Falling or stagnant agricultural growth, increasing dependence on groundwater, climate variability, swift industrialization, and unplanned and unregulated urbanization in South Asia have spawned a variety of challenges for water resources governance, management and use: groundwater overdraft; insufficient, ill-managed and poor-quality freshwater supply vis-à-vis escalating demand; and water pollution. Water policies in each of the South Asian countries thus call for a more holistic understanding for the efficient management, equitable distribution and sustainable use of this scarce resource.
Analyzing the economic, demographic and ideological context in which water policies are framed and implemented, this book argues for an integrated framework in formulating and implementing water policies in South Asia. It also highlights some common missing links in the national policies: problems of techno-centric and blueprint approach to water management, growing influence of international donor agencies and inadequate concern for issues such as equity, sustainability, gender sensitivity, accountability, regional diversity in property rights regimes and water management practices, and regional conflicts over water access. The innovative and nuanced knowledge on water resources produced from detailed case studies in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be useful for professionals, academics, policymakers and activists as well as those in development studies, environmental studies, natural resource management and public administration.
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Anjal Prakash is Executive Director, South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies (SaciWATERs), Hyderabad, India.
Sreoshi Singh is Research Fellow, SaciWATERs, and a doctoral candidate at the Center for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad, India.
Chanda Gurung Goodrich is Principal Scientist, Empower Women, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad, India.
S. Janakarajan is Professor of Economics, Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS), Chennai, India.
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