Strategies and recommendations towards an IWRM approach in Tungabhadra sub-basin, India

In the Tungabhadra sub basin (TBSB), Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) is currently seen in a number of smaller initiatives at local scale. The concept of integration is new in water sector and it has for the first time been specified in the National Water Policy (2000), the Karnataka State Water Policy (2002). Currently, water management is based on administrative and not hydrological boundaries resulting in allocation, distribution and usage problems within and across sectors. A number of institutional measures can be implemented to develop IWRM initiatives. To begin with, a complete hydrological characterization apart from reforms of water laws and water institutions through participatory approaches is required, considering several stakeholder interests. The Participatory Irrigation Management policy (2002) and Andhra Pradesh Farmers' Management of Irrigation Systems Act, 1997 demonstrates that it is possible to make changes, but needs to be put in practice. Number of government programs exist for capacity building, which have to be customized to suit the local needs and prepare managers and other stakeholders to strengthen IWRM competence, In addition, integration of rain fed and irrigated agriculture, integration of dispersed storages like tanks and with larger sources like the major and medium irrigation projects, improving water use efficiency, and livelihoods of marginal communities is important in TBSB.