Arghyam works primarily through partnerships – with NGOs, government and various types of institutions – for impact and scale across the country. Working through partnerships provides Arghyam with a flexibility to innovate, absorb risks and learn from India’s water experiences.
Arghyam engages with prospective partners to jointly design innovative initiatives. These have resulted in context/problem specific interventions; the development of new and larger groups of leaders in the water and sanitation sector; the creation of a credit-linked model for sanitation implementation; and a new focus on the integration of health and water quality through capacity building of the line departments of government.
Some of our partner NGOs are participatory in orientation, while some are empowering in orientation and some are implementing NGOs. We also collaborate with technical groups that bring products for sanitation and wastewater management like the IITs. Supporting networks like these are the circles of research and policy with think tanks, and with donors such as UNICEF, WaterAid India, Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) and Water for People.
In order to increase the number of people with access to safe drinking water, water quality is a critical issue that must be addressed to achieve water security. Groundwater is a critical source of water in India, yet has high levels of contamination. Apart from bacterial contamination – the two major groundwater pollutants are arsenic and fluoride. Groundwater contamination continues to be an emerging challenge largely due to limited available primary research on groundwater contamination and pollution.
The concerns that surround water quality are persistent, and have remained so in the recent past, hence Arghyam has initiated the formation of a water quality network. These are two separate networks – for arsenic and for fluoride water quality. These two networks are designed to facilitate knowledge sharing in the subject areas they address, and will bring together water practitioners from NGOs, from grass roots communities, researchers, government (at various levels) and academia to share experiences and evidence.
The networks will:
This activity will lead to a deeper understanding of water quality issues in urban and rural India (districts, towns, urbanising regions, and industrial zones) and foster on-site implementation of pilot programmes and advocacy with national/state/district governments.