Water for irrigation is provided directly through the Purandar Lift Irrigation Scheme. This water is considered the most contaminated of all. Farmers tell that it looks and smell bad and that it contains a lot of dangerous "particles".
During the monsoon season (July-September), farmers practice rainfed agriculture, while for the rest of the year they purchase this wastewater to grow commercial crops such as flowers, pulses, vegetables and fruits. They usually sell these crops back in Pune and nearby markets and sometimes also use them for household consumption.
While the wastewater is visibly dirty and unhealthy, some also noticed that it works well as fertilizer, for it contains a lot of organic waste. At the same time however it also encourages growth of weeds, which increases the use of pesticides and the hours women spend weeding the fields.
Flowers grown using wastewater in Pravah.
Flowers are cultivated in the winter months (October-January) and are sold in city markets. They are particularly popular during festivals such as the Hindu festival of Diwali.