The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) has won a Certificate of Recognition as runner-up in the 2021 TERI-IWA-UNDP Water Sustainability Awards for Excellence in Participatory Water Management.
The Water Sustainability Awards evaluate excellence in new ideas, approaches, processes, products, services, technologies and other types of innovations in the water sector to encourage the achievement of SDG 6 – greater water-use efficiency and, ultimately, fewer people suffering from water scarcity.
Most arid areas of the world depend entirely on groundwater. It supplies a large proportion of the water used for drinking, sanitation, food production and industrial processes. Sustainably using it is central to surviving and adapting to climate change.
In the winning project, AKAH has developed a digital platform by which villagers can better manage and conserve groundwater resources. The Web-GIS based tool, which includes a mobile application and notification advisory system, integrates real-time primary data, remote-sensed data and secondary data to map the quantity and quality of water resources. Users can input data and access analysis for specific watersheds and areas of interest. With up-to-date information on current groundwater levels and quality they can forecast scenarios for future changes to enable informed decision-making.
“People cannot conserve and manage what they cannot estimate, measure, or understand themselves,” said Ms Tameeza Alibhai, AKAH India CEO.
“We believe making data understandable and readily accessible in the public domain builds transparency, accountability and ownership by all stakeholders to better manage and conserve precious water resources. We value the trust and engagement of the communities and volunteers we work with and the support of our local and international donors and partners who believe in our work on water security.”
AKAH has introduced the tool – available in English and regional languages – in 78 villages with a population of over 200,000 in four districts of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
World Water Day, held on 22 March every year, is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis and raising awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water.
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