ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

Voices from Below: Water and Climate Change in India


Singh Satyajit - University of California Santa Barbara, Political Science and Global Studies, SANTA BARBARA, United States


46 – Sustainable Regeneration of Water Infrastructures: An Invitation to Forge Interdisciplinary Governance & Policy Design Thinking


 A study from different agroclimatic zones from across India brings together the voices of the poor as they mitigate and adapt to climate-induced changes in water availability.  It is seen that a combination of projected increased demand for water and the consequences of climate change poses additional challenges to poor communities. The emerging scenario threatens to adversely impact access for the poor, tribals, Dalits, other backward communities, women, and the girl child. As water impacts, agriculture and food security, health, and well-being, public policy and institutions of governance have to adapt to the changing scenario. This is critical as due to increased scarcity, claims over water by powerful sectors including commercial farming, industrialization, and urbanization are only getting stronger. This paper brings out some of the voices of the poor that have so far been unheard of in this crisis, generates local data and perspective, and brings to the fore diverse local voices to be heard by policymakers and development partners. The paper points to existing policy and governance gaps that adversely impact the poor. Based on field insights it provides a perspective on local governance-led adaptation and mitigation strategies for water and climate.