Success Stories and Case Studies

  • Chitradurga district in Karnataka receives the lowest rainfall in the state. According to the Drought Monitoring Board, most borewells are dry and where there is water, its quality is poor. According to Chitradurga-based Devaraja Reddy who is a hydrogeologist,150-200 borewells were dr...
    Divya Nposted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • Khonoma village resisted British rule in the region from 1830s to 1880 and is therefore considered as the last bastion of Naga warriors against the British. But today, the village is also known for upholding its rich indigenous erudition. In the last decade, the village has stood out for its e...
    Usha Dewaniposted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • Thipramahadevi Pudhur is a village in Erumapatti Block, Namakkal District with 115 households. In July this year, this village was declared as ‘open-defecation free’ (ODF), something that was aided by Leaf Society, an organization based in Namakkal and their effective strategy of awareness gener...
    Divya Nposted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • “In gram crops to control gram-pod borers, use pheromone traps”. While a statement like that most likely won't make sense to average people, it does to the farming community in the Sangamner taluka of Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. They have been trained to make sense of the agro-advisory provided by ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • Have you ever complained about a toilet anywhere? Not so clean, not so dry, not so nice-smelling, not so something else? On November 19th 2014 and possibly every other day this year and forever after, thank your stars that you have one because 2.5 billion people in the world don't! World Toilet Day ...
    swatiposted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • Chitradurga district in southern Karnataka is infamous for drought. People here constantly suffer from water shortage and in the last few years, the problem has escalated due to poor rainfall.  "The continuous drilling of bore wells in and around Chitradurga doesn't help either", says Devaraja...
    Divya Nposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • Priya Ramasubban personifies the words ‘good things come in small packages’. This sprightly, self motivated enthusiast, saw a marshy, polluted cess pool, hemmed in by an open tract of land, where labourers and migrants daily dipped in for their morning ablutions. Talking to people around, she re...
    sabitakaushalposted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • ACWADAM has selected Randullabad village, located in the Koregaontaluka of Satara district of Maharashtra for implementing its Participatory Groundwater Management Programme (PGWM), which is based on eight simple principles. The PGWM programme includes three broad sets of activities; training, ...
    swatiposted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • Muthalane village is typical tribal village of Western Maharashtra, with backward agricultural economy. It lacks awareness about water management and is backward in education and other socio-economic factors. Famers in the village practice rain-fed agriculture as they have limited water resourc...
    swatiposted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • Waghad Dam in Nashik, Maharashtra, constructed in 1984-85, irrigated less than 1% of its total irrigable command area, while farmers in the tail area did not receive any water. Bapu Upadhye of Samaj Parivartan Kendra organised the local farmers, mobilized them to come together and fight for their wa...
    sabitakaushalposted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • The name of a place can tell one much about its history. Take Mokla talab, a village 62 km southeast of Udaipur for example. Mokla means sufficient in Rajasthani and talab means pond. The village was named after its overflowing talab. But what happens when the talaab is overflowi...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • It is a labour of love. For 10 years, the team at Nagaland Empowerment of People through Economic Development (NEPeD) held this experiment close to their hearts- a daunting task that is lighting up lives in far-off villages in the mountains of Nagaland today. The hydroger has made way for many ...
    Usha Dewaniposted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • Khazans are a unique man-made ecosystem that give Goa its traditional form of farming. Khazan lands are reclaimed lands from the river or sea. The technology is adapted to protecting agricultural fields and adjoining villages by managing the water coming from estuaries of the river through a network...
    Hamsa Iyerposted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • Sukhomajri village has long been a reminder of people's participation in ecological preservation and in turn, greater economic good. The small village in Panchkula district of Haryana changed its fortunes when it entered into joint forest management with the help of the Chandigarh-based Central So...
    Manu Moudgilposted 2 years 7 months agoread more
  •  Visitors and the Uttarakhand Tourism Department liken the mountain to 'devbhoomi' or the heavens but it isn't often that a villager of the area echoes those sentiments. Most of them are weary of the unending struggle to live in harmony with those steep slopes that make all manner of infra...
    chicuposted 2 years 7 months agoread more
  • As a faculty of the Earth Sciences Department at Goa University, Dr. A.G Chachadi wanted to develop a facility to harvest rainwater and recharge groundwater at the campus at Taleigao Plateau. He wanted to showcase rainwater harvesting within the campus and also spread awareness on the benefits of do...
    Hamsa Iyerposted 2 years 8 months agoread more
  • The fourteen women and three men were rapt as Pan-'da' explained the intricacies of Himalayan geology. Every now and then, a question would be asked. Pan-'da' would then create an impromptu geological model using a notebook or a whiteboard eraser to explain the concepts. This was essential because t...
    chicuposted 2 years 8 months agoread more
  • "We did everything ourselves", said the ebuillent Bhuvaneshwari Devi. "We took the cement up, carried the sand, everything! And we even told them where to place the tank"! She went on to narrate how the women's group of which she is a member, taught the men of the village that siting a tank in the s...
    chicuposted 2 years 8 months agoread more
  • Effective city-wide faecal sludge management services are essential for a healthy and sustainable future for all cities and towns in low and middle income countries where much of the population uses on-site sanitation. Sustainable Sanitation Alliance calls for abstracts of papers, workshops and case...
    ravleenposted 2 years 9 months agoread more
  • I remember a farm pond that I once visited in Maharashtra. It shone like a square sapphire in that dry land, securely held by tall earth embankments. On the other side of one of those embankments was a parched and dying field. When I asked the farmer why it wasn't irrigated, he asked me to give him ...
    chicuposted 2 years 9 months agoread more

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A village school in Madhya Pradesh deals with the micro-realities of the area and gets out of a sanitation crisis.

Sajan, a 14 year old Bhilala Adivasi boy studying in the Rani Kajal school in Kakrana in Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh says, "We now save a lot of time as we bathe in the bathrooms and defecate in the toilets rather than in the open fields; and so we study better". The school on the banks of the River Narmada run by the Kalpantar Shikshan Kendra, now has functional bathrooms and toilets which is an exception in this country as despite the hype around the Swachh Bharat campaign, the reality is that most schools are without functional toilets.

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The film “Rainwater Harvesting: From books to fields”, showcases how rooftop rainwater harvesting can also bring about social and economic change.

Chhattisgarh ranked number 1 in the country for providing domestic water connections in 2014-15 under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP). Despite this, the government has failed to provide safe and clean drinking water to many who are still affected by fluoride, arsenic and iron contamination.

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Jhum or shifting cultivation has been criticised regarding its ecological and economic impacts. UNDP takes on the challenge by introducing integrated farm development practices.

A thick smog and haze eclipse the sun all through the day when jhum areas are burnt. Jhum, known as shifting cultivation a practice practice involving the slash-and-burn of felled trees in a forest patch followed by farming, is home to India's northeast.

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The stories in this yearbook highlight efforts by rural and urban communities across India to take back ownership of their water resources.

Water sustains lives and livelihoods. It is a precious and finite resource that, in future years, is likely to become the main bone of contention between peoples, states and nations. Water – like every other finite resource – needs sustainable and equitable management, with equal focus on reducing demand, recycling and finding alternatives, as well as the usual emphasis on supply solutions.

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In 2009, Cyclone Aila caused significant damage to livelihoods in the Sunderbans. While saline soil is subversive to agriculture in the area, integrated farming gives many the courage to start afresh.

“Another flood like Aila should never happen again, but if it does, we have the knowledge to start working on our soil again”, remarks Binota Munda of Nebukhali village in Hingalganj block, North 24 Parganas. Cyclone Aila that came in 2009 caused extensive damage in large parts of India and Bangladesh, killing scores of people

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As Ladakh faces water scarcity, the Ice Stupa project aims to overcome this in an innovative manner--through the making of vertical ice mountains.

Living in the mountains

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Hundreds of villagers pitched in to revive a village pond at Bapugaon, a village in Rajasthan, to make it water and food secure.

It had not rained for awhile and the tiny cracks in the earth in Bapugaon were opening up. This little village in Chaksu tehsil of Jaipur was yet again faced with a drought in the mid 1980s. The situation was aggravated in 1986 when the river Dhund, an important water source for Bapugaon, went dry. Since then, both the quantity and quality of water started deteriorating. The rains were playing truant yet again and had stopped buffing up the rocks and big boulders scattered over the hills.

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Bandhabhuin village went from having 1 handpump for 400 people to 7, toilet facilities in 55% of the houses and had an overall improvement in its social and economic fabric.

In India, about Rs.70,000 crore has been invested in the Rural Water Supply sector since independence by the central and the state governments.

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Bishop Cotton School in Shimla tides over water scarcity by harvesting rainwater, setting an example for other residential schools located in hilly regions.

Mathew Jacob, estate supervisor at Bishop Cotton School (BCS) in Shimla, remembers when he took his students walking in single file to the nearby stream to wash and bathe every other day in the summers.

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Understanding scientific principles and spreading this knowledge among communities to design their water solutions could be an answer to tackling both groundwater crises and flood situations.

Over the last few months, rains--whether they flooded India enough or not--have certainly flooded the news. May brought a grim prediction by the Minister for Earth Sciences, Harsh Vardhan, that this year’s monsoon forecast is expected to be 88 percent of the long-term average setting off fears of a drought.

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