March 2024

Impact Assessment Study

Rejuvenation work at Nandi Lake and restoration of traditional structures (Kalyani and Gunduthopu) at Sultanpet village, Chikkaballapura district, Karnataka

Study commissioned by United Breweries Limited

Study conducted by Nous Consultants

Nandi Lake, Impact Assessment | 1

Acknowledgements

We are very grateful to Srinivas and Lokesh of United Way Bengaluru for the field support at Nandi and for the open exchanges during the course of this assessment.

We are grateful to United Breweries Limited for giving us the opportunity for undertaking this study. Special thanks to Sargam for all the speedy and flawless coordination.

The Nous Team which undertook this study consisted of the following members - Sanjay Prasad (and his team of 5 field investigators), Jayapadma and Neelima Khetan. Expert inputs on Volumetric Water Balance calculations were provided by Dr MVRL Murthy of eKO Knowledge.net.

Nous Consultants

March 2024

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Contents

Executive Summary

4

1.

Background

8

1.1. About United Breweries Limited

8

1.2.

About United Way Bengaluru

8

2.

Assessment framework

11

3.

Assessment methodology and limitations

13

3.1.

Methodology

13

4.

Observations and Findings

15

4.1.

Context

15

4.2.

Respondent coverage

16

4.3.

Findings

17

A.

Nandi Lake Rejuvenation

17

B.

Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting

21

C.

Restoration of Kalyani and Gunduthopu at Sulthanpet

26

D.

Enriching bio-diversity

27

E.

Farm ponds

28

  1. Government school refurbishment and rain water harvesting unit construction 30

G.

Percolation wells

33

H.

Inlet cleaning work

35

  1. General awareness among the community about project initiatives taken up in

Nandi Panchayat

35

5.

Impact Analysis using the OECD Framework

38

6.

Volumetric Water Benefit Calculations

42

7.

Recommendations

44

7.1

Planning Process

44

7.2

Implementation

44

7.3

Documentation

45

7.4

People's participation

45

7.5

Sustainability

46

Annexure I - Excel for calculating Volumetric Water Benefits (attached separately)

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List of Figures

Figure 1: OECD DAC Framework

11

Figure 2: Assessment phases

13

Figure 3: Assessment plan

14

Figure 4: Beneficiary perception on benefits of RWH

24

Figure 5: Profile of farm pond beneficiaries

28

Figure 6: Farm ponds - sources of water

29

Figure 7: Farm ponds - crops irrigated

29

Figure 8: Impact analysis using OECD framework

39

List of Tables

Table 1: Households visited by survey team

17

Table 2: Project Activities and Expected Outcomes

18

Table 3: Karnataka - 50 year rainfall deviation data

19

Table 4: South Interior Karnataka - 50 year rainfall deviation data

19

Table 5: Profile of HHs visited for the Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) intervention.. 22

Table 6: Demographic profile of RWH beneficiaries

22

Table 7: Land ownership profile of RWH beneficiaries

22

Table 8: Other water sources with RWH beneficiaries

22

Table 9: Status of RWH Systems

23

Table 10: Frequency of cleaning the RWH tank

24

Table 11: Distribution of farm ponds

28

Table 12: Percolation wells - reported and actual

33

Table 13: Status of percolation wells

34

Table 14: Awareness of project interventions among RWH beneficiaries

36

Table 15: Awareness of project interventions among farm pond beneficiaries

36

Table 16: Awareness of project interventions among non-beneficiaries in villages

37

Table 17: Volumetric Water Benefit calculations

42

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Executive Summary

United Breweries Limited

United Breweries Limited (UBL), established in 1915, is amongst the largest social beverage (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) companies in India. And as a company, UBL has been serving the interests of all its stakeholders, including the communities around its operations. The company's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy reiterates its commitment to operate and grow its business in a socially responsible way - through balancing commercial and economic progress with social and environmental development.

The focus areas selected under its CSR policy are - environment, women empowerment, community development and address harmful use. Under the focus area of environment there is a great emphasis on water conservation initiatives, with as much as 70% of UBL's CSR investments going into this domain.

About the project

The current project 'Rejuvenation work at Nandi Lake and restoration of traditional structures (Kalyani and Gunduthopu) at Sultanpet village, Chikkaballapura district' was part of UBL's CSR work on water conservation, and the implementing partner was United Way Bengaluru (UWB). UWB is a 132- year-old organization with a global presence in more than 40 countries, with over 1800 chapters. The United Way Bengaluru (UWB) was started in 2008.

The original project duration was 41 months - it began in November 2017, and had to finish by March 2021. However, given the pandemic conditions, the project activities finally concluded by March 2022.

The original project document lists the key objectives of undertaking the Nandi Lake Rejuvenation project as follows -

  • Restoration of quality of water in the lake; free from garbage, effluents and other pollutants
  • Revival of eco-system in and around the lake by creating micro climate for aquatic flora and fauna
  • To bring about community ownership through active volunteerism

While the lake and Gunduthopu/Kalyani were central to the project, other initiatives like rooftop rainwater harvesting, farm ponds, school level water harvesting, etc were also included.

The project activities thus comprised the following -

  1. Nandi lake restoration
  1. Restoration of traditional structures-Kalyani and Gunduthopu at Sultanpet village o Construction of 262 rainwater harvesting units, 50 farm ponds, and 102 percolation
    tanks
    o Clearing work for 3 inlets that feed rainwater to the Sultanpet/ Nandi Lake

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  1. Construction of 3 pipe culverts
  1. Refurbishment of 3 Government schools, including the construction of additional 3 rainwater harvesting units
  1. Plantation of 3500 saplings

Impact Assessment

UBL commissioned an Impact Assessment of the above project with the following scope of work -

  1. Undertake a review of all the activities implemented under the project. o Assess the quality of the infrastructure created through the projects. o Evaluate the status and usage of the structures created.
    o Assess community awareness around water conservation.
    o Undertake site visits for validation of the data and conduct one on one meetings with the implementing partner, Gram Panchayat, and community to assess the effectiveness, efficiency & sustainability of the projects.
    o Derive the standard framework basis national and international guidelines on calculations for measuring water recharge and rainwater harnessed.
    o Review & validation of water recharge and conservation data provided by NGOs against this framework.
    o Assessment of program results (outputs, outcomes & impacts) through stakeholder Key Opinion Former's (KOF) survey to develop KOF survey perception index and review of social benefits associated with the projects and the overall impact on the community.
    o Drafting and submission of an Impact Assessment report.

The impact assessment of this project was undertaken by Nous Consultants, an independent agency consisting of senior development experts with leadership experience in corporate and civil society organizations.

The fieldwork for gathering data on the project was done in December 2023, more than a year after the project was completed.

The assessment approach consisted of extensive data collection (almost all beneficiaries were visited), and interviews with key stakeholders and informants including from the implementing agency, the Panchayat and community at large.

Key findings

The key findings of the project can be briefly summarized as follows -

  1. The Nandi lake rejuvenation had an immediate and visible impact in the life of the community. The filling up of the lake was a moment of widespread celebration and joy. The impact in terms of higher water table in tube wells which had become dry was tangible for the downstream farmers.
  2. The individual benefit interventions around building farm ponds and rooftop rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems have also been well received. The water storage tanks of most of the RWH systems and the farm ponds are still being used and maintained by the beneficiary families. The rainwater collection part has not been a need of families, and hence they are not using the same. However, the

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water storage tanks have brought great assurance to families in terms of having an assured water supply, whether for household needs or crop needs.

  1. The work done in other public places, like the Kalyani and Gunduthopu, have high recall among the public. One challenge is that the Panchayat, despite having taken the responsibility for maintaining these, has not done so. This could be due to lack of funds with the Panchayat (as stated by them) or due to changes in their leadership, or some other reasons.
  2. In terms of awareness of the project among the community, the assessment team spoke with both beneficiary and non-beneficiary households, and found the awareness levels to be fairly high.

The impact assessment framework used for this assessment was the one developed by the OECD DAC Network on Development Evaluation. The framework uses six evaluation criteria to determine the merit of an intervention. These criteria are - Relevance, Coherence, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Impact and Sustainability. The project has done extremely well on Relevance and Impact, while scoring somewhat lower on Coherence, Effectiveness and Efficiency. The only major area for future consideration is the area of Sustainability.

Key recommendations

The project has been implemented well in a difficult overall context of the unanticipated pandemic. The following recommendations arise out of the learnings gathered in the course of implementing this project and which could be useful for future such initiatives -

  1. Planning process
    In case a project includes interventions which benefit individuals (such as farm ponds and rain water harvesting), it may be useful if the selection criterion includes both feasibility and need. The addition of need to the selection criterion will help in ensuring greater buy-in and subsequent utility of the asset.
  2. Implementation
    As a general practice, one should strive for the highest quality in public infrastructure, since recurring maintenance is difficult. This could be factored in while planning public initiatives in future projects.
    Plantation related interventions need to include good systems to protect saplings from browsing and trampling, and their post-care. A choice of more hardy species will also help in ensuring greater survival rates.
  3. Documentation
    Documentation helps not only in post project follow-up, but also in concurrent tracking while the project is underway. UBL may like to consider asking implementation partners to geo-tag project locations so as to have precise location mapping of where the initiative is located. This is not expensive and would be a very useful addition to the documentation protocols.
    Documentation of the status of key impact indicators (such as water level in tube wells) at the start of a project will be useful in claiming project impact on an ongoing basis.

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  1. People's participation
    Ensuring community participation in any initiative is as essential as it is difficult. A community is not always cohesive and will have differing priorities. Hence, early and continuous investment in building up a sense of community engagement and ownership is critical.
    Some good practices that can be considered are - an adequate preparatory time with the community to understand their priorities and practices, ensuring all stakeholder groups are represented in any community forum, exploring the possibility of including some component of community/individual participation in the project activities, and so on.
  2. Sustainability
    There is a great degree of overlap between people's participation and sustainability, and strengthening one leads to strengthening the other. But including a small sustainability component in community projects - such as staying on for some time after project completion or consciously building community institutions and their protocols - can help a lot in ensuring long term sustenance of project.

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1. Background

1.1. About United Breweries Limited

United Breweries Limited (UBL) began in 1915, and is amongst the largest social beverage (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) companies in the country. As a company, UBL has been serving the interests of all its stakeholders, including the communities around its operations. As per the company's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, it is committed to operate and grow its business in a socially responsible way by balancing the commercial and economic progress with the social and environmental development.

The focus areas selected under the CSR policy are - environment, women empowerment, community development and address harmful use. Under the focus area of environment there is a great emphasis on water conservation initiatives, with as much as 70% of UBL's CSR investments going into this domain.

UBL's CSR policy further states that UBL implements its major CSR projects through established NGOs with expertise in the desired thematic areas and a good connect with the local community. At times, the CSR initiative could be implemented by UBL directly.

The current project 'Rejuvenation work at Nandi Lake and restoration of traditional structures (Kalyani and Gunduthopu) at Sultanpet village, Chikkaballapura district' was part of UBL's CSR work on water conservation, and the implementing partner was United Way Bengaluru (UWB).

1.2. About United Way Bengaluru

United Way globally is among the oldest and largest privately funded charities in the world. It is a 132- year-old organization with a global presence in more than 40 countries, with over 1800 chapters. The United Way Bengaluru (UWB) was started in 2008.

Some of UWB's thematic areas of work are - access to health, early childhood success, youth success, economic mobility and environment sustainability. They have been actively working on two major campaigns, "Wake the Lake" and "Born Learning". With the "Wake the Lake" campaign United Way of Bengaluru has brought stakeholders together to revive existing water bodies.

UWB partners with NGOs and acts as the bridge between funders and implementers. Being strategically positioned as an aggregator of funds from corporates, individual donors and governments, UWB helps enable funding for local credible implementing NGOs. Till date, UWB claims to have worked with over 100 corporate partners.

The project under consideration (in Chikkaballapura district) was, however, implemented directly by UWB, and not through any local NGO partner.

1.3. About the Project

As mentioned earlier, water conservation is central to United Breweries' CSR strategy, and this project was undertaken in the water stressed Nandi Panchayat, which is officially

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Nandi Lake, Impact Assessment | 9

classified as an overexploited region1, in terms of groundwater withdrawals. The project was commissioned by UBL with UWB as the implementing partner, for undertaking rejuvenation work at Nandi Lake and restoration of traditional structures (Kalyani and Gunduthopu) at Sultanpet village, Chikkaballapura district.

The original project documents from 2018, listed the key objectives of undertaking the Nandi Lake Rejuvenation project as follows -

  • Restoration of quality of water in the lake; free from garbage, effluents and other pollutants
  • Revival of eco-system in and around the lake by creating micro climate for aquatic flora and fauna
  • To bring about community ownership through active volunteerism

While the lake and Gunduthopu/Kalyani were central to the project, other initiatives like rooftop rainwater harvesting, farm ponds, school level water harvesting, etc were also included.

The project activities thus comprised the following -

  1. Nandi lake restoration
  1. Restoration of traditional structures-Kalyani and Gunduthopu at Sultanpet village o Construction of 262 rainwater harvesting units, 50 farm ponds, and 102 percolation
    tanks
    o Clearing work for 3 inlets that feed rainwater to the Sultanpet/ Nandi Lake o Construction of 3 pipe culverts
    o Refurbishment of 3 Government schools, including the construction of additional 3 rainwater harvesting units
    o Plantation of 3500 saplings

The original project duration was 41 months - it began in November 2017, and had to finish by March 2021. However, given the pandemic conditions, the project activities finally concluded by March 2022.

The impact assessment of this project was initiated in December 2023, more than a year after the project was completed.

1.4. Scope of work

The Request for Proposal issued by UBL for an Impact Assessment of the above project mentioned the Scope of Work as follows -

  1. Undertake a review of all the activities implemented under the project titled
    "Rejuvenation work at Nandi Lake at Nandi village and restoration of traditional structures (Kalyani and Gunduthopu) at Sultanpet village, Chikkaballapura

district".

  1. Assess the quality of the infrastructure created through the projects. o Evaluate the status and usage of the structures created.
    o Assess community awareness around water conservation.

1https://rajeev.in/?questionasked=over-exploitation-of-ground-water-in-karnatakawww.nousconsultants.org

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Disclaimer

United Breweries Limited published this content on 21 May 2024 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 21 May 2024 06:38:04 UTC.