Using Transformative Scenario Planning to think critically about the future of water in rural Jalna, India

Policy Brief


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

Jalna, a drought-prone district in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra in India, faces serious water challenges. Some of the causes are recurrent drought, drought-like conditions and notable weather changes, crop loss and failure, and increasing demand for groundwater by farmers, industry and urbanisation, with declining groundwater levels. Water scarcity for domestic and livelihood needs of rural households is of grave concern. In recent times, thousands of families migrated to cities and towns in distress, in search of sustenance. While water requirements for industry and urban needs are met from the Jayakwadi dam, most of the rural population depends on declining groundwater and infrequent tankers in times of scarcity. At the same time, villages, NGOs and government have taken up water conservation projects, such as watershed development and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), with encouraging results. Demand - side management practices, however, are poorly followed. Other practices, such as lifting safe groundwater into surface ‘farm ponds’, aggravate inequity and increase evaporation losses, while the improper implementation of land treatment projects affects the biophysical structure of land with long-term impacts on water availability. Finding sustainable solutions to this complex water issue is beyond the capacity of any single agency. It necessitates the active engagement of all stakeholders. Developed by Reos Partners, Transformative Scenario Planning (TSP) offers a neutral space for stakeholders to present their views, and construct a shared understanding of the situation and the actions they can take to address it. In short, TSP offers a way for social systems to get unstuck and move forward. This report provides an overview of the first TSP workshop titled Water Situation in Rural Jalna in 2030: For Domestic and Livelihood Needs’. It was presented by the Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) from 18 - 19 September 2017 at Krushi Vidnyan Kendra, Jalna, in the local language of Marathi.