Water Ownership and Accountability cover

Vol no. 18 Issue No. 113

Expert Panel

B Meenakumari

Former Chairperson, National Biodiversity Authority, Chennai.

Ajit Tyagi

Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Former DG, India Meteorological Department (IMD), New Delhi

Rasik Ravindra

Geologist and Secretary General, 36 IGC, New Delhi.

Saraswati Raju

Former Professor, CSRD, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Prithvish Nag

Former Vice Chancellor, MG Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi

B Sengupta

Former Member Secretary, Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi.

Sachidanand Sinha

Professor, CSRD, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Dripto Mukhopadhaya

Chief Executive, ACRA, Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

Inside this issue


Managing waters in India’s varied ecological zones

By: V K Madhavan

It is IRONIC that the Himalaya, often alluded to as the ‘water tower of Asia’—the source of mighty rivers that support millions, now face stress especially during summers. The rapidly reducing flow in surface drainage and the disappearance of springs are signs of looming disaster.

A scarcity of management



Water conservation and community responsiveness

By: Nirma Bora

In colonial India, water ownership became entrenched with the State, a practice that continued post-Independence. For ensuring sustainable and assured supply addressing the needs of communities, decentralised practices such as rainwater harvesting can be beneficial.

Hydrogeology in Strategic Water Conservation

By: Himanshu Kulkarni

Conventional approaches to conservation of groundwater have not considered the need to involve an understanding of aquifer measurement and hydrogeology. Considering India’s diverse geography, it is pertinent to develop a scientific understanding of underlying geology of groundwater resources and how aquifers work.

Catch Where it Falls

By: Richard Mahapatra

The answer to India’s perennial drought problem despite high rainfall lies in addressing policy failures and formulating measures not just for mitigating problems, but drought-proofing the entire country.

Water and a City: Institutions, community and citizens at work in Bengaluru

By: S Vishwanath

Presently, the Cauvery River is the city’s sole water source located at a distance of 100 km. But with a population expected to reach 20 million by 2031, the rising demand for water presents unique challenges, calling for participation at all levels.

Odisha’s community owned water and sanitation works

By: Staff Reporter


Misaligned cropping patterns Vs water resources

By: Staff Reporter

A June 2018 study published by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) suggests that analysing land productivity of a region and yield of a crop is not sufficient to calculate the efficiency with which water is being used for cultivation. It is also important to analyse whether irrigation water being applied to the crop is resulting in adequate output and if cropping patterns are aligned with water endowments of a region.


The answer to our water crises lies in the democratisation of water resources

By: Staff Reporter

Mihir Shah, economist, water policy expert and member of the erstwhile Planning Commission speaks with G’nY on the need to facilitate community ownership of water and what India needs to do to ensure water security.

In brief

Editor's Note

We live in an unequal world—which is good. It assists adaptation. So spatial and temporal variations in water regimes should not bother humankind, given its thousands of years’ ancestry in water management, essential as it is to survival. But the reality is slightly more baffling, especially in

Guest Editor's Note

Approximately two months ago when we planned this issue in partnership with G’nY, it was peak summer and thought it would be a good idea to bring out an issue on water, naturally when, water seemed to be at a premium. By the time the issue was finalised, Niti Aayog, a government think tank, came o

Term Power

What is ...

Non-revenue water is the water that has been produced but is lost before it reaches the customer. It is one of the biggest problems as it increases the water stress.

An aquifer is an underground layer of permeable rock, sediment, or soil that yields water. The aquifers near the surface are usually used for water supply and irrigation.

Drip irrigation is a micro-irrigation system where water drips slowly into the roots of the plants from pipes buried below the surface.

Groundwater recharge is a hydrologic process where water moves downwards from surface water to groundwater. Groundwater recharge occurs through wetlands, rainfall and more.

A floodplain is a strip of relatively flat and normally dry land alongside a stream, river, or lake that is covered by water during a flood. Floodplains are produced by lateral movement of a stream and by overbank deposition.

Hardness of water is the quality indication of salts in water. Water hardness can cause costly industrial problems, such as breakdowns in boilers and cooling towers, and may even cause irreplaceable corrosion. The temporary hardness of water can be removed by boiling, while permanent hardness removal require a water softener or an ion exchange column.

A settling pond is an open lagoon into which wastewater contaminated with solid pollutants is placed and allowed to stand. The basins are used to control water pollution in industries such as agriculture,aquaculture, and mining.