News and Articles

Demystifying groundwater for collective action
Experiences from participatory groundwater management efforts in Maharashtra tridmin posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

India is the largest user of groundwater in the world. Agriculture, rural and urban domestic water supply and increasingly industries are shaping the dependency on groundwater. More importantly, in the case of India as in most of South Asia, groundwater is critical to ensure drinking water security besides being the lifeline for the livelihoods of millions of small and marginal farmers.

Unless work on managing the demand is undertaken, the notion of ‘infinite’ groundwater will be hard to address. (Image: Rucha Deshmukh, ACWADAM)
Embankments in Bihar: The inapt and futile defence against floods
Embankments in Bihar have failed miserably against flood protection. Take a look on these frequently asked questions (FAQs) on why they failed and what are the possible solutions to floods in Bihar? Swati Bansal posted 11 months ago

What is the history of floods in Bihar and why is it prone to floods?

An embankment in Madhubani after a week of repairing (Source: Santosh Yadav via IWP Flickr albums)
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 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)
Women hold the key to dietary diversity
A study finds that women's control over income and better decisionmaking power can go a long way in improving dietary diversity and tackling malnutrition in rural India. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 11 months ago

Evidence world over shows that small scale agricultural production does very little to deal with malnutrition and food insecurity among rural poor.

Empowering women to improve nutritional outcomes (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Architecture of community program organisations and their data systems
A simple explanation is all you need to get your head around issues related to software technology and its use in community programs. Amita Bhaduri posted 11 months ago

Samanvay Foundation has developed a knowledgebase for leaders working in nonprofit organisations, on issues related to software technology and its use in community programs. It covers strategy, management, economics, and appropriateness of software technology.

Image courtesy: Pete Linforth from Pixabay
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 11 months 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 11 months 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)
Rapid hygiene study: Hand hygiene for COVID-19 and beyond in India
A study by WaterAid India calls for building the capacity of community networks to promote and support hygiene behaviours. Amita Bhaduri posted 11 months ago

This year, Global Handwashing Day (observed annually on October 15) is particularly significant given the COVID-19 pandemic. While vaccine trials are ongoing, protective actions such as handwashing with soap is a critical first line of defence and cost-effective public health intervention.

Effect of a behaviour-change intervention on handwashing (Image: Climate Centre)
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 11 months 1 week 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 11 months 1 week 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)
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