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Multiple-use Water Services (MUS), status, challenges and approaches to optimal management

The research outcome on RCSD approach to multiple-use water services (MUS) is about taking people’s multiple water needs as the starting point and in identifying opportunities within the water limitations & changing environment, in planning and design of existing cropping and water resource systems for up-gradation. Resourceful planning for multiple uses has helped in realizing multiple benefits towards food and income security, better health, drudgery reduction and gender equity.

RCSD project on Strengthening Indigenous people’s response to Multiple Use water services supported by Arghyam for food, water, livelihood, safe health & sanitation security is an innovative approach in the implementation of MUS and for its scaling up at multiple levels. Project partnership established with thirty- seven Resource Management Groups has lead to the establishment of innovated and successful MUS models at the homestead and community-scale for food security, poverty reduction and gender equity. While a simultaneous WATSAN initiatives covering household water treatment and hygiene education within the Groups, school children and the community have helped in gaining access to better human and environment health that further supplement & strengthens the MUS.

Recognizing the fact that MUS offer an effective route to improve food and livelihood opportunities amongst the poor and women and also leads to environment benign, the project field tested and analyzed the MUS at the homestead-scale (e.g. home gardens, homestead ponds) and community-scale (e.g. community reservoirs) by supporting crop water management efforts in home gardens & in farm fields from supplementary irrigation
gained from ponds/reservoirs, support additional productive water sub-sectors (e.g. pisciculture, ducks rearing) on same water resources for the same people, make more water available for bathing, sanitation and drinking, leading to the reduction in the incidence of waterborne diseases improve health, food and nutritional security and finally contribute to surface & ground water management for sustained land and water productivity

RCSD-MUS implementation framework is of a localized approach which is also a learning experience model for continuous improvement and adjustments.


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