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The Indian engineer reviving lakes in the state of Uttar Pradesh

Date: 08-Jul-19
Author: Doug Donnellan

Lakes and waterways all around India are facing pressure from the impacts of urbanisation and industrialisation. Image:

Lakes and waterways all around India are facing pressure from the impacts of urbanisation and industrialisation. Image:

While Ramveer Tanwar was completing his university degree in engineering, he noticed that many of the once thriving ponds and lakes in his hometown were starting to disappear. 

Improper garbage disposal and rapid urbanisation had led to a decline in local ecosystem productivity, and these water bodies were quickly turning into dumping grounds. Tanwar, 26, decided to make a difference and began restoring them to their former glory. With the help of students and volunteers, dozens of lakes and ponds in the area had been brought back to life, and a clean water movement began.

To raise awareness about the importance of water conservation, Tanwar started a campaign in his home state of Uttar Pradesh by going door-to-door and speaking to residents directly. This proved to be challenging, as some communities in the area didn’t see water pollution as a major problem.

“People never took the water crisis seriously before,” Tanwar said. “But we’re gradually beginning to understand that water is not an unending resource.” According to a recent report from the policy think-tank NITI Aayog, the country is at a point where water conservation is crucial to maintaining food security and replenishing groundwater.

This initiative has spread to over 50 villages and continues to grow. Tanwar now coordinates the “Groundwater Army” organisation in his district and also helps neighbouring communities clean up their lakes. To take the revitalisation even further, locals have been planting seedlings around the restored waters and bringing the whole ecosystem back to its natural, healthy state.

In an interview with The Logical Indian, Tanwar said he couldn't have done it alone.

“Many of the villagers came ahead to help," Tanwar said.

"Some of them worked with us, some offered us tools and equipment. We even contacted the forest department which provided us with plants to be planted around the lake. Right now, the trees we have planted there are flourishing.”

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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Doug                                              Donnellan
Author: Doug Donnellan

Doug joined Planet Ark's Information Centre team in April 2019 after completing a Master's of Sustainability. As a professional chef with his own catering business, Doug possesses a strong interest in food sustainability.

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