Moving from Understanding Conflicts to Resolving ... 2 Moving from Understanding Conflicts to...

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  • Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India

    Moving from Understanding Conflicts to

    Resolving Conflicts

    Progress Report for Year One

    May 2008 - April 2009

    Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India

    Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management

    (SOPPECOM)

    16, Kale Park, Someshwarwadi Road,

    Pashan, Pune 411 008

    Maharashtra, INDIA

    Tel: +91-20-2588 0786/ 2588 6542

    Fax: +91-020-2588 6542

    Email: waterconflictforum@gmail.com

    URL: http://conflicts.indiawaterportal.org

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    Moving from Understanding Conflicts to Resolving Conflicts

    Progress Report: May 2008 to April 2009

    This narrative report provides a brief description and review of the activities of the Forum in the first year of its work from May 2008 to April 2009. The main purpose of this report is to update the Advisory Committee and Steering Committee members about the work of the Forum and get suggestions from them.

    Section 1: Activities of the central secretariat

    1) Physical space and the secretariat team

    The first task was to create the necessary physical space for the central secretariat at SOPPECOM. Now we have an exclusive space as well as other required physical infrastructure for the project like computers, broadband connectivity, etc.

    Also we have a dedicated team at SOPPECOM for Forum’s work. Presently, K. J. Joy and Suhas Paranjape, Shruti Vispute, Pratima Medhekar and Ashwin Madhale (the last two for admin and accounts) constitute the team. Eventually as the activities pick up we need to strengthen the team by taking in one more full time person into the team.

    2) Website on Water Conflicts

    Dissemination through web is one of the major components envisaged in the project activities. India Water Portal had agreed to provide space on India Water Portal and to set up a portlet within the India Water Portal. Forum worked with India Water Portal (basically Shruti from SOPPECOM and Vijay Krishna and his colleagues from India Water Portal) to develop the

    website. The website, http://conflicts.indiawaterportal.org/ , was launched during the one day event at Bhubaneshwar on 13 August 2008 by Aidan Cromin of Unicef while Vijay Krishna, from India Water Portal, Arghyam Trust, along with Shruti, explained to the participants its feature and contents.

    This website will be a resource and interactive space for researchers, academicians, activists, policy makers, bureaucrats and for everyone who is interested in water conflicts and their resolution and prevention. Through the website individuals and organizations can join the network of Forum. They can contribute case studies on water conflicts, contribute in the e- discussions on the issues related to water conflicts, and write a blog, read selected water conflict case studies from the book “ Water Conflicts in India: A Million Revolts in the Making” which were published by Economic and Political Weekly in 2006.

    Many people have started using it and SOPPECOM has been monitoring the data provided by Google Analytics on the people who are visiting the sites. We have also extensively canvassed for the website and the reports are that this along with the website launch function has had a positive impact on the subscription of India Water Portal. The usage of the website has gone up. Apart from the technical details on the site, Google Analytics also provides information on the number of people visited the site and their countries. Though most of the visitors for the website are from India, the site has also been visited by people from other countries like the United States, Canada, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Australia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Iran, Germany, Japan, Norway, Ireland, Singapore, Brazil, South Korea, Spain, Finland, France, Ukraine and Ireland.

    We have also started a newsletter that contains notifications on the site updates and

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    announcements of water conflict related seminars, conferences, film festivals etc. This newsletter has shown a positive impact on the visits at the water conflict site.

    3) Participation in UNDP’s Solution Exchange Water Community meet

    The second annual meet of the Solution Exchange (SE) Water Community took place in Bangalore during 23-25 July 2008. On behalf of the Forum, K. J. Joy and Shruti Vispute participated in this meet and organized a stall on water conflicts under the knowledge mela. K J Joy was the resource person for the Water Conflicts theme in the knowledge Mela and Forum also put up the exhibition on water conflicts and also displayed other related materials like the water conflict book. It provided an ideal opportunity for Forum to get comments, questions, feedback from members and interact with a wide spectrum of people and also get a good feedback as what Forum could do. The questions/ queries received by the participants were taken up for discussion in smaller group and later summarized by K J Joy.

    4) Queries on water conflicts on water community e-discussion

    One of the important activities of the Solution Exchange water Community is its e-discussion. During the annual meeting at Bangalore this issue was discussed with Nitya Jacob and others from the Solution Exchange Water Community and it has been agreed that the Forum would initiate discussion among the members through queries related to water conflicts and one way we would do this is to formulate queries as per different types of water conflicts. So far we have posted queries on the following themes:

    Flood induced water conflicts

    Forum had posted a query on flood induced water conflicts on the background of the floods in Bihar. This query has received good response from academicians, development practitioners and independent researchers who are members of the water community.

    All the replies received are consolidated by the Solution Exchange and are available online at solution exchange website as well as Water Conflicts website.

    Query on drinking water related conflicts

    Forum has also initiated a discussion on the query on drinking water related conflicts. The immediate context of starting this query was the Citizens Report on Domestic Water and Sanitation that is being planned by WaterAid India. Forum intends to contribute a chapter on drinking water related conflicts in the Citizens Report. The responses to this query will be further incorporated into the Citizen’s report. All the replies received are consolidated by the Solution Exchange and are available online at solution exchange website as well as Water Conflicts website.

    Query on Sand Mining and related Conflicts

    Forum also initiated a discussion on the query on sand mining and related conflicts. This query also received interesting responses from participants. All the replies are consolidated and available at SE website.

    Currently the Forum is planning to take a review of all the queries related to water conflicts posted on Solution Exchange i.e. flood induced water conflicts, conflicts related to drinking water and sand mining related conflicts. This review will be taken as a base for further discussion.

    5) Coordination of the theme “Contending water Uses” during the SaciWATERs conference in Sri Lanka

    South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies (SaciWATERs) organised an international conference on Water Resources Policy in South Asia during 18 – 20 December at Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Forum coordinated the theme, “Contending Water Uses and Users

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    and Inter-Sectoral Equity in South Asia: Cases and Learnings for a New Policy, Legal and Institutional Framework" during the conference. The Forum prepared a concept note and circulated widely inviting abstracts for the conference. Five papers were selected for the presentation in the conference.

    1. Economic Development and Intersectoral Water Conflicts: A Study of the Transitional Economy of Orissa, India by Dr. Padmaja Mishra and Dr. Aurobindo Behera

    2. Modeling the Conflict and (Possible) Cooperation over Cauveri Water Dispute: Insights from Drama Theory by Suman Ranjan Sensarma

    3. Contending Water Uses and Users and Inter-Sectoral Equity in India: Agenda for a New Policy, Legal and Institutional Framework by K. J. Joy and Suhas Paranjape

    4. Multiple Water Conflicts and their Magnitude in Minor Irrigation Tanks of South India (Necessity to rebuild Water Social Capital with Empowerment Model) by Dr. A. Gurunathan and Dr. N. Venkatesan

    5. Inter-Sector Allocation of Hirakud Dam Water: An economic Analysis by Dr. Sanjukta Das

    6) Participation in Meta Culture Film Festival

    Meta-Culture Dialogics in collaboration with the Bangalore Film Society, Alliance Francaise de Bangalore and Max Mueller Bhavan organized a week long international film festival on Conflict Resolution titled, “Peace and Conflict Resolution: Reflections through Cinema”. The festival was held in Bangalore between October 13-19, 2008, to mark the Conflict Resolution week. On behalf of the Forum K J Joy delivered a talk on ‘Water Conflicts in India: A Million Revolts in the Making: Moving towards Resolution and Prevention’. The poster exhibition on water conflicts and copies of the book were also displayed.

    7) Contribution in One India One People Magazine

    In response to the request received from One India One People, a monthly magazine (www.OneIndiaOnePeople.com) K. J. Joy has contri