets and streams. It is a series of check dams constructed along with diversion channels to ensure that streams run for additional period of 4 to 6 weeks.

  • What is a madaka method of water conservation?

Madaka is a traditional method of water conservation, typically constructed on the upper parts of undulating topography. It is not completely man-made. Natural slopes with bottlenecks are identified to assist in the construction. Earthen wall is constructed to hold the rainwater from running off to the sea.

  • Is katta a permanent structure to conserve water?

Kata is not a permanent structure. It is built in the months of November and December after the monsoons end, for right timing is crucial for its functioning. It is built using locally available wood and kaccha stones. It needs to be built every year.

  • Does a madaka need perennial source of water?

The madaka method does not require a perennial water source. It can act as a ‘percolation pond’ (or a ‘nala bundh’) i.e. collects the rainwater which percolates to the water table – thus augmenting the groundwater of the foothill region.


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