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IUKWC Workshop Nov16: Developing Hydro-climatic Services for Water Security – Session 3 – Item 4 Bharucha


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IUKWC Workshop November 2016: Developing Hydro-climatic Services for Water Security
Session 3.4 Zareen Bharucha

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IUKWC Workshop Nov16: Developing Hydro-climatic Services for Water Security – Session 3 – Item 4 Bharucha

  1. 1. Water-security in the long durée: Insights for developing hydro-climatic services Dr. Zareen Pervez Bharucha. IITM, Pune, Nov. 2016
  2. 2. Theoretical framework: Resilience theory & political ecology 2 Environmental systems and risks are:  Social-ecological  Complex  Multi-scalar [Holling C.S and Meffe G. 1996. Command and control and the pathology of natural resource management. Cons. Bio. 10: 328-337.]
  3. 3. Theoretical framework: Resilience theory &political ecology 3  Power, politics, distribution  ‘Constructedness’ “risk – “(is not just) something real and physical … (it is) constructed out of history and experience by experts and lay people alike…Risk in this sense is culturally embedded and has texture and meaning that vary from one social grouping to another. Trying to assess risk is therefore necessarily a social and political exercise” (Jasanoff 1999, p. 150). [Jasanoff S. 1999. The songlines of risk. Env. Values 8(2): 135-152. / Int’ll Soc. Sci. Council 2013. World Soc. Sci. Report. Changing Global Env. Full text online.]
  4. 4. Unpacking scarcity: “natural, universal and self- evident” 4 “[an] open-ended myth… [of] an antagonist in the human story, a story with a happy ending, vanquishing of the antagonist and a life of happiness ever after and abundance for all.” (Xenos 1989, p. 35). [Xenos N. 1989. Scarcity and Modernity Routledge: New York. Mehta L. 2013. The Limits to Scarcity: Contesting the Politics of Allocation. Earthscan: London.]
  5. 5. Models of water security in agricultural landscapes in India 5  5000 large irrigation dams  US$ 21.4 billion, 1991-2007 BUT  ?40 million displaced  10% of amount required for maintenance is available  1 million ha in Green Revolution belts degraded
  6. 6. 6  600 million farmers  90% of cropland  40% of food  30% of population in degraded semi-arid WSs live in poverty  Investment in irrigated agriculture = +22x Rainfed landscapes are important but neglected
  7. 7. Watershed development: Patchy, partial and short-lived 7 “In our mathematics, 20,000 problem villages minus 20,000 problem villages equals 20,000 problem villages.” N.C Saxena, Planning Commission
  8. 8. Exploring the lived experience of water security: General, long-term, lived-experience Bharucha et al. 2014. All paths lead to rain: Explaining why watershed development in India does not alleviate the experience of water scarcity. Jrnl. Dev. Studies. 50(9)].
  9. 9. Findings: social-ecological determinants of farm-level water security 9 [Bharuchaetal.2014.Allpathsleadtorain:Explaining whywatersheddevelopmentinIndiadoesnotalleviate theexperienceofwaterscarcity.Jrnl.Dev.Studies.50(9)].
  10. 10. Findings: Perceptions link climate and distress… 10  (Climate-driven) water scarcity is the predominant feature of drylands   Scarcity = agrarian distress   Increased supply is required
  11. 11. … & mirror expert views ... 11 “Water scarcity is the predominant feature of the drylands.” UNDP 2011. “The fragile regions such as the Indian dry tropical areas have several nature-induced risks and vulnerabilities. Their specific features... such as (a) high degree of fragility, marginality, diversity and limited accessibility, (when compared to prime land areas of the country), generate the circumstances that keep them poor and contribute to their low productivity...” Jodha et al. 2012, p. 3.
  12. 12. … including at local level... 12 “… stopping farmer’s suicides is the biggest challenge before the government and to meet it, we have undertaken a flagship programme… which aims at making 5000 state villages permanently water-scarcity free. If this succeeds, it will mark an end to farmer’s woes. [Existing initiatives] cost “crores [which] went down the drain as [they] did not try to go to the root of the problem, which was inadequacy of irrigation” Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announcing the new rural development scheme in the state of Maharashtra (Fadnavis 2015 in Deccan Herald, 2015).
  13. 13. … by problematizing rainfall 13 “This is what Nature has become. Who knows why. We can’t do anything about it.” - Interview with rainfed farmers, Ahmednagar, 2010. “In dry regions, there is no alternative except for it to rain. Suppose it were a place serviced by a canal. Even if it didn’t rain, they could release water from a dam, then people could carry on. There is nothing like this here.”
  14. 14. … and catalysing a shift to perrenial irrigation 14 “There used to be only 50 wells in the village. Now there are 400! If previously 50 wells were being used for 400 acres, now one well is used for one acre! This is an improvement, isn’t it?” “Only those who have wells have benefited.” - Interview data, 2010.
  15. 15. Interrogating rainfall narratives at district level 15 [Bharuchaetal.2014.Allpathsleadtorain:Explaining whywatersheddevelopmentinIndiadoesnotalleviate theexperienceofwaterscarcity.Jrll.Dev.Studies.50(9)]. Slight decrease, but not due to continuous change. India: 7% decrease; district trends differ. Initiation of WSD 
  16. 16. Locked-in economies of intensive irrigation 16 “We do not have to grow crops which are wholly dependent on rainfall.” - Interviews with rainfed farmer, Ahmednagar, April 2010 “[Dam and canal building] is an enterprise between businesses and politicians and it has nothing to do with water availability especially for the poor” - Interview with Maharashtrian water activist, Jan 2015
  17. 17. Re-discovering resilience: Don’t ‘iron out’ variability 17 [CSE, 1997. Dying Wisdom: The rise, fall and potential of India’s traditional water harvesting systems. CSE: New Delhi. Krätli S. 2015. New perspectives on climate-resilient drylands development. IIED: London.]
  18. 18. Concluding comments 18 • Climate is NOT an independent driver of agrarian distress. • Climate knowledge (and action) is not fully captured by weather data. It is deeply experiential and conditioned by social and political factors. It is also actively exploited by social actors with diverse agendas. • Hydro-climatic tools part of a wider arsenal of tools to improve overall resilience of rainfed dryland farming - Crop-water requirements for neglected crops. - Green water management - Varietal development - Market support for dryland crops - Livelihood diversification and rural industry • Transdisciplinarity: Input of most vulnerable (not most progressive!) farmers. Institutional dialogue to improve models.
  19. 19. Thank you! [Funding Overseas Research Scholarship