An essential element of a NERC project, Mitigating Climate Change Impacts on Indian Agriculture through improved Irrigation Water Management (MICCI), was demonstrating stakeholder engagement and impact. In early June this year two stakeholder workshops were delivered (in Hamirpur and Roorkee, India). The aim was to disseminate project findings to relevant stakeholders, receive their feedback and ultimately raise awareness among the stakeholders about the impacts of climate change on water resources availability, agriculture, crop yield, etc and the mitigation measures emerging from the project.
The workshops were incredibly well-received by the participants and, in terms of linger-term impacts, there were commitments from stakeholder groups in both areas. Managers from the Bhakra Beas Management Board in charge of the Pong Reservoir, a major water resources infrastructure that formed the focus of the study and that serves large scale irrigation projects and providing hydropower for Himachal Pradesh and Punjab States suggested they would like to consider extending the work to other similar river basins in the northern region of India
In Roorkee, the meeting was attended by more than 60 local farmers, local NGO representatives, local political leaders, engineers from Uttarakhand State irrigation Department, legal advisors to farmers associations, policy makers and Faulty and researchers of IIT Roorkee. The president of Indian farmers association suggested two follow-up meetings will be organised at their villages over the course of June. These will be coordinated by the Indian MICCI partners, headed by Prof CSP Ojha (Indian PI of MICCI).
These workshops were jointly organised by Heriot-Watt University and Cranfield University from UK with Indian partners, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee and National Institute of Technology Hamirpur. Further more information can be found on the project website.