Urban Water Governance: Concept and Pathway

In Sustainable Solutions for Urban Water Security Innovative Studies
Book Chapter

Ineffective water governance is a significant factor in causing water insecurity and hampering the goal of sustainable development in developing countries. The water resources in South Asia are under increasing pressure from population growth, urbanization and industrial growth along with socioeconomic water demand in the region. Urban water governance is pertinent in decision-making and policies designed based on the determinants of sustainability (society, economic and environmental). Due to the complexity of the decision-making system, fragmentation, poor coordination and lack of holistic planning, developing adaptive capacity in the developing region is underexplored. In this background, this chapter reviews the concept of urban water governance and its pathways to achieve adaptive water Governance in India. The main question here is which urban water governance pathway suits the Indian context and what are the barriers to implementing adaptive water governance in India. The analysis showed that water institutions' non-responsiveness, coordination/interaction issues, lack of collaboration, limited information access and communication between various levels of formal institutions and absence of capacity building and challenges to ensure fairness in distribution are the identified barriers. Furthermore, this chapter argues that the implementation of adaptive water governance through hybrid governance configuration is in the experimental phase in India and shows promising results. Evaluating the success of polycentric arrangement is too early now. Addressing the constraint herein, improving the dimension of the adaptive system mentioned in the section will enhance the strength of the urban water governance system to handle uncertainty in the future. The chapter contributes to the current discourse of the water governance pathways to achieve water security in developing countries in support of the water goal (SDG 6) of the United Nation's sustainable development goals.

Kumar Mishra