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Rural Water And Sanitation

Growing reach

CSE's focused work on safe and improved sanitation has made the district administration of Alwar in Rajasthan take note – it has approached CSE to help develop a plan of action to undertake safe sanitation practices in 10 government schools in Baghor Gram Panchayat. CSE’s Rural Water and Sanitation team has submitted the plan of action to the administration. The team has played a watchdog role in tracking the national performance to build toilets; it has also been researching on what is working and where in terms of rural sanitation – the areas of research being technology for toilets, behavior change and waste management. Its training programmes are well-received – the Karnataka state government has signed an agreement with CSE for training its officials (both regulators and implementers) handling rural sanitation. The team has trained block officials of Mundawar village (Alwar district) to develop a model on liquid waste management. The state government of Rajasthan has shown an interest in working with CSE in developing more model projects on liquid waste management in rural areas.


CSE has been working on rural water and sanitation issues for over two decades, with its focus on the need for sustainable management of water and wastewater. As part of this work, we have spearheaded research projects, documented case studies, produced a wide range of publications, reports and manuals, and undertaken model projects and training programmes. This work has resulted in some of CSE’s most influential and widely appreciated publications, among them Dying Wisdom: The Rise, Fall and Potential of Traditional Water Harvesting Systems, a monumental study that catalysed political leaders, judiciary, the media and other decision-makers into start thinking about rainwater harvesting, and Making Water Everybody’s Business, a treatise on the theory and practice of rainwater harvesting targeted at planners and policy-makers. In 1998,