Due to unprecedented stress on limited water resources brought about by population growth, rapid urbanization, increasing industrialization, changing lifestyle patterns and climate change, India is already experiencing seasonal and longer-term water shortages in select sub-basins and watersheds. The enormity of the challenge requires coordinated and collaborative action by key stakeholders groups to develop replicable solutions at scale, grounded in sound analytics and guided by the necessary enabling environment and policy framework.
Although India’s national policies on water management promote the concept of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) for holistic solutions to water challenges, implementation of such policies is lagging behind. To ensure water security for all water users, a water sector transformation is required. Apart from improving the water supply through measures such as rainwater harvesting, watershed development and eliminating inefficiencies and leakages in the system, there is a need for water use efficiency and demand side management across sectors. A shared resource, water is also a shared responsibility for stakeholders across government, the private sector and civil society.
The 2030 Water Resource Group’s agenda in India aims to catalyze water security in the country’s largest river basin, covering more than 10 million square kilometers and affecting more than 300 million people. Our engagement focuses on three areas of opportunity: (i) incubating knowledge and raising awareness among stakeholder groups on approaches to catalyze water security initiatives and effective water resources management, (ii) aligning policy makers and key government officials on appropriate governance mechanisms for large-scale water sustainability, and (iii) convening private sector companies, knowledge partners, and civil society stakeholders on a common platform jointly with government representatives to promote water security and sustainability.
Based on the analytical work conducted, the 2030 WRG is currently in conversation with the Ministry of Water Resources, leading private sector companies and civil society organizations to establish a partnership platform at the national level focused on the Ganges river basin.
Given water’s prominence as a state subject in India, 2030 WRG’s work at the national level is supplemented with partnerships at the state level in Maharashtra and Karnataka to drive water security at the local level. More information on our work in India is detailed in the sections relating the 2030 WRG’s country-specific partners and approach.