Category Current Posts

Water Budgeting in Telangana,Experiences & Insights from the campaign

This the second blogpost  of the series on Water Budgeting in Telangana carried out in  7 Gram Panchayats (GP) of Rangareddy and Nagaurkurnool districts and their neighbouring hamlets. The  water budgets of these villages revealed some startling facts. This region has received low rainfall since the past three years, inspite of that, farmers took water intensive crops and livestock production during irrigation. However, the very high water deficit figures that emerged from the calculation shocked all participants.

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Water Budgeting in Telangana, the need and the objective of the campaign

With the aim of “co-production of knowledge and learning to stimulate behavioral and institutional change, towards the management of water at village level” workshops were conducted in each GP and their hamlets.he key objectives of the workshop were to understand the following points: a) What is a Water Budget and how a village water budget is calculated?
(b) How to arrive at values for “Water Deficit” and “Water Surplus” at village level?
(c) The need for planning crop production around the water availability and
(d) To understand water wastage due to mismanagement and / or lack of knowledge.

A Case for Water Governance Standard and Certification System In Rural Areas

The Water Governance Standard and Certification System is  developed to bridge the gap between agrarian communities and the resource agencies. It serves multiple objectives. Its ultimate aim is to develop a system that incentivizes agrarian communities to adopt sustainable water governance practices at local level for assured drinking water and enhanced livelihood opportunities.

Weather Station Blues

There’s a resilience in the farming community that often gets overlooked – a community that has, over generations, developed its own methods and practices of dealing with the unhindered forces of nature. These practices are, unfortunately, being put to test owing to the changing climatic conditions all over the earth. As unpredictable weather patterns keep baffling the farmers, the need for an intervention is apparent to level the playing field. In this regard, we shift the focus on WOTR’s weather advisory initiative which is a real-time, localized, early-warning system which disseminates information directly to the farmers via SMS services. Looking at the effectiveness of the intervention from the vantage point of the farmers brings out the socio-economic complexities which are rarely apparent on the surface.

A conversation with Dr. Suresh Kulkarni, Secretary, Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority on Water Governance issues in Maharashtra

As WOTR embarks on its 25th year, we are celebrating and disseminatinginformation on all the thematics we are working on . In the month of February 2018, we were disseminating information on Water Stewardship. Our team members, Eshwer Kale and Mandar Sathe, recently ­ interviewed Dr. Suresh Kulkarni, Secretary, Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA).  Dr. Kulkarni shared his thoughts on diverse issues in the water sector and his insights to improve the level of water governance in the state, specifically focusing on challenges and opportunities in the Maharashtra Groundwater (Development and Management) Act 2009. MWRRA has given an important mandate of ‘State groundwater Authority’ in the 2009 Groundwater Act

Water Scenario for Rural Jalna in 2030: For Domestic and Livelihood Needs- 2

In this report, we provide an overview of the proceedings of the first Transformative Scenario Planning (TSP) workshop titled ‘Water Situation in Rural Jalna in 2030: For Domestic and Livelihood Needs’ convened by Watershed Organisation Trust, on 18th and 19th September 2017 at Krushi Vidnyan Kendra, Jalna. The workshop was conducted in the local language (Marathi).

Why farmers are growing cotton when water is scarce?

-Saumyadeb Dasgupta “I wish they’d had electric guitars in cotton fields back in the good old days. A whole lot of things would’ve been straightened out.” -Jimi Hendrix, 1970 YES, if the ‘whole lot of things’ were farmers wanting to form a band but a NO if it were racial conflicts and oppression faced by […]

A watery slope

Natural forces such as drought do not discriminate between marginal communities and the urban population. As a result you see the unprecedented scenes of Cape Town facing a severe water crisis and on the brink of a catastrophic Day Zero scenario. The problem with the changing climate is that humanity, as a whole, is going to face situations which we have no prior experience in confronting. With such an unpredictable future in front of us, the most vulnerable communities need to be equipped first and foremost to prevent a domino effect leading to systemic failure. In the drought-stricken Marathawada region of Maharashtra, where the water dynamics are extremely complicated, WOTR has taken up the mantle to create resilient communities who are able to deal with the widespread problems of water scarcity. Through its flagship Water Stewardship program, it aims to bring a strong sense of ownership among the stakeholders about the extent of the problem and promote collective action over individualistic approaches. It puts the onus of solving the problem on the community itself thereby reducing the dependence on unsustainable practices.

Power of the Collective

Among the key challenges of the 21st century are poverty, climate change and resource scarcity.  This is especially dire in a country like India which relies heavily on agricultural production – a sector which employs about 70 % of the poor in the country, which is very vulnerable to changes in weather variations and faces a crisis with the lack of a widespread, sustainable source of water.

To this acute water crisis, the solution proposed by WOTR in  the dryland areas of the country was watershed development.  Very early in its operations, it was apparent the problem was not just one of landscape re-engineering, but a complex web of economic, social and environmental dimensions.  Communities were at the centre of this web and had issues like a deeply engrained caste and class distinction, gender biases and a lack of responsibility for the commons.

It was here that WOTR developed the Wasundhara approach.  This was a strategy for inclusive development based on regeneration of the resource base, transparency, equitable distribution of benefits, and gender equality. 

Water Scenario in rural Jalna 2030: An introduction to the transformative scenario planning workshop (TSP)-1

Watershed Organisation Trust recently organized a two-day workshop on residential Transformative Scenario Planning (TSP) at the Krishi Vigyan Kendra Jalna. Titled. ‘Water Situation in Rural Jalna in 2030: For Domestic and Livelihood Needs with the support of Adaption at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (AASAR), Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF), UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Canada.40 participants representing diverse backgrounds like farmers, government officials, NGOs, experts, academic and research institutes, and farmer groups took an active part in the workshop.