“Waterman of India” Rajendra Singh Comes to Boston Climate Conference on Water Cycle Restoration

Biodiversity for a Livable Climate, a Boston-area nonprofit, features internationally renown humanitarian Rajendra Singh, winner of the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize, to speak on water cycle restoration as a tool to combat drought and climate change.
Rajendra Singh, 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate
Rajendra Singh, 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate
BOSTON - Sept. 23, 2015 - PRLog -- Biodiversity for a Livable Climate is excited to welcome Rajendra Singh, the internationally renown water conservationist and humanitarian also known as the “Waterman of India”, as a featured speaker at their upcoming conference, Restoring Water Cycles to Reverse Global Warming, to be held at Tufts University October 16th-18th, 2015.  This precedent-setting gathering targets the concerned general public and joins water scientists and climate activists with land managers, farmers and ranchers who are restoring water to landscapes using small and large-scale approaches such as green infrastructure, rainwater harvesting, earthen dams, natural water purification systems, recreating wetlands with beaver, holistic management, biochar and other soil rebuilding strategies to increase water infiltration and retention, along with biodiversity and soil-carbon capture.

Rajendra Singh’s pioneering work in India is an exemplary achievement highlighting the extraordinary potential of simple, low-tech strategies that can regenerate desertified landscapes worldwide. Listed among The Guardian’s “50 People Who Could Save the Planet” in 2008, Rajendra Singh was recently awarded the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize - referred to as the “Nobel Prize for water” - in recognition of his innovative water restoration efforts to improve water security in rural India. Singh has dedicated himself for several decades to defeating drought and empowering communities in his native home of Rajasthan, the driest state in one of the world’s most populous nations, and has successfully restored several rivers and returned water, life - and hope - to a thousand villages.

In 1975 Singh founded the organization Tarun Bharat Sangh (TBS), which seeks to “bring dignity and prosperity to the life of destitute sections of the nation through sustainable development measures,” and “promotes community-driven-decentralized-management of natural resources.” Over the years, TBS has worked closely with villagers to help them better manage their water resources using johad (rainwater storage tanks), check dams, and other time-tested, pioneering techniques.  Beginning with one small village in 1985, TBS has built more than 8,600 johads and other rainwater collecting structures, restoring five rivers in Rajasthan including the Arvari, Bhagani, Jahajwali, Ruparel, and Sarsa.  Singh’s methods are modernizations of traditional Indian ways of collecting and storing rainwater, dating back thousands of years, and he believes these approaches offer “a way to solve both floods and droughts globally”, emphasizing the impact of water restoration at the local, national, and international level.

In addition to Rajendra Singh, other conference speakers include Michal Kravčík, the internationally recognized Slovak water scientist whose book, A New Water Paradigm: Water for the Recovery of the Climate, serves as the central framework for the conference; Maude Barlow, best-selling Canadian author, human rights activist, and chair of the board of Food & Water Watch; Foster Brown, a senior scientist at Woods Hole Research Center and recipient of the Chico Mendes Forest Citizenry prize; Walter Jehne, Director of Healthy Soils Australia; Tom Goreau, president of the Global Coral Reef Alliance;  Precious Phiri, Founding Director of EarthWisdom Consulting Company; Charlotte O’Brien, CEO of Carbon Drawdown Solutions; Steve Apfelbaum, principal of Applied Ecological Services; Carol Evans, fisheries and wildlife biologist whose pioneering work with beaver has restored several watersheds in Nevada; Jon Griggs, ranch manager for Maggie Creek Ranch in Northeastern Nevada; Jim Laurie, Restoration Ecologist at Biodiversity for a Livable Climate; Allison Houghton, permaculture and gardening instructor who manages the Greater Boston CSA for The Food Project; Scott Horsley, an expert in watershed planning and water resources management; Jan Lambert, editor of the Valley Green Journal; freelance writer Judith Schwartz, author of Cows Save the Planet; and Adam Sacks, Executive Director of Biodiversity for a Livable Climate.

For more details about Biodiversity for a Livable Climate and their Restoring Water Cycles to Reverse Global Warming conference, please visit http://bio4climate.org/conferences/conferences-2015/tufts-2015-restoring-water-cycles/

Adam Sacks
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