The fundamental principle underlying CSE’s water management programme is that the looming water crisis facing the country is not primarily due to a lack of water, but rather arises from mismanagement of water resources. The centralised management paradigm has kept the citizens out and taken away their sense of responsibility towards managing their water.
Given the growing population and water demand, the government will find it extremely difficult to raise financial resources to meet the growing water needs as well as to clean up the increasing levels of polluted water. The answers to meeting the challenge of the water crisis lie in a participatory, efficient and sustainable water management paradigm. Every person, household, company or community can contribute to this effort by mobilising finances and labour. Thus, water management, from water conservation to water pollution, must become everybody’s business.
As the source of all water, rain is decentralised, CSE advocates that the management of water is best undertaken at local levels, by the people, in tune with local physical and natural landscapes. CSE also says that as India’s rainy season is for just about 100 days in the year, we need to focus on capturing and storing as much of the rain as possible. The country should use its traditional wisdom of rainwater harvesting together with future technological advances to prevent pollution and to treat and reuse polluted water.