The Nilgiris Water

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The Way Forward

Emerging Scenario : The Way Forward

In more ways than one, it opened our eyes to the change happening in water systems in the Nilgiris

Dream : The Vision of the future

Water in the Nilgiris is more than an economic good. It contributes to a rich ecology & wildlife, has significant cultural and social linkages. Today Nilgiris water are dwindling and are being polluted at an alarming rate. Safe drinking water should be made available to all - especially downstream villages - who are now dependent on upstream sources. Water harvesting to be developed in more innovative lines. Enterprise approach to water products & value addition - high altitude stream fishing, mineral water units, labs for testing water, small hydros / hydrams for tapping energy. A whole gamut of activities need to be started with water - so as to bring it back on the main stage. Today - the reaction of less water is knee-jerk - people are dependent on the Government to provide water, shortages are common in summer, pollution is rampant. The challenge would be to ensure year round quality water and initiate sustainable land use and water uses which do not adversely change the quality of water. If this has to be achieved through peoples' groups, movements and practice - a whole new effort and coordination needs to be done. The Nilgiri Waters should be revived for the sustenance of living beings for a better quality of life.

Conservation of Springs

It can be concluded from this one year study that in the Nilgiris Water Resources context - the role of springs is very crucial. Springs and Sholas do not necessarily have a symbiotic relationship. In other words, the occurrence of a spring does not mean it flows out of a Shola, or otherwise - the shola always does not support a spring. Sholas are good protectors of the entire biota, with swamps, grasslands - the springs remain protected. Even in tea areas - the project has identified several springs which are being tapped by a large population. There is an urgent need to understand Spring Habitat & Ecology and introduce practices to rejuvenate them.

Community Based Water Management Systems

There is a break down of sharing systems within and between communities to a large extent. Water finding, water sharing is an individual activity. As the total domestic water sources are dwindling - there is an urgent need for developing community based water management systems. In earlier times, this has existed and worked very effectively, but now with most of the system being piped and the dependence high on TWAD - the community participation has reduced significantly.


Drinking water quality is a serious issue. Coliform contamination due to human wastes is a common problem. This has resulted in water borne diseases. 80 drinking water samples were collected and tested for different parameters. 51 cases have reported coliform pollution. Most of the pesticide sprayed (for example - in the Ooty valley - for a single garlic crop - 19 sprays are applied) goes into water bodies and flows downstream - where they serve as drinking water sources for villages. (Refer appendix for potability data)

Posted by: keystone       Category: NHW Home > Nilgiri Water Resources       Updated: 2007-03-07 09:03:14


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