Wednesday, August 22, 2012


                                                                                -By Milan K Sinha
        Notwithstanding the deplorable situation as regards water management in all its dimensions at large, we have reasons to be optimistic towards finding culturally appropriate traditional as well as technological solutions to this alarming problem, as several silent movements to harvest, conserve & preserve water by various groups & communities in remotest drought prone & water starved places in a manner worth emulating by other interested groups, are under way  in the country. In Rajasthan alone, due to sustained community participation, almost 10000 small & big ponds were either repaired or resurrected during the last few years by collective efforts of persons like Rajendra Singh, Magsaysay award winner & other likeminded persons. Chipko Andolan, Paani Yatras, Aapiko Andolan and other water conservation & forest protection  movements are going on to serve this cause. In Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh &  Kerala, effective initiatives for rain water harvesting and artificial recharging of ground water have been undertaken. Consequently, not only the ponds, lakes, small  dams & canals have adequate water reserves but also the wells which had dried up because of water table going down even below 90 feet, are now full of water as the recharging took place slowly with the water availability in such ponds etc. around such places. Similar initiatives are to be taken urgently in other states before it is too late.

         It is interesting to know that two of the four BRIC( Brazil, Russia, India & China) nations, Brazil & China have already  in place the mechanism of roof top rain water harvesting in some cities for meeting drinking as well as other needs of the population besides finding ways for replenishing  ground water levels. In our neighbouring nation Sri Lanka, harvesting rain water is very popular & effective means of ensuring water availability in rural areas. Cuba’s “More With Less” economic philosophy based on proper management of its available resources including  rain water is an example in itself.

        Awareness among the affected & likely to be affected masses for stopping overuse & abuse of water is a must. Govt. spending running in lacs of crores in the name of either river cleaning programme, construction of large dams and other such money siphoning projects should be reviewed by a group of experts having high moral integrity for best use of public money for the good of the ordinary citizens of India. In fact, we can’t afford to have more external debts for such big projects of longer gestation period with comparatively little benefits for the society. Instead, we should go for mass scale real afforestation of fruit plants, construction of ponds, small dams & canals  in large scale, making it mandatory for every household in the cities to practice rooftop rain harvesting &  complete stoppage of dumping of industrial waste etc. into our rivers, to name a few. As the most famous painter/sculptor/ musician/scientist Leonardo da Vinci said,” Water is the driving force in nature”,so it would drive us towards our desired goal. Let us do our best individually & collectively.

                                                            will meet again with Open Mind. All the Best.  


  1. Water conservation should be a primary concern now, both at policy and personal levels. Though the govt. should come up with effective measures to tackle the problem, we cannot sit back and relax till it does so. The efforts at community level mentioned in the article are laudable and such projects must be undertaken more and more. Residential colonies and societies should come together and discuss how to implement rainwater harvesting.

    1. Thanks a lot. Undoubtedly, we can do a lot collectively for the society without looking towards the Govt. which is
      saddled with innumerable problems of its own. And the first step is awareness. Keep reading & reacting. All the best.