Government records show that in 1980, just 1% of India’s rural areas had access to safe, usable water. By 2013, that had increased to 30%, but the majority of rural India continues to live without proper access to safe drinking water. Less than 50 per cent of the population in India has access to safely managed drinking water. Moreover, two-thirds of India’s 718 districts are affected by extreme water depletion.
WaterAid report in 2016 ranked India among the worst countries in the world for the number of people without safe water. An estimated 76 million people in India have no access to a safe water supply. The Asian Development Bank has forecast that by 2030, India will have a water deficit of 50 per cent. It is estimated that waterborne diseases have an economic burden of approximately USD 600 million a year in India.
Responding to such situation, Tata Motors through its company floated NGO, Sumant Moolgaokar Development Foundation (SMDF) launched ‘Amrutdhara’ – the National Drinking Water Programme in 2010. The objective of Amrutdhara is to provide sustainable drinking water solution to water stressed parts of the country. These solutions rely heavily on the traditional water conservation and management practices of the communities and range from infiltration wells or ‘nullah’ system in the hills to capturing water trapped in the aquifers or having big water reservoirs.
Till date over 600 clean drinking water projects across 520+ habitations have been completed, that impact over 2.25 lakhs communities. In the year 2019-20 alone, the foundation invested over ₹ 1.14 core in 25 projects that touched lives of 25000 communities. These efforts have had far reaching impact namely: