Saturday, September 17, 2011

Implications of Bulk Water Transfer

A Case Study of the Melamchi Water Supply Project in Nepal
Dhruba Pant, International Water Management Institute (IWMI-Nepal)
Madhusudan Bhattarai, The World Vegetable Center (AVRDC)
Govinda Basnet, University of Georgia

1. Bulk Water Transfer has a great implication on the local water management and socio-economic relations in villages from where this Bulk water is transferred.

2. The Informal water management, traditional water management systems are very much effective in regulating water supply in the villages, but Bulk Water Transfer will change the scale of water transfer and power inequality between the organised public sector( Government - BWSSB) and unorganized marginal water users ( who in many cases have Common Property Rights)

3. Inter sectoral water transfer- which means transfer of water from rural to urban . This kind of water transfer also has great implications on the traditional water management systems in the villages. As many case studies such as Udaipur case study have shown that with introduction of Bulk Water Transfer leads to diminishing of traditional water management systems such as small tanks, ponds etc.
What are the changes in Water Rights Structure in a village?

4. Another implication is that - There are major institutional and policy concerns such as equitable sharing of resources, environment justice and overall technical and economic viability of project.

5. Public Policy issues and concerns of rural-urban transfer vary by scale of project , location and relative water scarcity

6. Effect - Socio-economic , hydrological, water management system, livelihood

7. Accompanying this kind of system are Institutional reforms with Centralized Governance systems for water distribution in the region ( Here it is entire BMIC corridor)
Major questions regarding this Institutional reforms are

a) What new policy /Act are passed ?
b) Any new Authority is created? If not, who now takes responsibility in water distribution?
c) Any amendments are made to present Acts/ Policy?
d) Who creates and owns these new assets?
e) What are the accountability mechanism in place?
f) How regulates i) Surface water ii) Ground Water

Basically looking at Institutional changes and Changing role of STATE.

8. Another issues is - Diversion of water from 1 basin to other ( Inter basin )
In BMIC region , there are 4 major rivers - Kaveri, Arkavaty,
iS Water going to be transferred from one basin to another?
Analysis of overall scenario of water use in basin, particularly in dry season.

9. The state government illegally committed 150 million liters per day of Cauvery water to the townships without consulting the Cauvery River Tribunal

10. Policy should reflect temporal and spatial variations of water availability and actual uses/scarcity scenario for various uses in the river basin.
Study should address the physical characteristics of river basins
Socio-economic features

11. Study should find out
- total population in region
- total annual water flow
- water requirements for basic drinking needs
- Land holding in the rural

12. Bulk water transfer, implies that less water in that place. Therefore this Paper brings out the speed with which farming community will adjust to new cropping patter which will suit low level of water supply.
Gives info on present cropping patter in each season.

13. This paper also brings implications of project in community Livelihood

14. Water Rights
- Customary rights - acquired thr years of usage
- Statutory rights - by Govt policies/ laws etc
How does Statutory Acts merge with existing traditional system

Priority of water use
- Drinking and Domestic
- Irrigation
- Industry

15. Paper also give info on -> Land rights go with Water rights in some cases and there are other arrangements such as Tenant farmer, construction workers and many more get water through some agreed terms .

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