Government Programmes

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December 26, 2019 Policy matters this week
The Mandovi river disputed between Karnataka and Goa (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
December 11, 2019 Policy matters this week
Polythene bags and solid waste left behind as water recedes in the Ganga river. (Source: India Water Portal on Flickr)
December 6, 2019 A report by the India Rivers Forum highlights the need to focus further than the main stem of the Ganga river.
Distant snow clad mountains, the smaller hills and the Ganga river (Image: Srimoyee Banerjee, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)
December 4, 2019 To adapt well & build resilience, climate change strategies need to factor in efforts towards water security, writes Vanita Suneja, Regional Advocacy Manager (South Asia), WaterAid.
Image credit: WaterAid/Prashanth Vishwanathan
Generating demand for sanitation infrastructure
How to steer conversations and processes that help boost the motivation of community leaders to encourage better sanitation behaviour? Amita Bhaduri posted 11 months 4 weeks ago

Radharamanpada is an unauthorised slum in Angul with 300 houses. The president of the slum sanitation committee Janaki Sahu, a 28-year-old mother of four, runs a street food stall on the main road. There are seven women in the committee of eleven, working on sanitation solution for populations that remain underserved.

Project Nirmal uses appropriate communication inputs that help generate awareness about the impact of poor containment, collection, transportation and treatment systems on the environment among all stakeholders. (Image: SCI-FI, CPR)
Data, data everywhere, but where?
Involving the community in a data framework with the right incentives will have the second-order benefit of the community becoming decision makers with respect to water use. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year ago

A few of us did an exercise where we closed our eyes and thought of the first four words that came to our minds when we thought of water data in India. Here is what we came up with:

The seamless flow of data from one program to another can be enabled if a few principles are kept in mind (Image: José Manuel Suárez, Wikimedia Commons)
Data-driven ‘water and agriculture’ planning: The big picture
If data was better organized and available for download in more ‘user-friendly’ formats, its utilization would improve manifold. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year ago

India is fortunate to have a rich tradition of public data collection and compilation.

The quality of our public data is highly variable, yet if analyses and interpretation are done keeping in mind some of the limitations, the datasets can be a precious resource at the meso and macro level. (Image: Pixabay)
Not in the interest of women farmers!
The new farm related bills will spell doom for women workers who form the bulk of small and marginal sections of Indian agriculture, warns Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch (MAKAAM). Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 year ago

Three farm-related Bills were recently passed in the Parliament by the BJP led government at the Center, which have subsequently received presidential assent.

Farm women, overworked and underpaid (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Groundwater recharge needs grassroots solutions: A study of two techniques in Kerala
Although groundwater is emerging as a critical issue and has managed to encourage new government schemes, a generic solution of rainwater recharge cannot be applied across different regions. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year ago

In Kerala, around half the urban population and 80% of the rural population depend on open wells on their domestic water needs. But in the last decade, the majority of observatory wells recorded an average annual decline of half a meter.

Rainwater is captured from the rooftop of the community hall and diverted to the sump before it is pumped into the open well. (Image by Authors)
New groundwater guidelines prohibit industries and mining in over-exploited zones
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 1 year ago

Revised guidelines for groundwater use notified

Centre issues revised guidelines for groundwater use (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Poor implementation of forest rights act hurts tribals
Need to recognise the rights of forest-dwelling and tribal communities over their traditional lands. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year ago

In pre-colonial times, India’s forestlands were mostly under the use of the local communities. Forest policies led to centralisation in colonial times with forestland being subject to commercial over-exploitation for revenue generation purposes. This, in turn, led to land alienation of forest dwellers and an overall increase in deforestation.

Indigenous groups that lived and helped maintain the forests for centuries have been undermined (Image: Baiga women, Wikimedia Commons; CC BY-SA 3.0)
Governance lessons that could keep us prepared for pandemics
Leo Saldanha of Environment Support Group speaks on rethinking aspects of our governance system in post-pandemic times. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year ago

Unabashed assaults by human beings on the natural ecological system have caused the coronavirus to spread in the first place.

Decentralised governance systems that allow to adapt and learn are best placed to deal with disasters (Image: Kantsmith, Pixabay)
Data, a reusable asset
Can we design capabilities to ingest, protect and use water data in ways that amplify value for its users? Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year ago

A quick search for the word data on India Water Portal results in a flood of queries - people are looking for water data - for specific villages, cities or for the entire country. 

Water data needs to be liberated from the custody of one set of users and a single programme making it a reusable asset that each programme and actor builds on. (Image: Needpix)
The women sanitation champions of Angul
Residents confronted with poor sanitation conditions come together and organise for effective sanitation service delivery in crowded, low-income neighbourhoods in Angul, Odisha. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year ago

Sita Behera, the 35-year-old mother of two lives in the Radhamadhavapura unauthorised slum in Angul. She is the President of the Ward Sanitation Committee (WSC) that is leading the work on making the slum open defecation free. Driven by the desire to improve the living conditions for her children and the neighbourhood at large, she prompted 140 families to construct latrines over two years.

Women come together in multi-layered sanitation institutions in Angul set up under Project Nirmal to improve the sanitation chain. (Image: SCI-FI, CPR)
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