Decentralized Institutions for Sustainable Water Management: Study of Indigenous (Gond and Kohli) Community-based Organizations in Maharashtra, India

By Namrata P. Joshi-Vishwasrao.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

New institutional structures for effective integration of Indigenous people and their knowledge in decision-making for sustainable water management are encouraged in the last decade. Community-based institutional structures are emerging all over India, in order to take control of their natural resources.
This paper is based on the exploratory research undertaken across three case studies situated in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, namely Rajapur, Aashti and Mendha. The goal of this research is to study distinctive community organizations developed by the local community within the prescribed Indian and Maharashtra State Government structure and the extent of community engagement in the process of decision-making over water management. These case examples are of significance because of their attempts to revive traditional techniques, social capital development through learning process, and development of decentralized organizations that discourage any hierarchical structure, thereby ensuring equity. It also stresses the role of civil society bodies to provide coordinated support in the process.

Keywords: Indigenous Water Management, Decentralized Organization, India, Social Capital

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp.195-210. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.840MB).

Namrata P. Joshi-Vishwasrao

PhD Student, School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

I am currently completing a PhD looking at the Indigenous community organisations developed to manage their water resources sustainably using their Indigenous knowledge and practices. The focus is on the process of community engagement in the decentralised institutions decision-making process. I am a qualified Landscape Architect with interest in environmental and cultural landscape design and planning, and water conservation.

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