WaterHarvest Update

In these difficult times, we wanted to keep you updated on WaterHarvest’s programmes. On 24th March 2020, the Indian government ordered people to stay in their homes. There were 562 reported cases of coronavirus in India – 32 in Rajasthan and 33 in Gujarat but across India there had been 9 deaths. Like all countries across the world, testing is limited and therefore the real prevalence is very hard to know. The villages we work in are incredibly remote but many of the people from them go to work in local towns and cities meaning that the possibility of bringing the virus to the villages is very real. The lock down is set to last until 14th April but obviously the situation is changing rapidly.  

Our India office in Udaipur has closed in line with the government instructions.

Building waterwise communities

Water dialogue in Dholarvira reiterates the need for collaboration

For those of you that follow us on social media, you will have seen that Neil Mehta and I were in India recently looking at projects and spending time with the team. Apart from several images of us drinking chai, wearing t shirts while everyone else wore woolly hats, the trip had a serious purpose. I came away inspired and with a long to do list. Not least from the Water Conclave in Dholarvira. At the Water Conclave, stakeholders across the board came together for frank discussions on how to bring clean drinking water to the people of Kutch. The message that came through loud and clear was that no one, or no single entity, can do this alone. The expertise needed, the local knowledge and the finance are too large and too complex for just one entity.

The rainwater harvesting structures are full

The rain water harvesting structures are full

Following a good monsoon, our water harvesting structures are now full.


Our projects depend on a good monsoon. It’s what we do. It’s in our name – we harvest water. We need the rains in order for the structures to work. Whilst the monsoons do come every year, some areas can receive hardly any rain at all. Last year, the structures in our project in the Rann of Kutch received very little rain. As we wrote in our blog ‘Why is the Monsoon so important?’ on the 14th June, we waited anxiously to see what this year’s monsoon would bring. This year Rajasthan and Gujarat received above average rainfall.  As of 10th October, Rajasthan had received more than 800mm of rain – well above average levels. As a result, the rain water harvesting structures across our projects are full.

WaterHarvest News

Every drop counts, so make water matter

A combination of factors is conspiring to create a crisis.

‘Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink’ lamented Coleridge’s stranded sailor.  A lament that may well become a reality for us all as water scarcity takes hold.  According to the World Data Lab’s Water Scarcity Clock, 2.3 billion people live in water scarce areas today likely rising to around 2.7 billion people within the next ten years.  With only 1% of the world’s water useable, fresh water, a global crisis is in motion.  A combination of factors is conspiring to create a crisis.  Increased demand for water from business, in particular food production and agriculture, and physical shortages due to drier climates are just some of the factors contributing to this growing crisis.  The World Data Lab states that ‘Globally, water use has grown at more than twice the rate of population growth, and is still increasing in all sectors’.

WaterHarvest News

Swimming for clean water

Can you help Mark, a visually impaired swimmer, swim the Channel?

If you have recently taken a ferry across the English Channel returning from a summer holiday, the furthest thing from your mind as you looked down at the grey, choppy waters was probably a long swim. I know my thoughts were more focused on whether my young children were safe as they peered over the railings, fascinated by the huge expanse of water below. This September, Mark Critchlow is taking part in his second swim across the channel as part of a four person relay, raising money to support WaterHarvest. What makes Mark’s swim even more awe-inspiring is the fact that he is visually impaired.

We, at WaterHarvest, are very honoured that he has undertaken this swim to raise funds for the work we do. His target is to raise £10,000, bringing clean water to 20 families in the Thar Desert in Rajasthan.

WaterHarvest News

Water, charity and what we have learned

During their time as WaterHarvest interns over the last few months, Robert Tucker and Molly Joyce have learned a great deal about the work of the charity and the transformative impact of clean water. Here, they discuss their experience and the knowledge they have gained at WaterHarvest.


Water is an essential part of life, but the average British person probably doesn’t consider the possibility of being unable to have access to it easily. Through creating and managing blog posts for WaterHarvest, I have gained an insight into the valuable work conducted by the charity and have learnt much about the struggles of collecting water faced by so many people every single day. Notably, I have learned that the work of charities like WaterHarvest is not simply about throwing money at an area like Rajasthan: instead, WaterHarvest is keen to utilise the knowledge and experience of locals to tailor water management solutions for them specifically.