Work Overview

The Rural Water Programme works to stimulate the development of policies and strategies for sustainable, participatory and equitable water management in rural India. While the area of water is vast, there is a special focus on drinking water to look at how we can move towards sustained availability of safe and adequate drinking water.

In 1997, with the publication of Dying Wisdom, CSE created both interest and actions to promote the idea of rainwater harvesting to supplement modern systems of water management as a viable alternative source of irrigation and drinking water. CSE’s policy advocacy resulted in the concept of rainwater harvesting becoming embedded in the policy domain in the country with numerous schemes currently being implemented to promote capturing rainwater and recharging groundwater. At the same time, people were galvanised by wide dissemination of innovative ways of using rainwater.

With growing and extensive depletion and pollution of groundwater, our current work has been recently restructured to bring this issue back in focus to provide a sense of urgency to the debate of water management.

The programme strategy continues with: (1) Policy research and advocacy, (2) Awareness raising and networking; and, (3) Training and education.