India’s huge and growing population is putting a severe strain on all of the country’s natural resources. A World Resources Report says about 70 per cent of India’s water supply, is seriously polluted with sewage and agricultural runoff. Although access to drinking water has improved, the World Bank estimates that 21% of communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water and more than 1,600 people die daily from diarrhea.
During the dry season from November to March, the situation becomes more severe as the struggle to find water intensifies. The Rekha & Sudhir Puranik Foundation is working to address this challenge and provide clean, safe, readily available water for villagers’ in one rural Indian community. The Puranik Foundation’s base property is in Pune, India, one of the greenest urban areas in the country surrounded by lush hills and beautiful waterfalls.
During the monsoon season the Foundation harvests rainwater. Using the varying elevation of its mountain top estate, the organization captures, diverts, and stores rainwater. Not a drop is wasted. The water is used for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and agricultural irrigation.
A simple drip irrigation system provides water for the Foundation’s trees and plants. Today, the Puranik Foundation has more than 1,000 bio diverse plants ranging from shade and fruit trees to aromatic flowers, spread across its 25 acre property.
The organization’s water conservation, harvest and distribution systems have influenced villagers living in the vicinity towards more healthy and ecologically conscious living. Together, the Puranik Foundation and the surrounding community are developing low-tech innovative solutions to their power and water deficiency challenges and generating economic opportunities and a better quality life now and for future generations.