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From Maine to India:  Protecting Source Water Systems with Water Funds (Camden Public Library)

January 8 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm EST

Girija Godbole and Kate Dempsey

From Maine to India:  Protecting Source Water Systems with Water Funds 
– A talk with Girija Godbole, Ph.D, Ghod River Water Fund (of India) & Kate Dempsey, The Nature Conservancy (in Maine)

This hybrid Camden Conference Community Event will take place on Monday, January 8, at 10:30 AM at the Camden Public Library and on Zoom, in anticipation of the 37th Annual Camden Conference “INDIA: Rising Ambitions, Challenges at home.” The event will take place in the morning so as to be amenable to the speaker and participants Zooming in from a different time zone in India. To attend virtually, register here:

Water funds are a powerful tool for engaging communities in protecting critical local sources of clean water. In this presentation, representatives from The Nature Conservancy, a global conservation and climate action organization, will discuss a model project for lasting water source protection in India and its connections to Maine’s own Sebago Clean Water Fund.

Girija Godbole, manager of the Ghod River Water Fund in southwest India, will speak directly from India on Zoom about the work of her team in Maharashtra, southeast of Mumbai. Introducing her and explaining water funds and Maine’s connection to the project will be Kate Dempsey, State Director of The Nature Conservancy in Maine.

The Ghod River basin covers part of the districts of Pune and Admednagar and includes 472 villages, four towns and an area of 4,574 square kilometers, two-thirds of which is agricultural.  There are an estimated 350 small and medium industries in the area. Like other water funds, the Ghod River Project focuses on a watershed and operates at local, national and global levels by helping build a coalition of stakeholders in freshwater systems and mobilizing funding streams that will sustain conservation long into the future. Among the purposes of the Ghod River Fund is to form a citizen-scientist coalition, including farmers and tribal communities supporting stewardship of the basin and ensuring equitable access to water.

Watersheds sit at the crux of the global climate, biodiversity and water crises, so investment in them can move the needle on many of our most urgent societal challenges at once.

About the presenters:

Trained in anthropology, Girija Godbole, Ph.D., has worked in the environment and development sector for more than two decades. Prior to joining TNC, she worked with the Centre for Policy Studies at IIT Bombay. Girija has conducted qualitative research on topics ranging from gender, sanitation, participatory forest management, tribal welfare, social impacts of land sale and ecosystem services. More recently she completed an empirical study on agricultural tenancy under the Nudge Research Innovation Grant and a study of domestic violence under the British Academy research grant. Girija did her M.Phil. and Ph.D. from University of Cambridge and is a recipient of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She has also done a training course in environment education from the Centre for Environment Education, India. Passionate about issues of environment, equality, gender, and power, Girija believes in collaborative and participatory approach and has substantial experience in stakeholder engagement. She also does voluntary work with a Pune based organization Jeevan Sanstha. Girija is a LEAD (international network on Leadership for Environment and Development) Fellow.”

Kate Dempsey is the State Director of The Nature Conservancy in Maine. She has been in that role since 2016 and has been with The Nature Conservancy since 2003 working primarily in the federal policy arena. Under Kate’s leadership, TNC Maine is making significant investments in reducing and managing the effects of climate change by joining together science and policy with placed based actions which are restoring and conserving the connections between the forests, rivers and ocean in Maine




Camden Public Library
55 Main Street
Camden, ME 04843 United States
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(207) 236-3440
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