Periurban water security in South Asia

The South Asian Consortium for inter-disciplinary Water Resources Studies is currently engaged in  three year action research project studying periruban water security. The project is funded by the International Development Research Centre and project is carried out in four  South Asian locations; namely Hyderabad and Gurgaon (India), Khulna (Bangladesh) and Kathmandu (Nepal). The project seeks to examine how urbanization and climate change shape the water security of periurban residents. Urbanization has been a pronounced trend in South Asia. Most cities are expanding by engulfing the land and water resources of their periphery. Periruban residents bear the ecological foot-print of urbanization in many ways:  their water sources get filled up to build residential areas; they lose land for water treatment plants and canals to carry water to the city; access routes to water sources change as lands are acquired for widening highways; water flows in tankers from the villages to the city and the villages receive urban wastewater, often used for irrigation but with adverse long-term health effects. These effects are further aggravated by the impacts of climate variability and change. The project seeks to examine how water users adapt to the resulting water insecurity, assess the cost-effectiveness of various adaptation interventions, identify who  the most vulnerable groups are and catalyze a wide range of actors through stakeholder meetings to improve water access. Partking in the project are Dr. Anjal Prakash, SaciWATERs, who is the Project Executive Director. Dr. Vishal Narain, MDI, Gurgaon is leading the Gurgaon research team; while Dr. Ashutosh Shukla, Nepal Engineering College and Dr.M. Shah Alam Khan, IWFM , Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology are leading the Kathmandu and Khulna research teams respectively.

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