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Meet India’s Waterman Reviving Waterways One River at a Time

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Waterman of India

Rajendra Singh is a remarkable individual who is doing more as individual to combat climate change than most of us put together.

Using a modern twist on an ancient technology Singh has provided clean water to over 1, 000 villages. Singh was recognized early this year with the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize (also known as the Nobel Prize for water); the panel stated ‘his (Singh’s) technique is cheap, simple, and that his ideas should be followed worldwide.’

Used for generations before modernization Singh has reintroduced the traditional method of rainwater harvesting. It involves building low-level banks of earth to hold back the flow of water in the wet season and allow water to seep into the ground for future use. Called johads these structures collects and stores water for use throughout the year.

Johad

Under the NGO Tarun Bharat Sangh Singh has helped build over 8,600 johads and other water conservation structures to collect rainwater for the dry seasons, has brought water back to over 1,000 villages and revived five rivers in Rajasthan, Arvari, Ruparel, Sarsa, Bhagani and Jahajwali.

Even more remarkably Singh had never encountered a johad upon arrival to the Alwar area 20 years ago. He arrived to open a medical clinic, but after consulting with the local population he realized they needed fresh water more. Today, thanks to Singh five rivers are flowing again, villages have fresh water and the community is more adaptable to climate change in the future.

Kickstarter to bring Singh to California anyone?

 

Image: Abhinav619 (c) & Pradeep Nahata (c)

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