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‘Waterman of India’ wins 2015 Stockholm Water Prize

Rajendra Singh (courtesy UNDP and UN Water)
"The collective knowledge and ambition of Indian villagers provides lessons for the UK in how empowered local actions deliver positive results that cut through unclear messages across multiple policies.

Rajendra Singh, the ‘Waterman of India’, has been named the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for his innovative river restoration efforts, improving water security in rural India, and for showing extraordinary courage and determination in his quest to improve the lives of those most in need. Mr Singh also chairs The Flow Partnership, a UK charity project dedicated to using natural techniques for land management to tackle flooding, of which the James Hutton Institute is a member organisation.

Mr Singh, born in 1959, lives and works in the arid Indian state of Rajasthan, where, for several decades, he has dedicated himself to defeating drought and empowering communities. The results of his tireless work are without equal. In close cooperation with local residents, he and his organization, Tarun Bharat Sangh (TBS), have revived several rivers, bringing water and life back to over a thousand villages there and giving hope to countless people in that area.

On receiving news about the prize, Mr Singh said: “This is very encouraging, energising and inspiring news. Through traditional Indian wisdom and methods of rainwater harvesting, we have made helpless, abandoned, destitute and impoverished villages prosperous and healthy again.”

In its citation, The Stockholm Water Prize Committee says that “today’s water problems cannot be solved by science or technology alone. They are instead human problems of governance, policy, leadership, and social resilience. Rajendra Singh’s life work has been in building social capacity to solve local water problems through participatory action, empowerment of women, linking indigenous know-how with modern scientific and technical approaches and upending traditional patterns of development, resource use and social norms.”

Dr Marc Stutter, research leader at the James Hutton Institute and fellow member of The Flow Partnership, commented: “The collective knowledge and ambition of Indian villagers provides lessons for the UK in how empowered local actions deliver positive results that cut through unclear messages across multiple policies.

“Building on several success stories, the UK initiative now seeks to prove how replicating small water holding structures across catchments provides an achievable and equitable way to further manage flood waters and bring wider environmental benefits”

H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of the Stockholm Water Prize, will present the prize to Rajendra Singh at a Royal Award Ceremony during 2015 World Water Week in Stockholm on 26 August 2015.

For more information on the James Hutton Institute's involvement with The Flow Partnership, contact Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media and External Relations Coordinator, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or 07791 193918 (mobile).

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/%E2%80%98waterman-india%E2%80%99-wins-2015-stockholm-water-prize on 22/05/19 05:48:06 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.