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The ancient stepwells helping to curb India's water crisis

13 October 2021
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In 2017, the government in India identified 15 stepwells in Delhi for restoration. In 2019 the Aga Khan Trust for Culture partnered with the German Embassy in India to restore a stepwell in the Humayun Tomb complex in Delhi. States can leverage new technologies to modify traditional water systems for local requirements. In a nation where 600 million people – around half the population – face severe water shortages daily, traditional water-harvesting solutions are a harbinger of hope. "With India's water table rapidly declining, stepwells can help refill ground aquifers and harvest runoffs. In three months during the rainy season, millions of litres of water can be collected," says Ratish Nanda, a conservation architect and projects' director at the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.