In northern India, just 80 kilometers from Rich Products’ Kala Amb TCCS factory in the state of Himachal Pradesh, lies the rural village of Rudana. This remote agricultural community is home to nearly 250 villagers. Like much of India, the gradual depletion of the water table threatens the livelihood of a community that relies heavily on it for crop production. To address the severe water deficit—which impacts industry, agriculture, and everyday life—Rich’s funded the installation of two check dams that bring much-needed relief to the village.
“Our factory is an integral part of the community, and it is important to everyone at Rich’s that we address the dire water situation and employ sustainable solutions that will leave a lasting impact,” said Ashutosh Srivastava, vice president of operations, projects and supply chain management at Rich Products India.
“Funding the construction of check dams in a village where people are feeling the effects of the depleted water supply so acutely is not just about being a water-neutral manufacturer, it’s about doing what’s right and helping our local community when they need it most.”
India’s hilly terrain makes capturing and retaining rainwater a challenge. The rain naturally runs off the hillsides as quickly as it falls, draining the water table and leading to water scarcity in the region. To counteract these geographical forces, check dams serve as barriers that reduce water velocity, conserving water. Rain harvesting projects, like the check dams, are a simple but effective solution to replenish the groundwater supply and bring this essential resource back to the village.
Rich’s contracted Aastha Welfare Society, a non-government agency, to build the two check dams. In one area, the agency constructed a reinforced cement concrete (RCC) check dam to collect water that regularly travels through an underground pipeline and into the village for drinking and irrigation. Elsewhere in the village, the agency excavated a water pond check dam to create an area for rainwater to pool and gradually refill the water table. Completed in 2022, each check dam has the capacity to hold approximately 1,440 kiloliters (5,706 gallons) of water and can be refilled up to 15 times in a season. Together, these two dams have the potential to collect more than 43,200 kiloliters (37,800,000 gallons) of water in one year.
“Water is precious in the communities in which we operate, and vital to our operations, so we’re committed to preserving water sources for the long-term,” said Jen VanDewater, vice president of sustainability, health and authenticity, and strategic insights at Rich’s. “The check dams in India are a great example of how what matters for our business, matters for our communities. Ensuring a water supply for our communities is part of our commitment to operating in the region. Within our plants, we are exploring ways to reduce our water consumption and utilize it more efficiently through circular water systems.”
Rich’s employs 609 associates who work in 500 cities across India, with five regional offices and two plants—one in Kala Amb and the other in Pune.