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TitleImpacts of increased urban demand for water on livelihood resilience in Chennai's peri-urban areas
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsJanakarajan, S, Raman, S, Jothi, G, Prabahar, G
EditionDraft working paper for comment
Pagination20 p. : 3 boxes, 1 fig., 15 tab.
Date Published2006-01-01
PublisherMadras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS)
Place PublishedChennai, India
Keywordsindia tamil nadu chennai, peri-urban communities, sdiasi, sdiurb, sustainable livelihoods, urban areas, water demand, water supply

Continuous pumping of groundwater during more than 35 years in the rural area surrounding Chennai in order to supply the city with safe water has reduced the groundwater availability considerably. This has a considerable impact on agriculture in the region. As a result agricultural labourers migrate in search of alternative income. A premise of the study was that high levels of water transfer from villages to urban areas would lead to conflict. The findings indicated, however, that initial conflicts or resentment to water transfer was fairly short lived as people in the villages accepted the inevitability of this activity and perhaps their own powerlessness to stop it. From the study appeared also clearly that the strategy of buying water from farmers' wells to meet Chennai's water demand is unsustainable and fundamentally flawed. Chennai's demand for water continues to increase in part because of migration to the urban areas, but there is no indication of a long-term sustainable strategy emerging to meet this demand. Until this happens the outlook is rather bleak for the livelihoods of poorer and more disadvantaged social groups living in Chennai's urban and peri-urban areas and the ever more distant rural areas that are exporting water to Chennai.

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