Neerjaal is India’s first attempt at bringing forth hard facts about drinking water and sanitation issues through community participation. It is a unique project because it’s a first-of-its-kind village-level water data and information system.
- Neerjal is a web-based, transparent, simple and interactive system.
- It is a repository of bottom-up information on drinking water, its source, availability, quality, quantity, ways of preservation and optimum usage.
- Neerjaal system helps collect, collate and analyse data for all types of water sources available in rural areas including ? and pumps, wells and tanka (rain water harvesting reservoirs).
- The system helps find out if the quality of water resources of potable or not.
- It informs whether water levels meet the domestic and livestock demands.
- It is an anytime, anywhere data entry and data access system.
- The system exclusively caters to the needs of village-level communities.
- The information system is managed by the communities and for the communities.
- The system facilitates sharing of information by the people, irrespective of their caste, religion or sex.
- It is available in all major Indian languages.
- Neerjaal is a critical mechanism to raise alarm about water scarcity and issues of drinking water and sanitation.
Neerjaal is a concept originally conceived by the Global Rainwater Harvesting Collective (GRWHC), Barefoot College in Tilonia Rajasthan. GRWHC, under its flagship activities of Barefoot College, has been collecting and managing information regarding various linkages of Water in the desert of Rajasthan, especially in and around tilonia village near Kishangarh . Recently, GRWHC, together with Digital Empowerment Foundation, discussed the Neerjaal concept together and developed the entire concept to implement at the national level, where the water sources, water bodies, water consumption, water usage, water harvesting, and water shorateges and needs could be mapped and put on an interactive platform.
The long term vision of Neerjaal is to allow each and every villagers and villages to put their water data on the public domain, and gradually with as the help of people and universal contribution, we gather widespread data related to water in India.
At the moment, the data is being populated through the available information with GRWHC, and gradually with the launch of the website, this would be made open to all and sundry to populate the relevant information. However, each and every information would be updated after proper administrative and authentication check.
Digital Empowerment Foundation, a Delhi based not-for-profit organization was registered on December 2002, under the “Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860” to find solutions to bridge the digital divide. With no political affiliations, it was founded by Osama Manzar to uplift the downtrodden and to create economic and commercial viability using Information Communication and Technology as means. It was actively started in the year 2003 after the founder director left his software company to seriously pursue the aims and objectives of Digital Empowerment Foundation.
About GRWHC, Barefoot College
For generations people have addressed their own problems of drinking water by collecting rainwater where it falls.
The Global Rainwater Harvesting Collective aims to build on this knowledge, technology and skill that has existed for hundreds of years in rural communities across the world.
What make this initiative different is that it will concentrate on two areas.
Collect rainwater from rooftops only for children in schools family planning centers and so on.
Revitalizing wells and hand pumps that have gone dry. This is done by directing surface water into open wells within the village rather than allowing it to evaporate or slowly percolate into the ground in tanks outside the village.