Water management is vital for sustainable development in rural areas, especially in countries like India where many depend on agriculture. Poor water management directly affects water scarcity, reduced productivity, soil degradation, and pollution, affecting rural communities’ economy and environment. Effective water management is essential, especially in times of natural disasters like droughts, floods, and water scarcity.
Importance of sustainable water management practices in rural areas
In rural areas, sustainable water management practices are crucial for enhancing agricultural productivity, conserving water, protecting the environment, and providing economic benefits. With a significant population depending on agriculture, efficient water management practices ensure the availability of water for irrigation and other purposes. Sustainable practices such as rainwater harvesting and watershed management, prevent soil degradation, waterlogging, salinization, and pollution. They also reduce the costs of water management and provide economic benefits while adapting to the changing climate.
Amla Ruia and her non-profit organization, Aakar Charitable Trust
Amla Ruia is a prominent social entrepreneur and philanthropist in India. She is known for her work in water conservation and management. She is the founder of the Aakar Charitable Trust, a non-profit organization.
This organization focuses on implementing sustainable water management projects in rural areas of India. Ruia’s interest in water conservation began in the 1980s when she noticed that many villages in Rajasthan, where she lived, suffered from water scarcity and droughts. She realized that nobody was following traditional water management practices such as building earthen dams and reviving traditional water bodies. So, she decided to take action to revive them.
In 2000, Ruia founded the Aakar Charitable Trust to promote sustainable water management practices and improve access to water for rural communities in India. The trust has implemented several water harvesting and management projects in Rajasthan. These include building underground reservoirs to capture rainwater, reviving traditional water bodies, and promoting water conservation and management practices among villagers. One of the trust’s notable projects is the building of johads. They are traditional earthen dams that capture rainwater and prevent soil erosion. The trust has built over 250 johads in Rajasthan, providing access to water for over 100,000 people.
Recognitions and Awards
Ruia’s work is recognized both nationally and internationally. She was awarded the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in 2010. In 2012, she also received the Global Fairness Award. In fact, several documentaries and articles feature her for her work in water conservation.
Her innovative approach to water conservation, including reviving traditional practices, has inspired many others to take action to address water scarcity and promote sustainable livelihoods in rural areas. Doulton India encourages and supports such initiatives, with water savings and sustainability being key features of Doulton Water Filters.