"The Real Green Revolution is about rainwater harvesting.
Let us catch water where it falls. Let it transform human lives. Let it change social existence. If this happens, the world will be transformed. The world will merely be an agglomeration of ecological-rainwater harvesting-democracies."
- Anil Agarwal
Founder-Director, CSE
Jal Swaraj

The Centre for Science and Environment, a New Delhi based non-governmental organisation (NGO) has been promoting the revival of traditional systems of water harvesting as a practical solution for drought proofing the affected areas. The organisation has developed a comprehensive strategy to further the impact of its campaign for participatory, equitable and decentralised paradigm for water management. A look at the Jal swaraj campaign:

The journey so far…
  • Mid-1980s: CSE set out to undertake a massive exercise- to document India's traditions in rainwater harvesting.
  • 1990: Organised a national conference on India's traditions in water harvesting.
  • 1997: Published Dying Wisdom: The rise, fall and potential of India's traditional water harvesting traditions-a book with a powerful message.
  • 1998: Organised Potential of Water Harvesting: Technologies, Policies and Social Mobilisation, an international conference of water harvesting practioners and thinkers. President K R Narayanan inaugurated it and Chief minister of Madhya Pradesh closed it.
  • 1999: January, Released Water Links, a directory of water harvesters in India and abroad.
  • 1999: February, Began publishing bimonthly newsletter, Catch Water.
  • 1999: April, Launched National Water Harvesters Network, with its first state unit set up in Chennai, under Dr A Vaidyanathan. A national steering committee was formed to guide the network members.
  • 1999: November, Began Water Harvesting Advisory Services to provide designs to people, free of cost.
  • 2000: May,Led its first Paani Yatra (Water Pilgrimage) to Gujarat. It has since organised four such trips in different parts of the country.
  • 2000: June,Released a manual on Urban Rain Water Harvesting.
  • 2000: July,Anil Agarwal addressed Prime Minister, members of Union Cabinet and state governors to drive home the significance water harvesting.
  • 2001: March, Published Making Water Everybody's Business: Practice and Policy of Water Harvesting, a manual to make water harvesting a mass movement.
  • 2002: July, Unveils its first Rain Centre-a permanently set up exhibitions that seek to spread water literacy among urban Indians--in Chennai, in collaboration with Akash Ganga Trust
  • 2002: October, Launches its Campaign to Protect Urban Wetlands with a two-day long workshop; constitutes a core committee of experts and individuals working on the issues; and sets up CSE Lake Net, a web-based discussion group
  • 2002-2003: Sets up a chain of eleven model rainwater harvesting projects in Delhi, as tools to establish the fact that the technique can be implemented successfully by all concerned individuals in urban India who are looking for a way to fulfill their own demands.

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