Scarcity, Entitlements and the Economics of Water in Developing Countries

Scarcity, Entitlements and the Economics of Water in Developing Countries

New Horizons in Environmental Economics series

P. B. Anand

P.B. Anand argues that if water supply and sanitation were mainly problems of technology or financial resources, they would have been resolved long ago. While appreciating that technology and finances are important, he ascertains that there are many other factors affecting our ability to intervene and improve the effectiveness of policies. The author explores these factors, raising questions such as ‘How is water scarcity defined?’, ‘Are there patterns that indicate how nations use available freshwater resources?’, ‘Does water shortage make nations use water more efficiently?’, and ‘What explains the variation in progress with regard to Millennium Development Goals related to water and sanitation?’.

Chapter 5: An Analysis of a River Dispute: Interaction of Politics and Economics

P. B. Anand

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics, water


5.1 INTRODUCTION As the WHO–UNICEF (2004) interim assessment notes, achieving the target crucially depends on increasing access to water and sanitation in large developing countries such as India, China, Brazil and Nigeria. However, in such countries, water sector reform and reallocation of water can entail disputes which could be potentially destabilising. From the WHO–UNICEF interim assessment, it was also seen that the proportion of population with access to water has increased significantly in India from 68 per cent in 1990 to 86 per cent in 2000. While India seems to have made an impressive improvement in providing access to water, the decade of 1990–2000 also saw much debate and increased tensions related to water resources in the form of protests against the Narmada, Tehri and other dam projects (Drèze et al., 1997; Baviskar, 1998; Singh, 1998; Dwivedi, 1999; IRN, 2005) and local-level conflicts in the form of river-water disputes between states or between local government and multinational softdrink companies (Ravi Raman, 2005). Thus, the macro-level picture is somewhat at odds with the micro-level picture of increased contests over the sharing of waters. This chapter will undertake an in-depth analysis of a river dispute and examine implications for resolving such disputes and sharing water peacefully. To set the context, we begin with a brief summary of the climate of water policy and institutional space in India. Then, a detailed analysis of the Cauvery dispute is presented and finally some issues with regard to resolving the...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information