About us

Our Mission

“We believe everyone deserves a sustainable source of clean water, however remote they are.”

WaterHarvest, a not for profit organisation founded by Dr Nicholas Grey and Professor Mary Grey in 1987, provides grant funding and technical support for water-based rural development projects in India.

We implement low-cost, sustainable solutions combining our technical expertise with traditional wisdom, to capture and store precious monsoon rain (i.e. water harvesting). Over the past 32 years, using simple but highly effective harvesting structures, we have helped the maximum number of people with the minimum of funding.

WaterHarvest is registered in England and Wales as company no. 6484901 and as charity no. 1127564.

Our headquarters are in Winchester, UK. We also have an office in Udaipur, Rajasthan, registered with the Reserve Bank of India as a Liaison Office.

The main activities of our UK office are:

  • Raising funds and maintaining contact with donors and supporters;
  • Overseeing the quality and impact of the work we support in India;
  • Overall management of the organisation’s finances;
  • Strategic development of the organisation;
  • Supporting good governance and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations.

The main activities of our India Office are:

  • Providing practical support for our local partner organisations, and, through them, people living in poverty in rural India;
  • Providing and coordinating expertise on water harvesting and development in rural drylands;
  • Advocating small-scale, locally-managed solutions for sustainable water and development;
  • Monitoring the implementation, management and accounting of projects.

Our Approach

At WaterHarvest we never seek to impose solutions, either on our partners or on beneficiaries. The projects we support are designed using participatory (also known as “demand-led”) methods, involving people in planning and taking action for their own future. We believe that any support we provide must not encourage any sense of dependency among the communities where we work. Since the first projects we supported, villagers have made in-kind contributions to the work such as co-investment, donating land, or, more usually, their labour. This encourages a sense of long-term ownership and responsibility, rather than short-term dependency on handouts.

In order to sustain our water harvesting systems, we also support beneficiaries to form and run village development committees which manage natural resources responsibly and plan collectively for their community’s future. Community funds are set up to maintain ongoing repairs of the water harvesting structures which are built using affordable materials available locally. Beneficiaries also receive training to develop various skills such as farming, masonry and business. All of our projects are independently evaluated to check whether they have achieved the planned impacts.

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