Water stewardship news from India

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Water stewardship news from India

India is widely recognised as one of the world’s most water-challenged nations. The 2016 Asian Development Bank Water Development Outlook report illustrates the foundations of the water-related challenges India faces as being:

  • Water is inequitably distributed geographically and seasonally
  • Climate change makes predicting local water availability more difficult
  • Urbanisation is exacerbating demand for water and increasing volumes of wastewater
  • Food for a rapidly growing population increasing abstractions and pollutant run off
  • Inefficient irrigation systems and water management compounding demand problems

Meeting in Delhi on 18th July, members of the India Water Stewardship Network agreed plans to further develop water stewardship responses to these challenges across the country. Plans developed and ratified include agreements to increase place-based collaborations between members, mapping of stewardship projects and water priorities across India and an India-wide collaboration between members and between the IWSN and other stakeholders to promote the benefits of water stewardship in India.

Formed in 2016, the India Water Stewardship Network is comprised of private and public sector organisations, local and international NGOs and academia and research institutes. Their shared purpose in forming the IWSN is to promote a clear understanding and uptake of water stewardship in the Indian context. The IWSN use the AWS Standard as a baseline water stewardship definition and framework.

The Secretariat of the Alliance for Water Stewardship has played a co-ordinating role in the India Water Stewardship Network since it was formed. This co-ordinating role will now be performed by the newly appointed AWS India Director, Manu Jose Mattam.

Manu joins AWS from SCS India where he was Director of Natural Resources Programs. Manu’s extensive knowledge and experience in natural resource management and certification processes will be a huge asset in advancing AWS water stewardship in India and in strengthening the international system as a whole.

To connect with AWS in India or to find out more about the work of the India Water Stewardship Network contact Manu on email via

Image of water pollution in Kanpur, India (c) Daniel Bacchuber