South Asian Water Studies Journal (SAWAS)

Overview and Objectives

South Asia is the home of over 1.5 billion people, living in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. If there is a single most important issue that marks bilateral relations among the countries of the subcontinent, water is a good candidate. Water connects the whole of South Asia historically and geographically and binds the countries of the region. Simultaneously, contentious issues of cross-border water distribution, utilization, management and mega irrigation/hydro-electric power projects are gradually taking centre-stage in interstate relations as water scarcity increases and both drought and floods make life too often miserable.Given the depleting resources of water, the issues of food, and water security as its most crucial part, are going to assume astronomical proportions. The issues of water distribution and management bring countries into conflict, but also provinces/states and regions within countries. These conflicts are frequently not being settled amicably. A working framework of riparian statutes respecting upstream and downstream rights is lacking. However, the countries of the subcontinent have made certain remarkable efforts to resolve their differences over water distribution through bilateral agreements.

In South Asia, water resources development, particularly irrigation, has made an enormous contribution to the achievement of higher levels of national food security, keeping pace with population growth, and to economic development more generally. At the same time the social and environmental costs of this achievement have been high and the present developmental pattern may not lead to a sustainable and equitable future. Very few people who are active in the South Asian water sector would want to deny that there are serious problems facing the region in the use of its water resources for human development and sustainable growth.

SAWAS as an interdisciplinary journal addresses these issues aiming to provide space for alternative and critical thinking. The journal aims to be an independent forum for discussion about water related issues that affect South Asia: issues in particular countries and regions within South Asia, issues at the level of South Asia as a region, and issues related to the global context in which South Asian water issues are situated.

SAWAS aims to share knowledge of successful resolutions of water related problems as well as constructive analyses of deadlocks and failures, and create an intellectual debate on South Asian water. SAWAS welcomes contributions that discuss any dimension of water resources development, technology and management and use, and their relations with society and the environment. Some of the topics covered in the journal include:

•  Water governance and water reforms
•  Water policy at global and national levels
•  The politics of water provision and use in the South Asian countries
•  The politics of everyday water management (irrigation, watershed, etc.)
•  Local and scientific water knowledge systems, concepts and discourses
•  Water and economics
•  Water, environment and society
•  Water, globalization and geo and regional politics
•  Water, technology and society
•  Water and human rights
•  Water, power and social divisions :gender, class, ethnicity
•  Sustainable use of water
•  The dilemmas of ‘Water Resources Development’
•  Water resources education and changing professional identities in the water sector
•  Demand management in the face of growing water scarcity & conflicts
•  Water use in industries
•  Institutions for water management and conflicts over water
•  Water resources development, colonisation and state formation
•  The cultural politics of water
•  Water and social movements


Guide for Authors

The articles, opinions and book reviews should be written preferably in English. Authors with English as a second language may choose to have their manuscripts professionally edited before submission to improve the English, as papers with poor expression will not be accepted.

Guidelines for Authors



Volume 8, Issue 1, 2018
Special Issue: Water Governance in India: exploring the field
Edited By: Dik Roth and Jeroen Warner
Approaching water governance
Dik Roth and Jeroen Warner
Editorial - SAWAS 8(1), 2018

Original Articles
From lakes as urban commons to integrated lake-water governance: The case of Bengaluru’s urban water bodies
Sharachchandra Lele and Mrinalini Bakshi Sengupta
Article 1 - SAWAS 8(1), 2018

Regulatory governance in India’s water sector: From depoliticization to repoliticization through independent regulation
Sachin Warghade
Article 2 - SAWAS 8(1), 2018.pdf

Commodification of groundwater: Governing scarcity of drinking and domestic water in peri-urban Hyderabad
Sucharita Sen, Anshika John and Monica Priya
Article 3 - SAWAS 8(1), 2018

Water as a prime theme of urban governance
Bikramaditya K Choudhary
Commentary 1 - SAWAS 8(1), 2018
The physical and the social of groundwater: Data, policy, and governance
Shreya Chakraborty
Commentary 2 - SAWAS 8(1), 2018

Politics and boundaries: the complexities of transboundary river governance in South Asia
Safa Fanaian
Commentary 3 - SAWAS 8(1), 2018

Book Reviews
Modern Freshwater Governance
Avash Pandey
Book Review 1 - SAWAS 8(1), 2018

Water use and poverty reduction
Md. Sadiul Alam Chyon
Book Review 2 - SAWAS 8(1), 2018

Volume 7, Issue 1, 2017

Original Articles
Planning for inclusion: exploring access to WASH for women and men with disabilities in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka
Clare Hanley, Tarryn Brown, Naomi Niroshinie Nayagam, Vellayan Subramaniam, Samantha De Mel, Arunasalam Sureshkumar
Article 1 - SAWAS 7(1), 2017

Breaking down Barriers: Gender and Disability in Access to Agricultural Water Management in Nepal
Otto Max Hoffmann, Saroj Yakami, Dr. Shiva Chandra Dhakal
Article 2 - SAWAS 7(1), 2017

The Gender Gap between Water Management and Water Users: Evidence from Southwest Bangladesh
Marie-Charlotte Buisson, Jayne Curnow, Farhat Naz
Article 3 - SAWAS 7(1), 2017

Are policies enough to mainstream Gender in water and sanitation programs? Experiences from community managed drinking water supply schemes in India
Snehalatha Mekala
Article 4 - SAWAS 7(1), 2017

Engendering Change: Overcoming Difference and Disability
Sara Ahmed
Commentary 1 - SAWAS 7(1), 2017

Book Reviews
Gender Issues in Water and Sanitation Programmes: Lessons from India
Stephanie Leder
Book Review 1 - SAWAS 7(1), 2017

Disability and Disaster: What is the link?
Hannah Kuper
Book Review 2 - SAWAS 7(1), 2017

Karhera – A Photo Book
Nivedita Mani
Book Review 3 - SAWAS 7(1), 2017

Volume 6, Issue 1, 2016
Urbanization and periurbanization: Challenges for water governance in south Asia
Edited by Vishal Narain
Critical Review
Understanding and governing the peri-urban: some critical reflections
Dik Roth
Critical Review 1 – SAWAS 6(1), 2016

Down the drain: the tragedy of the disappearing urban commons of Bengaluru
Hita Unnikrishnan, Seema Mundoli, B. Manjunatha, Harini Nagendra
Critical Review 2 – SAWAS 6(1), 2016

Original Articles
Governance of flooding risks in informal settlements in satellite cities in the Mumbai region
Nidhi Subramanyam, Charlotte MacAlister
Article 1 – SAWAS 6(1), 2016

Urbanization, climate change, and water (in)security in peri-urban areas of postearthquake Kathmandu valley
Anushiya Shrestha, Rajesh Sada
Article 2 – SAWAS 6(1), 2016

Urban political ecology of water in Darjeeling, India
Gopa Samanta, Kaberi Koner
Article 3 – SAWAS 6(1), 2016

Rural to urban groundwater market: demand management option vs. environmental sustainability
Prakash Nelliyat
Article 4 – SAWAS 6(1), 2016

Knowledge incompatibilities and decline of common property resources: a case study of rainwater harvesting systems in urban Bikaner
Anushree Singh
Article 5 – SAWAS 6(1), 2016

Applicability of decentralized, small-scale vs. centralized, large-scale Sewage Treatment Plants for urban sanitation: a case study from Sri Lanka
S. Thrikawala, M. I. Sudasinghe, L.W. Galagedara, E.R.N. Gunawardena, N.C. Narayanan
Article 6 – SAWAS 6(1), 2016

Recognizing sustainability frontiers in the peri-urban
Fiona Marshall
Commentary 1 - SAWAS 6(1), 2016

Institutional approaches to peri-urban research: added value and conceptual approach
Sharlene L. Gomes , Leon M. Hermans
Commentary 2 - SAWAS 6(1), 2016

The waterscapes of governance
Sahil Patni, Kala Bada
Commentary 3 - SAWAS 6(1), 2016

Book Reviews
New slow city- living simply in the world’s fastest city
Denise Fernandes
Book Review 1 - SAWAS 6(1), 2016

Conflicts over natural resources in the global south: conceptual approaches
Nihar Gokhale
Book Review 2 - SAWAS 6(1), 2016

Applicability of decentralized, small-scale vs. centralized, large-scale Sewage Treatment Plants for urban sanitation: a case study from Sri Lanka
Aditya Kumar Singh
Book Review 3 - SAWAS 6(1), 2016

Volume 5, Issue 2, 2015
Standing at the feet of a tall man
Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt
Article 1 – SAWAS 5(2), 2015

A Tribute
S. Janakrajan
Article 2 – SAWAS 5(2), 2015

An exemplary public intellectual
Dipak Gyawali
Article 3 – SAWAS 5(2), 2015

Remembering Ramaswamy Iyer
Depinder Kapur
Article 4 – SAWAS 5(2), 2015

Rivers have just lost a great voice of theirs
My times and trysts with India’s Water Wisdom
Ranjan K Panda
Article 5 – SAWAS 5(2), 2015

Centre vs States
Nitya Jacob
Article 6 – SAWAS 5(2), 2015

A dissenting voice in the water sector
K. J. Joy
Article 7 – SAWAS 5(2), 2015

At the threshold between living and dying
Book review of Living Rivers, Dying Rivers
Safa Fanaian
Article 8 – SAWAS 5(2), 2015

Selected Works
Selected Works of Mr. Ramaswamy R Iyer
Selected Works 1 - SAWAS 5(2), 2015

Volume 5, Issue 1, 2015

Exploring the Socio-Economic Impacts of Micro-Irrigation System (MIS): A Case Study of Public Tube wells in Gujarat, Western India
P.K. Viswanathan & Chandrasekhar Bahinipati
Article 1 – SAWAS 5(1), 2015

Achieving Food Security in Storm Surge-prone Coastal Polders of South- West Bangladesh
Md. Gulam Kibria, Debanjali Saha, Tamanna Kabir, Taznin Naher, Sultana Maliha, M. Shahjahan Mondal
Article 2 – SAWAS 5(1), 2015

The Late Embrace of Urban Water-Service Privatization in India: A Political Economy Explanation
Gregory Pierce
Article 3 – SAWAS 5(1), 2015

Water into
whine Why deliberative governance of South Asia’s rivers is little more than a talk shop
Paula Hanasz
Commentary 1 - SAWAS 5(1), 2015

Book Reviews
Diverting the Flow: Gender Equity and Water in South Asia. Margreet Zwarteveen, Sara Ahmed, Suman Rimal Gautam, editors. Zubaan 2012. 623 pp.
Vishal Narain
Book Review 1 - SAWAS 5(1), 2015

Volume 4, Issue 1, 2014

Trajectory of Urban River Degradation: People’s Initiatives for Conservation and Restoration (A Case of Hanumante River in Bhaktapur, Nepal)
Rajesh Sada
Article 1 – SAWAS 4(1), 2014

Collating Field Experiences to Inform Structured Approaches for Gender and Equity in Wash in India
Sunetra Lala, Aidan Cronin, Malika Basu, Jyotsna
Article 2 – SAWAS 4(1), 2014

Maximizing the benefits of learning and knowledge management to tackle the sanitation challenge in India
Carmen Da Silva, Sunetra Lala, V Kurian Baby, Joep Verhagen
Article 3 – SAWAS 4(1), 2014

Evaluation of Urban-Wastewater Quality for Irrigation: A Case Study of Khulna City, Bangladesh Kathmandu
Masudur Rahman, Uzzal Kumar Mridha and Nazia Hassan
Article 4 – SAWAS 4(1), 2014

Volume 3, Issue 2, 2013
Participatory Irrigation Management in Pakistan: Initial Results of a Pilot Project
Muhammad Junaid Usman Akhtar and Denita Cepiku
Article 1 – SAWAS 3(2), 2013

Stream Water Quality Depletion Under Intensive Agriculture
M.G.T.S Amarasekara, N.D.K Dayawansa and Ranjith Premalal De Silva
Article 2 – SAWAS 3(2), 2013

Living on the Waters of Gandak: A Struggle of the Locals for Existence in the Gandak Area
Shristi Sharma
Article 3 – SAWAS 3(2), 2013

Role of Private Water Tanker Operation in Urban Water Supply in Kathmandu
Dibesh Shrestha, Ashutosh Shukhla and Surya Nath Upadhyay
Article 4 – SAWAS 3(2), 2013

Volume 3, Issue 1, 2013
Interdisciplinarity in Water Research, Education and Activism in South Asia: Some Reflections and the Way Forward
Priya Sangameswaram, Vishal Narain and K. J. Joy
Article 1 – SAWAS 3(1), 2013

Organizing Water Education Regionally: The Innovations, Experiences and Challenges of Three Southern Water Networks
Edwin Rap, Anjal Prakash and Margreet Zwarteveen
Article 2 – SAWAS 3(1), 2013

Situational Analysis of Women Water Professionals in South Asia
Seema Kulkarni

Article 3 – SAWAS 3(1), 2013

‘The Times of Hope and Despair’: Gender at the Crossroads of Water and Sanitation in Bangladesh Fouzia Mannan
Article 4 – SAWAS 3(1), 2013

Book Reviews
Land Reform in Developing Countries: Property Rights and Property Wrongs
Joe Hill
Book Review 1 - SAWAS 3(1), 2013

Knowledge to Policy: Making the Most of Development Research Reference
Medhavi Sharma
Book Review 2 - SAWAS 3(1), 2013

Volume 2, Issue 2, 2011
Development of an operational iwrm framework in a selected small scale water resources development sector project: in Bangladesh
Sarah Nowreen, M. Shah Alam Khan, Hamidul Huq
Article 1 – SAWAS 2(2), 2011

Overview of water allocation practices in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand with a specific reference to future demands
Nitin Kaushal and Madan Lal Kansal
Article 2 – SAWAS 2(2), 2011

Equity and social justice in water resource governance: the case of Bangladesh
A.K.M. Jahir Uddin Chowdhury and Golam Rasul
Article 3 – SAWAS 2(2), 2011

Book Reviews
New Forms of Urban Governance in India- Shifts, Models, Networks and Contestations
Edited by I.S.A. Baud and J. De Wit
Book Review 1 – SAWAS 2(2), 2011

Waterscapes: The Cultural Politics of a Natural Resource
Ed. Amita Baviskar. Ranikhe
Book Review 2 – SAWAS 2(2), 2011

AID, TECHNOLOGY AND PROJECT DEPENDENCE: A Case of Institutional Weakening of Water Sector from Sri Lanka
N. C. Narayanan and Sunil Thrikawala
Perspective – SAWAS 2(2), 2011

Volume 2, Issue 1, 2010
Tanks in the Tungabhadra Sub-Basin and an IWRM Strategy for Tanks: The Long and the Short View
Suhas Paranjape and K.J. Joy
Article 1 – SAWAS 2(1), 2010

Irrigation Governance Challenges: Perspectives and Initiatives in Andhra Pradesh
Sanjay Gupta
Article 2 – SAWAS 2(1), 2010

The Place of the Tribunal in Inter-State Water Disputes
Narendar Pani
Article 3 – SAWAS 2(1), 2010

New Laws Establishing Independent Regulatory Agencies in the Indian Water Sector: Long Term Implications for Governance
Subodh Wagle and Sachin Warghade
Article 4 – SAWAS 2(1), 2010

Lessons from an Employee Survey in an Irrigation Department in North India
Harry E. Cantle
Article 5 – SAWAS 2(1), 2010

Book Reviews
Water, Ecosystems and Society: A confluence of Disciplines
Anjal Prakash
Book Review 1 – SAWAS 2(1), 2010

Resisting Reform? Water Profits and Democracy
Vishwa Ballabh
Book Review 2 – SAWAS 2(1), 2010

Volume 1, Issue 2, 2009
Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts and Regional Cooperation on Water and Hazards in the Himalayan Region
Madhav B. Karki and Rameshananda Vaidya
Article 1 – SAWAS 1(2), 2009

The Conception, Design, and Implementation of IMT in Pakistan’s Punjab: A Public Policy Reflection
Mehmood Ul Hassan
Article 2 – SAWAS 1(2), 2009
Gone Land, Gone Water : Crossing Fluid Boundaries in Periurban Gurgaon and Faridabad, India
Vishal Narain
Article 3 – SAWAS 1(2), 2009
Water Use Conflict between Agriculture and Fisheries in a Selected Water Resources Development Project in Bangladesh
Sonia Binte Murshed and M. Shah Alam Khan
Article 4 – SAWAS 1(2), 2009

Book Reviews
Integrated Water Resources Management: Global theory, Emerging Practice and Local Needs
Ramaswamy R Iyer
Book Review 1 – SAWAS 1(2), 2009

Taming the Anarchy: Groundwater Governance in South Asia
Linden Vincent
Book Review 2 – SAWAS 1(2), 2009

Pluralized Water Policy Terrain = Sustainability and Integration
Dipak Gyawali
Perspective – SAWAS 1(2), 2009

Volume 1, Issue 1, 2009
Water Rights in Farmer Managed Irrigation Systems in India: Equity, Rule Making
Peter P. Mollinga
Article 1 – SAWAS 1(1), 2009

Methods of Valuation of Water Resources: A Review
Nilanjan Ghosh and Jayanta Bandhopadhyaya
Article 2 – SAWAS 1(1), 2009

Urbanization and peri-urbanization: Aggressive competition and unresolved conflicts
S. Janakarajan
Article 3 – SAWAS 1(1), 2009

Building an Advocacy Coalition for River Sand Mining Affected Stakeholders in Sri Lanka
Kusum Athokorala
Article 4 – SAWAS 1(1), 2009

Hydropower Development in Nepal: Enquiry into the Benefits of a Pluralistic Policy Terrain
Ajaya Dixit
Article 5 – SAWAS 1(1), 2009

Book Reviews
Governance of Water –Institutional Alternatives and Political Economy
V.S. Vyas
Book Review 1 – SAWAS 1(1), 2009

Towards Water Wisdom: Limits, Justice and Harmony
Anjal Prakash
Book Review 2 – SAWAS 1(1), 2009

Putting Cultural Politics into Water Politics
Amita Baviskar
Perspective – SAWAS 1(1), 2009