Technical Exchange on River Basin Management Planning in India
Background. The Government of India aims to develop Integrated Water Resources Management Plans (IWRMPs) for the three inter-state river basins of Krishna, Godavari and Mahanadi. In this context, a corresponding contracting procedure for consulting services under the National Hydrology Project has been initiated end 2016. Simultaneously, within the frame of the India-EU Water Partnership (IEWP), India and the EU have signed a MoU for cooperation towards innovative approaches in water resources management as well as the elaboration of related policies and legislation. During 2016, Indian and EU representatives exchanged in several thematic IWRM workshops on principle approaches in river basin management, key challenges and solution finding.
Aim. Having achieved a basic common understanding on key issues and approaches in water resources management during the last year, the MoWR, RD & GR, GoI has requested the IEWP to provide practice-oriented support in IWRM governance for the above-mentioned IWRMPs. The set-up and content of the technical exchange will focus at factual planning and governance issues as well as possible conflictive situations. The applied work, discussions and outcomes of the exchange aim to support the competent national authorities and the respective State governments to approach the development of the IWRM Plans for the river basins of Krishna, Godavari and Mahanadi.
Content. The two-day technical exchange will be set-up in an applied way. Hence, participants will involve in a pro-active manner to practically analyse the three river basins regarding: key challenges; available assessment basis; and possible conflictive situations that will likely challenge the competent authorities in the development and implementation of the River Basin Assessment & Planning System (RBAPS) and the IWRMPs. In detail, the following key aspects will be jointly addressed for each of the three river basins:
- What are current challenges, key water management issues and ecosystem services?
- What data are currently available regarding each key water management issue and the assessment of impacts?
- What future development strategies and priorities are planned and what are the related implications for basin-wide/inter-state management?
- Where to find current and possible future impact hot-spots and what are the related assessment options?
- Will any possible conflictive challenges occur in governance as well as between the different States or water sectors in the three river basins?
- How to find effective solutions fully considering governance background on the national, State and Inter-State level? Can benefit sharing and trade-off approaches offer feasible approaches in the governance of the three basins?
- Finally, what are the expectations of all involved?
Approach. The technical exchange will make use of short impulse contributions in the beginning of each session to outline the expected outcomes as well as to provide thematic input. Key elements will be discussions in the plenary as well as in three river basin break-out groups making use of the expertise of all participants. In order to ensure successful outcomes, it is expected that the Union and State representatives will provide basic information based on expert knowledge related to their river basin addressing the State but also Inter-State dimension. The provided information will allow a reflection and linkage to the national governance level. Before the technical exchange, a short preparatory document will be circulated. The document will support the participants, specifically, the ones from the basin sharing States, to prepare themselves thematically for the discussions in each technical session.
Participants. The meeting will involve up to 50 participants including the following groups of representatives and experts from India and the EU:
- Union level (MoWR, RD & GR including CWC, NMCG, NWM, and CGWB).
- State level: As the technical exchange specifically focuses on the river basins of Krishna, Godavari and Mahanadi, governmental representatives (from the State WRD) and experts from each State that shares one of the three basins will participate;
- EU Delegation to India;
- EU experts to support with impulse contributions and discussions