Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF) and 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) are partnering to develop innovative, large-scale solutions for India’s water challenges. The solutions will focus on technology, finance, knowledge, and results-based implementation and will target the agriculture sector, which uses around 80 percent of the country’s water resources. It will impact one million farmers and save up to four trillion liters of water.
According to 2030 WRG estimates, India will have a 50 percent water deficit by the year 2030. This partnership will adopt a multi-stakeholder approach to promote efficient water-use practices and technologies among farmers, incubate new models, knowledge, and tools to drive behaviour change, and catalyse replication of best practices. This, in turn, will contribute to water and food security through reduced agri-water use and enhanced agricultural productivity. The success of this model of implementation will provide inputs for making necessary policy recommendations.
The program will leverage thought leaders, enablers, decision-makers, and implementation organisations across public and private sectors, civil society, and academia. It will establish state-level networks to facilitate agri-water efficiency and pollution reduction. Its Practice-Based National Agri-Water Policy Leadership Forum will provide strategic thought leadership for agri-water policy development.
Speaking at the Alliance for Thought Leadership and Action for Agri-Water workshop to launch the partnership Sanjiv Mehta, CEO and MD, Hindustan Unilever Limited said, “The partnership coordinated by 2030 WRG aspires to create one of the largest participatory programs globally on demand-side management of water in the agriculture sector. A key focus is scientific and impact-driven action through a results measurement framework at the state level to measure water savings and agricultural productivity enhancement.”
The partnership will also establish the Ganga Multi-Stakeholder Action Forum, which will develop inclusive and collaborative approaches to rejuvenate the Ganga Basin. “This is a critical aspect of our partnership, as the Ganga Basin is home to 450 million people. Over 60 percent of them depend on agriculture for their livelihoods,” said Anders Berntell, Executive Director, 2030 WRG. “Making a difference here has the potential to transform lives”, he further said.
2030 WRG and its partners design and implement water source security solutions for long-term economic growth, environmental protection, and social impact in select countries. In India, 2030 WRG has partnered with the central government and the governments of Karnataka and Maharashtra for demand-side water management at scale across agricultural, urban, and industrial sectors.