Urban Drought pp 209-224 | Cite as

Coping with Urban Water Insecurity in the Colonial City of Kolkata and Implications on Sustainable Development Goals

  • Bhaswati RayEmail author
  • Rajib Shaw
Part of the Disaster Risk Reduction book series (DRR)


The Sustainable Development Goals adopted in September 2015 aim at ensuring clean water and sanitation to all, building resilience in infrastructure through innovations, and making cities inclusive, resilient and sustainable, at a time when global water systems are challenges by variability in climatic conditions, rapid growth of population, and environmental degradation. Moving from a tank-based surface water supply system, the colonial capital since 1773 had its first pumping station in 1820 to distribute water from River Hugli to the main city by gravity. Though having sufficient supply of freshwater, the current water supply system in the megacity of Kolkata is crippled with intermittent supply, old worn-out zonal mains, high leakage loss, inadequate coverage, dependence on groundwater, poor water quality, and low-cost recovery. In this paper, an attempt has been made to study the existing water supply system and its implications on the Sustainable Development Goals 2015 and to also explore coping strategies for a resilient and sustainable water future. It is evident that the formal water supply system is far from adequate and communities are seeking resilience in an informal parallel water supply system.


Water systems Communities Sustainable 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sivanath Sastri CollegeUniversity of CalcuttaKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Graduate School of Media and GovernanceKeio UniversityFujisawaJapan

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