November 25, 2012

2012: Highlight # 51

With growing demand, sectoral conflicts around water resources are inevitable. Birkenholtz argues that the new water policy in Rajasthan represents a shift of priorities from urban to rural...

The 2010 Rajasthan State Water Policy and the Urbanization of Water

Trevor Birkenholtz

The 2010 Rajasthan State Water Policy is a landmark and even path-breaking piece of natural resource legislation. This Highlight argues that this policy represents the culmination of a shift in water development from the rural to the urban. The effects of this shift on irrigation continue to unfold. Moreover, there are questions surrounding the policy tension between the decentralization of decision-making around water allocation and use, versus the devolution of free-market state authority. There are also similar questions about the efforts by the state to change people’s thinking with respect to the meaning of water and the legitimate uses to which water should be put. We examine both the historical development of this Policy and its initial impacts on irrigation in Rajasthan.

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