Bhagwati Agarwal; aqua-man of Rajasthan

In groundwater-stressed Rajasthan, Bhagwati Agrawal devised a water collection system -‘Aakash Ganga’ - which now supplies 10,000 people with potable water the year-round. The state is so dry that people use sand or ash to clean utensils. But the monsoon, if properly harvested yields enough water to last villages for a year. A PPP rents rooftops and installs a collection network of pipes and underground storage tanks. While a portion of water thus conserved is given to the house-owner, the rest is fed into community reservoirs. Women now spend more time working and children attend school for longer hours. Agrawal’s nonprofit, ‘Sustainable Innovations,’ wants to replicate this across India.

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