Overall Objective of the National Water Harvesters
To promote a peoples water management programme based on water
Rationale of the Formation of a NWHN:
One of the main recommendations of the CSE conference on water
harvesting was the setting up of a national water harvesters network to promote
water harvesting. The need for a forum was strongly felt, and it was recommended that CSE
take the lead and provide leadership. Accordingly the National Water Harvesters
Network was set up in CSE.
The objectives of the network is to create awareness, undertake policy
research and lobby to bring about change in policy as required so that water management is
decentralised and water availability increased.
The Mission of the Network
To harness the power and knowledge of individuals and communities to
revive and develop the ancient techniques of water harvesting together with modern inputs
from scientific knowledge for conservation and better management of freshwater resources.
To serve as a forum for advocacy for appropriate change in policies,
programmes and institutional structures
To help the civil society to act as affective pressure group
Goals of the Network
To accomplish this overreaching objective, the network proposes to
achieve the following goals:
- Build coalitions by bringing like-minded people together
- Promote communication amongst them by providing a forum that facilitates the coming
together of people and exchange of ideas and perspectives.
- Create and disseminate information on exemplary action and technologies
- The network seeks to cretate water literacy and provide 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 water harvesting
- Educate the public and policy makers.
- Empower the marginalised people and their knowledge systems in order to help them
consolidate their power and efforts.
- Advocate relevant changes in policy and legislations.
- Provide information about technical, legal and financial support and , if possible
provide these different types of suport directly.
- Provide support to local initiatives to overcome obstacle and impediments in
- Work with all levels of the government, especially Panchayati Raj institutions to
promote water harvesting at the local level.
The network will take special care to reinforce and not replace
existing local initiatives.
Activities of the Network
In order to accomplish these goals the network will undertake the following activities:
- Produce a newsletter
- Create and maintain a database on people, projects, organisations and technologies
related to water harvesting
- Create a network website
- Establishing a clearinghouse to provide technical, legal and financial information.
- Document on an on-going basis the experiences and lessons learnt of outstanding
government and non-government efforts.
- Establish a documentation centre of educational and training materials prepared by field
action groups for easy dissemination.
- Promote active links between firld action groups and research, professional and academic
- Promote cultural connections an d rituals associated with water and water harvesting
- Organise public meetings, workshops and exhibitions around the theme of water
- Organise a volunteer network in support of water harvesting.
- Develop links with people involved in water harvesting in South Asia and other parts of
- Organise training workshops
- Set up investigate missions/working groups on important issues raised by local
- Documentation of on-going research and study on specific issues of relevance
- Organise regional and national conferences.
- Organise interactions with government and other policy makers.
Membership of the Network
The membership fee for joining the national water harvesters network is
Structure of the Network
The structure of the network should be one that fosters promotion of
The structure should be one that is flexible and evolves as the needs,
aspirations and the capacity of the network grows. It should also be a structure that can
balance the need for infrastructure (and financial requirement for it) with that of
Small regional level networks should be invited to become a formal part
of the proposed Water Harvesters Network.
Secretariat of the Network
The Centre for Science and Environment has been appointed the Central
Secretariat of the National Water Harvesters Network.