© 2016

Indian Water Policy at the Crossroads: Resources, Technology and Reforms

  • Vishal Narain
  • Annasamy Narayanamoorthy


  • Provides a comprehensive overview of emerging challenges in water policy and governance in India

  • Offers a critical review of key points of debate, including Integrated Water Resource Management and the discourse on rights and gender

  • The contributors bring expertise in many different disciplines, and represent diverse backgrounds from academic to practitioner


Part of the Global Issues in Water Policy book series (GLOB, volume 16)

Table of contents

About this book


This book reviews and analyzes emerging challenges in water policy, governance and institutions in India. Recent times have seen the contours of water policy shaped by new discourses and narratives; there has been a pluralization of the state and a changing balance of power among the actors who influence the formulation of water policy. Discourses on gender mainstreaming and Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) are influential, though they have often remained rhetorical and difficult to put into practice. Debate over property rights reform and inter-linking of rivers has been polarized. At the same time, there has been a rising disenchantment with policy initiatives in participatory irrigation management, cleaning up of water bodies and pollution control. Fast depletion of groundwater resources and the importance of adopting new irrigation methods are getting increased focus in the recent policy dialogue.

The contributors review current debate on these and other subjects shaping the governance of water resources, and take stock of new policy developments. The book examines the experience of policy implementation, and shows where important weaknesses still lie. The authors present a roadmap for the future, and discuss the potential of alternative approaches for tackling emerging challenges. A case is made for greater emphasis on a discursive analysis of water policy, to examine underlying policy processes.

The contributors observe

that the ongoing democratization of water governance, coupled with the multiplication of stresses on water, will create a more visible demand for platforms for negotiation, conflict resolution and dialogue across different categories of users and uses. Finally, the authors propose that future research should challenge implicit biases in water resources planning and address imbalances in the allocation of water from the perspectives of both equity and sustainability.


Governance Groundwater India Water Policy Water Rights

Editors and affiliations

  • Vishal Narain
    • 1
  • Annasamy Narayanamoorthy
    • 2
  1. 1.Public Policy and GovernanceManagement Development InstituteGurgaonIndia
  2. 2.Economics and Rural DevelopmentAlagappa UniversityKaraikudiIndia

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