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Published: 05.05.2015

New Hindustan Unilever Foundation Partnership for Agri-Water Efficiency to impact one million farmers and save 4 trillion liters of water

Indian Farmer
Indian Farmer. Photo: © Ray Witlin / World Bank

The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) and Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF) are partnering to develop innovative, large-scale solutions for India’s water challenges. The solutions will focus on technology, finance, knowledge, and results-based implementation and will target the agriculture sector, which uses around 80 percent of the country’s water resources. It will impact one million farmers and save up to 4 trillion liters of water.

According to 2030 WRG estimates, India will have a 50 percent water deficit by the year 2030. This partnership will adopt a multi-stakeholder approach to promote efficient water-use practices and technologies among farmers, incubate new models, knowledge, and tools to drive behavior change, and catalyze replication of best practices. This, in turn, will contribute to water and food security through reduced agri-water use and enhanced agricultural productivity. The success of this model of implementation will provide inputs for making necessary policy recommendations.

The program will leverage thought leaders, enablers, decision-makers, and implementation organizations across public and private sectors, civil society, and academia. It will establish state-level networks to facilitate agri-water efficiency and pollution reduction. Its Practice-Based National Agri-Water Policy Leadership Forum will provide strategic thought leadership for agri-water policy development.

Rice paddy in India
Rice paddy in Andhra Pradesh, India. Photo by F. Fiondella (IRI/CCAFS)

Speaking at the Alliance for Thought Leadership and Action for Agri-Water workshop to launch the partnership on May 5, 2015, Sanjiv Mehta, CEO and MD, Hindustan Unilever Limited said, “The partnership coordinated by 2030 WRG aspires to create one of the largest participatory programs globally on demand-side management of water in the agriculture sector. A key focus is scientific and impact-driven action through a results measurement framework at the state level to measure water savings and agricultural productivity enhancement.”

The partnership will also establish the Ganga Multi-Stakeholder Action Forum, which will develop inclusive and collaborative approaches to rejuvenate the Ganga Basin. “This is a critical aspect of our partnership, as the Ganga Basin is home to 450 million people. Over 60 percent of them depend on agriculture for their livelihoods,” said Anders Berntell, Executive Director, 2030 WRG. “Making a difference here has the potential to transform lives.”

2030 WRG and its partners design and implement water source security solutions for long-term economic growth, environmental protection, and social impact in select countries. In India, 2030 WRG has partnered with the central government and the governments of Karnataka and Maharashtra for demand-side water management at scale across agricultural, urban, and industrial sectors.

About 2030 WRG
The 2030 Water Resources Group is an innovative public-private-civil society platform for collaboration at the global as well as national levels. It mobilizes stakeholders from public and private sector, civil society, centers of academic expertise and financing institutions to engage in fact-based, analytical water security approaches and coalition building.
The 2030 WRG was initiated in 2008 by a few multinational companies, donors and development banks. After an incubation phase within the World Economic Forum, it has been hosted by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, since March 2012.

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About HUF
Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) and was established in 2010. HUF has initiated 18 projects in more than 4000 villages across 13 river basins in 13 states in India and created a collective and cumulative water-harvesting potential of nearly 100 billion liters across India and aims to generate, along with its partners and communities, a collective water potential of 500 billion liters across India by 2020.

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Media contacts

(Washington DC, USA based) Alida Pham, +1 202 603 2535, email
(New Delhi, India based) Rochi Khemka, email: