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.
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.
The Ministry of Urban Development has acknowledged the lack of skilled man power in urban local bodies across India and has therefore developed the ‘Capacity Building Scheme for Urban Local Bodies’ (CBULB). The programme aims to enhance knowledge, skills and attitude of city officials for the mainstreaming of reforms and best management practices (BMPs) of sustainable water and wastewater management through training programmes followed with field exposure visit, seminars and workshops.
‘Septage’ is both solid and liquid waste that accumulates in onsite sanitation systems (OSS) e.g. septic tanks. This has three main components – scum, effluent and sludge. It has an offensive odour, appearance and contains significant levels of grease, grit, hair, debris and pathogenic micro organisms. The construction and management of OSS are left largely to ineffective local practices and there is lack of holistic septage management practices.