CEE students spent three weeks in India learning about water proverty in rural areas

Allen Bradley

The India Winterim course on Water Poverty in Rural India spent three weeks in India over the winter break.

In this course, students learned about the freshwater crisis in the poor rural agricultural Mewat District, located only 50 miles south of Delhi. The class partners with the Sehgal Foundation, which works to empower rural people through better education, health, and governance. During the course, students carried out projects to evaluate the foundations efforts to enhance freshwater supplies. This year, students sampled water depths and salinity from wells over a 10-kilometer length to determine whether check dams installed to capture monsoon rains increase the fresh groundwater supplies. They sampled water in nearly constructed monitoring wells at two government schools to see how storing captured rainwater from the school rooftop creates a freshwater pocket in the groundwater. Other projects focused qualifying soil salinity, the pathogens in freshwater supplies in the region, and the potential for using rainwater harvesting within local villages.

A highlight of the trip was a discussion with the women’s collective of the Nagina Block, a group organized by the Sehgal Foundation that focuses on local governance, school management, and village health and sanitation. This was the sixth offering of the course by Civil and Environmental faculty. Marian Muste has led all six courses. This was fourth course for Allen Bradley, and the first for Craig Just.