Why Water & Land?

Unsustainable land and water management practices have adversely impacted the ecosystem in rural India. Deforestation, intensive agriculture, overgrazing and over-extraction of groundwater are threatening agriculture, leading to distress migration and a loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

While the value of natural resources is only around 7% of the national GDP, it amounts to 57% of the livelihood of India’s rural poor. This is even more crucial with the fact that India accounts for 18% of the global population and merely 2.4% of the world’s landmass.

WOTR has been working on the issue by adopting a holistic and participative approach.

Our Interventions

With its strategic focus on reviving groundwater levels, conserving natural vegetation and enabling rural communities, WOTR is mitigating environmental degradation in rural India. Here are our interventions:

Our Impact

million people from 2160 villages impacted through watershed development activities

million litres of water storage capacity created

hectares of area impacted through watershed development and climate change adaptation activities

people and over 20,000 school children provided access to drinking water facilities

Program Highlights

Watershed Development to EbA: key messages and recommendations

Water Stewardship Initiative: Experiences and Learnings

People’s Biodiversity Register: A how-to manual

Ecosystem-based Adaptation in Maharashtra: A short-film

Our Achievements

Land for Life award 2017

WOTR won the award instituted by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

Award of Excellence for Veljal Watershed 2014

WOTR won the award instituted by the Department of Rural Development of Andhra Pradesh

FICCI Water Award 2013

Presented to WOTR under FICCI’s Annual Water Awards instituted in association with HSBC

Vasantrao Naik Puraskar 2012

Presented to WOTR for excellent work done in rural development

JSW-TOI Earth Care Award 2010

Won under the category “Community Based Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change”

Swiss Re Award

WOTR was runner up for Sustainable Watershed Management

Kyoto World Water Grand Prize 2009

Awarded to WOTR during the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul, Turkey

Aakar Jal Puraskar Award 2006

Received for a watershed project by then Hon. Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra – R R Patil

Vasantrao Naik Award 2001

Received for outstanding work in soil and water conservation

Protecting biodiversity, transforming lives

The parched lands of Purushwadi village were a common sight a few years back. Despite receiving good rainfall, people faced water shortage in other seasons that heavily impacted agriculture and their wellbeing.
But all this changed with WOTR’s Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) approach. By promoting sustainable practices focused on biodiversity conservation, natural resource management and climate change adaptation, the people of Purushwadi are now witnessing a reversal in land degradation. With consistent intervention in the areas, the impact studies have reported a 40% increase in people’s income!