World Water Day: Time to consider a low water economy

The theme of this year’s World Water Day on 22 March is ‘water and energy’ – giving a chance to reflect on how these two vital resources are linked. In the water sector, the food-energy-water nexus is slowly replacing the concept of Integrated Water Resources Management. The idea of the nexus essentially gained momentum in the…

Dams, displacement and development

A dam disaster in Zimbabwe prompts STEPS co-director Ian Scoones to reflect on dams, displacement and development more broadly on the Zimbabweland blog. He points to a new paper in Energy Policy that reiterates the advice of the World Commission on Dams, and the need for a more diverse approach to water resources development. With…

STEPS-JNU SYMPOSIUM: Nexus narratives – water politics in Asia

By Ian Scoones, Co-Director, STEPS Centre The fourth panel at the STEPS-JNU Symposium focused on the highly contested narratives around how water is stored and accessed in Asia, with cases from Nepal, Laos, and Thailand. As Uttam Sinha from The Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi, commented, Asia is facing a “hydrological moment”…

Big stories, little stories

This is the (slightly edited) text of my talk at Communicate 2013, in a session called “liberating stories”. The pictures are some of the slides I used. The brief was to provide some suggestions about the role of the social sciences in ‘liberating stories’ for environmental communicators, through memorable examples. I only had 10 minutes…

The Water Cookbook: Bhagwati Prasad’s strange and beautiful illustrations from peri-urban Delhi

I’ve just come across a copy of The Water Cookbook which I was given by Lyla Mehta, produced by part of our project looking at water conflicts in peri-urban Delhi. It’s an amazing set of illustrations by Bhagwati Prasad of the Delhi-based research centre Sarai programme, which uses art and media to respond to and…

New articles: Access to Water in peri-urban India

A new article examining the increasing inequalities around water provision in Delhi by STEPS Centre partner Alankar is published this week. Socio-Spatial Situatedness and Access to Water (Economic & Political Weekly, October 12, 2013 vol xlviiI 54 no 41), looks at the social and political biases around large state-managed and institutionalised water provision in the city and the increasing gap…

World Water Day 2013

Lyla Mehta, STEPS Centre water and sanitation convenor, writes about the need to look at the Millennium Development Goal on water and sanitation and what it means for gender justice, particularly as we look beyond the MDGs to potential Sustainable Development Goals. “Current water and sanitation indicators to monitor progress are inadequate. They ignore gender dynamics, rights, equality, sustainability…

Decorating the Christmas tree with perfect Sustainable Development Goals?

By Katharina Welle, STEPS Centre PhD student  The 2013 STEPS Symposium on “credibility across cultures” examined questions surrounding ‘best available’ scientific advice in relation to global policy processes on sustainable development. One global process discussed at the Symposium is the current United Nations consultation process for setting new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs will form…

The slippery nature of ‘water grabbing’

Large-scale land acquisitions for agricultural investment, popularly known as ‘land grabbing’, have recently attracted headline attention.  But the implications of these land grabs for water resources have stayed out of the spotlight until now.  A special issue of the journal Water Alternatives, with a focus on water grabbing, contains 14 new articles which draw on…

WORLD WATER DAY: VIDEO HOPES FOR RIO+20

Ahead of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, we are asking academics, practitioners, policymakers and other stakeholders to tell us about the one sustainable development issue they would like to see addressed at Rio+20. At the World Water Forum in Marseille we gathered responses from delegates. The videos on the STEPS Centre’s YouTube channel are among a range…