News Digest - June 2019

Highlights of the June

Water gives life – An information brief on India’s water crisis and potential solutions for scaling-up
India is facing the worst water crisis in its history, with an estimated 600 million people having to deal with high to extreme water scarcity. Solutions exist and have the potential to be scaled-up. WOTR has been promoting several initiatives in this regard that enhance the water-harvesting potential of ecosystems, improve water-use efficiency, evolve a set of governance practices and develop skills and capacities to respond and adapt to heightened weather variability from a changing climate. Read more

WOTR's Managing Trustee and co-founder Crispino Lobo participated in the pre-budget consultation on agriculture and rural development on 11th June, 2019 in New Delhi. The meeting was chaired by the Hon. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and also had Shri Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Dr. Ramesh Chandra, Member, NITI Aayog, Shri Subhash C. Garg, Finance Secretary, Dr K.V. Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor, amongst others. The Ministry of Finance press release is available here

As part of the consultation, Crispino Lobo submitted a memorandum calling for action on water, climate change, groundwater, improving soil health and tribal upliftment. 
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New publication
A Step Towards Quenching Rural India’s Thirst: Experiences and Learnings from the Water Stewardship Initiative in Maharashtra
Water situation in Maharashtra is alarming. It is getting worse in spite of having different legislations for management of water resources. Absence of effective demand side management of water is a main reason for this disturbing situation. To address this issue, we are happy to share WOTR's new book that presents the highlights of the approach, strategies adopted and lessons learnt from the Water Stewardship Initiative (WSI) initiative. WOTR has launched WSI in 100 rain-dependent villages in Maharashtra with an objective to sensitise communities about the “water health” and to enable them to harvest and use water efficiently. 
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WOTR in the news

At a time of rising temperatures worldwide, there is a need for greater attention to this issue, both by the media and the scientific community. In this context, the Hindu covered WOTR's heat stress policy brief in an article on the heatwave in Maharashtra. The article brings out the impact of simple initiatives like more shelters, community halls and tiled roofs. Read more

Marathwada farmers change crop pattern to conserve water

We are happy to inform you that Pune Mirror covered. WOTR's Water Stewardship Initiative (WSI) and how it helped farmers in the drought-prone Marathwada region shift to less water-intensive crops. Read more

We are happy to share that WOTR's work in Jalna district is covered by Marathi Daily Punyanagari, Aurangabad edition. In drought affected Marathwada region, WOTR has undertaken soil and water conservation (SWC) measures in number of villages in Jalna district. With 'Ridge to Valley' approach, watershed development work has been completed on 1,200 hectares in six villages of Dhangar Pimpalgaon, Karjat, Shiradhon, Nandi, Kingaon and Kingaon Wadi in Ambad block of Jalna district. 750 villagers of these villages came together and worked for last four months. These efforts will help increase groundwater recharge as well as water storage capacity of watershed structures. Read more
These drought-proof villages of Maharashtra have lessons to offer

We are happy to showcase, that 'The Week', magazine has covered the work WOTR has done in Jalna, to make villages 'drought proof'. This is against the backdrop of the severe  drought Maharashtra is currently facing. There are some villages in Maharashtra which are better off in terms of water availability, thanks to efforts to promote water conservation and efficiency. Read more

WOTR articles

WOTR’s participation in the Ecosystem-based Adaptation side-event in Nairobi, Kenya

“Projects never fail, yet projects never scale” was the title of the side-event organized by the TMG-Think Tank in Nairobi, Kenya. The event, supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) had participation from Guatemala, India, Germany and Kenya. The blog addresses questions such as - How do we create an enabling environment for Ecosystem-Based Adaptation? (EbA) How do we upscale it? Janardhan Pawar and Arjuna Srinidhi participated in the event on behalf of WOTR. Read more

Contributing to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda: From water to agriculture, well-being and beyond

In this special feature published in the 'India Water Portal', WOTR's Arjuna Srinidhi, Marcella D'Souza and Crispino Lobo discuss learnings and experiences from WOTR's efforts towards reporting on SDG targets. The multi-disciplinary and holistic approach followed by WOTR is central to the SDGs too, whose benefits lie in their capacity to integrate environmental, social and development challenges. Read more
Nearly a third of India’s land needs restoration – The Third Pole publication

India has declared that it will restore 21 million hectares of degraded land, including wasteland, forest and agricultural land. This can be done only through sustainable land management, combating droughts and restoring forests. In this article published in The Third Pole, WOTR's Arjuna Srinidhi desribes the work done by WOTR over the years, and suggests that the only way to restore India’s degraded lands is with strong community-level engagement and providing evidence-based inputs for replication and scaling. Read more

Enabling cross-regional exchanges to advance knowledge on impacts of global warming

We are happy to share a Q&A session with Dr. Aradhana Yaduvanshi, researcher with WOTR. Here, Aradhana talks about the opportunity to work with Prof. Mark New and Dr. Modathir Zaroug at the African Climate Development Initiative (ACDI). She also shares key findings of ASSAR’s study on 1.5-2 degree warming in India. The article is published in June 2019 issue of ProSus Magazine. The magazine showcases the voices of researchers, thinkers and storytellers, and perspectives that build bridges between science and society, between local and global realities. Read more
Latest blog posts 

We all want to take concrete steps to tackle climate change and water scarcity. One such step is to simply reduce food wastage. We can all adopt this in our daily lives. In our latest blog post, Senior Researcher Eshwer Kale brings out how food wastage is actually exacerbating climate change. If food waste were considered as a country, it would be third largest in the world in terms of its impact on global warming.

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Watering concrete or concreting water?

In times of declining groundwater levels, the growing use of concrete in roads, pavements, and other public areas is affecting percolation of water in cities. Nitesh Rikame's blog post underlines the need to rethink the current trend of concrete usage and to have a collective dialogue about the management of groundwater resources. Read more

On the occasion of World Day to Combat Desertification, India elaborated on its plans for managing its natural resources, undertaking sustainable land management and combating droughts. In this blog post, Senior Researcher, Arjuna Srinidhi, discusses the targets in the context of its economic impacts, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how WOTR is shaping India's efforts to combat land degradation and desertification. Read more


Creating A Desired Future For Water Security

Our new film describes Transformative Scenario Planning (TSP) process applied to explore the desirable scenario of Water in Jalna. It also shows how the stakeholders in Jalna came together to discuss their concerns about water situation and find out concrete actions to achieve their desirable future. Watch it here
WOTRian of the Month - Romit Banerjee

Romit Banerjee has been with WOTR since 2010. He joined WOTR as Social Officer and is now Assistant Manager at our Regional Resource Centre in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. A graduate of XIDAS Jabalpur, he shares with us his story in our 'WOTRian of the month'.

"I have come to observe many plus and minus points of this non-profit sector. The first plus point is that one can be independent and have scope for creativity. You are free to implement your ideas, provided you can get people on board. Second, this sector has plentiful opportunities for people of all levels. Lastly, there is tremendous personal growth and satisfaction."  
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Photogallery for the month of June 2019

A water purification unit jointly installed by WOTR and the Maladevi Mahila Samyukt Samiti in the Mhaswandi village, Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra

The impact at the check dam constructed in the WDF project at Deulgaon Ghat village, Beed district, Maharashtra

Training on Climate Resilient Agriculture at Darewadi Learning Centre, Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra

Technical expert Rupesh Hirve of WOTR Ambad being felicitated at inauguration ceremony of 'River deepening and Soil and Water Conservation Activities' organised jointly by Police Department at Kasarwadi, Aurangabad