Inter-State Water Sharing in India: From Conflict to Cooperation

  • Nina SinghEmail author


Perception of the threat of scarcity and unjust distribution of water, a finite, preeminent natural resource, has caused its connection with conflict. It is an area of continued interest and debate in both the policy literature and popular press at the international level. In India too, the states are in conflict with each other on a variety of issues over sharing of inter-state river waters. This paper attempts to explore different facets of this issue based on an exhaustive literature survey. The more valuable lesson of international experience is that water is a resource whose characteristics tend to induce cooperation and incite violence only exceptionally. In India, however, the situation is different: conflict–resolution mechanisms have to be addressed from different angles. To begin with, these disputes have to be disentangled from the more general State–State conflicts and from everyday political issues. The possibility of a National Water Commission independent of daily political pressures should be explored. River water resources require sustainable integrated planning for the larger ecological systems of which rivers are a part by way of State–State cooperation and extending beyond centralized technology-driven planning.


Inter-state river water Conflict Cooperation Regulation India 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyMaharshi Dayanand UniversityRohtakIndia

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