CEC was started in 1985 by a group of academics and activists. Its focus is on areas that drive the adrenalin and creativity of staff and volunteers. We are a small catalytic organization with modest ambition but big on impact. Our work is on the next genre of ideas, innovations, technologies and field practices. We foster multi-disciplinary skill sets with talent offered by volunteers, experts and activists.

Last four decades our work spanned environment education, ecological hotspots, sustainable development of rain fed areas, participatory forestry, work tools for women, social protection and use of natural resources.

Our current focus is drought-prone water scarce areas that host the bulk of rural poor and our SWAR innovation is transforming irrigation and soil health ideas and practices. Our water and soil is foundation to sustainable resilient farming on which farmers build mezzanine of their choice and factor endowments.


Our current mission is to foster a rich ecosystem on water-soil-plant-climate resilience nexus because India has 17% of world’s population with 4% water and agriculture uses 84% and is largest user of groundwater and Irrigation efficiency 36% compared to global 76-80%. India is tropical country with rising water shortage and prolonged heat waves, moisture stress causes low productivity and low farm incomes while peak yield age fruit trees dry and die causing huge asset loss to farmers. We address the caveats & consequences of “state of art” water efficient drip and precision irrigation systems such as “field capacity to wilting point” in drip or use of plastic mulch in precision irrigation causing soil hard pan with zero water infiltration & low aeration leaving the soils dead. Consumers want healthy food and pay higher price and our strategy to increase farmer incomes. We lead with constructive actions on water and for soil biological health for sustainable agriculture and to address the challenges of climate change.


Our Vision is to unleash human energy and their goodwill for the societal and planetary well being. Water equity has the power for further farmer innovation and we reach out to farmers using harvested and stored rainwater to grow vegetables and fruits using moisture and microbes as the foundation to sustainable livelihood and development of productive natural resources.


We work in low rainfall drought-prone areas and host to the largest number of poor and high on farmer suicides. Our intervention model is based on decades of our collective experience of rain-fed based farming systems and livelihoods: Water is central to successful farming while groundwater is scarce and in high volatility on availability in seasons and in years. We are witness to thousands of high-value fruit-bearing trees at the peak age of their economic value cut down or dying due to a shortage of water. Many farmers spend huge money to save these trees with fetched water in tankers, only to see them die in the next year. This is despite farmers using the “state of the art” water-efficient drip irrigation systems that come with handsome govt. subsidy. Along with farmers, we defined the utopian “ideal irrigation architecture suited to horticulture and forestry in low rainfall, water scarce areas”. Then we worked together to develop the technology which went through multiple iterations but delivered on every aspect of the criteria laid down in the definition. This system of irrigation is named “System of Water for Agriculture Rejuvenation” (SWAR) and field validated their value in multiple fruit, vegetable, flower and forestry species in different soil types and climatic conditions. Simply put, SWAR is an irrigation system of measured moisture at plant root zone coupled with fostering a regime of soil microbe multiplication and diversity eco- system that drastically reduces plant water need compared to drip while improving soil health and its ability to use the water most efficiently.


2018 - 2019

2019 - 2020

2020 - 2021