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Depleting Water, Increasing Demand

Published on: Friday, 28th February 2020


Water plays a crucial role for life in arid zones. Communities in these areas struggle to cope with water scarcity. They put their wisdom and innovation to work to get whatever water is available. It is no surprise then that these regions have rich traditions of water management. The knowledge, skills and practices of local communities have helped sustain life in arid regions.

We felt the need to document the status and changes in water use, and to address the crucial issue of water conservation in arid zones. ActionAid Association and Universal Just and Action Society (UJAS) conducted a study of 20 villages from five districts of western Rajasthan and north-western Gujarat. Shri Rajendra Singh released ‘Depleting Water, Increasing Demand’, the report of the study, on January 26 in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

The study shows that almost all the surveyed villages have access to tube-wells or motor-pumps installed 10 to 20 years back, and that traditional water structures are being neglected. A compilation of case studies from these villages reveals the difficulties faced by women and people from Dalit communities to fetch and manage water. Furthermore, the report presents recommendations emerging from the communities on the need to protect water commons, pastureland and pastoral life in the desert. There is urgent need for the protection, conservation and revival of traditional water harvesting structures and practices. To this end, our teams are now mobilizing volunteers. To read more, have a look at the report here.