HUF’s partnership approach is based on the following fundamental beliefs: Water is a shared common resource, best conserved and governed by communities of users. Improved access to water must be complemented with behaviour change for judicious water use at the individual and community level.
HUF collaborates with civil society organisation partners across the country to execute a range of solutions that: augment access to water, improve governance of water and optimise usage of water for rural communities. The Foundation values partners with insightful hydrogeological expertise and a deep commitment to empowering rural communities.
HUF’s partners have been instrumental in shaping the Foundation’s understanding of water-related issues.
HUF supports three types of programmes:
Supply side programmes
HUF’s supply-side programmes aim at improving regional water security through supply augmentation measures which include:
- Construction of new water structures or restoration of defunct structures.
- Capacitating government officials and frontline workers for national flagship programmes where water conservation forms a large component.
- Governance related interventions.
Choose a partner logo to view the supply-side programme details.
Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN) (1 of 4)
Innovation solutions, positive impact
The Usharmukti (salvation from barrenness) project aims to improve water security in plateau districts of West Bengal. The project adopts a watershed approach to improve land productivity through soil and water conservation measures.
HUF supported PRADAN to form a Project Management Unit (PMU), which engages with the local community as well as district and state administration to plan and approve water infrastructure plans under MGNREGS, and develop Detailed Project Reports (DRPs). The DRP outlines all water conservation work for the Gram Panchayat (GP) leading to creation of long term water assets.
The project success has led to an expansion to ten new blocks with the Government’s financial support. This collaboration between government, civil society organisations and private sector collaboration can serve as an effective model for improving water security in the entire Chotta Nagpur plateau belt. The programme has delivered the following outcomes:
- 51,875 farmers benefitted
- 161.77 billion litres of water potential created
- 40 million+ person days generated
Self-Reliant Initiatives through Joint Action (SRIJAN) (2 of 4)
Preserving traditional water sources
The Bundelkhand region in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh is water scarce. In recent years, this scarcity is aggravated due to increase in population, traditional agricultural practices, climate change and mismanagement of water resources.
HUF’s partner SRIJAN has developed a model to revive 110 traditional tanks through active community participation. SRIJAN formed Tank Management Communities (TMC) to de-silt, repair, maintain and regulate water use from each tank. The programme, through co-funding, also promotes 50 Prakritik Kendras (helping farmers procure organic manure) as a supplement to tank rejuvenation.
In addition to the community tanks, the programme also supplements critical irrigation gaps by constructing dohas (small farm ponds) and can be replicated across the region. It has delivered the following outcomes:
- 6,253 farmers benefitted
- 10.39 billion litres of water potential created
- An additional annual yield and biomass of 1,552 tonnes produced
- 33,809 person days generated
Watershed Organisation (WOTR) (3 of 4)
Addressing drought, cultivation challenges
The Vidarbha and Marathwada regions in Maharashtra face challenges with intermittent droughts and water security. The community’s challenges have worsened due to frequent droughts, poor cultivation and improper land husbandry management.
WOTR helps farmers break out of this vicious cycle. The programme adopts a participatory model, leveraging complementary strengths of the government, private sector, civil society organisations and local communities to reduce regional water vulnerabilities.
The programme, focuses on improving water accessibility, working with farmers on good crop choices, and restoring soil health serving the entire Maharashtra Central Plateau region. It has delivered the following outcomes:
- 1,115 farmers benefitted
- 96.59 billion litres of water potential created
- An additional annual yield and biomass of 9,626 tonnes produced
- 0.37 million person days generated
BAIF Development Research Organisation (BAIF) (4 of 4)
Converging community and technology
The Surgana block in Nasik (Maharashtra) receives sufficient annual rainfall, however, due to the location of the local villages on hill tops groundwater recharge potential is limited and water runs off very quickly.
HUF partnered with BAIF and initiated a technical assessment of the terrain, soil, and water. Based on the assessment the team developed a long-term, multi-pronged plan. Based on the ridge-to-valley approach, the programme revived community structures, promotes rainwater harvesting and sustainable water governance practices.
This use of scientific and nature based solutions to enhance water availability could serve as a template for parched and hilly terrain areas of this region.
~20 million litres of water potential created
Demand side programmes
HUF’s demand-side programmes work with farmers, especially small landholders, to help them better manage water use in agriculture, which includes:
- Improved irrigated water use application efficiency.
- Enhanced yield with lower water consumption by using an improved variety of seeds.
- Increased water usage efficiency with intercropping - cultivating another crop alongside the main crop.
- Shift to relatively less water-consuming crops.
Choose a partner logo to view the demand-side programme details.
Vikram Sarabhai Centre for Development Interaction (VIKSAT) (1 of 8)
From water scarcity to water security
Tribal populations, largely small holder farmers, dominate the northern Gujarat districts of Banaskantha and Sabarkantha. Since the groundwater potential is limited, the community needs help to resolve the significant water gap between availability and demand.
HUF’s partnership with VIKSAT addresses the water challenge by building ‘water literacy’ as the foundation for collective action towards water security. Every year, post -monsoons, women from the local community start with a water budgeting exercise, and develop a water scorecard. The water scorecard helps the community take data based collective decisions on farming. VIKSAT also promotes improved agriculture practices that enhance water use efficiency.
Today, more than 10000 women farmers from 53 villages are driving the change towards optimum water use. The programme has delivered the following outcomes:
- 10,767 farmers benefitted
- 9.33 billion litres of water potential created
- An additional annual yield and biomass of 2007 tonnes produced
- 98,095 person days generated
Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) (2 of 8)
Breaking silos, driving convergence
The HUF programme with the FES spans five districts of Odisha, and demonstrates a model for capability and capacity development of the state’s field extension workers across the Agriculture, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj departments. This partnership worked with Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM) to equip the frontline workers with skills to engage with village communities, generate plans for water conservation structures and encourage farmers to adopt progressive agricultural practices.
The programme has increased water usage productivity in the principal crops of the region and helped realise higher incomes. The programme has delivered the following outcomes:
- 96,251 farmers benefitted
- 140.57 billion litres of water potential created
- An additional annual yield and biomass of 71,070 tonnes produced
- 1.38 million+ person days generated
Centres for International Projects Trust (CIPT) (3 of 8)
Catalysing sustainable agriculture
Agriculture is critical to Punjab’s economy and India’s staple food production. The agriculture in the state comprises of rice-wheat monoculture. These are both water intensive crops, however, the canal coverage in programme region is ~25%, leading to high groundwater extraction to meet the water requirements for these crops. HUF has partnered with CIPT, who further engaged with 76 co-operative societies across 205 villages in five programmes.The team supported over 2 lakh acres of land through field training, demos , expert consultations, and mobile apps. Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) , Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR) and deployment of IoT based sensors are some of the interventions used.
The programme has delivered the following outcomes :
- 12,395 farmers benefitted
- 67.5 billion litres water potential created
- An additional annual yield and biomass of 12,299 tonnes produced
- 75,515 person days generated
HUL’s Project Prabhat (4 of 8)
Improving access increasing income
The water pillar of Prabhat works with reputed civil society organisations to deliver Water for Public Good in communities near HUL’s key factory sites. HUF designs the programme framework and helps identify the implementing civil society organisations, while HUL’s supply chain team drives it on ground and the Prabhat team anchors it. The implementation partners, viz. BAIF Development Research Foundation (BAIF), Mysore Resettlement and Development Agency (MYRADA) and Parmath Samaj Sevi Sansthan (PSSS) have covered 25, 31 and 36 villages respectively, over a period of Feb 2019 – May 2023.
The collaborative programme outcome is:
Factory sites at Khamgaon, Silvassa and Gandidham
- 4,610 farmers reached
- 8.92 billion litres of water potential generated
- additional agricultural production of 45,763 tonnes produced
- 2.4 million person days generated
Factory sites at Hosur and Puducherry
- 2,061 farmers reached
- 23.01 billion litres of water potential generated
- additional agricultural production of 7658 tonnes produced
- 125, 398 person days generated
Factory sites at Chhindwara, Etah and Sumerpur
- 4876 farmers reached
- 20.95 billion litres of water potential generated
- additional agricultural production of 5734 tonnes produced
- 198,332 person days generated
People’s Action for National Integration (PANI) (5 of 8)
Catalysing adoption of sustainable practices
Agriculture is becoming unviable for small and marginal farmers due to high input costs (including water), poor yields and low price realisations. HUF’s partnership with PANI aims to establish a sustainable and profitable agriculture model for small and marginal farmers of Balrampur district, East Uttar Pradesh. Over 300 women professionals from local villages are trained as agri-water professionals. These professionals then engage with local farmers through on site demos, farm advisory, access to quality seeds and reliable bio-inputs, etc. to reduce inputs (especially water) and increase farm productivity.
Launched in 2019, the programme covers 300 villages across six blocks of Balrampur district. More than 66,000 farmers adopt sustainable water practices and benefit from these programme interventions. The programme has delivered the following outcomes:
- Water potential of 132.21 Bn litres created
- 245,362 additional annual yield and biomass produced
- 8.1 million person days generated
Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN) (6 of 8)
Restorative and regenerative agriculture
The Paschimanchal region of West Bengal has a unique topography and poor water infrastructure – less than 10% of the area is under irrigation, but farming is the mainstay of the small tribal farmers in this region. HUF collaborated with PRADAN to activate a base of frontline workers (Chasi Bandhus/ farmer friends) who act as the key interface for local farmers to promote improved agriculture and water practices at the farm level. The programme advises farmers on sustainable water usage practices, crop choices including climatically suited local heirloom varieties of rice and helps drive convergence with local government programmes to improve farm outputs and access to water at farm level.
The programme benefits 3,400 farmers and has delivered the following outcomes:
- 6.01 billion litres of water potential created
- An additional annual yield and biomass of 1228 tonnes produced
- 1.7 million person days generated
Swayam Sikshan Prayog (SSP) (7 of 8)
Empowering women to drive prosperity
Osmanabad is a drought prone region in Maharashtra. Average rainfall is irregular and low only 600-850 mm per year and securing farm produce is a challenge for the local farmers. HUF’s partnership with SSP aims to implement a district wide integrated ‘Sustainable Water for Agriculture’ model. This model is designed for farmers in climate-risk and drought-prone regions. SSP works with local women leaders to execute the model based on a three pronged approach viz. (i) kissan – promote vegetable farming which is more lucrative, helps improve nutritional sufficiency, with lesser water footprint (ii) sarkaar - drive engagement and mobilise community demand to effectively allocate and utilise government funds for creating village level water infrastructure (iii) bazaar – estabhismnet of a replicable market model for local produce by activating 2 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs).
Over 48,000 farmers are part of the programme, which also supports 100 farm ponds. The programme is an example of how women can transform their districts’ water future and lead the path from deficiency to prosperity. The programme has delivered the following outcomes:
- 48000 farmers benefitted
- 100 farm ponds supported
Villgro Innovations Foundation (8 of 8)
The evolution of AgTech has led to innovative solutions for water conservation and sustainable use in agriculture. HUF partnered with Villgro, India’s leading social enterprise incubator, to identify and support social enterprises that can help solve India’s water scarcity challenges. Through the partnership, HUF and Villgro selected 9 startups (from 3500+ applications) for incubation support, with engagement periods varying from 6-18 months. Through this, Villgro provides mentorship and technical assistance, HUF facilitates access to field partners to test innovations, validate and refine solutions, assess market fit and make solutions market ready for scale up.
The programme has delivered the following outcomes:
- 7,366 farmers benefitted
- 416 water bore-wells recharged
- 0.59 billion litres of water potential created
- An additional annual yield and biomass of 45 tonnes produced
Research and knowledge programmes
Given the range of India’s water problems and solutions, there is a need to create and amplify solutions and build a collaborative engagement ecosystem for water stakeholders. These programmes aim to:
- Consolidate and curate insights on solutions, methods, and tools that serve as powerful water solutions in different parts of the country.
- Amplify the insights and solutions through various communication methods and channels.
- Build engagement and a collaborative dynamic amongst different stakeholders.
Choose a partner logo to view the research and knowledge programme details.
India Development Review (IDR) (1 of 3)
India Development Review (IDR) supports HUF to share the knowledge, learnings, and expertise gained since 2010 through its work across different regions and stakeholders. IDR is Asia’s largest media platform for development. HUF’s Partnership with IDR focuses on:
Designing, developing and distributing communications assets around water: The learnings communicated are done through innovative approaches drawn from HUF and its partners to a wide range of stakeholders via IDR’s website and social media channels.
Building the communications capacity of HUF’s partners: IDR develops and conducts communication workshops to leverage different media channels and mainstream publications;
Drive dialogues around water among key stakeholders: To help amplify the insights and solutions at scale using appropriate communication methods and channels, IDR helps and supports HUF to evangelise and amplify a range of solutions to address the water challenges in India.
ACWADAM (2 of 3)
HUF’s partnership with ACWADAM provides technical support to implementation partners by building their capability on designing water security solutions that are appropriate for the region. ACWADAM supports the civil society organisation partners who are implementing the programme around HUL and group’s eight factory location: Chhindwara, Sumerpur, Etah, Khamgaon, Silvassa, Gandhidham, Hosur, and Pondicherry covered through three nodal implementation civil society organisation partners, namely, Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan (PSSS), BAIF Development Research Foundation (BAIF), and MYRADA.
The project’s primary purpose is to develop science-based, community-driven groundwater augmentation and management and governance solutions around HUL’s factory sites. This partnership builds capabilities of local communities, civil society organisation partners, and factory teams for comprehensively mapping groundwater, implementing appropriate water conservation measures, and encouraging behavioural changes regarding water usage amongst farming communities.
Development Support Centre (DSC) (3 of 3)
HUF supported Development Support Centre (DSC) on a research-driven approach to build informed and scalable water security solutions for Gujarat based on the state’s distinct regional water typologies. The study consulted knowledge institutions such as ACWADAM and INREM Foundation.
The group was steered by a committee comprising eminent water management experts. The study focussed on seven parameters:
- Surface water
- Irrigation infrastructure
- Groundwater and its quality
- Soil type and its quality
- Animal husbandry
DSC and its collaborating partners released a first-of-its-kind report providing a detailed assessment of the state’s water security and solutions. The report provides key insights and recommendations on water conservation through access, use efficiency, and managed aquifer recharge. The report was released in February 2023 through a consultative workshop involving civil society, academia, philanthropic institutions, and government representatives.