India’s Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships and Focus Areas
In India, the 2030 WRG is working in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh, as well as on priority themes at the national level.The India programs bring together numerous stakeholders in structured dialogue processes through the formation of multi-stakeholder platform (MSP) Steering Boards and thematic workstreams. The Steering Boards of the three state engagements alone comprise various heads of organizations and high-level decision makers, collectively totaling 22 senior representatives from the public sector, 19 from the private sector, and 15 from civil society. The Steering Boards are supplemented by extensive stakeholder participation at the workstream level.
Each of the state-level MSP Steering Boards is chaired by the respective Chief Secretary, the highest-ranking bureaucrat. In Karnataka, Ravi Narayanan, Chair of the Asia Pacific Water Forum, representing a combination of private sector and civil society perspectives, serves as the MSP Steering Board Co-Chair.
The 2030WRG has worked on key thematic priorities at the national level, under an MoU with the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation:
Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) for Wastewater Treatment and Reuse in the Ganga Basin: The Ganga river basin in India is home to some 450 million people. Population growth and rapid urbanization in the Ganga basin have placed unprecedented stress on water resources, leading to seasonal water shortages and water pollution. At the start of the engagement, estimates suggested 78% of wastewater was untreated nationally, of which 8,000 million liters per day of untreated wastewater was flowing directly into the River Ganga. A combination of these factors called for a comprehensive response. The World Bank, the 2030 WRG, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) PPP Team worked closely and complementarily at national, state, and sub-basin levels to help mobilize the financing and policy reform needed to reduce untreated wastewater discharge and promote efficient water use across key sectors in the basin. The 2030WRG supported a pilot PPP for Mathura-Vrindavan, including pre-feasibility assessments, hybrid annuity model options, cost-benefit-risk analyses, centralized vs. decentralized solutions, and more. In addition, it supported alignment between the center, state, and municipality. The combined efforts of the WBG resulted in the first wave of 3 PPPs, with IFC as transaction advisor. The development of the hybrid annuity model also won the World Bank Sustainable Development Vice President’s Award in 2018. An additional 9 PPP projects have been sanctioned by the government.
Water Accounting: The 2030 WRG supported the development of a blueprint of water accounting at the national level in India, initiated in the backdrop of the Cauvery water sharing dispute between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The blueprint brings together central government stakeholders, water sector experts, international organizations, industry representatives, enablers, and academia. A cadre of central government officials from the Central Water Commission, Central Ground Water Board, National Institute of Hydrology, and others have been trained on IHE Delft’s Water Accounting Plus methodology, using remote sensing technology for the development of water accounts, and funded by the World Bank’s National Hydrology Project. This methodology is being replicated in the state of Maharashtra. In addition, the 2030 WRG partnered with the National Mission for Clean Ganga, the India-European Union Water Partnership, and GIZ for the development of dashboards and indicators for Ganga municipal and industrial wastewater.
The workstreams in Uttar Pradesh with multi-stakeholder participation include:
Bundelkhand workstream, chaired by the Principal Secretary, Minor Irrigation; the workstream aims at increasing water access at scale, while developing integrated micro-irrigation models and market mechanisms for offtake. Separate task forces that engage stakeholders on reservoir rejuvenation and watershed development have already made significant progress in the state. A first-of-its-kind mapping of traditional reservoirs at the project site has revealed insights into the cost-benefits of reservoir rehabilitation in Bundelkhand. The taskforce on watershed development aims to replicate the Ramthal modelof market-driven micro-irrigation in canal command areas increasing water productivity and equity. The 2030 WRG is working toward designing PPP opportunities for market off-take and crop diversification.
Hindon Tributary Management workstream: This workstream is chaired by the Principal Secretary, Urban Development. Along with the network partners, the 2030 WRG convenes technical expert meetings and facilitates discussions for water quality management in the Hindon basin. Industrial representatives from industry associations and academia (IIT) are participants. Task forces on data harmonization and dashboard development as well as tributary governance have been established.
The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) is a public, private, civil society partnership that supports country-level collaboration designed to unite diverse groups with a common interest in the sustainable management of water resources.