For the first time the Government of India has selected a non-government organisation, GWP India West Zone Water Partnership (WZWP) Coordinating Agency, Gomukh Trust, to prepare an integrated water resources development and management plan.
Gomukh Trust was chosen to develop the plan for the Wainganga River Basin because it has built a vibrant, trusted platform for negotiating water issues involving the community, government, NGOs and the private sector. This marks a major change in the mindset of government agencies. The initiative has substantially changed the situation in four districts. Procedures have become more transparent. Polarisation and confrontation has changed to co-operation and appreciation of mutual interests. This is a major step towards integration. Development and management of water resources for river basins in India are still at the planning stage. The Wainganga River is a tributary of the Godavari River, the first major river for which an IWRM plan is being developed. The initiative of GWP India WZWP Coordinating Agency to take the lead in developing the IWRM plan sets a promising precedent for planning IWRM in basins in India.