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Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur

Water Society And Sustainability

Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and NPTEL via Swayam

This course may be unavailable.


The global water scenario is beset by multiple challenges: water availability, severe inequity to water access and entitlements across social and spatial lines, frequent floods and droughts, disputes over corporate control of limited water resources, etc. The world appears to be on track to halve the number of people without access to safe clean water. However, in the urban Global South, this success masks regional and local inequalities and a process of urbanization without infrastructure, which is particularly acute in the growing peripheries of existing cities. Interestingly enough, lessons can be learnt from small-scale community water conservation practices and localized needs-driven initiatives. Within this context, it is important to understand and address water beyond the physical and technical attributes and explore the complex and cyclical processes through which water shapes, and, is in turn shaped by society. The course is located at the intersections across water, technology, science and society towards sustainable future. It combines fundamental theoretical, methodological approaches and empirical case studies to introduce and familiarize students with water-society relationship: the contemporary challenges and prospective potentials.INTENDED AUDIENCE: Located at the intersections across science, society, technology and sustainability, the course will be highly relevant for students from different disciplinary backgrounds including: agriculture,water resource engineering, environmental sciences, rural development, civil engineering, geology and humanities and social sciences.PREREQUISITES: NILINDUSTRY SUPPORT: Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Other companies interest (some of which have approached the instructor) can be explored.


Week 1: 1.Setting the Context 2.Beyond Hydrology 3.Socio Hydrology 4.Political Ecology of Water 5.HydrosocialWeek 2: 6.Critical Physical Geography 7.The South Asian Context 8.Water Harvesting and Water Use Techniques in Ancient India 1 9.Water Harvesting and Water Use Techniques in Ancient India 2 10.Water Harvesting and Water Use Techniques in Ancient India 3Week 3: 11.Water Technology in Medieval India 1 12.Water Technology in Medieval India 2 13.‘Colonial Hydrology’ 14.Dams and Development in Contemporary India 15.The Farakka Barrage Project: Historical and Technical DetailsWeek 4: 16.The Farakka Barrage Project: Socio-environmental Implications 17.Urban Waters: Historical and Political Ecological Perspectives 18.Transforming Trajectories of Blue Infrastructures of Kolkata 19.Peri-urban Water Justice in the Global South 20.Discussion and Conclusion

Taught by

Prof. Jenia Mukherjee



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