Lets make wells as safe water sources.

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60% of the population of Kerala is dependent on open dug wells (ODW) on their homestead property for their drinking water. Post floods, most of these water sources have been contaminated with faecal effluents brought into the wells as flood water levels rose above parapet walls of these wells or from subsurface flow as the waters receded. This extensive contamination of open dug wells has been documented.

Government of Kerala- Rebuild Kerala Mission has invited public opinion on the draft Rebuild Kerala Development Plan. The development plan also mentions - "More recent data (Kerala Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (KRWSA) survey 2017) shows that 80% of the rural population access well water as their primary source, which is boiled for drinking as it is high on bacteriological contamination."

In order to address the issues of drinking water Rebuild Kerala Mission has  proposed  for 3388. 34 Cr funds for large scale schemes which focus on pipe water supply and has no mention of cleaning and sustaining wells as safe water sources. 

We are asking that Pipe water supply should not be considered as a substitute to wells. However - Pipe water supply should supplement the Wells and equitable importance should be given to making wells as safe water sources. 

Objective of the petition is . 

-  Government should also focus on converting the existing contaminated open dug wells to safe water sources.

- To approach this conversion to safe water sources at individual household level and to bring this together as a movement at a territorial level of Panchayats.

-  To utilize existing institutional structures and private initiative to strengthen water governance by policy and strategic interventions to create the enabling environment to create rejuvenation of wells

It is important because 

- Wells are a cultural heritage and have been a sustained source of water since time immemorial. 

- Creating wells as safe water sources will ensure source sustainability .  If we ignore wells the contamination of wells leads to contamination of aquifer. 

- Wells are local and cost effective intervention for clean water sources and conscious intervention will give a cost effective solution. 

- Well recharge has potential of keeping check on decreasing ground water level especially during droughts and also has potential to keep a check on salinity ingress in coastal region. 

- Wells are lifeline of humanity. 

Once you sign your petition it will be used as a comment  for public consultation. You can also find the link for public consultation on https://kerala.gov.in/documents/10180/ae3270f1-3780-45e8-b3b8-fe5a2554d71c

Looking forward to your support. 


Amit Tandon

Independent - Water Policy and Governance Professional.