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Reducing Poverty through Water Harvesting (RPWH)

GRAVIS an NGO based in the Thar Desert of India will lead the above project focusing on establishing effective water harvesting techniques.

Photo of Prakash Tyagi
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The Thar Desert is a severely water deprived region. As a result of water scarcity and the rainfall of under 200 mm in a year, the communities live in great poverty in the region, particularly impacting women and girls. Rains are limited and can not be stored in the absence of water harvesting structures. The project idea will promote rain water harvesting technologies suited for the desert. The technologies will be easy to take up, low cost and long lasting. These would include household level and community level structures optimally harvesting rainwater. On the household level, we will promote the construction of drinking water storage tanks (taankas) and percolation wells (beries) and on the community level - village ponds (naadis). In order to enhance the quality of drinking water, bio sand water filters (BSWFs) will be installed.

Besides using above rain water harvesting technologies and water filtration, there will be a training and capacity building component through which communities, or the uses of the structures, will understand the usage and maintenance of the structures. The idea will be that the structures last for a long period of time and could be scaled up in other regions of the Thar Desert or elsewhere. As an overall impact of harvested rainwater, the communities will have access to safe drinking water, the drudgery of women and girls will be reduced, there will be financial saving on procuring water, and there will be an overall holistic development of communities Improving the health status and well being. There will be prosperity by harvesting the rainwater.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The beneficiaries will be inhabitants of 15 villages in the proposed region - about 20,000 human beings and about 60,000 cattle. Out of which, there will be about 7,000 women and girls. The beneficiary community consists of impoverished harming households mainly representing the lower socio-economic groups of rural India.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

The uniqueness of our proposed idea lies in the blending of traditional wisdom with new technology. Water harvesting structures identified by us are traditional designs invented by local communities a long time ago. GRAVIS has applied modern technology to the structures to make them more viable by 1) enhancing the optimum level of water harvesting through structural improvements 2) leading to long lasting structures and 3) reducing the cost significantly.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Majority Adoption: I have expanded the pilot significantly and the program product or service has been adopted by the majority of our intended user base.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

Droughts are the cause of suffering for the people living in Thar, and women and girls are worst impacted. Since its genesis, GRAVIS has a vision of supporting communities in mitigating droughts through effective water harvesting. As a result of which, communities can be free of poverty and can live lives of peace and prosperity. Within water harvesting methods, GRAVIS foresees great possibilities of community development.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

In the Desert of Thar, water is a crucial need for the communities' well being. Chronic scarcity of water has left rural inhabitants reeling under pain and poverty. The project idea will relieve pain and poverty through prosperity embedded in effective rain water harvesting.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

GRAVIS will work actively with the local communities in implementing the idea through locally created Community Based Organizations (CBOs). We would also engage actively with the local Government for getting technical support, leveraging financial resources and for advocating for replicating the technologies.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

The communities of the Thar region are deeply impoverished but are extremely resilient, cooperative and optimistic. Working with them is always a possible experience as they very actively participate in finding solutions to their problems with positivity and critical thinking.

Geographic Focus

Thar Desert, Rajasthan, India.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

36 months

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

Attachments (1)

GRAVIS brochure.pdf

For more information on GRAVIS and about its work on water.

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