The State of Maharashtra is facing an increasing gap between water availability and demand. Since early 2014, the 2030 Water Resources Group has been working with the Government of Maharashtra to promote more water efficient growth in the state’s agricultural sector. Under the guidance of a multi-stakeholder partnership, a preliminary hydro-economic analysis is being finalized. This study will identify key challenges, map existing initiatives and serve as a guide for MSPs to formulate strategies towards closing the water gap. Also 2030 WRG, working with WEF, facilitated PPPs to promote agri-water efficiency, is developing a compressive program in the cotton sector and is working with large multi-national companies to recharge groundwater for urban and industrial water security.
Maharashtra is the third largest state of India in terms of area (about the size of Italy) and second largest in terms of population with 112 million people. Frequent floods, droughts, over-allocation, pollution and inadequate access to water supply and sanitation services challenge water security within the state. With a large a percentage of families’ dependent especially on rain-fed farming, droughts poses a significant and persistent risk to continued economic and human development. Maintaining the current high rates of economic growth while maintaining social equity and environmental sustainability requires the state not only to balance competing needs but also to significantly improve the efficiency of water use.