IWMI-India Program

Between 2001 and 2012, IWMI partnered with Sir Ratan Tata Trust, Mumbai for the IWMI-Tata Water Policy Program (ITP). ITP excelled at conducting practical research with high potential for policy impacts and directly impacted policy decisions involving some US $ 2500 million of public investments in India. The IWMI-INDIA Water Policy Program (IWPP) aims to continue and extend the "ITP approach" by focusing on four themes of WLE interest. 1. Strategies for making small holder farming profitable (SFPF): Over the coming decade or two, the greatest challenge for Indian agriculture is to make small land holdings viable. Research under this theme will aim to develop a range of 'water-control +" models for creating "Small Farmer Prosperous Farmer" (SFPF) communities by using a corpus of cases and case studies. 2. Promoting Solar Pumps in Eastern India: India’s 15 million electric tube-wells use 120 billion kWh of power to lift water every year. Similarly, 4.5 m diesel pumps burn some 1.8 million liters of diesel for the same purpose. All these can be potentially replaced by solar pumps, especially in groundwater rich eastern India to unleash a second green revolution. Research under this theme will focus on building and communicating ‘smart’ incentives to promote solar pumps. 3. Institutional Reform in Public Irrigation: A key impact of ITP research is the Rs 6700 crore National Irrigation Management Fund (NIMF). The NIMF was proposed to incentivize superior performance but implementing NIMF will be tricky. Research under this theme will bring system performance and management at the centre by developing and publicizing performance rating of major and medium irrigation systems. 4. Ecological Resilience of Peri-Urban Irrigated Ecosystems: By 2030, more than 40 per cent of India's population will live in urban settings, resulting in a further intensification of the already evident conflicts between towns and their hinterland for water. Work under this theme will focus on peri-urban wastewater irrigation as a mixture of livelihood opportunity and health and environmental risk. The scale and depth of investigations into each of these sub-themes will also depend, crucially, on the fate of the ITP Phase III proposal. With ITP III, significant additional resources and staff will be available to the program team.