Lessons learned: Rules, regulations and systems for improved water resource management

In general:

  • Common properties are best taken care of by the common people
  • Strong community organization can be the basis for local priority setting
  • Most often participation in development processes (coming together and being a part of a process) itself leads to empowerment
  • Empowered communities can negotiate with multiple stakeholders to protect their interests and also plan for their future
  • Promotion of leadership that is efficient, transparent and accountable to the common people
  • Overarching framework of human rights and gender empowerment, as well as instruments like rules and regulations, helps in inclusion of vulnerable, increasing their power of negotiation
  • Gender sensitiveness means a balanced approach that is inclusive of both women and men
  • Social regulations and adherence to these norms important for management of natural resources and common property resources such as groundwater, tank water, common pasturelands
  • Village level institutions are good grooming ground for prospective leaders
  • Investments in human and institutional development can lead to sustainable outcomes much beyond project duration

Regarding groundwater management

  • It is time to shift focus from development to management of water resources by improving water management mechanisms to address quantity and quality issues associated with competition for a finite resource such as groundwater
  • A paradigm of water sharing enables food and income security during water scarce situations
  • Community level agreements form the basis to put in place water sharing systems

Regarding tank management

  • Watershed development must be tank centric, radiating from the water body outwards and integrating management of soil, water and forests.
  • Traditional tank management systems have existed to ensure food security. Modern tank management institutions can be built on these systems.

Topic introduction