In the past various challenges were encountered when setting up community based water supply schemes in India. Especially, in remote villages not covered by governmental water supply schemes and not having safe drinking water sources the development of a water supply owned and operated by the community is a core necessity. For this context, the best suitable concept is derived from an extensive needs assessment conducted in the community with the focus of applicability of the approach. In Public Rural Appraisal workshops the design parameters are further elaborated. Detailed designs of the catchment area and reservoir management, the treatment process, distribution network as well as waste water collection and treatment are developed by innovative combination of reliable and sturdy technological solutions with state of the art equipment which can be operated by the local community. The pilot project ECO-India described in this paper is co-funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST).