Water Resources issues in State
  • Maharashtra Management Of Irrigation Systems by Farmers (MMISF) Act 2005
  In order to bridge the gap between irrigation potential created and its actual utilization and also to optimize the benefits from proper use of surface and ground water through an increased efficiency in distribution, delivery, application the state Government has taken a policy decision to provide legal support to irrigation management transfer to water users association. Accordingly the Maharashtra Management of Irrigation Systems by Farmers Act- 2005 has been enacted by the state legislature. It is an act to provide for Management of Irrigation System by farmers & for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • State water policy 2003
  As per the recommendation laid down the National Water Policy and Maharashtra Irrigation Commission Report, the State water policy has been framed by Maharashtra State in July 2003.The objective of the Maharashtra State water policy is to ensure the sustainable development and optimal use and management of the state’s water resources to provides the greatest economic and social benefit for the people of the State of Maharashtra in such manner that maintains important ecological values within the rivers and adjoining lands. The policy has innovative features such as User’s Participation in Planning, Development and Management of Water Resources, Farmers Management of Irrigation Systems, Water for Domestic and Industrial Use, Community Management of Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation, Participation of the Private Sector, Benchmarking of Water Resources Project, water audit of water resources, Project etc.
  • Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority Act 2005
  An act to provide for the establishment of Maharashtra Water Resources regulatory Authority to regulate water resources within the State of Maharashtra Facilitate & ensure judicious equitable & Sustainable Management, allocation & utilization of water resource, fix the rates for use of water for agriculture industrial drinking & other purposes & matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • Water Auditing:
  The water is considered as a national wealth, It is therefore necessary to have optimum and proper use of the available water. Considering this aspect the Government has issued instructions in the year 2001 to maintain the project-wise water account. By executing water-auditing process, it is expected that the area irrigated per Mm3 should be at least 150 ha. in Rabbi season and 110 to 120 ha. in hot weather season.
  • Bench Marking of Water Resources Projects:
  Benchmarking is very powerful management tool for analyzing and improving performance of irrigation projects, It gives insight to improve the performance of irrigation projects. The Government of Maharashtra has already initiated process of benchmarking at project level. The Government of Maharashtra has decided to take wide spread measures to strengthen the benchmarking process by setting mechanism to deal with effectively. Such process has been completed in the year 2002-2003. The report has been published in the month of March 2004 and onwards updation at every year.
  The mechanical wing of the Water Resources has been assigned with the work of canal cleaning with the use of their available Machinery.
  • Maintenance Works Through User Participation:
  State Government has taken policy decision to make participatory Irrigation Management mandatory in July 2001. In view of this, Water Resources Department has taken decision in September 2002 to execute maintenance works of distribution system with participation of beneficiaries, NGO& high school and college students under National Social Scheme, Co-Operative Sugar Factories in the command. Overwhelming response had been received from all above organizations.
  The Sate Government has initiated several policies and administrative reforms for development in Water Sector. Due to above reform initiatives, irrigation potential to the tune of 4.33Mha is created by the end of June 2007 through 66 major, 233 medium and 2777 state sector minor irrigation projects. As a result of this, Government of Maharashtra has become first State in the country to meet out 100% O M expenses from water charges only. A beginning in performance improvement in irrigation sector will go long way in making water sector of the State selfsufficient and sustainable one in years to come. Theinternational commission on irrigation and drainage(ICID) has taken the cognizance of the reforms/ initiatives in water resources sector and awarded "Water save Award 2004" to Shri S. V. Sodal,Secretary (CAD), Water Resources Department,Maharashtra.In compliance to the commitment in State Water policy about transparency in water use andto identify the areas of problems in seeking objectives of selected 252 projects in the state is in practicesince last 5 years. Use of benchmarking has conferred success in elevating this performance level ofirrigation projects. Increase in potential utilisationfrom 1.708Mha to 2.764 Mha and revenue recovery from Rs.252 crores to 627 crores is significant achievement of water resources Department during last 5 years. In near future there will be a shift of irrigation water management from Water Resources Department to water user associations. Naturally, benchmarking of water user association will also be helpful for performance evaluation and creating awareness amongst water management staff and office bearer of water user association.