India

Our work in India (National and Uttar Pradesh)

Our Role

The Government of India and the State of Uttar Pradesh are committed to the rejuvenation of rivers, with a particular focus on the River Ganga and its tributaries. Addressing this enormous challenge requires coordinated and collaborative action to develop replicable solutions within the municipal, agricultural, and industrial sectors. These solutions need to be grounded in sound analytics and guided by an enabling environment and policy framework.

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.

Building on the national government’s prioritization of water efficiency and wastewater treatment, 2030 WRG is facilitating structured engagement with multiple stakeholders from the public sector, private sector, civil society, academia, research organizations, and international agencies to develop best practice solutions and replicable partnership models for water management in the 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.

Results

The 2030 Water Resources Group’s approach in India has already made great strides in the analytical phase of our engagement, and has more recently begun advancing the multi-stakeholder aspect of the project. As a result of the recent change in government at the national level, there is a renewed focus on developing innovative, cost-effective and decentralized demand-side driven solutions for water use efficiency and effluent treatment for rejuvenation of the river Ganga. 2030 WRG is working with the Ministry of Water Resources on public-private partnerships for wastewater treatment in the Ganga river basin, based on market principles and multi-stakeholder alignment. 2030 WRG is also adopting an area-based approach for river rejuvenation in the Hindon sub-basin.

As with other projects, incubating knowledge and raising awareness among stakeholders on how best to catalyze water security initiatives for effective water resources management has been our starting point in India. In 2009, we worked with McKinsey & Company to complete a study on hydro-economic frameworks designed to inform decision making. The report, Charting our Water Future, benefited from the inputs of an extended business consortium and the participation of government water resource managers. Two years later, in 2011, we partnered with India’s Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) on a National Water Resources Framework Study feeding into the drafting of the 12th Five Year Plan with recommendations on more equitable and efficient water resources management in the country. Finally, in 2013, CEEW investigated and concluded that an action-oriented multi-stakeholder platform in India would make sense, supporting our institutional approach. In 2014, the 2030 WRG collaborated with CEEW to study the factors for collective action in India at different hydrological scales. The study on ‘Collective Action for Water Security and Sustainability’ sought inputs from various stakeholders.

Our Future

Working in parallel at the basin and sub-basin level, the 2030 WRG’s agenda in India aims to catalyze water solutions in India’s largest river basin, Ganga, as well as adopt a thematic focus on municipal, industrial and agri-water sectors. The engagement is expected to lead to the development and demonstration of replicable models for public-private-civil society engagement within the municipal, agricultural and industrial sectors, linked to the Ganga Rejuvenation Plan, National Water Mission’s focus on driving water use efficiency by 20% across water users, and the National Water Policy 2012 emphasizing integrated water resources management, river basin planning, ecological impact assessment, transparency and benchmarking of water use.