Maharashtra (India) – Profile

The challenge

The State of Maharashtra, located in midwestern India and perhaps best known by its capital Mumbai, is a reflection of the water resource challenge facing many parts of the world, yet local conditions here are particularly testing and call for drastic action. Maharashtra is the third largest state of India in terms of area (about the size of Italy) and second largest in terms of population (112 million people). It is prone to various types of natural disasters such cyclones, earthquakes, floods and drought — the most frequently recurring phenomenon to severely impact the State since 2012. According to the World Resources Institute India’s agricultural sector suffers from “high” water stress, placing an increasing amount of pressure on water demands for food security, economic growth and energy production, all while maintaining a delicate ecosystem. In Maharashtra, tackling the “agri-water” crisis to ensure the State’s sustainable socio-economic growth, specifically in its agricultural sector, requires a collaborative solution.

To respond to these challenges, Maharashtra’s Department of Agriculture, a group of private sector companies, civil society organizations and the 2030 Water Resources Group came together to review the possibility of initiating a multi-stakeholder “agri-water” partnership, now a reality as of April 2014. The overall aim of that partnership: to accelerate and broaden water efficiency practices across the agricultural sector within the State.

Our role

The 2030 WRG acts as a catalyst in this process, by helping produce technical analyses and convene key decision makers across Government, the business community, civil society, financial institutions, academia and development agencies. Our initial focus on improving water efficiency in the agricultural sector is expected to widen in scope after State elections in late 2014.

For more information on our work in Maharashtra, please visit the sections detailing the 2030 WRG’s local partners and approach.