Peri-urban areas losing access to water due to urbanisation, says research

The research covers two locations in India (Gurgaon and Hyderabad), Kathmandu in Nepal and Khulna in Bangladesh

GN Bureau | August 23, 2016


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Peri-urban areas losing access to water due to urbanisation, says research


A new research supported by international development research centre (IDRC) has shown that peri-urban areas lose access to their water sources due to growing urbanisation. The research was conducted by Saciwaters and was published as a book ‘Water security in peri-urban South Asia: Adapting to climate change and urbanization.’

The research covers two locations in India (Gurgaon and Hyderabad), Kathmandu in Nepal and Khulna in Bangladesh.

While releasing the book in Delhi, IDRC regional director Anindya Chatterjee said, “Growth of modern cities is leading to appropriation of land and water from peri-urban spaces.”

The main findings of the research are:


Losing access to water

Peri-urban communities in these four cities have lost access to water sources due to urbanisation. These include:

  • Filling up of water bodies for urban expansion and infrastructure (Hyderabad and Gurgaon)
  • Physical flow of water from rural to urban areas through tankers (Kathmandu and Hyderabad)
  • Extraction of groundwater by industry and affluent urban elite and dumping of urban and industrial waste in water sources (Khulna)
  • Acquisition of land for urban expansion (Khulna, Gurgaon and Hyderabad)
     

Changing rainfall patterns
Urban flooding is common in all the four cities, resulting in crop damage and failure.  With a loss of access to sources of irrigation such as tube wells on account of urban expansion and a change in the seasonal distribution and pattern of rainfall, there is a growing reliance on wastewater irrigation. 


Encroachment of water bodies and climate change
In coastal cities like Khulna, peri-urban water bodies have been encroached, and there is a rise in sea level and salinity intrusion as a result of climate change. In cities like Hyderabad and Gurgaon, acquisition of areas of villages is depriving local communities of access to natural resources on which they depend for their livelihoods.


 

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