Tag Archives: Water Governance
By Sarita Chemburkar Agriculture is the main source of livelihoods for around 6 out of 10 people in India, and groundwater has played a key role in providing water for agriculture, especially post the Green Revolution in the 1970s. At a global level, India is today the world’s largest groundwater user, consuming an approximately 260 […]
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.
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.
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
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.
The Maharashtra Groundwater (Development and Management) Act 2009 presents an answer to some of the state’s water scarcity woes and is an important step towards sustainable groundwater management in the State. However, the institutional structure put forth by the Act is unwieldy and poorly outlined. There is a need for innovative institutional designs that would enable operationalization of this act. Given the informational and knowledge requirements for understanding groundwater, coupled with the challenges of mobilizing support for its sustainable management , there is a need to create a cadre of “jalsevaks”. These jalsevaks will work with communities to demystify groundwater, and navigate the complex socio-political terrain in order to arrive at more equitable and sustainable outcomes.