Center for Science & Environment CSE Store Equity Watch Gobar Times Down to Earth
Women in Karnataka use sari to harvest rain
Women in Vamdse village in Kundapura block of Udupi District in Karnataka use their sari to harvest rain. Here sari acts as the catchment, conveyance system and flitration-all of which are integral to a rainwater harvesting system. (See photo: a sari RWH system). This system helps the women to collect rainwater for meeting their day-to-day drinking water at zero investment.

It was the looming water crisis in the village that forced the villagers to innovate this technique. The water infrastructure of the village comprises of two tubewells (one of them dry) and two water tanks (one of them constructed with an investment of Rs 1.8 lakh). All of them are lying unused due to technical problems.

This method is used elsewhere in the neighbouring state of Kerala as well. In Kuttanad in Alleppy district this technique is used not because of water scarcity but to have clean drinking water. Families using this system typically boil the water before drinking. Some families keep this water (in little storages vessels) and use for their drinking needs for a week. There is hardly any hesitation to drink rainwater in these areas. A lesson to learn from!

For more details:
Shree Padre


Water meeting in Dausa

Over a hundred enthusiastic and beaming young faces from the National Service Scheme (NSS) gathered in Khuri Kalan, a village in the Dausa district of Rajasthan, on the occasion of National Integration Meet, held from August 12-18, 2004. The meeting was jointly organized by Sardar Patel Yuva Gramin Vikas Sansthan (SPYGVS), a Dausa based NGO and the Ministry of Health Affairs and Sports. Shiv Charan Rawat, President, SPYGVS explains the objective, "CSE's study in around ten villages in Dausa has clearly brought out the seriousness of the fluoride menace in the area. The meeting is to sensitize the youngsters on the importance of water conservation." CSE's study has found that the groundwater in the region had fluoride levels much above the permissible limit of 1 mg/l.

CSE staffer who spoke on the occasion highlighted the importance of rainwater harvesting as a solution to the fluoride menace. She also spoke of the myriad water issues- ranging from threatening groundwater depletion, land subsidence as a result of excessive groundwater withdrawal, badly executed government watershed programmes and the absence of people's participation, to the water management tradition of the state which eroded with the advent of irrigation bureaucracy. Alongside she also drew attention on the successful people's initiative in bringing about a total ecological regeneration, pulling examples like Fram Vikas Navyuvak Mandal's work in Laporiya and Tarun Bharat Sangh's work in Alwar.

During the discussion, the students raised their concern about the domestic defluoridation kits to tackle the fluoride crisis. They pointed out that the kits were expensive and only a few could afford. Some also emphasized the need for availability safe drinking water to all, and a necessity for reviving the traditional practices of water harvesting.

The meeting ended with an appeal to all the participants to translate the concept of RWH into a social movement.

For more details
Shiv Charan Rawat
Village and post: Khuri Kalan
Ph: 01427 74421

Jal Chetna Yatra in Jodhpur
Jal Bhagirathi Foundation, a Jodhpur based NGO is organising a Jal Chetna Yatra onAugust 23 and 24, 2004, in Luni and Balotra blocks of Jodhpur and Barmer districts respectively. This according to the organisers is an unique opportunity to see, learn and interact with enthusiastic, motivated and self-reliant villagers who have rediscovered an effective way of addressing their drinking water problem locally by reviving the traditional forms of water harvesting in these water scarce areas of Rajasthan.

Jal Bhagirathi Foundation Schedule for The Jal Chetna Yatra
23rd and 24th August 2004

Date D/A Time Place Activities
23 Aug D 0900 JDH  
Mini A 1030 Bhandiyawaas UNDP Water Harvesting Structure
  D 1115    
Midi A 1130 Pachpadra UNDP- Tanka
  D 1230 Pachpadra [packed lunch enroute]
Midi A 1300 Asada UNDP Water Harvesting Structure
  D 1400 Asada  
Mini A 1415 Asotra UNDP Water Harvesting Structure
  D 1500 Asotra  
Maxi A 1700 Godawas UNDP Water Harvesting Structure
  D 1830 Godawas  
  A 1930 JDH  
24 Aug D 0900 JDH  
Mini Meeting A 1015 Sewala UNICEF-Tanka and Toilets
  D 1100 Sewala  
Mini A 1110 Khichiyon Ka Daipada UNDP Water Harvesting Structure, UNICEF - Tanka and Toilets
  D 1200 Khichiyon Ka Daipada  
Midi A 1300 Chirdiya UNDP - Water Harvesting Structure
  D 1430 Chirdiya [packed lunch enroute]
Midi A 1515 Bhakri UNDP Water Harvesting Structure
  D 1615 Bhakri  
Mini A 1650 Dedi Nadi UNDP Water Harvesting Structure
  D 1735 Dedi Nadi  
Maxi A 1800 Lambadanada UNDP Water Harvesting Structure, UNICEF - Tanka and Toilets
  D 2000 Lambadanada  
  A 2115 Jodhpur  

For more details contact:
Shubhang Pandya
Project Director
Jal Bhagirathi Foundation

Watershed A to Z
Pune based NGO Vanrai Foundation has launched a software Watershed A to Z, to help organizations and individuals in preparing the cost estimates of watershed projects. For more details write to:
Bhushan Ambadkar
Vanarai Foundation. 498 Parvati. Pune -411009.
Tel: + 91-20-24440351/24449351 Fax :+91-20-24445299
Web Site:

WOTR's training on watershed

WOTR Pune is organizing an orientation programme on Watershed during 25-28 May 2004. The target group is senior level staff from the Government and NGO sector, academics and other institutions interested in gaining local situational experiences and understanding their relevance in the context of larger policies. The deadline for registration is May 5, 2004
Details at