Cover Image
close this bookEnvironmentally Sound Technologies for Women in Agriculture (IIRR, 1996, 213 p.)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentPreface
close this folderAnimal husbandry and dairying
View the documentSelection and breeding of cattle buffaloes
View the documentSelection and breeding of goats and sheep
View the documentSelection and breeding of swine
View the documentCommunity pasture management
View the documentCattle feeding
View the documentMake hay to preserve fodder
View the documentMake silage to preserve green fodder
View the documentImprove dry fodder by adding urea
View the documentUrea-molasses liquid mixture
View the documentUrea-molasses-mineral lick
View the documentClean milk production
View the documentLivestock diseases
View the documentCommon maladies in cattle
View the documentProtect your cattle from poisoning
View the documentAdaptation of livestock
close this folderVegetables and post-harvest technologies
View the documentNutrition garden
View the documentPreserving nutrients
View the documentPreservation by fermentation
View the documentZero-energy cool chamber
View the documentBamboo iceless refrigerator
close this folderOrganic farming
View the documentOrganic farming
View the documentCompost making
View the documentVermi-composting
View the documentBio-inoculants
View the documentMultipurpose trees and shrubs
close this folderSeed production and storage
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentProduce your own wheat, rice and pulse seeds
View the documentStorage of grain and seed
View the documentSafe grain storage structures
View the documentImproved rodent-free grain storage
close this folderPests and pesticides
View the documentIntegrated pest management
View the documentNeem for plant protection
View the documentNeem oil as mosquito repellent
View the documentBiological control of malaria
View the documentNon-chemical methods of weed control
View the documentSafe use of pesticides
View the documentHazard of pesticides
View the documentPesticide facts and fiction
View the documentFirst-aid measures for pesticide poisoning
View the documentSave your crop from bird damage
View the documentBeekeeping
close this folderDrudgery reduction
View the documentDrudgery-reducing implements for farm women
View the documentFuel-efficient chulhas
View the documentSolar cookers
View the documentBiogas as a rural energy source
View the documentEfficient fuel energy utilisation
close this folderWater management for farm and home
View the documentSafe drinking water
View the documentMaintenance of community water sources
View the documentManagement of drinking water for the household
View the documentSome simple ways to purify drinking water
View the documentUse of indigenous plants for cleaning water
View the documentSoakage pit for proper disposal of waste water
View the documentEfficient use of irrigation water
close this folderFish production
View the documentIntegrated fish farming
View the documentComposite fish culture
View the documentPaddy - fish culture
View the documentCattle fish culture
View the documentDuck - fish culture
View the documentPig - fish culture
View the documentHorticulture on dykes
View the documentSolar drying of fish
close this folderAppendices
View the documentGlossary of local terms
View the documentBanned and not approved pesticides
View the documentImproved varieties of grasses and legumes in different regions
View the documentImproved varieties of vegetables for nutrition garden
View the documentWorkshop participants
View the documentAuthors/contributors
View the documentList of resource institutions
View the documentReferences

Safe drinking water

Some 1.5 million children under the age of five die in India every year because of water-borne diseases. While most people know that bad water causes sickness, relatively few know that water carries diarrhoea, cholera, and stomach disorders. Rural women are the principal collectors, storekeepers, and users of water at home and in communities. Therefore, they must know how to ensure that the water they use is safe.

What is safe water?

Water is safe when there is nothing in it that can cause a disease. Safe drinking water must be:

- Free from harmful germs (bacteria, parasites, viruses, etc.)
- Free from harmful chemicals (such as pesticides) and foreign matter (such as dirt)
- Pleasant to taste or tasteless
- Colourless or crystal clear
- Odourless

Importance of safe water

Not all water is safe for human use-drinking and cooking. Contaminated water can be dangerous to health. It is a source of deadly diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, gastroenteritis, typhoid, jaundice, polio, guinea worm infestation, worm infection, and other health problems.

What causes contamination in water sources?

Human excreta-faeces and urine Animal excreta-dung and urine Bathing, washing, and cleaning activities Industrial effluent from mines, mills, refineries, etc. (Dead fish seen frequently in water might indicate the presence of chemicals.) Wastes from cities Improper garbage and waste disposal Pesticides and fertilizers washed into rivers and groundwater Dead and decaying animals and plants, especially in stagnant water Soil erosion

Due to these pollutants, water becomes unsafe for domestic use and, therefore, unsafe for drinking.

How to recognize unsafe water

Unsafe water has various harmful chemicals (such as iron and fluorides), germs, and waste materials. Harmful chemicals and germs cannot be seen with the naked eye but can cause unpleasant odour or taste.


To be sure, get your water tested. Take a sample of water for testing to your local water-testing laboratory.


Wells should be situated away from sources of contamination.
Water from hand pumps can become contaminated in the rainy season.
Prevent surface water from entering wells.
Keep washing areas and sources of contamination downstream from your water source.

Unsafe water has:

- unpleasant, biker or salty taste might be due to excess of iron and various salts like chlorides.

- foul smell-might be due to gases, germs, sewage, and/or algae.

- cloudy or turbid appearance might be due to excess of mud, clay, salt, iron, decaying organic matter, dyes, etc.

In general:

- running water is safer than stagnant water.

- groundwater is safer than surface water.

- covered wells and hand pumps are safer than open wells, tanks, and ponds.

- tubewells are safer than open wells.

- deep wells are safer than shallow wells.

Can you identity the sources of contamination In this picture?

Source: Notional Drinking Water Mission, Government of India