GWP story map documents Multistakeholder Partnership for Hindon River Rejuvenation

GWP has produced a multimedia story map of the Multistakeholder Partnership (MSP) for the Hindon River Rejuvenation, a platform coordinated by the 2030 Water Resources Group and the GWP India Water Partnership.

The story map analyses the evolution and progress of the Hindon MSP and its various initiatives and collaborative efforts to revitalise the Hindon River, a tributary in India’s Ganga River Basin. The experiences documented in the story map provide inspiration, insights and lessons learned for improving basin-level water governance through a multistakeholder-based approach.

Severe pollution threatens the Hindon River

A tributary of the Yamuna River, the Hindon River flows for 400 km across northern India. It originates from the upper Shivalik Hills in the lower Himalayan range of Saharanpur District, Western Uttar Pradesh, and has an approximate catchment area of 5,975 km2. The river then traverses through six districts of Uttar Pradesh – Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, and Gautambudh Nagar– before joining the Yamuna River in Gautambudh Nagar District, downstream of New Delhi. The Hindon River provides rich social, cultural, economic, and ecological value for the nearly 10 million inhabitants residing in and around its basin. 

Despite its regional significance, the Hindon River and its tributaries are on the verge of ecological death due to severe pollution loads. This poses public health and environmental risks to the densely populated river basin. Since the turn of the century, many efforts have been made by the Government of Uttar Pradesh, non-governmental organisations, and local communities to restore the river’s health. During these efforts, however, it became clear that a holistic, basin-level approach was needed to coordinate and strengthen rejuvenation activities.

Establishing an MSP for the Hindon River 

The idea of setting up a more formal MSP to rejuvenate the Hindon River first emerged in 2015 during multistakeholder discussions on key water management issues facing the region. Led by the Principal Secretary of Uttar Pradesh’s Urban Development Department, and the National Mission for Clean Ganga, these roundtable discussions involved more than 70 representatives from the State Government’s Departments of Minor Irrigation, Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, and Infrastructure and Industrial Development, as well as the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, the World Bank, GWP, the German Corporation for International Cooperation, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. Actors from the private sector, civil society organisations, and academia also took part. 

As a result of these discussions, in August 2017, WAPCOS Limited, International Finance Corporation/2030 Water Resources Group, and GWP India signed a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of a ‘Multistakeholder River Rejuvenation Partnership for the Hindon River Rejuvenation’. The objective is to promote a tributary approach to Hindon rejuvenation efforts and develop a participatory model that can be replicated across the Ganga Basin and beyond. Since its establishment, the MSP has successfully mobilised stakeholders and influenced decision-makers to help restore the Hindon.

Commenting on the partnership, Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Anup Chandra Pandey, said it was:

“positive to see such strong interest among stakeholders to work together to resolve the key water management issues in the Hindon Basin.” 

Unique story map documents Hindon MSP’s restoration efforts

GWP is showcasing these urgent efforts by producing a unique, multimedia story map of the Hindon MSP. The story map provides a detailed and engaging account of the evolution and progress of the Hindon MSP, including its institutional structure and the various initiatives it has coordinated to revitalise the Hindon. It explores the Hindon MSP’s ability to mobilise the private sector as technical partners for the expansion of decentralised municipal wastewater treatment facilities. The story map highlights the Hindon MSP’s creation of decision support systems and dashboards to inform policy processes, and its efforts to engage youth as sustainability activists.