SaciWATERs currently works within four broad themes namely – water policy & governance, water & climate change, water & gender, and water, sanitation, & hygiene. Water resource planning & hydrology & water resource economics and accounting are the two new themes, SaciWATERs would like to focus in the coming years. Within the existing four themes, SaciWATERs designs, supports and implements integrated water resource management research projects to bridge the gap between science, policy, and practice. These themes have emphasis on five focus areas – research, education, capacity building, advocacy, partnership and knowledge mobilization.

Water Policy & Governance

Water systems are typically complex, with the relationship between water and development being particularly dynamic. In this context, conflict is increasingly determining the interactions between water policy and governance. Working in partnership, SaciWATERs focuses on the characteristics of water institutions in South Asia while evaluating their influence on reform processes; studies disputes over divergent water uses; and assesses the impact of salient actors in promoting or obstructing institutional change.

Brief: The theme focuses to understand the water conflicts pertaining to water institutions in South Asia.

Climate Change & Water

Climate change events in the region, coupled with population growth, are degrading natural resources while making South Asia particularly vulnerable to conflict. As climate change impacts finely balanced social, economic and ecological systems adversely, ripple effects are already being felt in terms of negative pressures on food security, livelihood security and energy security. Acknowledging this, SaciWATERs works to transform existing paradigms in natural resource management, simultaneously considering climate change mitigation and adaptation with food, energy and livelihood optimization strategies.

Brief: SaciWATERs emphasizes to capture climate change impacts on social, economic & ecological systems – and its ripple effects on food, livelihood, and energy security.

Water & Gender

The fundamental role of women in the communal and household management of water resources is now widely accepted. However, unequal access to and control over these resources remain a continuing dilemma. SaciWATERs endorses a better understanding of the complex issues underpinning water and gender, with the aim of improving women’s access and choices related to water.

Brief: SaciWATERs focuses on the key issue of water access and control related to both productive and domestic sector.

Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene

Despite massive interventions, basic access to safe drinking water and effective, equitable and sustainable delivery of sanitation remains a major challenge throughout most of South Asia. Initiatives at both the policy and institutional levels have fallen far short of meeting these critical needs in the region’s eight countries. The lack of independent studies on a sufficiently representative scale are further exacerbating the problem of correctly assessing ground realities. Recognizing the importance of the issue, SaciWATERs is developing an inclusive, cross-sectoral strategy.

Brief: SaciWATERs brings special emphasis on the issue by developing and inclusive a cross– sectoral strategy through policy and institutional initiatives.

New Themes

Water Resource Planning & Hydrology

SaciWATERs adopts a three-pronged approach encompassing the interlinked issues of surface water hydrology, ground water hydrology and watershed development. Concerns over quantity, regulation and availability of water have been compounded by the almost continual degradation of the quality of water resources. Leveraging its research inventories, SaciWATERs works to optimize current and potential uses of water and monitor water quality levels of different sources. With its watershed management initiatives, the Consortium attempts to conserve healthy watersheds by checking habitat impairment, preserving water quality, and promoting ecosystem integrity.

Water Resource Economics & Accounting

Understanding the multiple connections between water resources and the economy is fundamental to ensuring sustainable water resources management. SaciWATERs uses this lens to internalise the value of water in decision making, using both theoretical and empirical tools. This thematic area examines a range of sub-themes including the role of water marketing and water pricing, estimation of demand and supply of water, the effects of privatisation of water utilities, economic valuation of water resources and cost-benefit analysis.

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