Federal Rivers
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Federal Rivers

Managing Water in Multi-Layered Political Systems

Edited by Dustin E. Garrick, George R.M. Anderson, Daniel Connell and Jamie Pittock

This groundbreaking book provides a comparative perspective on water and federalism across multiple countries. Through a collection of case studies, this book explores the water management experiences and lessons learned in ten federal countries and China. The territorial division of power in federations, plus the interconnected politics at the national and regional levels, present a classic governance test for waters shared across multiple political jurisdictions. This is increasingly important as democratic transitions have introduced or invigorated federalism across diverse contexts affecting more than 300 major river basins, including over half of the world’s international rivers.
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Chapter 14: The hydro-institutional Challenge of managing water economies of federal rivers: a case study of Narmada River Basin, India

Managing Water in Multi-Layered Political Systems

M. Dinesh Kumar


Many Indian river basins falling in the semi-arid and arid parts of India are physically water scarce with demands for water far exceeding the utilizable renewable water resources. The most important of them are Narmada, Cauvery, Krishna, Sabarmati and Pennar basins (Kumar et al., 2012). The demand for water in India continues to grow as a result of rising population, rapid urbanization and industrialization, more advanced environmental services and the changing livestock and farming economies (Kumar, 2010; Kumar et al., 2012), while utilizable fresh water resources are dwindling due to groundwater depletion and quality deterioration and pollution of water bodies from point and non-point sources (Mukherjee and Chakraborty, 2012). With excessive diversion of surface water and uncontrolled mining of groundwater, these basins are facing severe environmental water stress (Smakhtin et al., 2004).

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