The fundamental principle underlying CSE’s water management programme is that the looming water crisis facing the country is not primarily due to a lack of water, but rather arises from mismanagement of water resources. The centralized management paradigm has kept the citizens out and taken away their sense of responsibility towards managing their water.
Given the growing population and water demand, the government will find it extremely difficult to raise financial resources to meet the growing water needs as well as to clean up the increasing levels of polluted water. The answers to meeting the challenge of the water crisis lie in a participatory, efficient and sustainable water management paradigm. Every person, household, company or community can contribute to this effort by mobilizing finances and labor. Thus, water management, from water conservation to water pollution, must become everybody’s business.
As the source of all water rain is decentralized, CSE advocates that the management of water is best undertaken at local levels, by the people, in tune with local physical and natural landscapes. CSE also says that as India’s rainy season is for just about 100 days in the year, we need to focus on capturing and storing as much of the rain as possible. The country should use its traditional wisdom of rainwater harvesting together with future technological advances to prevent pollution and to treat and reuse polluted water.
Given, CSE’s efforts and work undertaken on rainwater harvesting, decentralized water management, wetlands/ water bodies management and revival, river pollution, etc., the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) has designated CSE as a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Sustainable Water Management in urban areas.
In addition to this, MoUD had also identified CSE as a key institution to support Comprehensive Capacity Building (CCBP) under JnNURM for the year 2012 – 2013 for Sustainable Water Management including Water Audit and Efficiency, Sustainable Sanitation including Reuse and Recycle, Water and Energy efficiency. As the Centre for Comprehensive Capacity Building programme, CSE conducted several capacity building (training / workshops) and research activities in the sustainable water and wastewater management area.
In addition to working in the urban areas, CSE has an active Rural Water Programme that works to stimulate the development of policies and strategies for sustainable, participatory and equitable water management in rural India. CSE has been designated as a National Key Resource Centre to undertake capacity building programmes, research, and awareness creation in context to clean water supply and sanitation by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MoDWS).