In chapter 10 Kikwari village was chosen as a case study in Maharashtra because it is a village that encapsulates the spirit of integrated water resource management. Their creativity, innovation, and commitment to their community has allowed the villagers to protect and effectively manage the water resources available to them.
Part 2 of the book deals with the MUS experiences in India. Chapter 8 provides an overview of the state of Maharashtra, its setting, a history of the water-scarcity situation and the process by which water resource development takes place in this state. Chapter 9 gives a project overview.
Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) has gained international recognition as an appropriate framework for meeting the challenges of water scarcity. IWRM is fully supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), where experts asked themselves how they and their partners could learn together and in an innovative and forward-looking way from the wealth of existing experience in water and watershed management. This question triggered an initiative named “Water, Land and People – Voices and insights from three continents”, which was implemented in Bolivia, India and Mali, facilitated by Intercooperation. In each of the three countries, a learning group of 12 to 15 participants from different sectors – farmers’ and water users’ associations, project teams, NGOs, private sector, government, SDC staff – jointly defined a learning agenda and deepened topics tools like story-telling to ensure a high level of authenticity while capturing experiences. Participants and facilitators appreciated this innovative tool for enabling them to break with the usual formal setting, see complex issues from previously unperceived angles, and challenge fixed mindsets.
The learning groups concluded that the learning process was most effective and motivating when intermediate results were immediately put to use as inputs for decision-making in other ongoing initiatives (as opposed to working in isolation to achieve a final product). In India, the learning group was consulted by the authorities and thus contributed to the elaboration of revised watershed guidelines. The three learning groups exchanged and presented their preliminary findings during the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico City in March 2006.
Moreover, each learning group presented its findings in an innovative and attractive manner, by putting video, audio and power-point presentations, short stories and comics into interactive presentation CDs. These country-specific products were then partially translated and assembled to form a global product available on DVD as well as on the Internet (www.waterlandpeople.net). This final product provides a rich resource base and is meant to be used by many actors on different levels, ranging from local stakeholders (e.g. water users’ associations and authorities), the SDC and partner institutions to policy-makers and the wider public.
Powerpoint presentation by Monique Mikhail, International Development Enterprises, given at the Thematic Group Meeting in London, 2007.
A paper presented by Joep Verhagen, IRC. This case study argues that predominant focus of the MUS-group should be widened to include MUS in urban areas. The study found that (a) an inadequate water supply leads to a considerable loss of income especially for women and (b) that water is being used for productive uses in a large number of urban livelihoods. However, considering the large number of institutions involved in urban water supply, projects to improve urban water supply will be only successful when all stakeholders are involved in the project. For more info see http://www.musgroup.net/page/634
This report present the findings of a case study on the productive use of water in urban areas that was carried out in the low-income neighbourhoods of Bhuj, Gujarat in Western India.
A recent book addresses some of the problems caused in rural India by a narrow focus on water for drinking. An extended quote from the book makes interesting reading:
“The rationale for Unicef's agreement to support the 'accelerated' rural water supply programme is very significant. The thrust was safe drinking water, to pursue the goal of improved public health particularly of children. In spite of the needs of the Indian farmer for water to irrigate his crops during the dry season, without which his family's food supply would be threatened and children's and women’s' well-being jeopardized from another direction, Unicef's concern was limited to water for drinking and domestic purposes. Indeed, if there had been any mention of agriculture during the debates surrounding the proposal, it would have stopped dead in its tracks. Some advocates of applied nutrition were keen to support domestic water supplies for kitchen gardens as an adjunct of family food supplies, but nutrition programmes were then seen as an adjunct to health in the Unicef perspective. This did not accord with the way community water resources were traditionally viewed, either by villagers or by previous government policy.
Given their multiple needs for water, including water to irrigate their crops, villagers in India tend to view the water resources available to them holistically. What they need is water, plain and simple. In many parts of the country little differentiation is made between water for drinking and domestic purposes and water for cultivation. Certain wells and other sources may be favoured for drinking because of their taste or perceived purity, or because they can be more conveniently accessed. Until the advent of the 'problem village' with its exclusive focus on defining water scarcity in terms of water for drinking, government programmes for village water supply had not made this distinction either. But in the late 1960s, influenced on the one hand by the Green Revolution and its emphasis on large-scale irrigated agriculture, and on the other by a new 'water for health' ideology promoted by Unicef and WHO, government policies towards water were for the first time compartmentalized.
The long-term implications of this division along sectoral lines were not then perceived but they were to be profound. In fact the idea that they were promoting a departure from the norm did not occur to Unicef, whose new water professionals were schooled in Western public health engineering traditions, where domestic water supplies have no livelihood context and are almost exclusively about washing, cooking and drinking. No one can quarrel with the primacy of water for drinking. Water to drink is indisputably essential for human and livestock survival. But a policy which neglected other basic water needs, and failed to integrate requirements for agriculture and requirements for health has become, in more recent times an albatross of terrifying proportions. Such a crisis has not been anticipated at the time. There was a head of political steam behind village drinking water supplies, and after initial self-doubt, Unicef stood ready to serve.”
Read more in Black, M., Talbot, R. 2005. Water a matter of life and health, water supply and sanitation in Village India, Unicef with Oxford University Press, New Delhi. The above quote is from pages 41-43.