Sustainability of Water Resource Systems in India: Role of Value in Urban Lake Governance in Ahmedabad

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"One of the ongoing discussions in water resource governance in India is on the revival of the river and lake systems. The new water-system as infrastructures are proving to be the connectors in the current societal (urban) development as they did in the times of traditional water management and old settlement pattern. Rivers and lakes have different social, ecological and economical demands made on them at different periods of societal development and that made them vulnerable to change. One of the core challenges documented in the governance of rivers and lakes in India is addressing the rapid changes in these value systems. Effectively addressing the change (or priority) in the values of water systems and urban systems linked to the governance can be a major step towards sustainability of these systems. There is still limited understanding of how the values of water resource systems are progressively linked to changing urban systems and how upward and downward causation linkages occur within the systems as well as across diverse sectors and scales of governance. The PhD research on ‘Sustainability of urban lake systems in India’ is an attempt to look at the interactions and outcomes of the spatial and temporal dynamics of urban systems and lake systems especially the values that sustain the institutional and ecological memory. The paper highlights the relationship and the role of values between urban lakes systems (ecological systems) and governance (social systems) and identifies that sustainability of both the systems is the key towards sustainable cities. The multitier framework for analyzing the social- ecological systems is used as the foundation to elaborate the link of the values with urban lake systems and governance in the context of Ahmedabad city. Vastrapur lake development in Ahmedabad is studied to elaborate few roles of values."



sustainability, urban affairs, governance and politics, value