Corporate News

Karnataka Multi Stakeholder Partnership for Water: A Journey in Progress

Most people who work in the water sector would associate their work in some way with Sustainable Development Goal 6 which has several objectives related to the achievement of water security in its several manifestations. But there is little discussion of the fact that the path to the realization of Goal 6 lies in Goal 17 which is about the need for partnerships. This is a journey which is not always straightforward, sometimes not in a tidy sequence and almost always requires patience and persistence. Despite these possible road bumps, the 2030 World Resources Group has embarked on this journey in several countries, among them India and among the states in India also in Karnataka.

The first step has been to arrive at a productive working relationship with the State Government based on a mutual identification of the water security challenges that need addressing. This is the first part of the journey. In turn, this needs a sustained effort to bring together a group of organizations in the private and not for profit sectors that can bring competence and commitment to projects and processes that can show demonstrable results in specific locations. There is then the challenge of scaling up the approaches demonstrated in these projects across the state.

The work streams that have been identified for this purpose are particularly relevant for a number of reasons.

The problems of impending water stress make the promotion of efficient use of water for agriculture, by far the biggest user of water, an imperative for conservation and sustainability. This is very much a direction that the State government is committed to following and in which farmers and private sector organizations can work together to apply new technologies, drip irrigation among others. By working on sugar cane and paddy, the biggest users of water in the agriculture sector the potential for scale is enormous. But conservation of water has to be combined with efforts to support livelihoods of farmers which is why the promotion of farm to market corridors is so important as another step in the chain to maximize the benefits of water-efficient agriculture.

The workstream on the treatment, recovery and reuse of wastewater can benefit not just urban residents but also generate water for industrial use and agriculture in the surrounding hinterlands of towns and cities. Which is why the State Government’s policies on mainstreaming this approach are so important. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s interest in systemizing this approach is not only of benefit to industrial users of water but also is a way of demonstrating private sector’s support to the larger goals of sustainability and the promotion of public benefit.

These efforts require not just continuous effort but also the ability to record, analyze and disseminate the results to make a strong case for such approaches over ever increasing geographies. And imagination is needed to turn large amounts of data to usable information and knowledge, not just to members of the partnership and other practitioners but also more widely to members of the lay public. This is where civil society organizations can play a significant part.

As the work grows in scale and complexity there will be an inclination to immerse ourselves in our own projects and work streams. Without compromising any attention to detail it will be important to keep ourselves abreast of the work of other organizations in the state (eg the Gnana Aayoga, the State Knowledge Commission and the Advance Center of Integrated Water Management) which are also committed to the development of sound water policies and practice. Even if complete convergence is not always possible, duplication and contradiction can be avoided in this way.

Ravi Narayanan
Co-Chair Steering Board
Karnataka Multi Stakeholder Partnership for Water

Ravi Narayanan is currently Chair of the Asia Pacific Water Forum, International Mentor to the Japan Water Forum, Chair of the Water Integrity Network and Advisor to the Arghyam Foundation in India. He was a member of the World Panel on Financing Water Infrastructure (the Camdessus Panel) and the UN Millennium Task Force on Water and Sanitation. He is an associate of the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore, India. With degrees in Physics and Engineering from Delhi and Cambridge Universities, Ravi began his career in the corporate sector in the UK and India before moving to the not-for-profit sector. As part of the latter, he was formerly Asia Director for Action Aid and Chief Executive of Water Aid. He was awarded an honorary CBE by the UK Government in 2009 for water and sanitation services to poor communities in Asia and Africa. Ravi Narayanan is a resident of Bangalore.

Water accounting – an essential planning tool for agri-water sector recognized at the top-most policy-making authority in Maharashtra

Mumbai, February 12, 2018 – 2030 WRG and the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) organized an important discussion on water accounting as a policy tool on 12 February 2018. The Maharashtra Multi-Stakeholder Platform is already working on Rain-fed-, Command Area- and Urban Industrial Water Security. Complementing the three workstreams in Maharashtra, 2030 WRG and a key participant in the MSP process, the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA), brought to the forefront the essentials of water balancing and accounting through a discussion around River Basin Water Stewardship.

Water accounting efforts have been made by several stakeholders in India. The River Basin Stewardship and Water Accounting workshop included participation from leading not-for-profits and researchers focused on water issues in Maharashtra, namely, ACWADAM, CII, IIT-Bombay and WOTR. This workshop was attended by experts from MWRRA, Water Resources Department, The World Bank, Tata Sustainability Group, ITC, Tata Trusts, Urban Local Bodies, American Water Works Association to name a few.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (Vishnu Khedkar) and a leading private sector, ITC (K. Binoy), deployed an interesting tool using GIS-mapping, rainfall and river-flows and groundwater data in the Ghod Basin, in the proximity of the urban and industrial district of Pune. ACWADAM (Dr. Himanshu Kulkarni) presented their work related to groundwater and aquifer mapping techniques highlighting empirical evidence gathered through specific activities in Maharashtra. WOTR (Crispino Lobo) presented the essential links between water balance studies driven through community participation as a design tool to drive decisions related to cropping patterns in the rainfed areas of Maharashtra. IIT-Bombay (Prof. Milind Sohoni) presented the essentials of water balancing at the water-shed/villages that have been used in Maharashtra as a tool to make important investment decisions related to Government of Maharashtra’s more crop per drop project implementations.

While the Maharashtra-related bottom-up approaches were presented at the workshop, Prof. Wim Bastiaanssen from IHE-Delft presented the global best practice Water Accounting Plus (WA+), which uses satellite remote-sensing-based data to capture the water stress in the state of Maharashtra. WA+ tool informs the users and policy-makers on water accounting similar to financial accounting using fact-sheets, tables and maps. This methodology is already being deployed at the national level in India through 2030WRG’s engagement on “Blueprint for Water Accounting”, involving training of Central Water Commission, Central Groundwater Board, National Institute of Hydrology and others on the WA + methodology. As a result of the workshop in Mumbai, the Maharashtra MSP, in partnership with IHE-Delft, is planning a teaser WA+ training workshop for participants from Maharashtra during the coming quarter.

Further reading:

Maharashtra Water Multi-Stakeholder Platform Steering Board

Presentations made at the River Basin Stewardship and Water Accounting Workshop of 12 February 2018

An Exploration Workshop on Gender and Water in Agriculture in Maharashtra State

Mumbai, February 8, 2018 – 2030 WRG organized its first Workshop on Gender and Water in Agriculture in the State of Maharashtra to bring to the forefront some relevant work undertaken by key stakeholders promoting women’s participation in water resources management in the agricultural sector.

Ms. Archana, a successful farmer, leading an all-women Farmer Producer Company in Maharashtra with support of Swayam Shikshan Prayog. She was an active participant at the Workshop.

Given that almost 80% women in rural areas are predominantly engaged in agriculture and allied sectors, there are several civil society and private sector organizations working towards improving women’s participation in agricultural production systems (including efficient use of water resources) which can directly contribute to family income. The workshop saw participation from:

• Government: Project on Climate Resilient Agriculture, Department of Agriculture
• Civil Society: Tata Trusts, Society of Participatory Ecosystem Management (SOPPECOM) and Swayam Shikshan Prayog
• Private Sector: Future Group, Rabo Bank, ITC Limited and Jain Farm Fresh
• Multi-laterals: UNDP and International Finance Corporation

Although women play significant roles as farmers, workers and entrepreneurs, they face severe constraints in accessing productive resources (including water) compared to men. Thus, emphasizing women’s role in agribusiness, Eika Banerjee, CEO of Future Learning (Future Group) indicated, “the need to shift women’s role in agriculture from a development perspective to a market-driven solutions perspective.” Seema Kulkarni, Secretary, SOPPECOM pointed out, “women should not be silent participants but should have a voice in decision making as a part of village-level committees.”

The Workshop was a passionate call from partners to mainstream women in agriculture through collaborative and collective action. Some of the key recommendations included:

• Improving availability and access of data on women farmers (example – lack of data availability on women farmers who are also landowners),
• Developing knowledge products that can support better implementation of government policies,
• Promoting public-private partnership models in agriculture value chains that can improve market linkages for women farmers
• Enabling ecosystem changes i.e. providing a conducive environment for women to participate in the agricultural sector.

The participants at the Workshop agreed on taking the gender and water agenda forward through a formalized process to be anchored by the Government of Maharashtra. The Workshop is a part of the Maharashtra Water Multi-Stakeholder Platform and cuts across two workstreams related to agriculture – Water and Livelihood Security in Rain-fed Agricultural Areas and Command Area Water Productivity.

Further reading:
Maharashtra Water Multi-Stakeholder Platform Steering Board
Swayam Shikshan Prayog’s work with women in agriculture

Karin Krchnak New Program Manager 2030 WRG

Karin KrchnakAs an environmental lawyer, Ms. Krchnak has worked to improve policies and procedures related to environmental management and resource conservation worldwide for over twenty-five years.

Ms. Krchnak was appointed Program Manager of the 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) at the beginning of January. In working to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal on Water, Ms. Krchnak leads 2030 WRG in creating the wider political economy conditions and momentum for change in water reform. Her focus is on building multi-stakeholder platforms to mobilize the private sector, government, civil society, bilateral agencies, and development banks to work collectively in accelerating progress towards national water security through the design and implementation of comprehensive set of policies, programs and projects in countries across the globe.

Previously, Ms. Krchnak was Senior Director for the WWF US Water Program where she led the effort to advance WWF’s Water Goal to measurably improve the sustainability of the world’s major river basins to maintain nature’s diversity, strengthen climate resiliency, and support human well-being. As part of this, she oversaw a portfolio of projects around corporate water stewardship, building good water governance, and building the resiliency of freshwater ecosystems. Prior to joining WWF, Ms. Krchnak was Director of International Water Policy and Director of Global Partnerships for the Great Rivers Partnership at the Nature Conservancy. At TNC, she advised on the development of policy strategies with national governments, multilateral institutions, river basin organizations and other partners. Her areas of focus included integrated river basin management, payment for environmental services in the water sector, water and energy infrastructure development (hydropower), and watershed protection.

Before joining TNC, as the World Resource Institute’s Director of the Access Initiative & the Partnership for Principle 10, Ms. Krchnak managed two global secretariats aimed at improving information disclosure, transparency and accountability in environmental decision-making.

Prior to WRI, Ms. Krchnak has worked as the Population & Environment Program Manager in the National Wildlife Federation’s International Programs, as well as Director for the Western Newly Independent States and Director of the Environmental Law Program for the American Bar Association Central and Eastern European Law Initiative. In addition, she has worked as an environmental attorney for Science Applications International Corporation and the Environmental Law Institute, and as an editor for the East Asian Legal Studies Program at the University of Maryland School of Law.

Ms. Krchnak received her B.A. in Political Science from Duke University and her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law. She has published extensively in the area of international environmental policy and sustainable development, particularly on freshwater issues.

She has served on the Steering Committees of the Global Water Partnership and the Gender & Water Alliance and on the Board of Governors of the World Water Council. She Co-Chaired the UN Commission on Sustainable Development’s Freshwater Caucus and served as the Lead Representative on Water for NGOs at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. She was one of the Founding Members of the Alliance for Water Stewardship and served as Co-Chair of its Board of Directors. She currently serves as Special Advisor to the World Water Council. She has been in key leadership positions in the World Water Forum processes, most recently serving on the International Steering Committee for the 8th World Water Forum.

Ms. Krchnak has also served as Adjunct Faculty at the University of Maryland School of Law and at law faculties and universities overseas.


Blogposts by Karin

March 13 | A disruptive approach towards achieving the SDGs

Kenya Industrial Water Alliance (KIWA) knowledge exchange visit at Redlands Roses

The Kenya Industrial Water Alliance (KIWA) held a second knowledge exchange visit on 18th of December 2017. The alliance brought together over 20 participants from agro-processing and manufacturing industries to learn about water efficiency practices at Redlands Roses, a flower farm based in the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya.

A case study of the water efficiency practices implemented by Redlands Roses will be shared soon.


Government of Karnataka and 2030WRG Partner with Private Sector for Ramthal Drip to Market Agro Corridor Initiative

First-of-its-kind project in India, receiving global recognition, with the private sector playing a major role in procurement of high-value crops

Bengaluru, December 13, 2017: The Government of Karnataka (GoK) today signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with seven private sector companies for procuring high-value agricultural and horticultural produce, and building farmer capacity on best practices in the Ramthal project area. This engagement is a part of the Drip-to-Market Agro Corridor (DMAC), a large-scale initiative on connecting drip irrigated areas with market linkages, conceptualized by the Government of Karnataka in partnership with 2030 Water Resources Group (2030WRG). With representation from GoK’s Departments of Water Resources, Agriculture, Horticulture, Watershed Development, as well as private sector, the MOU signing workshop focused on fostering an alliance of private sector partners in this pioneering initiative.

The workshop follows from an initial wave of six MOUs signed with private sector in July 2017. Structured as four-way MoUs among private sector companies and the GoK’s Departments of Water Resources, Agriculture and Horticulture, the strong response from private sector endorses the project’s benefits in providing companies a stable environment to establish a sustainable supply chain for high-value crops, with assured water supply and efficiency in water use.


SWPN facilitates financial sector participation in mission to close South Africa’s US$ 2.3 billion annual water infrastructure gap

SWPN MSP meeting_Oct17Johannesburg, October 12 2017 – Leading water, infrastructure and financial sector stakeholders met in Johannesburg for in-depth talks on funding models to improve South Africa’s water security. The third Annual Water Stewardship summit, kicked off with calls for the financial sector to look introspectively at ways to support efforts to close the water services infrastructure funding gap amounting to around US$ 2.3 billion per annum; in support of the coming National Water and Sanitation Master Plan.

The South Africa Department of Water and Sanitation is currently in the process of drafting the country’s new National Water and Sanitation Master Plan, with expected completion in March 2018.  The summit, organized by the Strategic Water Partners Network, the National Business Initiative and the Royal Danish Embassy, provided an often-neglected opportunity for public and private financiers to become involved in the initial planning and project conceptualization stage of the new National Water and Sanitation Master Plan. By involving such financiers early in the process, it is hoped that the master plan’s investment strategy would be designed in a way which is as beneficial to the country as it is attractive to investment.

Outlining the goals of the plan, Trevor Balzer, Deputy Director General: Strategic and Emergency projects at the Department of Water Sanitation, echoed sentiments made earlier this year by his Deputy Minister, Pamela Tshwete, who, at the first dialogue on the Water and Sanitation Master Plan on 19 May this year, called upon big businesses to assist in funding sustainable development projects. Balzer said: “Today’s event has brought us together at a critical time in South Africa’s water and sanitation planning. We expect to incorporate the feedback we received today from the financial community and other stakeholders to create a plan that effectively addresses the country’s needs.”

Catherine-Candice Koffman, Head of Infrastructure and Telecommunications Project Finance within Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) one of the “big four” banks in South Africa – Nedbank, stated, “Getting involved at this stage of the planning process helps us from a corporate and investment banking perspective to better conceptualise how we can leverage our strategic, operational and sustainability goals to proceed in a way which will contribute to the future master plan. At Nedbank CIB we understand the intimate connectivity between leveraging natural resources and converting these into viable economic solutions to ensure the sustainability of our business and the socio-economic ecosystem in which we co-exist.”

One key recommendation, among a few others, for the Master Plan was that because Non-Revenue Water losses amount to about US$ 500 million annually, this was an area to consider a central government led programme that could make use of public and private investment to reduce municipal water and revenue losses. The SWPN is already testing some concepts of how this could be done.

Peru working groups advance with concrete solutions

Peru transformative working groupsSince the beginning of 2017, the three large working groups that had been in operation evolved into six working committees that were more limited to the needs, problems and opportunities that were identified in the spaces for dialogue. The new committees today address the following issues:

1. Water Works for Taxes
2. Groundwater management
3. Hydrically Responsible Companies- The Blue Certificate
4. Water governance and dialogue processes
5. Promotion of public policies around water
6. Water stress and adaptation to climate change

The advantage of these committees with a total participation of more than 100 members, is that they are focused on finding concrete solutions with specific tasks for the different stakeholders. For example, the Water Works for Taxes mechanism is being implemented and the private sector participates and invests directly in works of the State to improve sanitation services, to expand potable water services and improve drinking water treatment plants, among others. Another group enables methodologies for the definition of tariff groundwater use, one focuses on the promotion of the water footprint through the certification of companies, among others. The 2030 WRG ACT methodology has allowed, step by step, to build robust and sustainable programs and policies for the sustainable water management in Peru.

National Multi-Sectoral Water Resources Management Forum Tanzania

Tanzania_MSP_Oct517October 4, 2017 – The Ministry of Water and Irrigation in collaboration with the 2030 Water Resource Group Tanzania Partnership held a two-day multi-sectoral forum on 4 and 5 October to discuss Tanzania’s water management issues. The forum participants included representatives from the private sector, government and civil society organizations.

Professor Kitila Mkumbo, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, said in his opening remarks at the event: “People need to know that Tanzania is one of the countries said to have abundant water resources but are subject to competing demands. The use of such forums will help to get an agreed agenda to address competitions and thereby support sustainable growth. The country is endowed with relatively abundant freshwater sources, including rivers, sprTanzania_CreditAndersBerntellings, lakes, wetlands, and aquifers. However, these resources are unevenly distributed in time and space.”

The Director of Water Resources in the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Mr. Hamza Sadiki said: “the average volume of renewable freshwater per capita per year has been declining, from 2,300 m cubic in 2002 to 1,952 m cubic in 2015. This figure is projected to further decline to 1,500 m cubic by 2025.” Mr Sadiki further warned that if water resources are not managed well, it will put the country within the water-stressed category, below 1,700 m cubic per capita, and business as usual will further put Tanzania in the water–scarce category.”


Transitioning for scale and impact

Jyoti Shukla_Dominic Waughray_openingpiece

January 2018 will mark a new phase for 2030 WRG as the program moves from IFC to the World Bank Water Global Practice (Water GP). The strategic decision has been made by the 2030 WRG Governing Council to accommodate opportunities for larger scale impact as the program is set to expand its operations. 2030 WRG Steering Board Co-Chairs Dominic Waughray and Jyoti Shukla shared some thoughts on this development.

“2030 WRG challenges how stakeholders across all sectors engage and collaborate in the water space,” Dominic said. “It is a positive innovation that brings together the public and private sectors as well as civil society organizations (CSOs).”

Jyoti added: “The Water GP is very excited about this transition. We will be looking at approaches for each program and intervention to develop sustainably at scale. Both an opportunity and a challenge, we will build upon the wonderful work that has been done in the past 6 years, during which the program was given the opportunity to mature and grow at IFC, after its initial incubation period at the World Economic Forum.”

Vision and Leadership

Kenya 2030 WRG partners attending the 3GF

Kenya 2030 WRG partners attending the Global Green Growth Forum in Denmark, June 2016.

Dominic and Jyoti both acknowledged the 2030 WRG partners and thanked them for their vision, commitment, and leadership to embark on this innovative collaboration back when it was merely an idea. It has not been a journey void of challenges as the program engaged partners who would not normally have been at the same table constructively debating water issues and co-designing public-private solutions. “The result is the tremendous impact we are already making in the countries and the potential it has to grow at a global scale. With the transition to the Water GP and its extended network there is an opportunity to scale impact in existing country partnerships and reach out to many more countries and stakeholders,” Dominic added.

Jyoti elaborated: “Typically, the Water GP engages in global and regional partnerships with governments, CSOs and other related development partners. 2030 WRG adds tremendous value to the Practice as there is now an opportunity to bring in more private sector partners to the mix. The World Bank’s main instruments include lending support through IBRD and IDA, policy dialogue and providing technical assistance to governments on legal and regulatory frameworks. We are now creating the capacity to mobilize the expertise of the private sector, including commercial financing approaches that reach the poor and are environmentally and socially inclusive and sustainable. The transition now to the Water GP is an important next step for 2030 WRG. It will be a natural development to find synergies and collaboration with the largest concentration of the world’s water experts that work within the Water GP.”

The World Bank’s water portfolio currently covers 175 projects worth US$27 billion in lending and technical expertise. Around 70% of lending is for services such as water supply and sanitation and irrigation projects. Since 2014, lending for water resources management has also shown rapid growth, rising to 30% of the portfolio in 2017. In addition, projects with a water sector-related component managed by other World Bank global practices total approximately $10 billion, meaning the Bank’s total water-related investments are $37 billion.


2030 WRG Peru Mongolia Water and Mining Exchange. April, 2017

2030 WRG Peru Mongolia Water and Mining Exchange. April, 2017

“Country-level success has been demonstrated in many of our MSPs,” Dominic said. “Part of 2030 WRG’s impact and success is its ability to break through silos – when an important platform on water in a country is co-hosted by a minister and a private sector representative who is knowledgeable on the topic. When on that same platform civil society partners, academics, and a range of other actors are welcomed to openly discuss plans to grow the economy within the constraints that water has to offer. In Peru, South Africa, and Mongolia to name a few interventions, practical plans have emerged from those platforms. This model has emerged as a reliable and effective approach to integrate business with sustainable water resources management and can be replicated now in other countries.”

Jyoti concurred and added: “As water is increasingly becoming a scarce, economic and political commodity it is extremely important for all stakeholders to come together to discuss alternative uses of water, contribute to water policy and water resource management interventions. This balances out competing demands more successfully. When there is a common understanding and a willingness to understand each other’s perspectives, this will translate into policies and interventions that may change the way water resources are managed on the ground.”


Dominic suggested the role of technology as one potential avenue to continue innovating within the MSPs, particularly when it comes to measuring and scaling impact “Perhaps we can draw in more ideas from science and technology innovators to help countries improve their water resources management and monitoring capabilities. This will help us find additional ways to iterate and refine our engagements, while ensuring that the lessons we learning along the way are incorporated into the decision-making processes. It is heartening to see attribution of our work in the water resource space and I am eager to learn how, jointly with the Water GP, 2030 WRG can do an even better job of demonstrating its impact in the long run.”

Message for partners

Reflection in water tank. Ghana. Photo: © Arne Hoel / World Bank

Reflection in water tank. Ghana. Photo: © Arne Hoel / World Bank

Jyoti and Dominic welcomed all new partners who recognize that collaboration in the MSP domain is key to addressing water resources challenges. They also acknowledged that given the program’s ambition to scale up, new partners and sources of funding will naturally be needed to achieve 2030 WRG’s continued success and maximize impact. “New stakeholders have the opportunity to join an initiative that, several years into its delivery, is now maturing into an extended network, enriched with tremendous sector expertise” Dominic said. “To our current network of partners of high-level government officials, companies and CSOs, I would like to encourage them to reach out to their peers and share their 2030 WRG experience, including advice and guidance to those who are embarking on this 2030 WRG model of collaboration. Peer-to-peer flow of knowledge is key.” Jyoti added: “It is really time for the water sector to move away from augmenting supply to putting the efficient management of water resources at the heart of the water agenda. Achieving the SDGs will be quite a daunting challenge and it requires all parties to work together towards this common goal.


Dominic Waughray is Head of Public-Private Partnership, Member of the Executive Committee at the World Economic Forum in Geneva and Jyoti Shukla is Director of the Water Global Practice at the World Bank Group in Washington DC.

Both Dominic and Jyoti have expressed their heartfelt thanks to the Governing Council and Steering Board members for their dedication and unwavering support all these years. The program’s success and impact is reflected in their continued commitment.