2030 WRG in the News
Chile and Mexico are among the countries in the world most susceptible to “water stress,” according to the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, which the World Resources Institute updated last month. The index measures the amounts of water that irrigated agriculture, industries and municipalities withdraw annually from their available supply, as well as the risk of drought and riverine floods in individual countries. What are the main challenges that Latin American countries face with regard to water—and why? How well are national, provincial and local governments handling water resources, and what should they be doing to better manage them? What role does the private sector play in managing water, and what more should it do?
Cesar Fonseca, regional coordinator for Latin America at 2030 Water Resources Group: “One of the most important bottlenecks in Latin America with regard to solving water security issues is the political system itself. It does not regard water issues as important, a situation that translates into declining budgets, continuous state retrenchment and a lack of enforcement capabilities. Another huge problem is the weak rule of law and corruption. On the side of civil society, lack of education and knowledge about water challenges is a problem. If society does not pressure governments to address water challenges in a more steadfast and timely manner, governments simply will not allocate political and financial resources to address them. Also problematic is the lack of a more enabling environment for innovation, not only technological innovation but also societal-institutional innovation. Businesses and governments need to move beyond the current “take, make/use and dispose” model of water use toward circular water economies, in which wastewater is transformed into a valuable resource that can be reused, recycled or repurposed. In Latin America, the 2030 Water Resources Group is currently working in Mexico, Peru and São Paulo, to address critical water challenges. Through our Multi-Stakeholder Platforms, we are able to drive collective action by key players that help drive policy reform and upstream engagement. These result in demonstrative pilot projects including greater private sector participation.
As erratic weather patterns and depleting resources complicate the many factors of food security in India, change is coming, from ground up
The 3.75-acre sugarcane farm of CV Kumar is green. The 55-year-old farmer in the village of Holalu in Karnataka’s Mandya district is all smiles as he talks about how the yield of his land has doubled—from 40 to 45 tonnes per acre to more than 80 tonnes per acre. His input costs have reduced significantly as well, with fertiliser requirements falling by 50 percent, and water by 40 percent. His new-found confidence now enables him to grow paddy on another 2 acres, and a variety of vegetables for subsistence.
The secret to Kumar’s farming success—which has now caught the eye of the government, which is expected to announce policy measures soon—lies buried under a foot of soil on his land: Thousands of metres of plastic pipelines that drip water and water-soluble fertilisers in a controlled and concentrated manner near the roots of his crops. Not only do they help the crops grow better—with the right amount of water and nutrient at the right time—they drastically reduce the amount of water required to grow sugarcane (traditionally grown by flooding the fields) and the amount of fertilisers leaching through the soil and increasing its toxicity.
The health of the planet and that of humans have always been inextricably entwined. But never have they faced the strains they now do. For, while, on one hand, food production is sucking up natural resources like never before and is one of the largest contributors to environmental degradation, on the other, it is the pressing need to feed nutritious food to a burgeoning global population, significant portions of which remain underfed and undernourished.
Adding to this equation is the looming presence of climate change, which brings in its wake erratic heat and rain patterns, and extreme weather events such as droughts and flooding. Given India’s growing population—currently at 1.3 billion, it is expected to be the most populous country, ahead of China, by 2027—and the increasing effects of climate change the country has been experiencing, ensuring food security and environmental sustainability are two forces that could be perceived to be pulling in opposing directions.And yet, ensuring one is the means of ensuring the other.
Food security, as defined by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, means that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their preferences and dietary needs. It stands on the four pillars of availability, access, utilisation, and stability, which means that production of vast quantities of food alone is not enough.
“After the Green Revolution, India has had sufficient production of food,” says RV Bhavani, director, Agriculture Nutrition Health Programme at the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai (MSSRF). “The access that people have to food, through distribution systems, has always been a problem.” Leakages in the public distribution system (PDS), for instance, is one of the reasons why food does not reach the people who are most in need of it.Loss of produce between the farm and consumers—in India the figure stands at an estimated 40 percent—is another major reason why food does not reach end-users. “In our country, we don’t encourage the use of frozen and processed food, and instead prefer fresh food. But it is not possible to transport and distribute all the produced fresh food before it goes bad,” says Vandana Singh, CEO, Food Security Foundation India. “What we need are good storage facilities, means of transportation, and processing plants to reduce wastage at the farm level.”
One of the lasting legacies of the Green Revolution has been the shift away from a diverse variety of crops, and the dominance of food crops such as wheat and rice, and cash crops such as cotton and sugarcane. Consequently, cultivation of indigenous varieties of cereals and grains, such as millets and sorghum, barley and buckwheat has been relegated to the sidelines. Along with issues related to market linkages—these enable farmers to sell their produce, and that produce to be stored, transported and distributed to consumers—shrinking consumer demand has further reduced the farming of these crops.
“Food security includes nutritional security. In this regard we are far from achieving the Sustainable Development Goals that have been set by the UN General Assembly for 2030,” says Bhavani. “Diets in our country are primarily cereal based, which account for basic calories and protein. But there are high levels of micronutrient deficiency. Agricultural policy has focussed on cash crops, not on nutrition. At laboratory research levels also, rice, wheat and cotton remain in focus, not millets and pulses.”
Adding to these existing conditions are the problems being caused by climate change, with rising temperatures, erratic rain patterns, and extreme weather conditions such as droughts and floods. An August 2019 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says rising temperatures will reduce yields and nutrient content of crops, while changing the distribution of pests and diseases.
Another legacy of the Green Revolution has been the indiscriminate use of water and pesticides to grow high-yield varieties (HYV) of crops; HYV of wheat produce 40 percent more than traditional varieties, but require 300 percent more water to grow. With many state governments subsidising water and electricity to farmers, the latter has not seen much reason to rationalise their use.
“Of the total water usage in our country, 85 to 90 percent is for agricultural purposes. But more competitive uses are now coming up, with sectors such as services, industries and urban areas vying for water,” says Ajith Radhakrishnan, India country coordinator and senior water resources management specialist with 2030 WRG, a World Bank initiative, adding that subsidised urea prices have resulted in its excessive use. This despite the fact that almost 90 percent of it is lost as it leaches through soil, adding to the nitrate toxicity of ground water and rivers.Radhakrishnan adds that the indiscriminate sinking of borewells by people on their private lands over the last decade has severely depleted ground water levels. According to the 5th Minor Irrigation Census conducted by the Central Ground Water Board, and released this June, the groundwater level in India has declined by 61 percent between 2007 and 2017; of the extracted water, 89 percent is used for irrigation. This depletion has been the most significant in Northwest India.
Along with depletion of ground water, “the prevalent farming practices have led to increased soil salinity in Punjab, which is not sustainable”, says Bhavani of MSSRF. “Dr Swaminathan [known as the ‘Father of the Green Revolution’] had, in fact, warned that excessive use of pesticides and water would affect soil and plant health.”
Focus on crash crops has also reduced household food and nutritional security, with farmers growing only those crops that are expected to bring in money. This has led to a predominance of mono-cropping. “More than 50 percent of the land in the Vidarbha, Jalgaon, Marathwada and Pune regions in Maharashtra is under cotton cultivation. But farmers can’t eat cotton,” says Sangram Salunkhe, regional coordinator (west and south), Action for Food Production (Afpro). “If there is a crop failure, neither do they have cash to buy food, nor do they have food crops that they can eat.”Multi-cropping and crop diversification is not beneficial just for humans, but also for the crops themselves. Large-scale cultivation of a single crop also makes it highly vulnerable to pests, says Tomio Shichiri, the India representative of Food and Agriculture Organisation, “with diseases turning into epidemics”.
Working towards ensuring the various aspects of food security are organisations at various levels that are cultivating ways to harness the benefits of traditional forms of farming and cropping patterns, as well as technological advancements that reduce the demands on natural resources. Through long-term projects that partner with private and public players, these organisations are raising awareness and knowledge among farmers, enabling the funding of technology adoption, and creating market linkages.
For instance, Afpro has been working in about 500 villages in Maharashtra to raise awareness about proper conservation and utilisation of ground and surface water through the creation of farm bunds (barriers for harvesting surface water), and farm ponds. “We are focusing on crop cultivation and farming systems, to encourage practices such as crop rotation, mixed cropping that includes food crops, and reduction of input costs,” says Salunkhe. The last, he adds, is being achieved by rationalisation of inputs such as water, fertilisers and pesticides.
Earlier, farmers would apply these inputs with little awareness of whether the crops actually need them. “Through frontline demonstrations and training sessions, we have taught them methods to test their soil, so that they know what the level of potash or urea is,” he says. “They apply fertilisers when the levels are low. Similarly, they have learnt how to analyse the levels of pest infestations, and apply pesticides only when necessary. This has brought down input costs by about 40 percent.”
The work that is taking place in four districts of Karnataka—Bagalkot, Mandya, Chikmagalur and Gadag—is an example of a multi-stakeholder approach to promoting the adoption of new technology, such as drip irrigation, in the cultivation of crops that includes water-intensive varieties such as sugarcane. After the Karnataka government approached 2030 WRG—an initiative under the World Bank Group that brings together public, private, and civil society stakeholders to improve the management of water resources—memorandums of understanding were signed by 14 private companies, the state’s departments of agriculture, horticulture and water resources, and the state government in 2017.
Laying the drip irrigation pipelines costs between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1.5 lakh per acre (depending on the kind of crop, and soil conditions), on which the Karnataka government gives a 90 percent subsidy. “Operation and management [O&M] charges for the first five years of the project are borne by Jain Irrigation and Netafim, two private companies that were brought in to lay the drip irrigation infrastructure,” says Mandar Nayak, member of 2030 WRG’s Karnataka team. “The farmers have been organised into Water User Associations, which will collect water charges to be used for O&M of the project water pipelines after the five-year period is over.”
The projects cover close to 90,000 hectares and 1.44 lakh farmers, who grow a variety of crops, including Bengal gram, green gram, maize, cotton and pigeon pea. “It is important to demonstrate to farmers the benefits of drip irrigation,” says PV Joshi, a senior agronomist with Jain Irrigation, who works in the Malavalli taluka of Mandya district. “They have had bad experiences before, with government projects being started but not being implemented. So winning their trust is crucial.”
Farmers implementing the drip irrigation systems draw water from existing borewells on their lands, since the water needs to be pumped into the pipelines at a consistent pressure, and this is not possible with water from canals distributing river water. So although the demand for borewell water is halved, it still exists, and continues to deplete an already-stressed water table. To address this issue, Jain Irrigation is now building a system—consisting of an extensive network of pumps and pipelines—that will be able to distribute water from the Cauvery river in a manner that can be used for drip irrigation. The system is expected to be fully operational by early next year.
Following the success of the Karnataka project, the Maharashtra arm of 2030 WRG approached public and private players to begin a similar initiative in the state. “The project was started this May, and has 15 private and public players, including representatives of industry bodies,” says JVR Murty, consultant with 2030 WRG. “The project is sponsored by the CSR arm of ITC.”
The project covers areas in the districts of Pune (67,000 hectares), Sangli-Solapur (20,000 hectares), and Yavatmal (7,000 hectares), and approximately 40,000 to 50,000 farmers. “Unlike Karnataka, which was a greenfield project where they had to build irrigation systems, the areas in Maharashtra have existing irrigation options such as canals and wells,” says Murty. “Our aim is to bring 60 to 70 percent of the covered areas under drip irrigation systems, including sugarcane farmers.”
Local NGOs have been included to carry out a survey and analysis of the area, following which there will be capacity-building initiatives. “Along the lines of the Ramthal project in Karnataka, this too is for a time-frame of three years.”
Working over longer timelines are organisations such as Professional Assistance for Development Action (Pradan), which works particularly among tribal and vulnerable groups to promote sustainable livelihoods. It aims to evolve the entire development ecosystem by collaborating with the government and donors. Pradan works with more than 7 lakh families in 7,920 villages in seven states; about 70 percent of these people belong to vulnerable groups such as Dalits and indigenous communities.
By channelling interventions through women self-help groups (SHGs), Pradan promotes sustainable and organic farming methods, multi-cropping and crop diversification. “Empowering women farmers is key to ensuring food security,” says Sailabala Panda of Pradan, who works in the Rayagada district of Odisha. “Earlier, they did not know what rights they had on the land, and on the produce. But through social mobilisation, we have been able to improve their knowledge and skills, and also their income and standards of livelihood.”
While tobacco was the primary crop cultivated in the region till 2008, now small farmers grow a variety of fruits and vegetables that they are able to sell on their own, or consume themselves. Training and workshops through SHGs have also made women understand how to manage their finances, apply for loans, and gain a decision-making position in their families, and in society.
Back in Mandya’s Holalu, Kumar and his son Chandru stand on the terrace of their pumping station, surveying the expanse. Despite being the first convert to drip irrigation in the region for sugarcane, six years ago, he still farms paddy by flooding the field with canal water. Installing a drip irrigation system for paddy is a more expensive proposition, and the pipelines need to be rolled up for each harvest since they can be damaged in the process, and re-laid for sowing; for sugarcane, the pipelines remain in place for up to five years since it is a ratoon crop.
Till the middle of August, the farmers had expected this to be a drought year. But then the rains arrived, and filled the rivers and dams. Peacocks now call in the distance as clouds gather over the vast expanses of lush farmlands. It will be a good season. But Kumar has enough experience to know it may not always be so. And change, perhaps, is on the horizon.
NEWS SOURCE: The Guardian (IPP Media)
BY: James Kandoya, Guardian Reporter
Stakeholders in agriculture, finance and water sectors met yesterday in Dar Es Salaam to chart the path forward to make it easier for the country’s smallholder and emerging farmers to access financing for irrigation technologies.
The move aims to improve irrigation efficiency while also expanding the amount of land under irrigation.
The consortium, which includes the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT), National Irrigation Commission (NIrC), Private Agricultural Support Trust (PASS), Rikolto, Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB), Tanzania Horticulture Association (TAHA), and Tanzania 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) – a public-private-civil society partnership hosted by the World Bank Group – is establishing a partnership that leverages their combined networks to link smallholder farmers with appropriate financing for irrigation investments.
The collaboration supports the mandate of NIrC to strengthen private sector engagement in irrigation through financing, equipment-supply, and co-investment.
NEWS SOURCE: Forbes
By Dominic Waughray, Managing Director, World Economic Forum
2018 is coming in as the fourth hottest year since records began and the second costliest year ever for extreme weather impacts. It wasn’t an outlier. According to NOAA and NASA the twenty warmest years on record have all occurred since 1995; the five hottest have all come in the 2010s. Meantime, our ocean – which absorbs 30% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – is warming and becoming more acidic faster than any time in the last 300 million years.
We are seeing catastrophic impacts on our coral reefs as the first indicator of this acid bath. The equivalent of one garbage-truck a minute dumping plastic waste in the sea adds to the intolerable stress we are placing on life under water. Meanwhile much of life on land is facing mass extinction – the WWF 2018 Living Planet Report shows, incredibly, that humanity has wiped out vertebrate populations across animals, fish and birds by 60 percent on average between 1970 to 2014.
We cannot ignore these facts. They have enormous implications for our economy, society and politics. Of the nine billion people that will soon inhabit the planet, more than two-thirds will live in cities, often in coastal areas. Many children born today – even those in relatively richer countries – will quite literally not be able to weather the storms, pollution and collapse of nature that lie ahead. “Hothouse Earth” could trigger a hotbed of anger.
You may feel you have heard this all before. Maybe. But perhaps you didn’t hear this bit. Scientists told us two incredible new things in 2018. First, we have just twelve years left to keep global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius if we are to avoid dangerous climate change. Second, and as a result, we are getting dangerously close to crashing ourselves out of the Holocene era – the not too hot and not to cold “goldilocks” equilibrium in Earth history we have enjoyed for the last 12,000 years and which has allowed us humans to flourish. Through our own doing, we have been pushing all the boundaries for planetary instability.
The good news is we may not be as dumb as Jane Goodall fears. The hard exit from the Holocene might be avoidable.
This is linked to how our global politics is changing. Driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Globalization 4.0 is forcing our old global conventions to give way to new ones; and for top down governmental ways of doing things to morph into more agile, “multi-actor” arrangements. The push back against rising inequality and job insecurity, driven by the global forces of technology change, is forcing domestic leaders to think again about how international agreements work and who should be involved to make them better. This revolution is sweeping through the global environmental agenda too. The old order, which is proving insufficient to deliver the scale of environmental action we now need is giving way to the new.
What is changing?
Firstly, we have realized that governments and international organizations, while vital for agreeing global targets like the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement, cannot deliver them all alone. No matter how much money an environment ministry is given, it cannot solve these problems on its own. Instead, we are recognizing it will take an unprecedented level of collaboration and innovation involving many outside the public sector to trigger the big, systemic changes required to achieve these ambitious goals. The good news is that most in the environmental agenda now agree.
Secondly, and as a consequence, we are seeing – after years of unwillingness from international environmental diplomats to throw open their doors – a sea change in public-private and civil society collaborations to help solve our most pressing environmental problems like climate change, ocean health and biodiversity loss. What were once viewed a bit condescendingly as non-state-actor “side events” at big government summits are now seen as the main-stage examples of environmental action.
And thirdly, with the rapid technological advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we will also be able to harness new means of monitoring, verifying and reporting the progress (or not) of global, regional and industry actions on climate and the environment– potentially through radical new forms of distributed information transparency and real time disclosures. Such increased transparency will increase awareness and the pressure to act. Ironically, just as the desire for international cooperation starts to fracture, such new technologies are helping to put global environmental action collaboration and pollution disclosure on steroids.
Perhaps also driven by necessity, this opening up of the global environmental agenda for new partnerships to combine with new technologies, is breaking down our old environmental order and shaping a new approach to secure our global environmental commons – a New Deal for Nature is on the rise.
Many of the partnership building blocks already exist: they include international public-private partnerships like the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, RE100, the Energy Transitions Commission, the WRI-C40 Coalition for Urban Transitions, the Food and Land Use Alliance, the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy, the Friends of Ocean Action, the Global Battery Alliance, Grow Asia, the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders and the new Global Plastics Action Partnership. At our recent Sustainable Development Impact Summit in New York, we helped many of these and others to “accelerate” their reach and impact.
Many businesses and governments already understand the benefits of joining collaborations like these. Working together in partnerships allows more to be achieved than if each worked alone. The Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition and the 2030 Water Resources Group are good examples of sustainable, national market-building at work through public-private collaborations. More companies, more governments and more young people must join or add to these efforts. The next step will be to encourage new clubs of like-minded governments, sub-national jurisdictions and new platforms for policy and public-private partnership to also emerge, for example in the “hard to abate” industry sectors like cement, steel, chemicals and shipping.
Many younger people concerned about the environment, and at the beginning of their career path, also realize that championing innovations in the sustainability sector can offer them the chance of a lifetime. While their elders may have created or joined campaign groups and NGOs, many younger entrepreneurs are harnessing today’s technologies to create a slew of purpose-based business models, B-corps and other innovation-driven solutions to help solve the climate and environmental crisis. The Forum’s Global Shapers community, active in almost 400 cities in more than 150 countries, for example, contain many of these new tech-savvy environmental champions. Together, they form a new innovation ecosystem for environmental action. They are starting to put it to use.
Taken together, this represents a kind of Schumpeterian disruption for the existing environmental agenda. New collaborations, new innovations and new networks of entrepreneurs are challenging the way that institutions set up 50 years ago or so have traditionally gone about managing our global environmental issues. But for the kind of radical transformation that the science says we need, such positive disruption is surely a good thing: old job boundaries are breaking down, enabling new collaborations across civil society groups, business, investors, city administrations, universities, technology centres and innovation accelerators to take off, each seeking to reshape the economy of environmental protection and reinvent business models to reap sustainable rewards.
Some might feel uncomfortable with this, as change always contains an element of the unknown. Yet as we must increase our sense of urgency and ambition, so must we embrace innovation. If our intent is clear and predicated on the latest scientific guidance, we should not worry. By unleashing these new platforms of multi-actor, public-private collaboration and promoting new waves of policy and technology innovation and a new generation of entrepreneurs, we can save the Earth within the next twelve years. If we can match the increasing desire among many to act on the scientific urgency with an equal desire to collaborate, innovate and positively disrupt our currently under-performing environmental efforts, we can shape the emergence of a “New Deal for Nature.”
Our task is to shake up the system to help make this happen. We start at the Annual Meeting in Davos this week.
El modelo desarrollado por 2030 WRG que la Harvard Kennedy School publica es promisorio. Si se puede demostrar que funciona en el sector hídrico, es indudable que existe un enorme potencial
NEWS SOURCE: El Comercio
He advertido desde aquí, con orgullo, como Harvard Kennedy School, su renombrada Escuela de Gobierno, observa con particular interés y publica un estudio sobre una plataforma de actores múltiples que existe en el Perú y que está abocada a apoyar a los gobiernos a acelerar reformas sostenibles en torno al agua. Tengo el honor, además, de formar parte del Consejo Directivo en el Perú de esta iniciativa llamada 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG). El Perú es uno de los 11 países en los que está presente.
¿Cuál es la clave? En mi percepción, 2030 WRG ha ejecutado una metodología eficaz. Ha logrado propiciar y poner en práctica aquello que parece necesario en toda transformación social: el diálogo constructivo. Para legitimarlo ha recurrido a otro principio fundamental: el involucramiento de todos los sectores atañidos de la sociedad, compleja tarea en un tema como la gestión del agua, convocando y motivando a actores clave y con capacidad de toma de decisión. Y un elemento final e indispensable del método: una rigurosa base de evidencias y análisis.
Group studies the economics of water, and is worried
Mongolia has two major water consumption areas – Ulaanbaatar and the southern Gobi region. The first has population pressure, while the second is where mining and economic activity will become more and more intense. The 2030 Water Resources Group recently conducted a hydro-economic survey of the two areas, and its reports on them contain water consumption growth forecasts, potential water resource availability, and such questions of supply and demand.
Read the interview with 2030 WRG Mongolia Representative Dorjsuren Dechinlkhundev on the Mongolian Mining Journal:
Below is a list of online articles that covered the launch of Maharashtra’s ‘Multi-Stakeholder Platform’ for Transformative Solutions in Water Resources Management:
By Beatriz Merino
I was recently invited to attend the handing over of the first Blue Certificate – an innovative state program promoting the voluntary water footprint measuring of private companies. Specifically
this footprint is an indicator that defines the total amount of water used to produce goods and services. Interestingly it takes into consideration both the direct and indirect consumption in the whole productive process. Thus, namely a cup of coffee entails the utilization of 140 liters of water and making a cotton shirt 500 liters of it. That’s its water footprint.
The mentioned Certificate of the National Water Authority (ANA for its acronym in Spanish)
promotes that the companies know about the water consumption and its processes and by doing so, they commit to the necessary actions in order to reduce it. I frequently hear mentioning that it’s difficult to know how to contribute to the preservation of nature and its resources. Here is a so very tangible initiative for this. It’s simple, efficient, accurate and available.
We know the reasons why it’s so imperative to take care of the water. However, beyond saving and preserving it, this venture turns out to be particularly valuable for the commitment that involves these companies assignment with the sustainable management of the resources, and that is remarkable.
Within the complex reality as it is ours (Lima is a desert) for the water resources management and in a complex scenario after El Niño, it’s rewarding to spot how some initiatives are emerging, which for their simplicity and scalability call up several sectors of the society and have them come together, such as: the state, the private sector, and the international cooperation.
This program that is supported by the 2030 Water Resources Group’s Board of Directors in Peru aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, to the OCDE’s water governance, but above all, it shares the government vision to count on safe water and to achieve a water and sanitation supply for all the Peruvians towards year 2021.
We already have one first company with the Blue Certificate in hand, and eight on their way to get
it. From here, I encourage other companies to get involved and to participate. It’s good to recall
Antoine de Saint Exupéry: “the essential is invisible to the eye”.
News Source: Terra Green (July 2017)
Over the past few decades, man has made all possible attempts to conquer the rivers by blocking them off with long embankments, dams, barrages, channels, crossroads, short-length bridges, and physical structures, all leading to deteriorating river conditions. People, unaware of the dire consequences, have treated rivers as a means of dumping all kinds of garbage. Biba Jasmine and Annelieke Laninga feel that River Harnandi (Hindon) is no exception to these atrocities! They highlight that given the gravity of the situation, various approaches towards rejuvenating the Hindon River are adopting ecological measures (particularly, the ‘Hindon Yatra’ exhibition and symposium series) that aim to effectively stall deterioration and reduce pollution.
With the aim to involve stakeholders from different backgrounds in reviving the Hindon river basin, a ‘Hindon Yatra’ exhibition and symposium series was initiated by the 2030 WRG and its partners. The aim was to endorse a common vision and demonstrate good practices to inspire and motivate actors from all sectors to prepare a basin-wide action plan with positive action towards collectively achieving a healthy river basin.
News Source: The News Minute
The Karnataka multi-stakeholder platform for water (Karnataka MSP-water) was launched in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
Karnataka today faces a shortage of 950 tmc (one thousand million cubic feet) of water. Population growth and urbanization are projected to widen the urban water demand-supply gap from 24% in 2011 to 58% in 2030. Within the industrial sector, water demand is expected to triple by 2030, with half the additional demand coming from the power sector.
Looking at this scenario, in a unique initiative, the state government has entered into an agreement with the 2030 Water Resources Group (WRG) to bring about large-scale transformation in water resources management.
The 2030 WRG is a public-private-civil society collaboration, launched in 2008. Its mission is to help countries achieve water security by 2030, by facilitating collective action on water by involving the government, private sector and civil society.
To this end, the Karnataka multi-stakeholder platform for water (Karnataka MSP-water) was launched in Bengaluru on Tuesday, with representatives from public sector, private sector and civil society.
The steering board, which will be the apex body overseeing work, will have less than 50% seats reserved for the government. It will consist of multiple work streams, sub-divided into task forces.
The three key focus areas of the partnership are: innovative financing and implementation models to promote drip irrigation for the state’s sugarcane farmers in collaboration with sugar mills, financial institutions and the farming community; providing market linkages between the farming community and agri-business community; and promotion of the re-use of treated urban wastewater, through a policy framework and the establishment of a Resource Centre.
Arvind Galagally of the KLE Technical University said that there is a competing use of resources with diversification of industries in rural and urban areas and diversification in the needs and use of water. With the rains becoming erratic and due to various factors like climate change and global warming, supply is diminishing rapidly.
“On the administration side, there are multiple stakeholders and to bring them under one umbrella was the objective. The WRG 2030 group has been instrumental in bringing together all these bodies for efficient use of available water resources, particularly in agriculture, which uses up to 85% of water,” he said.
Flow irrigation being currently used in agriculture leads to wastage of water and ill health of soil. A suitable alternative is drip irrigation whose efficiency is 85% to 90% as compared to 40-45% for flow irrigation, he added.
The drip irrigation project in Ramthal started off as a pilot project covering 24,000 hectares and is now ready to be scaled up with more than 15,000 farmers already covered under this scheme. We involve the farmers right from concept to commissioning and encourage them to change from low value to high value crops, Galagally said.
“Ramthal is the largest community-driven drip irrigation system in the world today,” he added.
Bastiaan Mohrmann, Co-Lead, Asia and Middle East, 2030 WRG, said, “Our work is based on collaboration among governments, financial institutions, non-governmental organisations, civil society agencies and companies to close the gap between water demand and supply by the year 2030.”
“How to scale up pilot projects is the key, especially to get through regulatory barriers, financial barriers and we need to generate solutions. We want to transform the sector,” he added.