Severe drought devastates large portions of the Indian subcontinent, bringing desolation to communities and rendering farmland unusable. The Georgetown University India Initiative (GUII) is partnering with the Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) to reduce poverty by empowering farming communities with the skills and knowledge to regenerate the watersheds they depend on, harvest rainwater, and enable sustainable livelihoods.
Twenty-first century technologies will enable us to connect with villages and farmers beyond WOTR’s current reach to ensure the development of more than 300 micro-watersheds. Rigorous monitoring and evaluation protocols will inform behavioral-change communication strategies to disseminate evidence-backed lessons to millions of farmers desperate for solutions to the water crisis facing India and the world.
By enhancing WOTR’s proven capacity to implement participatory watershed management programs, this collaboration can replenish groundwater aquifers, build capacity for water management at the local level, reduce drought-stress on ecosystems and agricultural production, and, quite literally, save lives.
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Through livelihood support, WOTR continues to aid farming communities it has worked with for the past few decades. But the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to a nearly complete halt our capacity to empower those communities using our innovative approach.