One third of the state of Maharashtra is drought prone as it falls in the rain shadow belt and receives erratic showers. The project examined ways to enhance implementation of drinking water and sanitation projects to create an Integrated Domestic Water Management (IDWM) model for replication in villages prone to water scarcity. Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) worked on an integrated watersheds approach in the villages, which was useful in strengthening and protecting the water source. All community members now have access to water sources with a reported increase in water levels and availability through the year. Since the meter system has been introduced and water tariffs fixed with the involvement of the people, there is complete recovery of operation and maintenance costs. Awareness about hygiene practices and water budgeting has gone up. Water supply to all schools in the project area has also been secured and the students have been made aware of, and also practice good hygiene behavior.
Active participation of women in drinking water and sanitation activities was enhanced by organising them in Self-help Groups/Federations. All activities were carried out in coordination with the Gram Panchayat instead of creating parallel structures for this project.
WOTR is a not-for-profit NGO which provides capacity building and advisory services to developmental practitioners from 22 other Indian states as well as, occasionally, from 27 countries.WOTR’s mandate is to reduce poverty through mobilising the self-help capacities of individuals and communities to regenerate the eco-spaces or watersheds they live in, harvest rain water wherever it falls, use it productively, undertake sustainable livelihoods and do whatever else it takes to get them out of poverty.