IWA Publishing

The periurban water security problem: a case study of Hyderabad in Southern India

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The 2011 Census of India produced some interesting facts about the process of urbanisation in India. For the first time since Independence, the absolute increase in population is more in urban than in rural areas. The increase in urban areas has put pressure on the basic infrastructure, including access to water for both urban and periurban locations. Most Indian cities have formal water supply for only a few hours a day and only in limited areas. The question is – where are the remaining water requirements coming from? For much of India's ‘water history’, the focus has been on large-scale surface-water projects to provide access, focusing more on irrigation and neglecting sources within the city and the periurban areas. Over time an enormous informal groundwater market has arisen in several cities to bridge the demand–supply gap. This water demand is met through supplies of water through informal water markets. Water is sourced from the periurban regions, which are usually richer in surface water and groundwater. This paper focuses on the change process as witnessed by periurban areas with a case study of Hyderabad. This paper presents an overview of a trend that is leading to immense water insecurities due to a combination of issues.

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