We believe that every community has the right to clean water.
Rather than relying on hand pumps, wells, and unpredictable groundwater levels, we harness every drop of fresh water that falls from the sky. By combining traditional harvesting practices with new technologies, we make water accessible, clean and safe to drink for millions of people in need.Our Impact
Targeting Sustainability Goals
1,735 handpumps have been installed providing water to over 60,000 people living in 530 villages spread across 4 states (Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh) of India. Of these handpumps, 671 were installed in schools, 227 in community & training centres, 611 in SC & ST communities and remaining in common areas. A total of 1,766 people were trained as handpump mechanics to repair and maintain handpumps installed in their respective communities.
We believe that every drop of fresh water that falls on the ground, especially in developing regions, should be harnessed for use. Rather than wasting water that runs off rooftops and along streets, we combine traditional harvesting practices with new technologies to make water accessible, clean and safe to drink.
The Barefoot College provides drinking water to rural schools and village centres using a technique that has been used for hundreds of years in India’s deserts: rainwater harvesting. By collecting rainwater from rooftops and storing it in simple, low-cost underground tanks, we help collect 90 million litres of rainwater in 18 states for 2 million people. The overall water collection capacity is around 50 billion litres of rainwater.
Dams & RWH Ponds
We have supported the construction of four dams that bring drinking water to more than 48000 people from 20 villages. These dams are not repurposed for energy. They support the water needs of the people and livestock living in some of the most arid regions of the world. Each dam slows the speed of water, which reduces erosion and allows minerals and contaminants to settle to the bottom, providing potable water to entire communities. 65 million litres of rainwater is stored annually in this way.
This project will increase opportunities for clean water, sustainable agriculture, and public health and hygiene. Community members will also gain a lasting commitment to—and responsibility for—the structures that bring them fresh water.
Nearly 100 villages surround Sambhar lake, a large saltwater lake located in the Ajmer district of Rajasthan. Local villagers earn a living by manufacturing salt as it evaporates from the water, but the local water supply is too brackish to consume or use for cooking. Barefoot’s Solar Powered desalination (Reverse Osmosis) plant filters water from Sambhar Lake and stores it in a 5,000 litre tank. Constructed from a booster pump, sand filter, carbon filter, and other readily available materials, the desalination plant prevents waste and impurities from mixing with the purified water, providing drinkable water to thousands of individuals. There are 6 Solar Powered desalination plants in all, which supply water to nearby villages.
WASH Curriculum in Schools
A WASH curriculum has been developed and integrated in schools (Shikshaniketan, Residential Bridge Schools & Solar Bridge Schools) run by Barefoot College. Every year, new activities and methods are included which makes learning interactive. Area covered include Water, Sanitation, Health, Hygiene and Environment.
Neer Jaal (www.neerjaal.org) is a water mapping website controlled and managed by rural communities. By collating information related to groundwater, Barefoot’s Neer Jaal software generates, stores and distributes information related to a village’s water supply, which helps manage scarce water resources. We offer three annual trainings and mobile water test kits to interested community members, who then disseminate this knowledge throughout their villages. Neer Jaal is the first village-based, interactive website that catalogues water tables and water sources in villages. It is designed to scale nationally and gather vital water consumption data.
A Story of Impact
Rural schools harvest rainwater
To date the organization has constructed 1,600 rainwater harvesting tanks in government schools & community buildings benefitting more than 2 million people. 500 such tanks were constructed under a project by Minister of Water Resources, including 220 village ponds benefitting more than 0.12 million, 15 anicuts benefitting more than 0.15 million, 45 dug wells recharging more than 130 million litres of rainwater and 4 small dams benefitting around 48,000 people and reaching poorest of the poor communities across 18 states of India.