Our work in Karnataka

Our Role

At the request of the Government of Karnataka, 2030 WRG has been engaged in Karnataka since 2010 to tackle the state’s growing water problems, impacting its largest and most economically significant river basins, Krishna and Cauvery. The 2030 WRG is working to mobilize a process of multi-stakeholder dialogue and action, in order to address major water sustainability issues. By convening key decision-makers across government, the private sector, civil society and development agencies, we plan to target multiple initiatives within the next 2-4 year timeframe. These initiatives will potentially include a combination of: Government policy development to strengthen water resource laws, institutions and policies; collective water action at the sub-basin level, and public-private partnerships designed to address water resource management opportunities. Each of these initiatives will likely integrate work across the urban, industrial and agricultural sectors for a consolidated impact on the water situation in the state. As with other projects, we are also engaged in producing knowledge and data pertinent to the situation and decision-making on the best course of action.

Initially focused on an analytical study of the agricultural sector, the partnership has been expanded to cover a hydro-economic analysis of the urban and industrial sectors in 2013. 2030 WRG is currently working on catalyzing state-wide solutions for agri-water efficiency, particularly in the sugarcane sector, as well as reuse of treated municipal wastewater in industry.


The 2030 WRG has engaged in two now finalized analyses related to Karnataka’s water resource management situation. The first is an agriculture sector study developed by McKinsey together with inputs from the International Corps Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and Karnataka’s Department of Water Resources. The second is a report on the urban and industrial sectors conducted by Deloitte, and will be published once validated by the 2030 WRG’s Analytical Review Board and the Karnataka Government.

Drip-to-Market Agri Corridor (DMAC) in Karnataka

The facility works to increase water-use efficiency and accelerate water productivity improvements in canal command areas through innovative market-driven contracts.

  • To tackle the twin issues of low water efficiency and poor livelihoods, the 2030 WRG initiated the Ramthal drip irrigation project, which is one of the world’s largest fully-automated micro-irrigation projects. This first-of-its-kind project, with a total cost of US$ 130 million, puts the farmers’ interest at the core of the initiative. The project covers 24,000 hectares of irrigation area command area and reaches 15,000 beneficiaries in 30 villages. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by over fourteen companies, government, and farmers pledging off-take support to farmers adopting drip irrigation.
  • The government is exploring possibilities for replication of the Ramthal business model in community-based irrigation schemes along a corridor approach covering 650,000 hectares. The corridor targets investments in post-harvest infrastructure creation, warehousing and transport, and logistics management, to create an agribusiness hub in the north of Karnataka.

Our Future

2030 WRG is working with key stakeholder groups in Karnataka to develop and demonstrate successful models for water security in the state. Working on the themes of technology and finance across the agri and urban-industrial sectors, 2030 WRG aims to contribute towards greater water use efficiency and wastewater treatment and reuse, while at the same time, supporting the development of structured implementation arrangements with robust governance mechanisms, capacity building of stakeholders, and monitoring and evaluation systems.