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[NEW DELHI] The Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a non-governmental organisation that has led several successful environmental and human rights campaigns will receive the 2005 Stockholm Water Prize.

The award has been given to CSE for its efforts to build a system for water management using the traditional approach of rainwater harvesting and advocating that communities should manage their local water systems.

CSE has worked extensively on rainwater harvesting — capturing rain in millions of storage systems including tanks, ponds, and even rooftops and using it to recharge groundwater reserves for irrigation and drinking water.

The centuries-old technique is still used by communities across India to cope with local water scarcity and to improve agricultural productivity.

"CSE has shown through its advocacy that localised water management is cost-effective and can only be done through community participation," says the Stockholm International Water Institute, which awards the prize.

CSE will receive the US$150,000 prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden in August this year.

The Stockholm Water Prize is awarded annually to individuals and institutions for their outstanding achievements in water science, management, action or awareness building.

Sunita Narain, director of CSE, is a member of SciDev.Net's board of trustees.

Read more about indigenous knowledge in SciDev.Net's indigenous knowledge dossier.