A paper titled Managing Land and Water Under Changing Climatic Conditions in India: A Critical Perspective was recently published in Journal of Environmental Protection, an open-access journal published by Scientific Research Publishing.
The paper was co-authored by Dr. Sushanta Mahapatra, Associate Professor, Amrita School of Business, Kochi and Dr. Sudeep Mitra, Assistant Professor, School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Providing an overview of India’s water management issues, the paper described the major river systems of India, the ground water resources, current water utilization techniques and their contribution to the problem of water scarcity in India.
“In the paper, we discussed water management challenges and governance issues so that threats such as floods, droughts or even cyclones can be adequately addressed,” explained Dr. Mahapatra.
“We opted for an interdisciplinary approach, combining knowledge from environmental sciences with data from social sciences. In the framework of sustainable development, socio-economic development is considered necessary for combating climate change. It can lead to a path that generates economic growth through interventions that mitigate climate change,” he pointed out.
The paper elaborated on the fact that at local levels, there was a research lag regarding the impacts of – and adaptation to – climate change. “There are so many interrelated environmental issues such as soil sanity, siltation, biodiversity, the problem of watershed disputes, competing and conflicting demand for natural resources across sectors, that need to be studied further,” the authors wrote.
The paper suggested approaching such issues with openness, respecting the variability of contexts to attain food security and livelihood opportunities. “Otherwise sustainable management of natural resources on a watershed scale, managed by the local community, will be difficult to achieve,” the authors emphasized.
In another paper titled Dynamics of Irrigation Management and Interlinked Agrarian Relations: Empirical Findings from A Canal Irrigation Command in Odisha, India, such a local approach was outlined.
This paper authored by Dr. Sushanta Mahapatra was recently published in the official journal of the World Water Council, Journal of Water Policy.
The paper presented a detailed grassroots view, taking into account farmers’ knowledge of issues regarding agrarian structures, land and water issues. Data from 200 sample cultivators of different farm sizes and 20 landless labour households of eight sample villages in Odissa was analyzed. Among other findings, the author reported that, “interlinked credit transactions are mostly prevalent among landless labour and small farm households.”
November 30, 2012
School of Business, Kochi