Writing from India – where the green valley stretches out in front of my window .. rice is growing before my eyes and the ponds are all full of water reflecting the cloudy sky above. White cranes fossick amongst the fields seeking the abundant food in this period of plenty.
It is almost impossible to believe that in just a few short months all will be brown and barren – the heat rising and the dust swirling – water far from the picture – the women in the village queuing at the tap waiting for the short time that the municipal water is turned on and they can fill their heavy containers to cart back to their homes. And here at our Shelter for Children – we will be carting water in tankers to supply our kids with their daily needs.
So many villages here in Maharasthra simply do not have the water they need in the dry months. Although the monsoonal rains pour in torrents down the hillsides, and seem to be inexhaustible – it is all illusion come the end of December. The springs dry up, the water table drops – many wells almost run dry, and new bore wells or ‘tube wells’ as they are often known here produce little as the underground water is depleted. In some cases the underground water is even toxic with naturally occurring arsenic and other concentrations of heavy metals as the water drops.
The challenges are vast – as we consider how to capture more of the monsoonal downpours.
What appears at first glance to be an insurmountable problem and one which the fainthearted would shy away from – has solutions. They are many pronged and complex – but the first answers must arise from examining those few and far between communities and villages who have taken up the challenge and made changes toward reversing the disappearance of the life blood that is water in their environment.
With this in mind – we are joining the ranks of the many organisations and passionate workers for water conservation – and will do what we can to assist.
The Water Harvest Foundation has been formed to provide the structure for our work – from here we will raise funds to initially produce a short movie – to be shown as an inspirational and educational tool for local villages. It will focus on one or two villages who have had success already in their efforts – so that the local people can understand the possibilities for themselves.
And this is just the beginning – for our work will not stop there.. once the movie is produced the journeys to share the information will begin – with the intention to join the dots between other people who are working along complementary lines – all focused on our essentail birthright and need – that of clean potable water freely available for our needs – the household requirements as well as those of agriculture so that our food supply is also abundant and year round.
Awareness, education, constant consultation with the villagers, the development of community, the spreading respect and reverance for the water that joins us all are our tools to create a wave that must reach the tipping point so that our land and people may flourish and grow.