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Drinking Water.
Sanitation & Rainwater Harvesting

Grassroots is implementing an individual and effective approach using technology designed by geohydrologist Dr Tim Rees.  Dr Tim Rees, a British geohydrologist living in India since the 1960s, pioneered an appropriate technology design in the form of an Infiltration Well, which serves as a Protected Intake Structure for drinking water systems.


Tim’s innovation is an infiltration well that collects water from subterranean water capillaries, which are located deeper than the traditonal naulas. The Kumaon Artisans Guild are able to construct the well by hand without the need for heavy machinery.  This makes installation possible and more affordable in the most remote of villages.  Most importantly, These community drinking water systems are operated and maintained by the people themselves.


Over the past decade, more than 55,000 people from 370 communities in far flung watersheds have gained access to enhanced quantities of safe drinking water through adoption of this intermediate technology application.


Grassroots and the communities we work with are extremely grateful to Dr. Tim Rees for his contribution.



Over the past decade 2000 families across 200 villages in six districts of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have invested up to 60% of the cost which amounts to around Rs. 8,000 per unit.  Demand for these grants far exceeds our available funds.  Please click here to donate to the Sanitation Grant Fund.


A twin pit water seal sanitary facilities is promoted, where relevant using rainwater harvested in underground tanks.  Over a period of two years the waste in the pit becomes composted and is easily emptied out to be used as fertilizer, as the pits are covered with removable slabs.



Household Solution


Grassroots’s Blue Schools initiative combines the installation of rainwater harvest systems and sanitation units in rural schools with an environmental education program in the classroom.   In collaboration with the International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance and Ministry of Water Resources, Govt of India, Blue Schools is helping to drive awareness on climate change, ecology and resource management in over 30 schools in Himachal Pradesh.


A rain water harvesting unit works simply by collecting rain water pooling or running off the roof of a house and channelling it into a tank, where it can be stored.  Before entering the tank, the water passes through a chamber where solids like leaves and rocks are filtered out.  The water can then be used for washing, irrigating fields, and for cooking. The stored rainwater reduces the pressure on scarce spring water used for drinking.




Rainwater Harvesting

Blue Schools