Reaching out
My river, my management


Andhra farmers try their hand at water management


CSE continues to educate the educators


MEASTro knows it all!
Cavern construction
What the world thinks of water


Chennai branch of NWHN: full steam ahead






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Vol. 1                                    No. 3                             August 1999

Reaching out

In October 1999, it will be one year since we organised the CSE Conference on Potential of Water Harvesting: Traditions, Policies and Social Mobilisation. Since then, we have succeeded in implementing some of the recommendations. This has been with the full support of members to the various committees appointed to carry forward our effort in `people’s management of water’.

To catch every drop of rain, we installed rainwater harvesting structures in our office complex. To help President K.R. Narayanan harvest water in Rashtrapati Bhawan, some of the recommendations of the advisory committee that CSE formed for this purpose have been implemented. Future plans include a water budgeting exercise for CSE and Rashtrapati Bhawan. This would give us an idea of how much of the utilized water is replenished.

The National Water Harvesters’ Network (NWHN) is firmly in place and efforts are on to spread the network to different parts of the country, by starting branch networks. The Chennai branch unit of the NWHN is proceeding full steam ahead on the agenda that has been decided by its steering committee. It promises to serve as a model for other branch networks. Efforts are currently on to get branch units going in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Mizoram.

Learning as we go along, we hope to have in place a network as loosely structured as possible, catering to different needs in different regions, with minimal institutional framework.

These branch networks have the important mandate of making water everybody’s business. This means that it is important that the steering committee provide leadership and direction and take the programme forward by addressing specific needs of the region and people. At some places this may mean starting from scratch and creating awareness, at others it may involve evaluating the work already executed in terms of effectiveness.

What is most heartening is the response we are getting from individuals who want to be involved in water harvesting activities and from grassroots workers. We have also received several requests for a hindi version of the newsletter. We hope to fulfill this demand soon.

Schools are also evincing interest. We have been going out to inform them on the need and use of water harvesting and the feedback is encouraging. Schools now want rainwater harvesting systems installed. Some of them are even involving students in a water budgeting exercise. Others are planning an exhibition on rainwater harvesting structures.

A lot remains undone. Each branch network will need to reach out to every grassroot organisation involved in water harvesting, and through these groups, enter every household. Only then will the `networking’ be complete.


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Anil Agarwal