Waterkeepers India was established in 2005 by Dr. Vandana Shiva, world-renowned environmental thinker and activist. Waterkeepers India comprises 12 Waterkeeper programs on four rivers in northern India: the Ganga, the Yamuna, the Ken and the Betwa.
On the Yamuna and the Ganga Rivers, Waterkeepers are engaged in campaigns addressing severe river pollution and the encroachment of construction projects on the rivers. On the Ken and Betwa Rivers, the Waterkeepers’ primary campaign is to stop the linking of the Ken and Betwa Rivers, which are targets of the Indian Government’s vast Interlinking of Rivers Project.
In 2008, Riverkeepers India initiated a Himalayan Rivers Treaty project. The Treaty is an agreement among countries sharing the Himalayan river systems. The treaty outlines strategies for the equitable and sustainable use of rivers originating in the Himalayas in the face of climate change and glacial melt. Riverkeepers in Nepal and Bangladesh have expressed an interest in helping Waterkeepers India to shape the treaty and in using the completed treaty as an activist tool to increase awareness and change behavior to mitigate the effects of climate change on their local rivers.