It is a simple and excellent illustration on watershed management that
is important for school children and for NGOs. The book introduces the concept of
watershed and steps involved in watershed management. In addition, calls for local
peoples active participation in the programme for long term success. Finally it
outlines the guidelines for watershed management for the beginners.
The Book is available from: PALMYRA, Centre for Ecological Landuse and Rural
Development, Aurobrindavan, Auroville- 605 101. Pondicherry.
2. Whose Voice?: Jeremy Holland & James
Blackburn. 1998. Whose Voice? - Participatory research and policy change.
Intermediate Technology Publications Limited. London. Pages: 254.
In recent years there has been a quiet revolution in policy analysis. The increasing
use of participatory rural appraisal (PRA) and related participatory approaches by NGOs,
governments and multinational agencies have opened up new ways in which policy can be
influenced by those who are poor, weak, marginalised and excluded. Participatory policy
analysis questions conventional policymaking procedures, challenges the behaviour and
attitudes of policy makers, and influences the style and substance of policy itself. The
book demonstrates the far reaching implications of this quiet revolution for the
development sector and examines the issues that need to be addressed in order to increase
the effectiveness, sustainability and acceptability of future participatory policy-focused
research. The book stems from an international workshop convened in May 1996 at the
Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. The book is organised with Part 1
examines the case-studies that have used PRA methods to influence policy. Part 2
reflecting on participatory poverty assessments. Part 3 draws the theme. The book will be
an invaluable to professionals and policymakers with a special interest in PRA approaches
and methods and their impact upon policy and development.
3. Ripples in Peoples Movement: FAO.
1998. Ripples of the Society - Peoples movement in watershed developments in
India. PWMTA & FARM Programme. Food and Agricultural Organisation of United
The society, the samaj, evolved varied institution to support life that revolved around
their natural resources, the land, the water, the soil and the forest that nurtured and
sustained their lifestyles. The book is a documentation of such institutions in watershed
development in India. The document from the case-studies from the Himalaya and the rainfed
desert areas of India aims to replicate these programmes in other parts of the world. The
document identifies some of the key factors that are crucial to promote peoples
participation. In addition, what these case-studies also highlight is that most of the
success stories have emerged due to committed intervention by an individual or an
organisation. What needs to be taken with caution in replicating such experience is that
most of the characterisrics identified cannot be prevalent in all regions. many of the
Indian villages are characterised by authority-based power strucutures. However, this book
is an interesting piece of case-studies documented by Gandhi Peace Foundation that might
be useful for NGOs and for researchers.
For copies write to: Environment Cell,Gandhi Peace Foundation, 221 Deen Dayal
Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110 002, India.
4. Self reliance in water? .Alacrity Housing
Limited. 1998. Self Reliance in water - The Alacrity Experience. 2nd Edition,
October. Alacrity Housing Limited, Chennai
Scarcity of potable water in Chennai has been a vital factor for Alacrity Housing
Limited to tap and recycle rainwater to meet the demands of their clients. The impact is
documented in the second edition of their booklet Self Reliance in Water - Alacrity
Experience. Their experience in about 200 housing complexes in the Metro reveals
that about 73 to 79 per cent of annual per capita water need (at the rate of 135 litres
per capita per day) can be met by tapping and recycling rainwater. This reduces their
dependence on Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewage Board (CMWSSB), recharges the
groundwater aquifers, and reduces the adverse effects of the seawater intrusion. In due
course, the effort promises 100 per cent self-reliance in water.
The booklet is a simple research piece that assures sustained supply of potable water
to prospective buyers of flats. The booklet begins with a background of the perilous
future of potable water scenario in Chennai. Alacrity has channelled rainwater to shallow
dug wells and shallow pits, and reviewed old dug wells that had helped to meet 36 per cent
of the annual per capita water needs of the flats. In addition, recycling grey water meets
another 36 to 43 per cent. On the whole, it assures that 73 to 79 per cent of annual per
capita water need can be met. Such novel efforts can be replicated in places like
Hyderabad, Delhi, Coimbatore and Bangalore, which have reasonable rainfall, flat terrain
and favourable sub-surface soil.
The booklet has been published in public interest, though it is for Alacritys
prospective clients. The novel effort could be put to a wider use in influencing public
policy, urban research and building confidence of the buyers if the booklet could explain:
how has the cost of harvesting water been internalised in the cost of housing? How were
their clients responses before and after rainwater harvesting? What has been the
quality of tapped and recycled water compared to the potable water standards? How has the
quality and quantity of groundwater changed? This information could be used to justify the
beneficial impact of rainwater harvesting in promoting environment-friendly urban policy.
In addition, it could also add value to the Chennai Corporations recent efforts to
have rainwater harvesting as a pre-requisite for commercial flats to get plans approved.
Alacrity Housing Limited. 1998. Self Reliance in water The Alacrity
Experience. 2nd Edition, October. Alacrity Housing Limited, Chennai.