Sustainable Innovations

Sustainable Innovations


World Water Day Themes
• 2018: Nature-based Solutions for Water
• 2017: Wastewater
• 2016: Water and Jobs
• 2015: Water and Sustainable Development
• 2014: Water and Energy
• 2013: Water Cooperation
• 2012: Water and Food Security
• 2011: Water for Cities
• 2010: Water Quality
• 2009: Tran boundary Waters
• 2008: International Year of Sanitation
• 2007: Water Scarcity
• 2006: Water and Culture
• 2005: Water for Life 2005-2015
• 2004: Water and Disaster
• 2003: Water for the Future
• 2002: Water for Development
• 2001: Water for Health – Taking Charge
• 2000: Water for the 21st Century
• 1999: Everyone Lives Downstream
• 1998: Groundwater – The Invisible Resource
• 1997: The World’s Water - Is There Enough?
• 1996: Water for Thirsty Cities
• 1995: Women and Water
• Water & Environment: Challenges for sustainable Development.
• Water use performance and water productivity
• The World’s Water: Is there enough
• Water for Future
• Clean Water for a Healthy World
• Importance and Problems of Water in the Human Environment in Modern Times
• Water for Human Needs
• Water for Human Consumption: Man and his Environment
• Water for World Development
• Water for Sustainable Development in the 21st Century"
• Sharing and Caring for Water
• Water, sanitation and hygiene for everyone, every where
World Water Day: Bringing Awareness to Water Issues
World Water Day is held annually on March 22. It is an international day to increase public knowledge about the essential role water plays in global development and human prosperity. World Water Day offers an opportunity to focus global attention on the far-reaching impact water has on our world and on us.
• 663 million people worldwide still do not have access to improved drinking water.1
• At least 10 percent of the world’s population is thought to consume food irrigated by waste water.2
• By 2025 water scarcity is expected to affect more than 1.8 billion people—hurting agricultural workers and poor farmers the most.3
The lack of access to clean, safe drinking water affects the health, development and well being of children and adults throughout the world. Food security, educational opportunities and livelihood choices are a few examples of the connective points affected by access to water. Whether it is used for drinking, hygiene, crop production and livestock, or recreation, water is an important public resource and key health influencer; it also has economic and social benefits.
• Donate water
Improved drinking water sources help people avoid water-borne illnesses and remain economically productive. Children who can stay healthy can survive past age five. They also have better school attendance. Both outcomes have positive long-term life benefits.
• Help babies and mothers in poverty
When water is easily accessible, less time and effort is necessary to collect it, and time can be spent in other more productive ways. The UN General Assembly formally recognized this truth in 2010. It recognized continuous, affordable and easy access to sufficient and safe water as a fundamental human right.
The first World Water Day occurred in 1993. The United Nations General Assembly took action, passing a resolution because: "the extent to which water resource development contributes to economic productivity and social well-being is not widely appreciated," and "the promotion of water conservation and sustainable management requires public awareness at local, national, regional and international levels."
The resolution established the convention of focusing the observance of World Water Day on a particular theme each year and requested the Secretary-General make the necessary arrangements to ensure the success of the day.
UN-Water and the Sustainable Development Goals
UN-Water is now the organization coordinating the work of the United Nations on water and sanitation. UN-Water works to support the numerous water-related commitments of the international community. It promotes cooperation and information sharing on all aspects of freshwater and sanitation through three avenues:
• Monitoring and reporting on water and sanitation issues
• Informing policy processes and decisions
• Raising awareness, knowledge and action on water as a fundamental human right
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) adopted by the United Nations in 2015, formally known as The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, replaced and build upon the successful Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The MDG on drinking water — to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation — was met globally in 2010. However, the improvements did not occur evenly throughout the world.
SDG 6 established the following global targets pertaining to water. Unless otherwise noted, the target date to accomplish the objectives is 2030.
• Achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
• Improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally
• Substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity
• Implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate

We bring safe drinking water and basic health care to people in need. Our current initiatives focus on rain water harvesting and basic health care.

Aakash Ganga, which means River from Sky in Hindi, harvest rainwater for people in rural areas. The water collected through our project can fulfill the water needs of a village for up to 9 months. Arogya Ghar, which essentially means a traveling clinic, provides basic health care (treatment for common ailments and preventable diseases) to families in rural villages and urban slums.

Operating as usual

Sustainable Innovations | Harvesting Innovations for People 12/08/2020

Sustainable Innovations | Harvesting Innovations for People

Our organization earned a 2020 Platinum Seal of Transparency by sharing our key metrics and highlighting the impact we’re making. Check out our updated #NonprofitProfile on GuideStar:
(Now part of @CandidDotOrg)

Sustainable Innovations | Harvesting Innovations for People Sustainable Innovations is a non-profit organization that employs innovations in technology, science and economics to build holistically sustainable social enterprises focussed on accessible drinking water and primary healthcare for poor rural communities and urban slums in India and other parts of....

Finding solutions to India’s freshwater challenge 11/25/2020

Finding solutions to India’s freshwater challenge

Finding solutions to India’s freshwater challenge Inside the extraordinary effort of two environmentalists to safeguard the country’s lakes and rivers—and the life that depends on them. #PerpetualPlanet


Sustainable Innovations' work has been featured in the May 2020 AARP Purpose Prize Newsletter. Our founder, Dr. BP Agrawal, was the recipient of the 2012 Purpose Prize. To read more about the award and our work, visit:


Sustainable Innovations


Sustainable Innovations


Sustainable Innovations


Sharing Sustainable Innovation stories with Steve Huffman, CEO and co-founder, Reddit Inc 01/26/2020

From Heirloom to Sustainability: My Lessons for Scaling Social Enterprises - Indiaspora

Sustainable Innovations' work and our founder, Dr. BP Agrawal's, story has been featured on the Indiaspora blog. Indiaspora is a non-profit organization established to transform the success of the Indian diaspora into meaningful impact worldwide. To read the blog, visit: ...


Please join us for our events on February 6th and February 7th to hear our founder, Dr. BP Agrawal, speak more about Sustainable Innovations' work in scaling up social enterprises.


We are in Sardarpura, a sleepy village 150 KM southwest of New Delhi, India. Women have gathered at the village square. They are tapping empty matkas, earthen water pots, to produce melodious beats. One is humming the lament of the bride,

“Dhola thare desh men, moti marvan aant. Daroo milti mokali, paani ki koni chhant.”
Oh, Beloved!
In your land
Not a drop of water
Brides have to fetch water from miles
It is hard to survive but for your love
Thus laments a bride.

The melody is drowned out by sudden commotion. The children start running on dusty streets yelling “Pani Aagayaa. Paani Aagayaa” (Water has come! Water has come!). Women wrapped in vibrant colors rush with their matkas, large clay pots, resting on their waists – only to join the queue of matkas that arrived before them. The water tanker had just arrived. It only took two weeks. “How scarce is water here?” I ask. A voice speaks from the crowd “Why ask? Just count the number of bachelors.” I am puzzled. What is the relationship between water scarcity and the number of bachelors? Another voice unravels the mystery. “No father or brother wants to marry off his daughter or sister in this village as she would then have to spend all day fetching water for her new family.” I’m rendered speechless.


Our next series of stories will focus on our founder, Dr. BP Agrawal’s, personal struggles of watching people suffer without access to clean water in India. These experiences inspired him to found Sustainable Innovations’ social enterprise to combat water scarcity-- Aakash Ganga. To learn more about Aakash Ganga and how you can support our endeavor, visit us here:,


Sustainable Innovations


Sustainable Innovations


People pay more attention to water than the climate

Water, unlike a mass of carbon atoms, is visible and tangible. Abstract discussions about emission caps and parts per million concentrations become immediately concrete when the talk turns to drought and deluge. Developing countries may not have the infrastructure or governance capacity to withstand the water cycle spasms that will occur in a warming world. (

Our sustainable, holistic, and effective solution to water scarcity, Aakash Ganga, allows all the basic human right to have clean water. To learn more about Aakash Ganga and how you can support our endeavor, visit us here:,


It is estimated that women in India spend 150 million days every year just fetching and carrying water -- equivalent to a national loss of income of $160 million USD. Our sustainable, holistic, and effective solution to water scarcity -- Aakash Ganga -- reduces the need for women to lose working days and financial security over the basic human right to have clean water. To learn more about Aakash Ganga and how you can support our endeavor, click here:,


Waterless Wells Mourn Dying Aquifers in India

The people living in the villages of the Thar Desert, India live with chronic water shortage. The three generations of water sources — stepwells, traditional dug-wells and bore-wells — have dried up (shown below). Women and girls walk miles daily, each balancing heavy loads of upto 15 liters of water on their heads just to meet the needs of their families. A whole day is lost to meet a family’s drinking water needs.

Aakash Ganga provides an innovative solution by repurposing rooftops and installing a series of interconnected gutters and pipes to channel the clean, bacteria-free rainwater into underground reservoirs located at home or in the village square. This eliminates the need for women to walk long distances every day. Aakash Ganga is currently providing clean, accessible drinking water year-round to 10,000 people in six villages in Rajasthan, and we are expanding our program to reach 100,000 people in the next phase of the project. To learn more about Aakash Ganga and how you can support our endeavor, click here:,


Nobel Prize for Alleviating Poverty

Dr. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo won the 2019 Economics Nobel Prize for their work on alleviating poverty. In 2004, they published their study on what ails rural health care in India: This study formed the basis for Arogya, Sustainable Innovation’s proprietary, technology-enabled platform to deliver improved primary healthcare at the patient’s doorstep, build and sustain women-owned enterprises for delivering care, and create revenue streams to fund organic growth. To learn more about Arogya and how you can help, visit,


In India, more than 1000 children die of diarrhea every year due to lack of access to clean water. Thanks to Aakash Ganga, this doesn't happen in the Raila village of Rajasthan. To learn more about Aakash Ganga and how you can support our endeavor, click here:,


Sustainable Innovations's cover photo


Sustainable Innovations 10/26/2017

Aakash Ganga, an Industry Approach to Rainwater Harvesting

You can show your support for Aakash Ganga by leaving a comment on our CSV Prize application! All comments are taken into consideration during the review process! Adapted utility industry model to build a systemically sustainable system for rainwater harvesting


Aakash Ganga in Sanwlod

We are in the midst of installing Aakash Ganga in the village of Sanwlod! Listen to the village voices on how Aakash Ganga will benefit their community.

We are rolling out Aakash Ganga in Sanwlod. Here are some of the testimonials of the villagers. 10/13/2017

Aakash Ganga, an Industry Approach to Rainwater Harvesting

Check out our entry for the Creating Shared Value Prize!



BIG NEWS! We have officially been named one of the top ten finalists of the Drucker Prize!

As Peter Drucker wrote, ‘Successful innovators…look at figures, and they look at people,” said Zach First, Drucker's executive director. “Each of our 10 Drucker Prize finalists has demonstrated an impressive blend of results-driven rigor and human-centric focus. What’s more, the leaders of these organizations aren’t resting on their laurels; they are hungry for new knowledge they can put to work in service of their missions.”

The winner of the $100,000 Drucker Prize will be named on September 29th. Wish us luck! Drucker Institute


“Water is freedom. For girls it is freedom to get an education. For women it is freedom to work. For children and elderly it is freedom from illness.” - Bhagwati P Agrawal


Children used to rush home from school in 110 degree heat to get sips of clean water throughout the day, missing class time and exerting themselves in the sun. Thanks to the close proximity of Aakash Ganga wells, students stay in class and focused throughout the day! Help us expand our reach and bring clean water directly to the schools by donating today.


It’s World Water Day!

Many of us don’t even think twice about using water. Washing our hands, our plates, and our clothes are nothing more than everyday chores. We water our lawns and fill our pools. In cultures where water is so readily available, we often fail to realize how essential water is.

In India, water is integral part of culture and is worshipped in numerous festivals and rituals that have been passed down through generations. Water is the essence of life, livelihood, and is used to purify people and objects. Mothers will take their newborns to the local well in order to bless their babies with the water to ensure a healthy, prosperous life. As Northern India continues to dry up at a rapid pace and wells are emptying, sacred rituals have become increasingly difficult or impossible to perform.

Aakash Ganga allows people to practice the sacred traditions that their ancestors taught them. In every village, a community reservoir, or Gram tanka, is built for all members of the community to access. The Gram tanka serves as the local well that not only supplies clean drinking water, but provides a way for communities to practice the rituals that have been ingrained in their cultures for generations.

On this World Water Day, let us remember how important and fundamental water is to culture, health, and life.


Happy #InternationalWomensDay! Some of you may not know that inspiration for our health care program, Arogya, came from a legendary woman from India’s history who is remembered to this day for her altruism, sacrifice, and loyalty.

Arogya trains young women to become health care entrepreneurs known as Pannas. The term “Panna” comes from the name of a 16th century nursemaid, Panna Dhai, who sacrificed the life of her own son to save the Maharana of Mewar.

Panna Dhai was entrusted with raising Rani Karnavati’s two sons, Rana Vikramaditya Singh and Rana Udai Singh II in Chittor. When the princes’ cousin, Banvir, wanted the throne for himself, he conspired to kill both of the brothers. Banvir assassinated Vikramaditya, and quickly went to find Udai. Panna Dhai got word of Banvir coming to slay Udai, and realized it was up to her to save Udai’s life to protect the future of Mewar. She hid Udai from Banvir and disguised her own son, Chandan, as Udai. Banvir killed Chandan, thinking he had killed Udai, and Panna fled Chittor with the real Udai, unable to mourn for her slain son. She raised Udai by herself for four years until he returned to Chittor and was crowned the Maharana of Mewar. Though Udai was indebted to Panna, she did not ask for anything in return for her tremendous sacrifice, as she considered it her duty to protect Mewar.

Panna Dhai’s legacy of sacrifice and altruism lives on in the Pannas of Arogya as they work tirelessly to provide health care services to vulnerable communities. Arogya empowers the Pannas to be independent business owners by having complete control over conducting their services. The Pannas wear the title proudly as they find inspiration from Panna Dhai to go above and beyond the call of duty.

You can find out more about Arogya here: 02/24/2017

GISCorps cuts costs of Aakash Ganga | Sustainable Innovations | Harvesting Innovations for People

The amazing volunteers at GISCorps have developed a way to conduct virtual surveys of villages, which will help Aakash Ganga expand its reach swiftly and cost-effectively. Check out our newest blog post to learn more! Aakash Ganga, our rainwater harvesting program, brings clean drinking water to the doorsteps of rural communities. One of the costly line items of Aakash Ganga ... 02/09/2017

Three Generations of Water Harvesting Gone Dry in Chhapoli | Sustainable Innovations | Harvesting Innovations for People

Check out our first blog post!

We'll be updating our blog regularly to give you an in-depth look at our programs, so be sure to check back for updates! If you have an idea of something we can write about, let us know! In western India, groundwater levels are falling at a rapid and irreversible pace, leaving many communities in need of another solution.


These step wells used to supply drinking water to the village of Chhapoli, but have been dried up and crumbling for over one hundred years. As the water scarcity crisis in India continues to rise, sustainable solutions are needed to ensure communities have access to clean drinking water for generations to come.


BP Agrawal, our President and Executive Director, is in India to start the next phase of Arogya, our health care project. Here he is talking to Pooja Sharma, a potential Panna.

You can read more about Arogya here:


"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today we celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and use his wisdom to work towards making the world a better place for everyone.


Rajasthan is the driest state in India. Due to the lack of surface water such as lakes and rivers, the people of Rajasthan depend on aquifers for their water supply. India’s aquifers are depleting at a rate of 250 cubic kilometers annually. To put that into perspective, Lake Erie would turn into a dust bowl in only two years at that rate. Watch our video below that demonstrates just how serious this issue is.


Thanks to Aakash Ganga, girls in rural India are able to spend their days in school instead of traveling for miles to fetch water. Read more about Aakash Ganga here:

Videos (show all)

Rajasthan is the driest state in India. Due to the lack of surface water such as lakes and rivers, the people of Rajasth...
It takes a village...
Imagine if this was your daily routine....


Aakash Ganga - River from Sky
Aroyga Ghar - Kisosk based Medical Clincs




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