The Advanced Centre for Integrated Water Resources Management (AC-IWRM) will act as a think tank to the Department of Water Resources. The Advanced Centre will engage in policy analysis, policy research, develop knowledge base within the state and WRDO for gearing up the department up to its future vision 2030. It will also serve as a platform / agency thru WRDO for coordination among main departments and other related government agencies, NGOs, private sector firms, water user associations and other organizations dealing with the water sector and leading up to implementation of the IWRM principles.

Karnataka Water Resources Information System(KWRIS)

The KWRIS will comprise a spatial system bringing together quantity-quality-condition aspects of surface water, groundwater and water dependent ecosystems.  A decision support system comprising a GIS based information system will be developed. This system will support in assessing the water balance, yield estimation, catchment calibration for water resources department. KWRIS will enable the water resources Information interoperability will be the key across different departments to communicate, exchange data, and use the information that has been exchanged for intra and inter departmental use in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating different schemes and programmes in an effective and efficient way with utmost economic considerations.

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IWRM Training and Capacity Building

ACIWRM is preparing an overall strategy for the training and capacity building of government staff and farmers so that water resources can be managed sustainably. The strategy will assess training needs of various stakeholders and include activities such as in-depth technical and management training, national and international study tours, work placements, and twinning arrangements to learn from other organisations.

In the short term, WRD staff will be trained in IWRM so that it can be increasingly adopted in their daily work. The ACIWRM with the IISc and local Universities and assisted by UNESCO-IHE, are preparing a certificated course in IWRM for 600 junior to mid level engineers. Training in IWRM will be extended to additional staff, including more senior staff in due course.

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River Basin Plans in Selected River Basins

River Basin Plans are to be prepared for priority basins commencing with Tungabhadra sub-basin. A river basin profile will be developed first to fully understand and prioritise the issues in the basin. The core focus of the plan is expected to be water sharing and security under conditions of water scarcity. The profile and plan will be developed participatively, including with an interim RBO, and use the KWRIS and decision support system. Once endorsed by government, agreed components will commence implementation. A priority subset of this task will be to assess water availability and the impacts of irrigation modernisation projects.

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State IWRM Policy and Strategy

The State IWRM Policy and Strategy will be developed participatively, following assessment of the policy and institutional arrangements for water resources management in Karnataka including national level strategies and programs. This will be assessed in relation to international approaches and IWRM and a proposed policy and strategy taken to government for consideration.

The policy and strategy is expected to address issues such as integrated management of water resources; institutional arrangements; river basin and sub-basin management; water allocation, entitlements and the sharing of water to support economic sectors and maintain the environment; a move from development and construction to system management-operation-maintenance; farmer and water user participation; water quality and ecosystem maintenance; information and knowledge sharing and management; and, management of drought, floods and climate change . As part of this, interim RBO arrangements for the Tungabhadra River Basin Organization will be piloted.

The Framework for the Policy and Strategy approach is shown in the following diagram. This will result in strong and sustainable water resources management including aware and involved communities; allocation and sharing of water between users and uses; water moving to high value uses over time; droughts, floods and climate change that are managed proactively; Nigams that move from basically construction agencies to water service providers focussed on operations and maintenance and with have a service orientation; and conservation of the water environment.

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Water Use Efficiency and Productivity

The key goal of improving water efficiency and productivity is to improve farmer incomes without worsening environmental conditions further. A particular need is to mitigate the impacts of drought and likely over allocation of water, especially groundwater.

This activity will develop the concepts and build understanding of water productivity, water use efficiency, crop and agricultural productivity and their practical application to water resources management at a range of scales from river basin to farm. It will also pilot remote sensing of water consumption, WUE and water productivity at river basin scales in order to make assessments of WUE and WUP as well as to support river basin planning and management.

The activity has been active in introducing international practices for irrigation system modernisation and automation. It is training WRD staff in the use the FAO MASSCOTE system for planning the modernisation of irrigation systems.

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Drip in cotton crop


Pic drip irrigation in paddy

Participative Land and Water Management Plans

Community based Land and Water Management Plans (LWMP) and other farmer based approaches will be trialed to improve local land and water conditions including extremely urgent issues such as preparing for and better managing the impacts of drought. LWMP would utilize assessments and be prioritized based on the river basin plan and the WUE and Irrigation Systems activities. The pilot area would be located in one of the modernization areas.

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Communication, Awareness Raising and Participation

Stakeholders will be involved in the activity through community group activities such as WUAs, rivercare, drought resilience; and other community participation approaches. Awareness raising campaigns will be undertaken through newspapers etc, and a State Water Week.

A priority activity of this project is to broaden the successful experience with WUAs in parts of the State. WUA activities will increase the extent and effectiveness of farmers’ participation so that irrigation systems are managed and water shared equitably. WUAs will be strengthened to manage system sustainability and operation, improve agronomic practices, water use efficiency, productivity and farmer livelihoods. Governance arrangements surrounding WUAs will be strengthened.

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Preparation of State Specific Action Plan on Climate Change for Water Sector

The preparation of water sector specific climate change report, for Karnataka state, as per TOR provided by the National Water Mission.The NWM communications state that
“The SSAPCC for water sector need to be formulated based on scientific assessment of the climate vulnerability to long term climate change. A scientific assessment will help in identifying and prioritizing mitigation/adaptation strategies, identifying most vulnerable districts/social groups/sectors. water intensive sectors (Industry, Energy, Agriculture etc.); climate change projections; GHG Emissions (sectors/regions), etc.”

The detailed scope of work is looking more like a compilation of secondary, existing text for completeness of the document. This is the context in which the following is set;

(i)Project Methodology: Description of the main activities to be conducted and it could be expanded to cover the following:
i.Assessment and comment on confidence levels and sensitivity analysis of modelling results
ii.In addition to annual shifts in climate and water resource conditions and their impact, the assessment should include the likelihood, potential impact, mitigation and adaption measures, of CC to within year temporal shifts in climatic conditions such as might affect the timing of monsoons and the cropping cycle.
iii.Based on the extensive and deep experience of the project team, a review of CC, it’s impacts, mitigation and adaption approaches from key literature and in particular the IPCC should be provided with potential implications for Karnataka and for the ACIWRM key program areas of river basin plans and water use and productivity.
iv.Implications of projected hydrologic and climate change should also consider the impacts on farmer and rural-folk socio-economic and living conditions. The full range of possible impacts (as well as the traditional) should be considered such as for example whether there is an increased risk of forest wild fires, etc.
v.Knowledge gaps and priority needs for further studies/investigations particularly in regard to adaptation and mitigation approaches
vi.Assessment of management options should also be subjected to risk analysis (ie. likelihood and consequence)

(ii)Project Reporting:It is anticipated that a minimum of 3 reports will be required and these should be identified in the project schedule:
i.A mid project progress report at an appropriate stage to be identified in the schedule;
ii. A draft final report for comment by the ACIWRM. This is to be supported by a workshop presentation on the draft project report provided to the ACIWRM and held in Bangalore prior to ACIWRM providing its comments on the draft report
iii. The final report following comment from ACIWRM. This will comprise 3 hard copies and a digital copy
iv. In addition, a report should be furnished immediately for further instruction by the client (ACIWRM) if there is a need for departure from the agreed project plan

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National Groundwater Management Improvement Programme (NGMIP)

ACIWRM under the aegis of Water Resources Department is selected as Nodal Agency for “National Groundwater Management Improvement Programme (NGMIP)” in Karnataka. As Nodal Agency, ACIWRM will support in preparing a detailed project proposal for Karnataka in consultation with MoWR, RD&GR, GoI. The respective line departments like Groundwater Directorate, Minor Irrigation, Agriculture, Horticulture,, RDPR, Urban Development, Water Resources Development will have the planning, designing and implementation responsibility falling within their departmental framework of activities to support groundwater resource management.

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River Basin Modelling

River basin models are an imprtant toold for improving basin water management. They integrate data and knowledge of hydrological systems with a basin.All major components of basin water balance can be estimated and annual water accounts developed. They also can be used as a database for quality-controlled data sets relevant to hydrological processes. Data availability and transparency is improved and water management rules must be explicitly expressed.

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