Interactive Socio-Technical Practicum

Assessing Traditional Water Mills (Gharats) of the Kamand Valley

Students:Diego Paredes, Alejandro Leiro, Mitch Lentz, Aman Garg, Aman Agarwal.
Mentors: Dr. Aditi Halder, Dr. Prasun Jana

This project assessed the challenges facing traditional Himalayan watermills known as gharaats. We conducted site assessments at 21 gharaats and interviewed both mill owners and local grain farmers to explore the social, technical, economic, and environmental reasons for mill abandonment. Additionally, we examined the factors causing diminishing demand for gharaats’ services. We developed recommendations for watermill owners, and initiated a pilot renovation on an abandoned mill to test innovations that can maintain the gharaats’ tradition.


  1. Improve gharat access and visibility
  2. Support commercial and cooperative contracts for local gharats.
  3. Implement technological upgrades to gharat parts.

Please download executive summary, report and poster for more details