In India, over one lakh people die of water-borne diseases annually. The country faces a huge challenge in ensuring safe water supply.
We focus on improving access to water. In India, the government has progressive and decentralized policies and programmes for water supply and security. WaterAid recognizes the mandate and the role of the government and facilitates the process of translating vision into action in challenging contexts.
We realize that the key to drinking water security lies with the community. Our approach involves promoting locally-owned and managed drinking water security plans at the community level. These plans are simple which can be used, monitored and managed by people and local governments.
Key components of our work on drinking water security include:
Participatory water resource management
- Building capacity of local government and community on the principles, processes, and provisions;
- Mapping of water resources and usage;
- Water budgeting and allocation;
- Improving access to water supply by leveraging government resources; and
- Advocacy for regulations of water use in water-stressed areas and protection of groundwater
Source sustainability measures
- Rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge;
- Alternate water supplies like developing surface water systems; and
- Promoting the complementary use of water source – securing scarce fresh water source for consumption.
Water quality management
- Water safety plans – prevent contamination before it happens;
- Treatment of water with appropriate technologies (in arsenic or fluoride endemic areas);
- Monitoring, surveillance and testing through water quality field test kits; and
- Advocacy for adequate infrastructure and accountability at district and regional labs.
Operation and maintenance
- Ensure skills, spares, and tools – for regular maintenance and management (mechanics, pump operators, spares bank, tools for regular maintenance and repair);
- Finance for operation and maintenance, replacement, expansion and modernization (through village committees or local government based maintenance funds);
- Monitoring usage to minimise wastage; and
- Advocacy for decentralized management