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Multi-Stakeholder Platform For Transformative Solutions In Water Resources Management

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Studies show that Maharashtra faces a high risk to climate change with longer dry spells, more frequent droughts and high-intensity rainfall. Already, farmers in rain-fed areas of Marathwada and Vidarbha are hard hit by recurrent droughts. However, a recent 2030 WRG’s hydro-economic analysis shows that Maharashtra can achieve 6% agricultural growth in rain-fed areas by shifting to higher value crops, and through better and more efficient water use and management.

The Government of Maharashtra (GOM) and 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG), have initiated the Maharashtra Water Resources ‘Multi-Stakeholder Platform’ (Maharashtra Water – MSP) to address critical water resources challenges in Maharashtra. The partnership brings together key decision makers from the public sector, private sector and civil society to forge partnerships for sustainable and scalable solutions, empowered by 2030 WRG’s hydro-economic analysis.

Under the leadership of the Department of Agriculture (GOM), 2030 WRG has convened key private sector and civil society representatives. The Maharashtra Water – MSP will be working together to develop a comprehensive program that improves the livelihoods of and strengthens the resilience of marginal and smallholder farmers in Maharashtra revealed Bastiaan Mohrmann, Co-Lead, Asia, 2030 WRG,

“We are developing a project proposal for USD 270 million in funding from the Green Climate Fund, a body which aims to scale up climate change adaptation in rain-fed agricultural areas to implemented across Marathwada and Vidarbha, and aligned with the World Bank-funded Project on Climate Resilient Agriculture (PoCRA), resulting in nearly USD 1 billion worth of investments towards drought-proofing Maharashtra rain-fed agriculture,” Mohrmann added.

The Maharashtra Water Resources Department is the nodal agency that convenes the MSP. As the Principle Secretary for Water Resources, I.S. Chahal (IAS) said, “The Government’s goal is to ensure that at least 1.2 of the 1.5 million hectares under sugar cultivation in the state uses drip irrigation technology by 2019. This saves up to 40% of the water while increasing productivity. However, so far, only 2.5 lakh hectares are covered and if we are to meet our goals we have to involve all relevant stakeholders including farmers, sugar mills, banks and government departments. The MSP can certainly be instrumental in accelerating such collaboration”.

Water is increasingly becoming a scarce commodity in Maharashtra, with about half the state facing a deficit of water supply. Multi-stakeholder partnerships can support much-needed synergies to pool together the leadership, capacities, and resources of different stakeholders towards the common goal of water security and economic growth.

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The CSR Journal Team

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