Ambuja Foundation’s Shimla Event Puts Spotlight on Climate Resilience through Watershed Initiative


New Delhi: Ambuja Foundation, a leading non-profit organisation committed to rural prosperity by advancing the efficient utilisation of water in agriculture and fostering the holistic development of rural communities, convened a pivotal event titled ‘Sustainable Watershed Management for Climate Resilience’ in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. This one-day gathering served as a significant platform to illuminate the prevailing water dynamics in the region, the challenges faced, and underscores the critical nexus between water management and climate change impact.

An esteemed panel of speakers representing the Government, universities, corporates, NGOs and community members were present – offering meaningful insights to the participants. The panelists offered invaluable perspectives on the prevailing situation in the region, shedding light on the myriad factors contributing to the complex water dynamics. Excessive soil erosion, dwindling rainfall patterns, recurring droughts, diminished pollination levels resulting in subpar flowering quality, escalating pollution levels, and the adverse repercussions on agricultural productivity and soil moisture were among the pressing concerns deliberated during the session.

The availability of rainwater in Himachal Pradesh is increasingly under threat due to erratic rainfall patterns, compounded by inadequate water management practices. Recognising the severity of these issues, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has been at the forefront, providing crucial funding for a myriad of watershed development projects across the hilly State. Working in close collaboration with NABARD, Ambuja Foundation has been instrumental in facilitating the implementation of these projects, aiming to mitigate the adverse effects of water scarcity and bolster sustainable water resource management.

During the session, Government officials presented an array of schemes tailored to address the pressing need for efficient water utilisation in agriculture. Participants were briefed on schemes encompassing solar pumping, irrigation initiatives, and farm water efficiency measures, designed to harness renewable energy sources and optimise water usage. Additionally, emphasis was placed on promoting sustainable water conservation practices to foster resilience in the face of evolving climatic conditions.

By engaging academia in this discourse, the event showcased the importance of collaborative efforts in nurturing informed and proactive citizens who are capable of driving sustainable change in the realm of water resource management and climate resilience.

Ambuja Foundation has been working in almost 200 villages across three districts of Himachal Pradesh with a major focus on implementing watershed projects to increase groundwater levels improve soil moisture conservation and reduce soil erosion. Water resource management is a major focus for the foundation in the region, who has done extensive work reviving ancient khuls, increasing storage capacity in tanks, promoting micro irrigation, ensuring the availability of drinking water through taps for every household and driving widespread watershed initiatives.