Success Stories and Case Studies

  • The Western Ghats, known for its biodiversity, is one of India's most sought after ecological hotspots. One of its stark features is the basalt rocks, often referred to as water buckets indicating the water retention capacity of the rock, found there. Of the many popular hill stations in the Western...
    Hamsa Iyerposted 5 years 1 month agoread more
  • As a run up to World Water Day 2014, India Water Portal conducted a Grassroots Comics workshop with Field Facilitators, Barefoot Engineers and other field workers of the Dhara Vikas Programme. The Programme is an initiative of the Government of Sikkim through its Rural Management and Development Dep...
    Usha Dewaniposted 5 years 1 month agoread more
  • The Western Ghats are made of up basalt rocks, which were formed from lava flows. These rocks are also known as water buckets as they are able to retain a lot of water. This unique feature helps create springs. At an event organised by IIT Mumbai and India Water Portal to mark World Water Day, Dr. J...
    Hamsa Iyerposted 5 years 1 month agoread more
  • This was my first time here. I had heard of this festival, perhaps the only existing one in India, where barter takes place at such a scale. Jon Beel mela in Jon Beel, Jagiroad Assam- a historic festival where people from the hills and plains come together for a unique exchange of goods and agricult...
    Usha Dewaniposted 5 years 2 months agoread more
  • Pophala is a dry land farming village with 73 families that cultivate 290 acres. The people would spend as many as 5 hours to go to another village and get water. In the year 2013, the Gram Sabha in Pophala village, decided on something unique. They decided to figure out a way to get and keep water ...
    Hamsa Iyerposted 5 years 2 months agoread more
  • Sea Line Co-operative Society, is a residential complex with 25 apartments in Bandra-a suburb in Mumbai. The 70 residents required 6000 kilolitres (KL) water per year but they managed to procure just about 5000 KL while paying through their noses - Rs. 20,000 per month, to be exact. Unders...
    Hamsa Iyerposted 5 years 2 months agoread more
  • In 2003, President Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam visited a small village in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. Kharaudi had done something he thought others could emulate. It had concrete roads, parks, a library, street lights running on solar cells and a septic tank to treat village's sewage - all thanks to ...
    Manu Moudgilposted 5 years 2 months agoread more
  • Mewat, a historical region comprising of the present Mewat district of Haryana and parts of Alwar, Bharatpur and Dholpur districts of Rajasthan, lies in a semi-arid belt. It experiences variable rainfall annually and receives, on average, 336 mm to 540 mm, as per the Mewat Development Agency.Gr...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 years 2 months agoread more
  • Shifting cultivation, locally called 'Jhum', is a widely practiced system of crop cultivation among the indigenous communities of Northeast India. While it is generally contested as a destructive method of farming, it is also argued that the system lends itself as much more than just a farming pract...
    Usha Dewaniposted 5 years 2 months agoread more
  • Looking through that peephole where the future seems dark and bleak conjures up discomfort. We would all rather envision a better, happier tomorrow but anticipating a possible bleak future is crucial for communities to plan in the context of changes, says Dr. Petra Tschakert, Professor of Geography ...
    Usha Dewaniposted 5 years 2 months agoread more
  • 'Development through Education and Education through development’ is the motto of Vigyan Ashram, a residential school situated in Pabal, Maharashtra. Dr.Kalbaug founded Vigyan Ashram on the principles of natural systems of learning.A Ph.D in Food Technology from the University of Illinois, Chicago...
    Hamsa Iyerposted 5 years 3 months agoread more
  • Meghalaya, the wettest place in the world till date, has started facing the consequences of climate change. In the recent past, the state has seen pronounced variability in rainfall. This has given rise to myriad problems in the predominantly agricultural state.Research has shown that Northeast Indi...
    Usha Dewaniposted 5 years 3 months agoread more
  • The mountain states are at a loss when it comes to a defined livelihood option for its inhabitants. Himachal Pradesh is no different. While the upper reaches of the state have excelled in growing niche products like apple and chilgoza (a variety of pine nut), areas like Chamba that are below 40...
    Manu Moudgilposted 5 years 3 months agoread more
  • Gamalibai is a farmer in Malkaipeta Thanda, a small tribal hamlet of the Lambadi community in Ibrahimpur village, Ranga Reddy district in Andhra Pradesh. She does not have much in common with the image of the hearty, prosperous farmer that beams at us from posters selling agricultural machinery. Tha...
    chicuposted 5 years 3 months agoread more
  • Elumalai holds 8 acres of farmland in the village of Keelathivakkam near Orathi, which is in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. Paddy is his main crop, currently occupying more than 6 acres of the property. A small mango grove and some jackfruit trees complete his inheritance. In addition to crop product...
    Seethaposted 5 years 4 months agoread more
  • Clean surroundings, clean water and a clean toilet – as much as Cuttack, in Odisha is a thriving centre of trade and commerce, it lacked these three basic necessities. An exploratory survey was conducted in 2009 to understand why the city hadn't reached a better state of cleanliness. It found that...
    sabitakaushalposted 5 years 4 months agoread more
  • The dialogue focussed on five themes: challenges in water utility management, roles of the private sector and civil society, role of water regulators, improving water data and metrics, and prospects for capacity building. The report summarises the challenges in these thematic areas and outlines bro...
    Prarthana Vishalposted 5 years 4 months agoread more
  • Their models stress on behavioural change and morethan government subsidy to install toilets.
    Prarthana Vishalposted 5 years 4 months agoread more
  • The report throws light on the recharge techniques practiced traditionally in different regions of the country and shares some of the success stories of the Board in implementing cost effective groundwater recharge techniques.
    Prarthana Vishalposted 5 years 4 months agoread more
  • Despite being endowed with adequate rainfall, most parts of the Himalayas are considered water-stressed for both agricultural and domestic purposes. This is mainly due to the seasonality of precipitation, which is concentrated to the monsoon months. It remains dry for rest of the year. The water cri...
    Manu Moudgilposted 5 years 4 months agoread more

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The three-decade old 'Gramkranti Eco-Bio Toilet' doesn't pollute or need a septic tank or a sewage network. In fact, its output is a nutrient-rich liquid that can be used as a pesticide!

Toilets need a septic tank or a connection to a sewage network, enough water to clean and flush, and regular maintenance to ensure proper functioning--except if it's the 'Gramkranti Eco-Bio Toilet'. It looks just like a conventional toilet but needs none of these.

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An innovative rainwater harvesting structure stores sweet rainwater below the ground, within a saline aquifer.

356 students and the teachers of Government Middle School in Sukhpuri village of Mewat district, Haryana are a happy lot now that they have access to potable water right within their school premises. The groundwater in the area was saline making it unfit for consumption.

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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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