1st Edition

Water Conflicts and Resistance
Issues and Challenges in South Asia

Edited By

Venkatesh Dutta

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after July 16, 2021
ISBN 9780367367299
July 16, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge India
368 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This book presents a systematic study of transboundary, regional and local water conflicts and resistance across several river basins in South Asia. Addressing hydro-socio-economic aspects in competing water sharing and transfer agreements, as well as conflicting regimes of legal plurality, property rights and policy implementation, it discusses themes such as rights over land and natural resources; resettlement of dam-displaced people; urban–rural conflicts over water allocation; peri-urbanisation, land use conflicts and water security; tradeoffs and constraints in restoration of ecological flows in rivers; resilience against water conflicts in a river basin; and irrigation projects and sustainability of water resources.

Bringing together experts, professionals, lawyers, government and the civil society, the volume analyses water conflicts at local, regional and transboundary scales; reviews current debates with case studies; and outlines emerging challenges in water policy, law, governance and institutions in South Asia. It also offers alternative tools and frameworks of water sharing mechanisms, conflict resolution, dialogue, and models of cooperation and collaboration for key stakeholders towards possible solutions for effective, equitable and strategic water management.

This book will be useful to scholars and researchers of development studies, environment studies, water studies, public policy, political science, international relations, conflict resolution, political economy, economics, sociology and social anthropology, environmental law, governance and South Asian studies. It will also benefit practitioners, water policy thinktanks and associations, policymakers, diplomats and NGOs.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jayanta Bandyopadhyay




Shared Water: Contest, Conflicts and Cooperation

Venkatesh Dutta

PART I: Transboundary Conflicts


Negotiated Resolution of Transboundary Disputes: A Function of Facts, Frames and Fairness

Enamul Choudhury


From Lukewarm to Meaningful: Understanding and Transforming Transboundary Water Cooperation in the Indian Subcontinent

Gauri Noolkar-Oak


‘Shared’ Waterscapes: The Case of River Ravi in Indian and Pakistan Punjab

Medha Bisht and Sohaib Waseem Anwar


Transcending Boundaries for Sustainability in the Koshi Basin: Contestations and Cooperation

Ajaya Dixit, Ashutosh Shukla, Shiraj A Wajih and Bijay Singh


Environmental Justice for the Victims of the Koshi River Project: The Context and Elements of Transboundary Legal Response

Shawahiq Siddiqui


Benefits and Burden: A Case Study of Gandak River Agreement

Ajaya Dixit and Ashutosh Shukla


PART II: Regional and Local Conflicts


Peri-urbanisation and Changing Water Flows: Competition, Conflicts and Cooperation

Aditya Kumar Singh and Vishal Narain


Disaster-Induced Water Conflicts and Gender: A Study of Floods in South Asia

Priyanka Jha and Sukhreet Bajwa


Examining Inter-linkages between Water Scarcity and Human Security: A Case Study of Bundelkhand Region of Uttar Pradesh, India

Manish K. Verma and Narendra Gupta


Urban Rivers and Their Riverfronts: When Restoration Becomes Real Estate Projects

Prerna Yadav


Conflict and Resistance over Water Reallocation: The Case of Surya Irrigation Project in Maharashtra

Simran Sumbre, Rahul Raja, Neha Bhadbhade and K. J. Joy


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Venkatesh Dutta is Professor at School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, India, and a natural resource management specialist.


‘Conflicts in use of water from a river basin are typically considered a technical matter. In fact, though, argue the authors in this book, the real problem is political. Water-sharing arrangements lead to a continuous tussle by each party to maximise their share of the water. That leads to a great deal of water wastage and environmental damage. In this important book, the brilliant young scholar Venkatesh Dutta has brought together expert scholars, members of civil society, and lawyers, many of whom have participated in negotiating treaties to share water resources. The book is essential reading for not only specialists and students in water management but also for those studying the political economy of environmental protection.’


Ashoka Mody, Charles and Marie Robertson Visiting Professor of International Economic Policy, School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, USA