Lake Nanjapura is a vital resource for Nanjapura Village in Bengaluru, India. It protects biodiversity, supports an ecosystem, and provides water for human activities. When pressure on this natural resource increased, it became the collective responsibility of all who use it to protect and restore it. When water conservationist Anand Malligavad arrived in Nanjapura Village in 2018, the lake was so dry that people played cricket in it. He started looking for others to help him plant vegetation around the lake—to help it retain water—and he got in touch with SayTrees Environmental Trust.
After learning that Intel could offer support, there was an even greater incentive for the community to help restore the lake. With funding secured, restoration began. But first, Durgesh Agrahari—Head of Programs and Partnerships at SayTrees—met with community members to understand the challenges they faced. Community support for the project was apparent from the start, and people helped desilt the lake and create a bund, silt trap, and forest around it. More than 25 species of trees were carefully selected with ecologists and botanists to understand which would thrive and support the local habitat. The trees were complemented with grasses and shrubs so the roots of these smaller plants would help prevent soil erosion.
Thanks to the restoration, the lake now holds up to 183 million liters of water. The restoration team maintained the lake and tree saplings until they were stable enough to return to the village council for continued upkeep. The lake also holds water year-round, ensuring bore wells and agricultural fields never run dry—a direct positive impact for the community. This restored, self-sustaining ecosystem gives the community a beautiful and peaceful place to relax, play, and learn about nature.