India > Karnataka

India > Karnataka’s Water Challenges

The largest and most economically significant river basins in the State of Karnataka, India – the Krishna and the Cauvery – already face a water demand-supply deficit. With projected increases in population growth from 61 million in 2011 to 80 million by 2030, coupled with increased water requirements for the urban, industrial and agricultural sectors, there is an urgent need for coordinated action across Karnataka’s inhabitants and businesses to better manage their water resources and sustainability.

Over the last decade, the state of Karnataka had to contend with concurrent drought conditions in some parts while floods affected others. These extreme weather events will become more persistent and intense with climate change. By 2030, the State of Karnataka is likely to double its water demand. In the agriculture and municipal sectors, that demand is expected to rise fourfold in the same time frame, placing added pressure on water resources.

Approach and Results

The Karnataka MSP is targeting multiple immediate initiatives, including a combination of: government policy development to strengthen water resource management, institutions and policies; collective water action to improve water use efficiency and agri-productivity at the sub-basin level, and public-private partnerships designed to address water resource management opportunities.

An ambitious drip irrigation project, the Drip-to-Market Agro Corridor (DMAC), is providing a dual focus on improving agricultural water management and building partnerships with agribusiness companies, input providers, financial institutions, and technology companies. Multiple urban and industrial wastewater treatment and reuse projects are also being undertaken. In addition, the MSP is preparing to assess the risks that climate change poses to coastal-area agriculture in Karnataka, especially those linked to saltwater intrusions into freshwater sources, with the aim of developing a policy brief on water productivity in coastal ecosystems.


The Karnataka MSP Steering Board is chaired by the Chief Secretary, Karnataka, and includes the Heads of Departments of Water, Urban Development, Agriculture, Finance, Commerce & Industries as well as CII, SLBC, FKCCI as private sector members, and IIMB, IISc, and Arghyam as civil society members.

Multi-Stakeholder Platform Documents