What we do

Helping remote communities to catch and store rainwater

Innovative

We use the latest technologies and thinking to deliver cost- effective programmes. Our trustees and volunteers include many scientists and researchers.

Agile

As a small organisation, we are able to respond quickly and efficiently to changing circumstances.

Experienced

Originally founding in 1987, as Wells for India, we have been working with communities in Rajasthan and Gujarat for over 30 years.

Providing water for Families in the desert

Water harvesting structures in the thar desert

A Taanka is a community and individual based traditional rainwater harvesting technique indigenous to the Thar Desert region of Rajasthan. The taanka is a covered, underground water tank, generally made of stone, brick or concrete. Once constructed, it collects and stores rainwater (primarily received during the monsoon season) from artificially prepared catchments that surround the tank. 

Water is a limiting factor

Having clean drinking water at home all year round improves the health of the whole family, gives more time for adults to work and for children to go to school. Families without taankas often have to buy water – which is costly and can be contaminated. 

Focused on SDG 6.1

Part of our clean drinking water programmes, roof rainwater harvesting structures address UN Development goal 6.1: By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all. 

Harvesting rainwater off the roof

Rainwater for drinking

Roof rainwater Harvesting structures collect and store the rainwater that falls on the roofs of people’s houses. When the rain falls onto the roof, it runs off the roof and into a gutter. From there, it is channelled through  and  a down pipe which leads into an underground storage tank. There is a basic filter inside the pipe to improve the quality of the water. To further improve the quality of the water, the initial rains are used to ‘clean the roof’. This water is diverted to a separate area and used for animals or vegetables. Once the roof is sufficiently clean, the family switch the level (seen in red in the image to the left here), and the water runs into the underground tank. 

Year round clean drinking water at home

The tanks typically hold around 20,000 litres of water. This equate to 9 litres of water per person per day. When used just for drinking and cooking, will provide a family of six with enough water until the next monsoon. The family can lift the metal door of the tank to check the amount of water in the tank. 

SDG 6.1

Part of our clean drinking water programmes, roof rainwater harvesting structures address UN Development goal 6.1: By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all. 

Improving Crop irrigation

Increases crop yields

Drip and sprinkler irrigations significantly increase the volume of crops a farmer can produce.  Typically a farmer can double their income by using a drip or sprinkler irrigation system. In addition to working with the farmers to help them use the irrigation system, we also run workshops on how to decide what crops to grow, best farming practices and how to sell crops for the best price. 

Reduces time needed in the field

Irrigation systems greatly reduced the amount of time a farmer needs to spend irrigating his crops. Sprinkler systems are only needed for a few hours and therefore can use electricity, even when supply is reactive. As a result, a farmer with a sprinkler system can irrigate his field in just a few hours whereas it would previously have taken a whole family around seven hours.  Drip irrigation only drops the water at the root of the plant thereby preventing  weed growth. 

Improving Livelihoods

Drip and sprinkler systems focus on improving livelihoods of farmers and their families. Improving water use efficiency is SDG6.4: By 2030, substantially incase water use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity. 

Promoting Land regeneration

Bringing land back to life

Our environment programme focuses on land regeneration through the use of chaukas. ‘Chauka’ literally means rectangle in hindi. A chauka system comprises of rectangular enclosures surrounded on there sides by earthen bunds with a further network of shallow square depressions. 

Low cost, simple solution

Collectively the low heigh bunds work together like sponges collecting the erratic unpredictable rains and helping them meander down the natural, gentle slope of chaukas. Holding the rain in this way enables it to percolate down into the land, rather than running straight off. 

SDG 15: Life on Land

This programme focuses on SDG 15 which aims to ‘Protect, restore and promote Sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. 

Making a difference