Maharashtra’s Multi-Stakeholder Platform for Water Resources Management Launched at First Steering Board Meeting

MUMBAI, 13 Oct 2017 – The Government of Maharashtra has partnered with 2030 WRG to form the State’s first Water Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP) for transformative solutions in water resources management.  The first meeting of the MSP Steering Board for was convened under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra, on 7 August 2017.  Emphasizing the importance of a multi-stakeholder partnership approach, Sumit Mullick (IAS), Chief Secretary, indicated that “government can only solve the serious water problems we face with the active and enthusiastic participation of the private sector and civil society.”

At the Steering Board meeting, Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Indian Merchant’s Chamber and State Level Banker’s Committee actively represented the private sector, BAIF Development Research Foundation, Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR), Indian Water Works Association and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT, Bombay), represented civil society and academia. Experts at the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority, Department of Agriculture, Water Conservation and Water Resources of the Government of Maharashtra attended the meeting.

Acknowledging that Maharashtra faces a high risk to climate change and agriculture sector is the highest user of freshwater in the State withdrawing more than 80% of the water available, the Steering Board agreed to formalize the Rain-fed Agriculture Work stream (anchored by the Agriculture Department) and the Command Area Water Productivity Work stream (anchored by Water Resources Department), and appoint its multi-stakeholder members.  The MSP emphasizes the importance to aligned with current state priority initiatives such as the Chief Minister’s flagship Jalayukt Shivar (focused on Water for All – drought-free state by 2019), the World Bank supported USD$480 million Project on Climate Resilient Agriculture (POCRA), the multi-stakeholder Maharashtra Cotton Water Platform promoting greater water use efficiency in the cotton sector, and the US$270 million Green Climate Fund submission Scaling Adaptation in Maharashtra Rain-fed Agriculture (SAMRA), supporting most vulnerable village clusters adopt water conservation measures leveraging private sector/market linkages.  The latter two are existing 2030WRG initiatives launched previously in partnership with the Maharashtra Department of Agriculture and other key stakeholders.

The Steering Board’s decision to develop these Work streams was informed by the Maharashtra Hydro-Economic Analysis of Opportunities to Improve Water Use in Agriculture Sector championed by 2030WRG in 2015. The report addressed the question of how Maharashtra can continue to grow its State GDP in the agricultural sector 4% overall and 6% in rain-fed areas, while maintaining or even reducing the overall water footprint.

Given the rapid urbanisation in the state of Maharashtra and legacy of industrial development, the Steering Board also consented to the immediate launch of a third Workstream for Urban Industrial Water Security, to be anchored by the Urban Development Department.

 

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