ISSC concept note: Water, Waste and Sustainable Cities in India

Download PDF (326 KB) Urban areas in India suffer significant challenges associated with water and waste, with direct implications for agriculture, health and food safety. Local innovations, often in informal settings, have resulted in the emergence of multiple alternative urban waste and water management practices. These have potential for enhanced social justice, environmental integrity and…

Nexus Nirvana or Nexus Nullity? A dynamic approach to security and sustainability in the water-energy-food nexus

Over the last several years, the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus has emerged as an increasingly prominent global policy, governance and research agenda. Water, energy, and food security are often framed to be within a contested trade-off relationship between actors, and this framing has been reinforced by a ‘scarcity crisis’ narrative put forward by a number of…

Policy transformations and translations: lessons for sustainable water management in peri-urban Delhi, India

This paper explores the complex interactions that occur as formal policies are interpreted and utilised to develop water management plans in peri-urban Delhi. With an emphasis on people’s participation in decision making, the paper examines some of the disjunctures between formal assumptions about water management in peri-urban areas and practices on the ground. In doing…

The Water Cookbook

The Water Cookbook presents ideas from our project on peri-urban sustainability in Ghaziabad, India. It is a short graphic novel combining pictures with some brief stories from daily life in the city. The drawings and texts are by Bhagwati Prasad, and translation from Hindi to English was by Alankar. The book is published by Sarai….

Special issue: Water grabbing? Focus on the (re)appropriation of finite water resources

Special issue of the journal Water Alternatives, edited by Lyla Mehta, Gert Jan Veldwisch and Jennifer Franco Recent large-scale land acquisitions for agricultural production (including biofuels), popularly known as ‘land grabbing’, have attracted headline attention. Water as both a target and driver of this phenomenon has been largely ignored despite the interconnectedness of water and land….

Water and Justice: Peri-urban pathways in Delhi

This short film from the STEPS Centre tells the story of three people and their relationship with water in the towns and villages on the edge of Delhi, India. The landscape of these “peri-urban” zones has changed dramatically in the past 15 years. Poor people often do not have good enough access to water, and…

‘It is our dirty little secret’: An ethnographic study of the flying toilets in Kibera slums, Nairobi

Using the case study of the Kibera slums, this paper takes a medical anthropological approach to discuss and explain the untold and common practice among the urban poor in developing countries that is informally known as the ‘Flying Toilets’. This paper seeks to inform those working within the public health sector about such practices, but…

Reforming water rights: dynamics, discourses and risks

The increasing recognition of water as a vital substance for which demand is spiralling has resulted in scarcity scenarios and tales of a ‘looming water crisis’ becoming staple fare for newspaper headlines and international conferences alike. Widespread perceptions of water scarcity have prompted many countries to reform their water legislation and systems of water use…

The Dynamics and Discourses of Water Allocation Reform in South Africa

Perceptions of water as an increasingly scarce resource have gained global dominance, and caused many countries to reform their water legislations. South Africa has positioned itself in the vanguard of such reform efforts, as it passed the National Water Act in 1998, four years after the end of apartheid. The Act was lauded as a…

Going with the Flow? Directions of Innovation in the Water and Sanitation Domain

Water and sanitation issues are looming large on the international agenda, not least due to the impetus created by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to halve, by 2015, the proportion of the world’s population who do not have access to clean water and adequate sanitation. Water resources for productive uses have also received increased focus…