|Note on National Water
At the Centre for Science and Environment's conference on 'The Potential
of Water Harvesting: Traditions, Policies and Social Mobilisation'
organised from October 3-5, 1998. During the conference the participants
decided to form a National Water Harvesters Network. CSE was recommended
to be the national secretariat of the network. Since then CSE has
been involved, in establishing a national level network of people,
institutions and organisations involved in water harvesting. The national
network has the mandate to organise and promote research, advocacy,
awareness raising activities and field action programmes.
The aim of this Network is to influence the policy debate in India
and to push for policies that incorporate decentralised, participatory
and locale-specific water harvesting systems which use rain water,
snow melts, sub-surface water etc.
The Mission of the
Goals of the Network
- To harness the power and knowledge of individuals and communities
- To revive and develop the ancient wisdom of water harvesting
together with modern inputs from scientific knowledge for conservation
and better management of our freshwater resource for a secure
To accomplish this overarching objective, the network proposes to
achieve the following goals:
- Building coalitions by bringing the like-minded together.
- Promoting communication amongst the like-minded by providing
a forum that facilitates the coming together of people and exchange
of ideas and perspectives.
- Creating and disseminate information on exemplary action and
- The network seeks to create 'water literacy' and providing
informational support to the researcher, writer and practitioner
of water harvesting. It also seeks to work towards improving access
to information by serving as a clearinghouse for information on
activities, issues and 'technological' developments related to
- Educating the public and policy makers.
- Empowering the marginalised people and their knowledge systems
in order to help them consolidate their power and efforts.
- Advocating relevant changes in policy and legislation.
- 8. Working as a resource unit.
- 9. Work with all levels of government, but especially Panchayati
Raj institutions to promote water harvesting at the local level.
- 10. The network will work towards replicating and propagating
successful local initiatives.
Activities of the
In order to accomplish these goals the network will undertake the
Branch network of the NWHN
- Producing newsletter (English and Regional).
- Creating and maintain a database on people, projects, organisations
and technologies related to water harvesting.
- Creating a network website.
- Establishing a clearinghouse to provide technical, legal and
financial information. Documenting on an ongoing basis the experiences
and lessons learnt of outstanding government and non-governmental
- Establishing a documentation centre of educational and training
materials prepared by field action groups for easy dissemination.
- Promoting active links between field action groups and with
research, professional and academic institutions.
- Promoting cultural connections and rituals associated with
water and water harvesting.
- Organising public meetings, workshops and exhibitions around
the theme of water harvesting.
- Organising volunteer network in support of water harvesting.
- Developing links with people involved in water harvesting in
South Asia and other parts of the world.
- Organising training workshops.
- Documenting and promoting research and study on specific issues
- Organising regional and national conferences.
- Organising interactions with government and other policy makers.
These are decentralised networks of the NWHN at state levels. There
is a branch unit in Chennai known as the Tamil Nadu of the NWHN
with Dr. A. Vaidyanathan as the chairperson. This unit is primarily
involved in networking with in the state and also is responsible
for the production of the newsletter "Siruthulli"
|Structure of NWHN
The steering Committee of the National Water Harvesters Network
was formed with the objective of assessing and guiding the activities
of the network. The committee meets once in a year and contributes
towards the annual plan of the water campaign. It comprises of water
experts from rural and urban sectors, policy makers and grassroots
Following are the steering committee members (2002)
||Tarun Bharat Sangh,
||Gandhi Peace Foundation,
||N M Sadguru Foundation,
|M P Vasimalai
of Development Studies, Chennai
|R Jeya Kumar
Construction Company, Chennai
|N C Saxena
||Ex. Member Secretary,
Planning Commission, New Delhi
|Shanta Sheela Nair
Administration and Water supply Department, Chennai
||Secretary to Chief
Minister, Madhya Pradesh
|M S Vani
||DCAP, New Delhi
Development Agency (SIDA), New Delhi
||UNICEF, New Delhi
||CSE, New Delhi
||Rajiv Gandhi Foundation,