Climate Proofing for Future Livelihoods – Water Actions begin in Tamil Nadu

June 2020: Key water and soil actions for comprehensive water management are underway as part of an innovative national-level model across India. The Indo-German Project Water Security and Climate Adaptation in Rural India (WASCA) carried out in cooperation with Ministry of Rural Development and the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India, with support of German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). In Tamil Nadu, WASCA is being implemented in two districts, Tiruvannamalai and Ramanathapuram for which MSSRF is the technical support agency partnering GIZ and Government of Tamil Nadu for planning, convergence and implementation. Over 300 government officials are part of this intensive exercise with capacity building on Composite Water Resources Management (CWRM) approach.

“Through this project, there is opportunity to link NREGA and other schemes,” says Dr R Rengalakshmi Director Ecotechnology. “There is planning and implementation at the Gram Panchayat level, making this very unique and detailed and this is what helps in science-based actions in the water sector to meet the challenges of climate change.” This week, the project also launched a campaign to build momentum for the Water Actions planned.

The project includes land and soil development, water harvesting and conservation, protection against extreme weather events, such as drought and flooding, creating significant climate adaptation and mitigation co-benefits involving CWRM approach and provides learning for scale up across other districts.

The Ministry of Jal Shakti, the nodal ministry for water in India, together with national agencies working on water including National Water Mission, Central Water Commission, Central Ground Water Board, River Boards, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Atal Bhujal Yojana for groundwater management and Jal Jeevan Mission to enhance the scope for WASCA interventions in rural India.

Through this project, water resources management is expected to be enhanced through an integrated approach at national, state and local level and is operational in five states – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka – in 13,000+ villages in 10 districts.