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Local tourism industry which focuses on clean water bodies and benefits from its maintainance

Operating on strategic and policy level, the aim of this idea is to promote clean water bodies as a source of local pride and income.

Photo of Hera Winata
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The water problems in India are often caused by contaminations from sewage, garbage, pesticide and industrial waste, this is further aggravated by lack of government planning, corporate privatisation as well as corruption on different levels. These contaminations occur because people are able to derive short term profits, eg. dumping industrial waste into the river instead of spending resources to process them. If there is a gradual change in mindset among the population, that maintaining the potability and cleanliness of water source is beneficial morally and financially, efforts for water problems would be met with less resistance.

The tourism industry can educate people with environmental issues while providing recreation and instilling a love for local landscape and cultures. Furthermore it is a potential source of income for the local community. The types of recreation that can be implemented should be researched further, they can include:

-walking tours that begin from water bodies and leading into cultural centers

-water recreations such as boating or fishing

-nature hiking

-art making

On the strategic level, efforts need to be put into branding the unique water body as a source of pride for the local community. Division of labour is another consideration, to partner with local community and ensure that they benefit from the tourism activity.

How would you describe the stage of development of your idea?

  • Conceptual Development

How big or scalable is the potential of your idea?

The scale of the idea can grow to a state or national level, however it should always start on a smaller scale local level. Eg. a village surrounding a local river.

Explain the sustainability aspect of your idea

Crucially, the project needs to generate visible profit and environmental improvements. This will ensure that local community is interested to work with the business model. The educational aspect of the tour will also provide long lasting effects.

What types of financing would be required for your idea to be successful?

Government financing is an important source. Private corporations associated with specific areas can also be a source of finance.

In-country experience

  • Not yet

Is your organization currently legally registered in India?

  • No

What states or districts will you target/are you targeting within India?

The project would probably begin in Kerala. Kerala is not the worst affected region in terms of water shortage, although it has a sizeable rural population and a growing urban population. Its water sources are beginning to be polluted by faecal matters and industrial waste, which may lead to more severe problems. There has been a history of water-based tourism in the area and a relatively transparent governance. This region is thus selected as a starting point for the project for its potentials.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Water and sanitation are common problems in developing nations and I can identify with the issue. My work lies between the areas of design, art and history, and I see these disciplines as potential drivers of change environmentally and economically.

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