ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Himanshu KulkarniSubscribe to Himanshu Kulkarni

Urban Water Systems in India

Urban water and waste water management have not been relatively well understood in India. The Indian urban space has been considered in an undifferentiated manner, which ignores the specificities deriving from different stages of urban development, the sources of water, as also the diverse nature of aquifers catering for urban settlements in different parts of the country. This paper advances a series of hypotheses that can serve as an initial analytical framework and outlines a way forward for urban water systems, which could provide rich terrain for further research.

Punjab Water Syndrome

The current groundwater crisis in Punjab is a combination of paradoxical consequences - extreme depletion in some areas and water logging in others. This paper provides a brief description of the contours of the crisis and pinpoints possible reasons for its emergence in failures of policy as well as implementation. It also proposes a package of approaches as part of a paradigm shift for Punjab that can simultaneously tackle the twin challenges of water logging and a decline in groundwater levels and quality.

More on Participatory Aquifer Mapping

Apropos of the letter “Dangers in Participatory Aquifer Mapping” (16 February 2013), it is important to understand the background regarding the groundwater crisis in India.

India's Groundwater Challenge and the Way Forward

The groundwater crisis is acquiring alarming proportions in many parts of the country. Strategies to respond to groundwater overuse and deteriorating water quality must be based on a new approach involving typologising the resource problems and redefining the institutional structure governing groundwater. This approach is based on the notion of groundwater as common property. The complex nature of groundwater problems in India implies that a detailed understanding of regimes in different hydrogeological settings and socio-economic situations is the prerequisite for sustainable and equitable management. Further, the management strategies should be specified keeping aquifer-scales in mind. For the adoption of this new approach, reforms are needed in how we assess groundwater resources, map aquifers, monitor quality and in the legal and institutional framework for groundwater governance. A national programme of groundwater management based on this processspecific approach is needed to address the challenge.

Groundwater: Towards an Aquifer Management Framework

This article outlines an "aquifer management" approach towards utilisation of groundwater resources, which are rapidly being depleted across the country. The question of groundwater governance in India is twofold. First, we need to substantially support and empower the community-based systems of decision-making. Second, the existing legal framework and groundwater management institutions have to be fundamentally re-engineered to play a role facilitating and enabling community action.

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