Safe and sustainable clean water access - case studies by Whitman Direct Action examining the obstacles to water development in India

The book features a collection of case studies and essays contributed by NGOs working on clean water development projects in India

This Whitman Direct Action water book examines the socio-political and technological obstacles to water development in India and has become a transparent resource for other NGOs, the government sector, academics, and interested individuals to glean the expertise of their contemporaries in the fields of water development and water purification technology.

Whitman Direct Action (WDA) is a student-run organization from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington USA dedicated to helping marginalized people by promoting economically and environmentally sustainable community development. Its philosophy is to support a world where sustainable practices replace destructive ones, where equitable, mutual and synergistic opportunity replaces oppression, and where critical thought and action replaces apathy and fear.

The year 2008’s Sadhana Clean Water Project aims to address obstacles to clean water access in rural India. India claims the second largest population globally with 1.25 billion people: of that, 226 million people do not have access to safe water. In the state of Maharashtra alone, approximately 700,000 people contract water related diseases annually. The problem of water access is further exacerbated by competition for the limited resources available. The demand for water in India is expected to double by 2025 with few viable alternatives for water acquisition.

This project aims to explore possible strategies with local non-profit organizations and community members to improve the conditions of water access in India. One strategy WDA emphasizes is in addressing clean water development is the importance of networking and collaboration. The case studies which were taken up under the project include -

  • Experiences of action in rural technology and services (ARTS) in providing irrigation through small water harvesting structures to rural poor in India - by ARTS: Action in Rural Technology and Services
  • NGO’s initiative on community participation on water management  - by The Vigyan Vijay Foundation
  • India’s water future: Secure or scarce? - by Dr Sudhirendar Sharma
  • Safe drinking water scheme in villages: A sustainable 4P model - by Byrraju Foundation
  • A case study of three villages under the “pani thiye panjo” programme: A multi-institutional decentralized solution to drinking water scarcity in Abdasa taluka, Gujarat - by Arghyam and Sahjeevan
  • Water security in Thar - by Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samiti (GRAVIS)
  • Providing potable water to millions of India’s rural poor: Creating models for sustainable development - by Bala Vikasa
  • Clean water by riverbank filtration - by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the Joint Center for Water Quality and Aquifier Remediation in coastal areas
  • Household water treatment: A Summary of Methods and Techniques - by Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST)

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