ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Shreya ChakrabortySubscribe to Shreya Chakraborty

Geographies of Drinking Water (In)securities in Peri-urban Hyderabad

​A political ecology framework has been employed to analyse patterns of drinking water (in)securities peculiar to peri-urban geographies. Primary field data have been used in the analysis. The many institutional arrangements that have emerged in peri-urban Hyderabad and how such arrangements have shaped the water ecology in the region and outcomes with respect to access to drinking water are described here. It argues that the water environment, both in terms of scarcity and pollution, and the social relations around water, co-produce each other, in sometimes unexpected ways. A primary finding is that the varying degrees and forms of private sector engagement in the drinking water sector produce different kinds of sub-geographies of distress in peri-urban spaces.

Uncertain Climate, Vulnerable Livelihoods

With limited water resource endowments and a predominantly agrarian base, livelihoods in the semi-arid tropics are particularly vulnerable to climatic uncertainties and frequent droughts. The low levels of development of diversified livelihood options in the non-farm sector and a lack of skill base compel households to seek multiple low-income livelihoods to sustain the household in lean resource years. Among these, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme has provided the most significant coping mechanism for most households, particularly the poorest and most backward sections. The scheme may thus be seen as a prominent drought risk reduction policy. However, challenges of implementation arise when the policy manifests on field realities which tend to reduce the effectiveness and weaken its impact.
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