Solar Drinking Water System - Gujarat

The availability of safe drinking water is a major cause of concern in the western parts of India. As ground water levels drop, dug wells dry up in the summer and access to drinking water becomes more expensive and challenging. People espond either by digging new or deeper borewells, or go in search of distant water sources. Dahod has experienced drinking water scarcity for a long time, where most families have to travel 2-3 km everyday to fetch drinking water. The quality of water from the various sources tapped is also not always reliable.

While there are drinking water schemes set up by the government, more than 20% in Dahod are defunct due to erratic electricity supply and poor scheduling. Sustain Plus, CInI and WASMO partnered to revive 40 drinking water schemes in ahod, using DRE.

In Limkheda’s Talab hamlet, in addition to borewells and wells, a proper water distribution channel and a reliable energy source were required to adequately meet the drinking water needs of its 168 inhabitants. The Talab community, owever, was skeptical as they had lost faith in any meaningful change taking place, owing to their past disappoints and experiences with regard to drinking water facilities.

“We would not have believed in the scheme until we saw the pipeline material arrive, because for so long we have only received false promises from various people and organisations.”

With the support of local partners and grassroots actors, community mobilisation activities commenced in September 2020, and by February 2021, the construction work for the drinking water system was completed. A total of 25 taps were installed across the hamlet for easy water distribution to all households. A monthly fee of Rs. 60 is collected from each household, which is used to cover the salary of the water pump operator and for system maintenance.

Not very far from Limkheda, is Navad Faliya hamlet, in Ved village of Halol, home to the historically marginalised Nayak community. Access to drinking water is a forgotten promise to this community as well. CInI, Sustain Plus and SISA collaboratively installed a 3KW solar water pump, connected to a 10,000 litre tank, supplying clean drinking water through underground pipelines to the doorsteps of 26 households. These households are no longer reliant on community hand pumps and borewells and get scheduled water supply for Rs. 50 every month.

Sustain Plus has supported the revival and upgradation of 100 such drinking water schemes across Dahod, Gujarat and Sirohi, Rajasthan, enabling over 4200 households to access safe drinking water affordably and conveniently. Sustain Plus has also aligned its efforts with the goverment’s Jal Jeevan Mission and supported the implementation of 47 off-grid schemes in Gujarat.