Our history

Since 1986, we have gone from strength to strength to ensure clean water, decent toilets, and good hygiene for everyone, everywhere. This is our story.

WaterAid/Prashanth Vishwanathan

WaterAid UK started work on access to water in southern India.


Our focus was rehabilitation and revival of defunct hand pumps.

1992 - 1995

We started guiding and supporting communities to manage water points, such as hand pumps to ensure lasting access to water. 

1995 - 2000

We widened our work -- from focussing on only water to an integrated approach towards WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene). 

2000 - 2005

We expanded our reach from southern India to states in central and north India, with a focus on marginalised communities. 

2005 - 2008

We demonstrated replicable models for clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene with government programmes to scale-up impact.

2008 - 2010

For continued water access, we empowered communities to know their rights and supported them to participate in the development of policies and practices.

2011 - 2013

We adopted a plan to assess the need and delivery of WASH services and monitor performance.  Our approach was to ensure universal and sustained access to water, sanitation and hygiene where no communities or people were excluded.

2013 - 2016

We partnered with the government as technical support advisors for inclusive designs and approaches.


We revised our country strategy with the aim to reduce inequalities, strengthen sustainable services through influencing government and leadership at all levels, integrate water, sanitation and hygiene in health, nutrition, and education sectors by evidence based advocacy and build internal capacity and knowledge to improve hygiene behaviour.

2016 - onwards

We became an Indian entity - Jal Seva Charitable Foundation (established in 2010), and an associate member of WaterAid International.

Know more about our reach and the locations of our work across India.

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