Daivd Winfield

Daivd Winfield

Daivd Winfield, Australia

David Winfield is a water resources professional with 19 years’ experience at state and national level. With Alluvium since 2015, David has played a leading role advising on water policy, river basin planning, evaluation and reporting projects for New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA). In 2016, he was appointed with 4 co-authors of this paper to an Australian Water Partnership team providing advice on river basin planning and institutional reform to the Government of India. Previously, David led MDBA development of the monitoring, evaluation and reporting framework for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, a national integrated cross-jurisdiction water resource planning framework. Prior to that, David was involved in NSW water resources planning in areas including the Sydney metropolitan area, a State-wide Groundwater Panel and plans for the Macquarie, Lachlan and Barwon-Darling Rivers.

Presentation Title: River Basin Planning – Drawing on the Australian Experience to Inform Basin Planning in India

The Government of India (GoI) has commenced a significant investment in river basin planning (RBP) with an initial focus on obtaining and sharing water data through the National Hydrology Program (NHP) III. It is important to contextualise this initial focus on data within broader RBP objectives. In 2016 the GoI identified that a review of RBP policy and regulatory frameworks was needed, to identify opportunities and approaches for India. The GoI requested support from the Australian Water Partnership (AWP) to undertake the review and to develop a User Guide for RBP in India. The review of RBP policy and regulatory frameworks relates the Indian context to global experience and to the Australian experience in the Murray-Darling Basin. The review found that Australia is currently in the strategic phase of RBP, where water resource development has reached limits to the extent that there is competition for access to water and integrated planning and water sharing is needed. This strategic phase requires a high level of resources, strong governance, engagement with water users and broader social inclusion across all sections of the community with a stake in water resources. By comparison, India is currently moving from a technical (or development) phase to the strategic phase. This requires an initial focus on data, within a broad recognition of the need for integrated RBP and further development of appropriate legislative, institutional and management frameworks. The AWP team has developed a User Guide, drawing on a policy and regulatory review and on the Australian experience of managing the Murray Darling Basin. The User Guide describes key stages of RBP and outlines the elements of the Australian experience which may be useful to support RBP in India, covering processes, tools, content and giving effect to a RBP.


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