Refurbishing the historic Bijolai Palace in Jodhpur and recreating the traditional ambience of this heritage property, the Centre has now become a world class facility for conferences, trainings and workshops with accommodation. The Water Resource Centre has conference facilities with a seating capacity of 400 persons; it also has class rooms for training, meeting rooms, discussion rooms and a library with study rooms.
This institution disseminates ‘best practices’ in community management and control of natural resources and strengthens existing civil society networks to promote community participation in adaptive strategies to climate change and environmental regeneration. Effectively, the Centre promotes an active and enlightened rural community by training and capacitating rural volunteer groups by accomplished social workers to mobilize communities in water resource management.
Furthermore, it is as a favorable location for researchers and students who are studying about various issues relating to water and rural development including community based development, social capital, civil society, water resource management, adaptation to climate change, rain water harvesting, water quality and so on.
For the first time, the World Water Council Board of Governors meeting was hosted by an Indian member, the Jal Bhagirathi Foundation, at the Water Habitat Retreat in Jodhpur in March 2016. Over 50 participants took part in lively discussions which were broadly on the lines of the Council’s 2016-2018 strategy and related work plan.
President Benedito Braga appreciated Jal Bhagirathi Foundation’s efforts in providing safe water to Rajasthan. “The role played by India within the global community is a great asset to our common cause,” said World Water Council President Benedito Braga.
The Centre is equipped with a safe water station, a water treatment plant consisting of pressure filter and Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant. Water from the percolation well is treated using pressure filter for use in washrooms; whereas RO treated water is used for drinking. Pressure filters are effective in removing turbidity and making water clean
whereas the RO plant removes dissolved minerals and ensures water is safe for drinking. The water testing laboratory of the Centre monitors the chemical and biological parameters by regularly testing the quality of water produced by the Safe Water Station. The plant has an installed capacity of treating 12,000 litres of drinking water per day.
The fourth British Council's International Climate Champion camp was held in February 2012 in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The objective of this camp was to expose a group of climate champions both from India and abroad to a desert ecosystem, and study the effects of climate change, and the impact induced by the human activity.
The theme was to understand issues like water scarcity and security in the desert ecosystem. The week long camp exposed 20 climate champions (5 International) to understand the impact of climate change in the arid, semi-arid zones of India through a series of lectures and field visits in collaboration with Water Habitat Retreat and Jal Bhagirathi Foundation and HH Maharaja Gaj Singh.
Prince Charles visited the Water Habitat Retreat in October 2010. He interacted with on-campus scholars who were learning on and witnessed the rich water conservation traditions.He also visited a nearby village, Tolesar, where he was welcomed by thousands of villagers who were buzzing with energy.
Later, Prince Charles even joined the local dancers, holding aloft colorful umbrellas, and enjoying the sound of traditional drums. Community members of Tolesar and nearby areas showcased their rainwater harvesting structures, the rich traditions of life around water and also demonstrated how precious water is to the people in the Thar Desert.
JBF Scholar Program aims to bridge the gap between research and implementation through an interdisciplinary approach providing a forum for learning through course curriculum, field study with practitioners and independent research. It is a 6 week program conducted at the Water Habitat Research Private Limited on Best Practices of Sustainable Development.
The program is a unique opportunity for students and practitioners from across the globe to engage in contemporary dialogue and broaden the depth for understanding on key issues confronting development in the world today.
It is primarily intended for students and practitioners in the broad area of sustainable development. Nevertheless, this program would be appropriate for all those who intend to have an exposure of sustainable practices in developing environments or those who aim to become involved in policy-making, planning or management of natural resources, environment or social/economic development-related fields. Expecting that participants come fromdifferent backgrounds, both academic and geographic, this program would draw upon varied experiences, different perspectives and diverse cultures.
With a multidisciplinary approach connecting social science and natural science whilst linking theory and practice, this program has the following objectives.