Event Reports

Towards Water Federalism 2.0   Perspectives from the Ganga and the Brahmaputra River Basins

Towards Water Federalism 2.0 Perspectives from the Ganga and the Brahmaputra River Basins

Recently, the present geological epoch has been officially named as Anthropocene – the age of humans. Human influence on the earth system has been but growing, causing climate change and subsequent weather extremes such as heatwaves and flooding. India is majorly affected by global warming. 2019 has brought new temperature records, droughts, floods – causing human and economic losses. While groundwater resources have already been largely used up, a steadily growing population and rapid rate of industrialization and urbanization continue to increase water demand. Thus India ranks among the countries with the highest water-stress. The government is pursuing ambitious plans and created a Ministry of Jal Shakti to put these plans into action. A large portion of the success of these plans depends on rivers, e.g. the Ganga and Brahmaputra are lifelines for trade, tourism, agriculture and industry. Efficient management and rejuvenation of India’s rivers are thus crucial for meeting the individual developmental goals of the states in creating livelihood and water security and the national goals of regional cooperation, meeting Sustainable Development Goals and fighting the effects of global warming. Rivers are source of both conflict and cooperation. The execution of India’s institutional framework for preventing and solving conflicts over water is still evolving and gaps exist. A new thinking in federalism in the field of water management to meet local aspirations and national ambition is needed. The 3rd National Water conference by Hanns Seidel Foundation and Asian Confluence provides a platform for in- depth discussions on India’s water federalism. Lawmakers from centre and states, experts of think tanks and Civil Society Organisations are invited to debate on the scientific and environmental developments and contribute to the political discourse.