India Water Portal
The India Water Portal (www.indiawaterportal.org) is a rich online resource base and a virtual community on water – an idea that was mooted by the National Knowledge Commission, (http://knowledgecommission.gov.in/). It is a completely free and open platform, for the dissemination of information and knowledge and discussion and debate on water issues. The Water Portal consists of case studies, movies, slideshows and courses based on the work done by partner organizations on various domains of water e.g. groundwater, rainwater harvesting, water quality, urban water.
What we deliver
Some of the offerings delivered by the India Water Portal are:- Tools & Techniques for Water Management This service showcases the best management practices crucial for both the short term and long term sustainable use of water, by compiling comprehensive case studies, slideshows, courses, movies, research and policy documents around several key areas – rainwater harvesting, agriculture, drinking water, water body restoration, urban water, ground water, watershed development, sanitation, wastewater, water quality, and water for industry. For further information, please visit: http://indiawaterportal.org/tt/ – Ask-A-Question. The service is meant for questions related to water (of course!). This initiative aims to provide appropriate solutions to the issues around water and environment that the general public and practitioners are looking for.
Whom we deliver
The “Ask-A-Question” and “Discussion Groups” services primarily act as our interaction platforms. Our radio programmes also created strong platforms for community interaction. Ask-A-Question service: Right from the launch, we have been consistently receiving questions regarding water problems by citizens. To respond to this need, we launched an innovative service called “Ask-A-Question” on the portal. Anyone can ask a question for free on this service and all the queries are posted on the portal. The queries are passed on to our partners WES Net India (http://www.wesnetindia.org/), which is a network of more than 2000 water and sanitation professionals. The answers suggested by these professionals are then placed back on the website. Besides, anyone can directly answer any question.
Why is the project unique?
Understanding the magnitude of the problem helps in appreciating the uniqueness of the idea. Before the India Water Portal, knowledge about water in India existed in silos of universities, governmental and non-governmental organizations. Traditional knowledge and understandings around water were in serious threat. Since the past decade, the idea of utilizing ‘Information Technology’ was in threat of being over-discussed. Yet, how many genuinely open, Wikipedia-like communities do we have to show, where knowledge is shared and built up from the community? Not many.
The vision and promise of ICT for Development has been articulated well by many people, we think currently the need is to build more successful applications to realize the promise and scale them widely. The success will lie in pursuing applications with dedication and commitment and getting the details right. The promise lies in several areas including: • Freeing up information, especially government data and information, making government functioning more transparent.
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