Women in water management: the need for local planning

The paper notes that in India, even when a village or household level survey is carried out for water-resource development, the usual standards of data collection are applied, and women's central importance in water use is thus not reflected. However, women are likely to be more visible in local planning exercises; and the active and effective roles of women in water management are impossible without such planning. The paper is an outcome of the Foundation for Public Interest's experience in community-based water-resource development and management projects, particularly within the areas of Mahesana, Banaskantha, and Sabarkantha in Gujarat and, to a lesser extent, some involvement in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. It emphasizes the need for increased recognition of women's capacity for water management, the shift in policies resulting from FPI's involvement in this area, problems with neglecting local initiatives and resource limitations, and the importance of building local capacity to ensure good operation and maintenance, and the generation of local investment. Abstract supplied by kind permission of CABI.