Rural Water

  • In 2014, the Government of India launched the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) to accelerate efforts in achieving universal sanitation coverage. The issue of access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities also became a major Sustainable Development Goal (SDG-6) when the United Nation set 17 glob...
    priyadposted 9 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • While enhanced irrigation coverage has been hailed as an important way to improve agricultural productivity, it continues to lag behind in India and agriculture continues to be rainfed, subject to the vagaries of the monsoon. High groundwater dependence for irrigation has not only led to its depleti...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 9 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • While most parts of the country are facing a water crisis, here’s a case from the arid state of Rajasthan, where decentralized initiatives are solving water issues. Dungarpur in southern Rajasthan has exemplified how community participation with local level planning processes are working towards i...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 10 months 2 days agoread more
  • NITI Aayog, the Government of India’s policy think tank, recently released the second edition of the Composite Water Management Index to enable effective water management in Indian states. It warns that the country will lose 6% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2050 because of a water crisis....
    Amita Bhaduriposted 10 months 2 days agoread more
  • Team Malhar, students of Water Policy and Governance (WPG) and alumni of Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai in partnership with RRA Network proudly present the third annual session of "WATER TALK SERIES" on 7th September, 2019 at TISS, Mumbai The Water Talk Series was started in 2017 with t...
    priyadposted 10 months 1 week agoread more
  • Floods are an annual phenomenon in Assam. They are as integral to the state as the Brahmaputra River is, and each monsoon, we are reminded that Assam exists (or is drowning). As I write this piece, Assam is slowly recovering from the first wave of flood this monsoon. For several weeks, the entire st...
    priyadposted 10 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • P Sainath has been documenting stories from rural India for over three decades now. He is the founder-editor of People's Archive of Rural India (PARI), a digital archive dedicated to people whose voices and stories don't always find space in mainstream media. Sainath previously covered the rural bea...
    priyadposted 10 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • Vishwanath Srikantaiah, popularly known as the 'Rainman', has been in the news recently for his ambitious project to build one million recharge wells in Bengaluru. Given the dire situation we find ourselves in vis-à-vis water, the initiative could not have come at a better time. While Vishwanath h...
    priyadposted 11 months 5 days agoread more
  • India is, by far, the world’s largest groundwater economy. India’s annual withdrawal of fresh groundwater (253 Billion Cubic Metres in 2013) amounts to one fourth of the global total and is more than that of China and the US combined. Over 80% of water extracted is used in agriculture. The share...
    priyadposted 11 months 1 week agoread more
  • Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) is organizing the Indian National Groundwater Conference (INGWC-2020) to discuss 'Groundwater Resources Management for Sustainable Development with the Special Emphasis on Coastal and Urban Environment’ at CWRDM, Koz...
    prijuposted 11 months 1 week agoread more
  • This summer I had the incredible opportunity, to work with the Tata Trusts and their Tata Water Mission (TWM) initiative, exploring avenues to provide scalable water access to stakeholders in rural communities. TWM is one of the Trusts’ flagship initiatives in India, at the forefront of ensuring...
    priyadposted 11 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • In popular imagination, steeped in consumer culture, the hills are exotic and aesthetically sublime places to find solace away from busy urban life. This kind of imagination conveniently ignores and de-contextualizes the hills and the problems they face today. The Himalayas, often known as the Water...
    priyadposted 11 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • A Future Earth Conference Opening new frontiers in water system diagnostics and innovative solutions to mitigate the 21st-century global water crisis The Sustainable Water Future Programme (Water Future) of Future Earth is organizing its first international conference in partnership with Divecha C...
    priyadposted 11 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Meghalaya's draft water policy gets approval To address conservation and protection of water sources in the state, the Meghalaya cabinet has approved a draft water policy for the state. The policy was drafted by the state water resources department in consultation with experts in wate...
    swatiposted 11 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister alluded to gaon, garib and kisan as the centre of all policies of this government, while announcing a clutch of schemes aimed at the rural and urban poor. Her budget speech last week reiterated the government's commitment to ensuring piped water supply to al...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 12 months 3 days agoread more
  • Water scarcity has a history … and that history is nothing less than the history of government. – Alatout, 2008. Attempts to privatize water may have increased globally in the recent past, but in more general terms, governments largely control water as in India, where water is a state subject....
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • Monsoon makes slowest progress across India in 12 years (source: Times of India) Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) records show that this year's monsoon has so far been the slowest progressing monsoon in the past 12 years. The monsoon has currently reached just about 10 to 15% of the c...
    swatiposted 1 year 1 week agoread more
  • Government to launch rural piped water scheme Taking note that more than 80 percent rural households in the country are yet to get piped water supply, the government plans to launch a new mission to ensure water from the tap for each house in villages in the next five years. Union Jal Shakti minist...
    swatiposted 1 year 2 weeks agoread more
  • Sustainable development, still an unfinished agenda In the fourth year into their implementation, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim at reducing developmental disparities in different parts of the world continue to be a cause for concern, with many international bodies urging for fas...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 2 weeks agoread more
  • INTRODUCTION On 30th May, the new government took oath to serve the nation. The celebrations on that scorching summer evening at Rashtrapati Bhavan echoed hollow with more than 500 million people vulnerable to severe drought in the country. India is currently going through an extended dry spell wit...
    priyadposted 1 year 3 weeks agoread more

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Policy matters this week

Centre to finalise National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights

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Will the World Bank honor its commitments to the poor in an Indian water project?

In the wake of a scandal revealing that the World Bank may have suppressed knowledge of money for the poor being siphoned off by elites, all eyes are on the Bank to see whether its commitments to the poor hold water. Now, the Bank has a chance to demonstrate its commitment to vulnerable communities––and not the wealthy few––by righting its wrongs in a massive water scheme the Bank is financing in rural India.

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What can be learnt from past experiences on scaling up coverage of piped water supply?

Efforts are underway by both state and central governments to improve access to safe and adequate drinking water to people, and nationally, as on 31 December 2018, 79% of rural habitations had been covered at 40 litres per capita per day (lpcd) but only 47% at 55 lpcd. Yet, in spite of the big push towards piped water supply in rural areas, the coverage continued to be poor.

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There is a need to focus on the “first mile” i.e. communities across rural India to be able to ensure sustainability and scalability for piped water supply.

Millions of Indian women can take up to six trips a day to gather and transport water, which takes up a major part of their day. During scorching summers when many sources dry up, their drudgery gets even worse. Stories of girls dropping out of school to share the burden of carrying water are also not unheard of.

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Why women need to be trained and engaged in monitoring and surveillance of water quality at the community level in rural India?

Historically, water is a gendered burden, with women being the primary caregivers responsible for cooking, washing and cleaning chores in the house and in modern times in institutions (teachers, anganwadi and healthcare workers). Women have traditionally been associated with various water related tasks - be it collecting, fetching, or purifying water.

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Policy matters this week

Karnataka allowed to implement Kalasa-Banduri project

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Overworked, poorly paid and deprived of any rights, migrant cane cutters, especially women are most vulnerable and continue to suffer from a number of health and security risks.

Maharashtra is the second largest sugar producing state in India, after Uttar Pradesh where as high as 1.6 million farmers cultivate sugarcane on 0.7 million hectares of land. The sugarcane industry provides direct employment to about 0.16 million workers while 1.5 million workers engage in sugarcane harvesting and transport operations every year.

While Maharashtra boasts of having the largest cooperative sugar mills in India, private sugar mills are gaining prominence over cooperative mills over the last few years.

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Floods such as in 2018 could take the situation downhill causing severe drinking water crisis.

Surrounded by vast expanses of water, the Kuttanad region in Alleppey district, Kerala faces severe drinking water scarcity due to infrastructure failure and civic body inaction.

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Decentralised groundwater governance frameworks that integrate democratic institutional mechanisms are needed to deal with the current groundwater crisis in India.

The challenges to sustain groundwater dependency in India are many where groundwater over extraction is not only leading to rapid depletion of the resource, but also giving rise to water quality issues in a situation where the response at the level of policy continues to be lukewarm.

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How women came together in a Junagadh village to tackle drinking and domestic water shortage effectively.

Kotda village provides an inspiring example of how a village suffering from teething troubles in the critical areas of water and sanitation can emerge as a model water and sanitation village. Located in Mangrol block of Junagadh district, from a distance this village presents a lush green appearance because of an abundance of coconut trees. “Despite this, the village was so dirty about two decades back that we used to put a cloth on our nose to block the stench on some village paths," says Kamla, an elderly woman of Kotda. This was because open defecation was practiced by all households.

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