On 16 March, the AWP River Basin Planning team convened a workshop in New Delhi, India, to foster discussion around planning opportunities in the Krishna, Godavari and Mahanadi river basins.
David Harriss of Access Water Management, Tony Weber and David Winfield of Alluvium, and Melita Grant of the UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures facilitated the workshop, which introduced the Australian approach to water sharing and water management planning and helped to identify specific experiences that could aid water management in India.
The workshop was attended by 24 representatives from India’s Ministry of Water Resources, its Central Water Commission, and State Governments, and from the Australian Government.
Australian High Commissioner to India, Harinder Sidhu, opened the workshop, assuring Indian representatives that Australia would support them throughout their water reform journey.
AWP is currently developing a User Guide to Basin Planning, which is being tailored to assist water managers in India to address some of the issues raised during the workshop discussion—specifically those relating to the Krishna Basin.
Presentations by the River Basin Planning team stressed the importance of stakeholder engagement and broad community consultation in the Australian experience, and identified the value of a basin-wide institution for water management, which may be considered in the future water governance arrangements within the Krishna Basin.
David Harriss described the workshop as ‘highly participatory, stimulating significant discussion between participants’.
The workshop was implemented as part of the third phase of the Government of India National Hydrology Project, which AWP has been supporting since 2016.
Indian Central and State Government water representatives are scheduled to visit Australia’s Murray–Darling Basin in June, where they will see first-hand the intricate workings of basin planning across different sectors and regions.