Tag Archives: Watershed Development in India
By Dr. Marcella D’Souza The Problem Day after day, news papers in Maharashtra highlight the water crisis: “In Marathwada, dead insects fill the little water that’s left”; “As crops & jobs dry up, children’s education hit the worst”; “Drought induces up to 30% migration in some Marathwada villages”; “No takers for cattle in Beed, even at […]
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.
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.