“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.
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.
Nicola took on the role of CEO on 1st April 2019, having been a trustee of WaterHarvest for 3 years. Nicola has worked in Hong Kong, Bangkok and New York and is a CFA Charterholder. She is also a trustee of two other organisations. Find out more about Nicola here or by email at [email protected]
Julia Seal, Liaison Manager
Julia has a degree in International Development Studies. She joined WaterHarvest in 2004. Her main area of work is fundraising and liaising with donors. She also contributes to WaterHarvest’s project assessment, monitoring and evaluation processes in the UK, and plays a key role in maintaining project information systems in the UK
Dawn Flach, Operations Manager
Dawn joined WaterHarvest in 2004. She oversees and maintains finance and operations in the UK office, and is responsible for marketing and communications. She also contributes to Water Harvest’s project assessment, monitoring and evaluation processes.
Om Prakash Sharma, Country director
Om Prakash is a trained civil engineer with 28 years of experience in the development sector. He joined the organisation in 2000, having provided technical support to our projects while working at AFPRO for over a decade before that. He oversees the India office team, working collaboratively with local partner agencies and villagers. He has given presentations on our work at national and international conferences, and has recently published ‘Wise Water Solutions in Rajasthan’, which documents the variety of traditional and contemporary water harvesting solutions used in Rajasthan.
Dinesh Sharma, Finance Manager
Dinesh is currently the Finance Manager at WaterHarvest’s India office. With a master’s degree in commerce, he brings nearly 28 years of experience in accounts, auditing and taxation works in both the development and corporate sector. Having joined the team in 2007, he is currently involved in the India office accounts, legal compliances and the financial planning and monitoring of partner projects.
Somendra Kumar Sharma, Programme Manager
Somendra Sharma works as the Programme Manager at the India office. Prior to joining the team, Somendra was awarded a master’s degree in Project Management and Geography and worked for an implementing agency based in Udaipur. Having joined WaterHarvest in 2009, he is currently responsible for the monitoring of all Waterharvest supported programmes, which focus on community-based water harvesting, water quality and water use efficiency. In particular, Somendra develops systems that monitor project performance, plans projects and assists with project execution.
Divya Kalia, Programme Consultant
Divya is an Agricultural and Environmental Engineer with 15 years of experience. This experience is particularly focused on enhancing the livelihood of rural communities through natural resource management. She has further experience in project and grant management of water based projects, and currently works at WaterHarvest as a Programme Consultant to strengthen WaterHarvest funded projects.
Jai Singh Rajput, Technical Assistant
Jai Singh is a Technical Assistant in WaterHarvest’s India office. He joined this office in May, 2019. He has 31 years of experience working as a technical assistant with various NGOs in Rajasthan, as well as parts of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. In particular, he has experience working with topographic surveys, hand pump installation, drip irrigation systems and ground water surveys.
Neil Mehta (Chairman of Trustees) Neil describes himself as a digital entrepreneur, investor, board director and mentor. He has been heavily involved in charities operating in UK and overseas. Find out more about Neil here
Dr. Kevin Cook Kevin is a Lecturer in Geography at the University of Northampton. He has a special interest in development issues. His research projects include: the role of women in community development in Kenya; and sand dams. He has been a supporter of the charity since the beginning.
Dr. Maureen Gupta
Maureen was born in Shillong, North-East India and after graduating as a doctor, was posted to Karnataka, before moving to the UK where she worked in the NHS for over 30 years. Having retired recently, Dr. Gupta has enjoyed having more time supporting several charities, and particularly enjoys bringing a different perspective to WaterHarvest, being a woman, an Indian and a doctor.
After more than 40 years in the computer industry, Peter is now a trustee of several charities, including WaterHarvest and Churches Together in Winchester. He was IBM Europe Development Director (Entry Systems), and also one of the founders of the software company, Active Navigation, a leader in Information Governance.
Dr. Max Wilson
Max has a doctorate in Metallurgy. He has held senior management positions in large companies in UK and overseas. Latterly, he has specialised in helping small high-tech companies to grow. As a result of many visits to WaterHarvest projects in India he has comprehensive knowledge of the local situation. This enables him to provide informed input to the Board of Trustees and the Programme Committee.”
Steve comes from a Software Engineering, Agile development and Coaching background. He was a Cisco Engineering Director for Unified Communications. He also continues to work with the government as part of the Be The Business ‘mentoring for growth’ campaign, as well as being the company secretary for a local Autonomous Systems (Drone) startup – TEKEVER LTD.
Dr Mark Everard – Associate Professor of Ecosystem Services, UWE Bristol
“I have been documenting learning from my visit to the projects in April 2016 ….. what WaterHarvest is doing is one of those precious jewels scattered across the face of the Earth from which wider society needs to learn, before the roots of the tree are totally debilitated.”
Nick Langham – a member of Project Board, speaker & supporter
“I always feel confident talking about WaterHarvest; as a small charity it maximises the benefits of the funds it raises, making use of willing and committed volunteers. It has classic NGO credentials, working with local people, ensuring ownership of projects and thus sustainability. WaterHarvest does, and will continue to make a difference!”
Sam Sharpe – former Trustee of WaterHarvest from 2014-2018
“Water Harvest has done a great job over 30 years in supporting poor communities in desert areas of Rajasthan. WaterHarvest promotes a mix of traditional and new technologies to help villages manage scarce water supplies as effectively as possible. It’s very exciting that, as Water Harvest celebrates its 30th anniversary, WaterWisdom is being launched as fully Indian organisation to build on and expand its work.”
Sam has been Chief Finance Officer of Save the Children UK since September 2014. Previously he worked for nearly 30 years with the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID). He was Head of DFID’s office in India from 2010 to 2014, having worked previously in India from 1997 to 2000. His other posts included three years as DFID’s Finance Director.
Daphne from Shrewsbury – long term supporter
“WaterHarvest helps people to help themselves through water harvesting and sanitation work; restoring dignity; freeing women and children from the drudgery of carrying water; bringing improvements to crops, income and health. New facets to life open up. All this from water? Yes. Water is such a basic human need, and if helping others means anything at all, it can hardly be better than this.”
Bob Durston – ex Treasurer & supporter
“We were so impressed by the work, and how much could be achieved by spending relatively modest sums of money to alleviate water shortages and poverty, when it is spent wisely and carefully controlled. My lasting memory of our visit was to see an orchard in the middle of the desert as a result of the work by WaterHarvest.”
Tom Holder – volunteer & supporter
“What attracted me to WaterHarvest was the way in which, right from the beginning, the charity worked for the long haul – for a sustainable future.”
Pam Meir – volunteer & supporter
“I wholly endorse the philosophy of WaterHarvest. The projects have an impact far beyond their cost and have the capacity to radically change lives for the better.”
Helen Pakeman – volunteer & supporter
“It was a privilege and a pleasure working as a volunteer with WaterHarvest. It gave me the opportunity to go to India and see at first hand the extraordinary dedication of the team, and the resourcefulness of the people whose lives are changed by the work of WaterHarvest and its partners. This is a small charity making a big difference: being small it has more flexibility to match the work to the needs, can keep its admin costs incredibly low, and maintain its enthusiasm. What a joy to be part of it.”
Deacon Glenda SIdding and Ken Sidding
“WaterHarvest goes further than just providing safer water. Time saved by the women in collecting water helps to liberate them and the charity has enabled them to establish self-help groups. Recent sanitation work has improved the quality of life in each village, particularly for women and children.”
We aim to develop effective methods and approaches that can be replicated and shared regionally, nationally and internationally. We facilitate links between researchers, policy-makers, practitioners in the field, and village communities.
Click on the links below to read the papers listed.
In the year to 31st March 2018, our projects reached more than 220 villages and over 165,000 of the some of the poorest people in the world.
Our income was £290,480 and our charitable expenditure was £238,447.
We work hard to ensure all donations get the maximum impact. By working collaboratively with the Indian State Government and local people, we’releveraging an additional 114% in India, making every £1 we get worth £2.14. In 2019 we are working with 45,770 people at an average cost of £4.38 per person.
Welcome to WaterHarvest magazine/Annual Review – our biannual look at what we’ve been up to in India and the UK, amazing achievements from our supporters, lots of ideas about how to help us raise awareness and funds and our range of gifts and cards.
In 2018 we set up a partner organisation, Water Wisdom Foundation. The Foundation is a Section 8 company (NGO). Our two organisations are separate but work in close harmony and embody the same values.
Water Wisdom Foundation has been established to build on and continue 30 years of great achievements in India with WaterHarvest UK (formerly Wells for India).
Water Wisdom Foundation is an independent Indian organization committed to continuing the work to bring long lasting sustainable impacts to the lives of the underprivileged.
It is a Section 8 Company, and was incorporated on 23rd November 2017 with the Registrar of Companies, Delhi. The Company’s registered office is H 2, Ridge Castle, Dadabari Road, Mehrauli New Delhi- 110030.
WaterHarvest UK’s work in India is continuing in parallel with that of the Water Wisdom Foundation.
Water Wisdom Foundation is guided by key principles of social justice, leveraging partnerships, innovation, equity, gender equality, sustainability, building capacities at various levels and empowering communities. The emphasis in their work is on the inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized communities by ensuring sustainability of water availability in terms of portability, adequacy, convenience, affordability etc. Water Wisdom Foundation design and implement its initiatives through social, institutional, technical, environmental, and financial sustainability.