National groundwater meeting to scope a National Reform Agenda, India

Projects & Activities
groundwaterThis forum was convened so stakeholders from various parts of the water sector could get a shared understanding of the situation for groundwater in India and formulate the first steps to managing various emerging challenges. The forum was attended by 52 people including senior policy makers and resource managers. Topics of discussion included groundwater governance and management in India, and the idea of groundwater in India as a hidden treasure. Overall it was noted the over-exploitation of groundwater in India was a real issue and water management, including policy and legal reforms, was the key to solving problems.

Access Water Management provided a summary of the New South Wales experience in the overuse and subsequent management of groundwater. Participants in the forum agreed that there is there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to groundwater problems but that to make progress a paradigm shift in groundwater governance and management is required; groundwater data, information and knowledge should be improved; groundwater and surface water needed to managed jointly and massive and wide-reaching public education is required. These findings are now being managed by the World Bank to become a package of development for India. We asked a seasoned manager what he thought of the meeting and he responded ‘I have been trying to get these groups together for such a meeting for 20 years! I am over the moon.’