WATER GOVERNANCE –KEY TO LIVELIHOOD SECURITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SSUTAINABILITY IN INDIA: ISSUES AND RESPONSES R.B.Singh and Sujeet Kumar Department of Geography Delhi School of Economics University of Delhi Delhi-110007, INDIA Email: email@example.com
UNDERSTANDING WATER GOVERNANCE “Water Governance refers to the different political, social and administrative mechanisms that must be in place to develop and manage water resources and the diversity of water services at different levels of society” (CEDRE -& MIO- ECSDE Work shop). Water governance as the range of political, social, economic and administrative systems that are in place to develop and manage water resources and the delivery of water services, at different levels of society-UNDP
Planning and Policies Public, Private & Communities Institutions Implementing Authorities COMPONENTS OF WATER GOVERNANCE
GOALSOn the basis of several studies, following goals may be identified • To establish the right to water for all people in a binding manner. • To guarantee the right to water for coming generations. • To protect water as a public good belonging to mankind. • To declare as a core task of governments and their authorities responsible for the respect, protection and fulfillment of the right to water. • To prevent water from being privatised and comodified. • To ensure that the human right to water takes precedence over international trade law (e.g. WTO). • To place springs groundwater, rivers and lakes under the comprehensive protection of international law. • To guarantee women's water-related rights as human rights. • To protect the local and national water rights of indigenous peoples. • To enshrine traditional water culture and local water rights (e.g. of nomads) in national law. • To ensure that the people have a democratic say in determining and deciding national and local water strategies. • To provide all people both internationally and domestically with effective judicial remedies for demanding fulfillment of the right to water (CEDRE Work Shop ).
ISSUES IN WATER GOVERNANCE • Policy and institutional reform. • Participatory processes and civil society empowerment. • Legal frameworks and law enforcement – Access to Justice. • Financial instruments and incentives. • Monitoring, utilization of data and access to information. • Water reallocation - Conflict resolution for competing uses. • Capacity building in decision making. • Multi-faceted approach in education (technical, economic, social, and environmental).
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN WATER GOVERNANCE Public participation helps in- • Transparency, • Decision-making • Accountability. • Means for seeking redress to understand interrelated hydrodynamic, socio-economic and ecological systems. • To involve numerous segments of their societies, including those most marginalised and most vulnerable to water limitation and impairment (Jansky & Uitto). • Principle 10 of the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (UNCED 1992) emphasises that environmental issues such as water management ‘‘are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens’’.
WATER GOVERNANCE IN INDIA • River should link not divide us” -Dr. Manmohan singh. • Water related conflicts in India has reached every level and has divided every segment of our society i.e. political parties, states, regions, sub-regions within states, districts, castes, groups and even individual farmers. • The victims of the mal-governance resulted conflicted are likely to be the poorest of the poor as well as the sources of the water i.e. rivers, wetlands, acquirers. • Rural and urban areas are competing end-users.
India: Per Capita Annual Water Availability(cu.m / capita / year) • The Past 1951 – 5177 2001 – 1820 • Future Estimates 2025 : 1341 2050 : 1140 Water Stressed : Less than 1700 (cu.m / capita / year) Water Scarce : Less than 1000 (cu.m / capita / year) 70% of global area including large parts of India will become water stressed by 2025
SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF RAINFALL Central India Moderate rainfall Rajasthan Rainfall < 100 mm North-East, Very high Rainfall > 2,500 mm Western Ghats High Rainfall Area Eastern Coast High rainfall Shadow area Low rainfall
Flood affected areas and flood damages in India (1953 to 2002) Source: Central Water Commission
CHALLENGES FOR WATER GOVERNANCE IN INDIA • Equity, access and allocation • Conflicts around water quality • Sand mining in the river basins • Dams and displaced peoples • Trans boundary water conflicts • Privatization of water • Biodiversity versus irrigation • Social undercurrents in a water scarce village • Discrimination in an irrigation project • Ground water depletion • Ecosystem threats due to dams. • Overlapping of multiple conflicts • Politics and legislation related with water issues.
WATER AND INDIA'S CONSTITUTION • Incorporated in indian constitution to meet the formidable challenges of wise and equitable water management • Water has to be given an important place in India's Constitution to guide and empower the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive.
WATER LAWS IN INDIA • Listed as entry 17 in state list of seventh schedule in Indian constitution. • Subject for legislation by states • Power of legislation rests with the parliament in case of integrated river basin. • Under article 252 parliament has the power to legislate for two or more states by consent and adoption of such legislation by any other state
DECENTRALISED WATER GOVERNANCE IN INDIA • Guard the ‘right’ over these resources through public pressure by mobilising masses (Upadhayay, 2002). • Need for decentralisation in decision making “ to the lowest appropriate level”, • Decentralised decision making is essential for the plans, outlined by the Prime minister of India to develop new river basin management institution.- findings of the Brahmputra board under the central ministry of water resources • World bank has signed a US $ 120 million credit to Uttaranchal, to improve the effectiveness of rural water supply and sanitation services in the hill state through decentralization , and an increased role of local government communities
WATER USERS ASSOCIATION (WUAs) AND PANCHAYATS • Several states have transferred some responsibilities of Irrigation Management from government agencies to the Water Users Associations (WUAs). • WUAs is the most effective strategy for ensuring farmer/users participation in management of water for irrigated agriculture • Andhra Pradesh has enacted the AP Farmers Management of Irrigation Systems Act, 1997 that provides for constitutions of farmers organisation and transfers management of irrigation systems to them. • Role of panchayats is crucial • There is a need to explore spaces within PRI, evolve functional relationship between them and other village groups
Culture and Indigenous Initiatives at the Community Level to Manage the Water • Haryana (Sukhmajari experience), • Rajasthan (Tarun Bharat Sangh experience), • Maharashtra (Pani Panchayats) and • Gujarat (Irrigation Cooperatives) etc. • Such projects combining water science and ethics are able to • remove poverty in different parts of the country. • Considering various successful stories, decentralization in the • management of water should be promoted on urgent basis utilizing • the provisions made under the 73rd and 74th amendments to the • Indian constitution.
BUILDING JOHADS AS COMMUNITY BASED WATER MANAGEMENT • IN RAJASTHAN • Johads are traditional earthen dams. These structures have changed the face of arid and semi arid India. • The rich tradition of building Johads is a simple traditional technology that is quite remarkable in terms of recharging ground water of the region. • Johads are simple mud and rubble concave shaped barriers built across the slope to arrest rainwater with a high embankment on three sides while the fourth side left open for the rainwater to enter. • The height of the embankment is such that the capacity of the Johads is more than volume of run off coming from the catchments based on a rough estimation of maximum possible run off that could come into it. The water storage area varies from 2 hectares to a maximum of 100 hectares • People build about 4000 check dams and water harvesting structures
CHANGE IN LAND USE AND ECONOMICS • In 1985 only 20% of the agricultural land was cultivated, now it is 100% • Villages started selling surplus grains in market for the first time • An investment of Rs. 100 per capita on a “johads” raises the economic production in the village by as much as Rs. 400 per capita/ annum • Participation of the people promoted the community to become self-reliant • In 1996 Arvari river started flowing even at the peak the summer • People were building these structures over the years in the catchment area of this river without realizing that we were in fact recharging the river through percolation underground • Particularly in down stream areas, recharge ground water and wells. Since then four more rivers have become perennial
Watershed Management • Enhance public participation in water governance • Emphasises Integrated Water Resource Management • Department of Space, Government of India has launched programme on Integrated Mission on Sustainable Development using remote sensing and GIS based Spatial Information System as decision support system for watershed management
SUKHOMAJARI EXPERIENCE:COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN WATERSHED MANAGEMENT • In the 1970s Sukhomajari was like any other village in the Haryana • Riddled with severe ecological problems • Sparsely vegetated, could sustain very few crops • Severely eroded and contributed to enormous runoff and soil loss • Villagers led a miserable existence in dry area with no crops and water • Houses had nothing but poor and famine affected people • The first step was to stop water in the village itself • Villagers built two earthen dams to hold back the rain • The forest department allowed the villagers to manage the watershed
IMPACT OF SUKHOMAJARI ON MULTILEVEL VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT • Water Users’ Society was created in Sukhomajri in 1980 • Carry out equal distribution of water and practice social fencing • Changed to Hill Resource Management Society (HRMS) with a member from each household • Stoppage of grazing initiated a slow but steady process of regeneration in the hills • Trees and grass regenerated din the watershed, the villagers began to get more fodder • They sold their goats and bought high-yielding buffaloes • The villagers started selling milk and extra grass from the watershed • Hunger and destitution disappeared • The entire catchment is green • Village is capable of withstanding even severe droughts
CASE OF WATER CONSERVATION IN HIMALAYA • In mountains, traditional springs were drying up. • Working with local villagers projects were identified for improving water supplies, that could be undertaken through locally available skills and resources. • Rooftop rainwater harvesting with tanks made by local masons and the planting of trees around the source areas of springs.
THE POLICIES OF WATER RELATED ISSUES SHOULD TAKE CONSIDERATION OF THE FOLLOWING WATER DEMOCRACY PRINCIPLES: • Water is nature's gift • Water is essential to life • Life is interconnected through water • Water must be free for sustenance needs • Water is limited and exhaustible • Water must be conserved • Water is a commons • No one holds the right to destroy water • Water cannot be substituted (Shiva,2002).
CONCLUSION • Situation of water is of mixed type in Indian context • On one hand there are huge potential water resources found in India, while on the other hand India is facing the challenges in the form of water related conflicts, and other related issues. • Conflict resolution should be given priorities in planning and management. • Improving water governance would ensure supply of water to every field, remove hunger and poverty from poor areas, provide green cover over denuded areas.