The Panchavati Hill Tree Plantation Service, which takes place once a week every Saturday morning, comprises over 20 members, engaged in the labor dependent task of planting new saplings, fertilizing the soil with organic manure, and occasionally eradicating weeds to encourage biodiversity. However, this process required lot of physical labor and proved to be very arduous and time-consuming, thus impeding the objective of planting more trees. To overcome this obstacle, three group-members and I endeavored to design, test, and develop an irrigation system that could effortlessly water 1000+ saplings while requiring minimal physical labor so that most of the club members could focus on other things such as planning and organizing which would prove to improve the operational efficiency of the tree plantation club.
Initially, we examined the root cause of the problems in the watering process that occurred manually and identified the location of the water tanks as the main issue. This is because the water tanks are located far from the saplings and the main water body is very far down a cliff so if we need to draw water from there then we would need a strong motor to pump water against gravity to the tanks and then further up from there to the top of the hill to ease the watering process. This eventually led to the proposal of designing a pump-based irrigation system, which would extinguish the requirement for manual labor in the watering process.
Subsequently, we conducted a survey of the entire hilltop to determine the specifications of the proposed irrigation system, prepared a bill of the required materials and their quantity, and presented a budget proposal to procure funds from our school. Our team articulated the drip irrigation system utilizing ropes, rocks, pipes, openings, and a strong water pump of around 0.5 HP which is more than capable of watering all the required saplings situated on the steep part of the hill which would facilitate the process of watering also freed up a lot of time and energy of the remaining members of the club to dig more spots for saplings and eradicate weeds more quickly.
The final stage of the project involved the execution of the plan. We used the procured funds to gather the necessary materials while keeping the teacher-leader of the club updated with all our actions. Then we secured a grid power supply near the water tank, eliminating the necessity for a solar cell to power the pump. Since we lacked some of the expertise to construct the entire pump by ourselves, we collaborated with professionals such as electricians and plumbers, hence fulfilling our need for technical knowledge and then we successfully installed the pump. During the long six-month process, we made it a priority to reflect on our decisions and actions to meticulously analyze potential impediments during the investigation, preparation, and action stages.
To conclude, the design and construction of the drip irrigation system were innovative and highly beneficial, demonstrating the significance of collaboration, problem-solving, and effective planning. The ease of watering the saplings by the members of the tree plantation drive confirms the practicality of our project, which provided an opportunity to apply our classroom knowledge in a pragmatic setting and improve the environment.