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Training Workshop on Understanding and Resolving Water Conflicts in India

Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India (Forum to be brief), in collaboration with Baitarani Initiative and Odisha State Resource Centre of the Forum, is organizing a Training Programme on Understanding and Resolving Water Conflicts at Satapada on Chilika Lake, Odisha during 18th to 22nd July, 2011.
The Forum is an effort to bring together people who have an interest to work on water and water conflict related issues. The Forum began its work towards the end of 2004 as a collaborative effort of eight organizations and a few independent researchers and was supported by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). In the first phase of Forum’s work the emphasis was on understanding conflicts and hence the Forum took up extensive documentation of different types of conflicts in the country. The documented case studies have been published as a book – Water Conflicts in India: A Million Revolts in the Making – by Routldge. The present phase of Forum’s work, primarily supported by Arghyam, Bangalore, covers four broad areas of:
• Conflict Documentation
• Conflict Resolution
• Conflict Prevention
• Network and Outreach
The secretariat of the Forum is housed in the office of Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management (SOPPECOM), Pune. The Forum has also set up two state resource centers – one in Kerala (housed and managed by the Chalakudi Puzha Samrakshan Samiti) and the other one in Odisha (housed and managed by Shrishti on behalf of the Odisha Water Forum). The Forum has recently started documentation of different types of water conflicts in collaboration with Aaranyak. The Forum, in collaboration with Megh Pyne Abhiyan, is also planning document flood induced conflicts in the country. For further details on the forum, log on to
Understanding conflicts and developing approaches and practical strategies to deal with conflicts is an important aspect of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM). One of the critical issues in IWRM is contending and competing water uses and users and many of the conflicts are also embedded in this.
Of course there are also other types of conflicts like conflicts due to dams, submergence and displacement, pollution induced conflicts, conflicts due to privatization and so on. If IWRM has to move forward then we also need to develop capacities of various stakeholders in the water and allied sectors: 1) to understand water in an integrated manner (from an IWRM perspective in terms of crossing disciplinary boundaries of bio‐physical sciences as well as various social science boundaries as well as sectoral and institutional boundaries, 2) understand the present institutional and legal set up and see the type of reforms to be initiated at this level, and 3) to bring together various, especially conflicting stakeholders, into a process of knowledge driven dialogue process within the deliberative democratic framework.
Though water conflicts are not necessarily bad or negative, with every conflict the society (and the ecosystems) pays a price. If water conflicts are unresolved there is a strong possibility that all our development efforts might get hampered and further the food security in the country could be seriously compromised. Also, the ecological issues related to the water conflicts are a major concern that needs immediate attention.
One of the pre‐conditions for conflict resolution is the ability of the stakeholders to analyse the conflicts in all their complexities and come to a scientific understanding of the issues underpinning the conflicts.
It also requires a good understanding of water as a resource and its legal, policy and institutional context. The different stakeholders also should have the necessary skills for a negotiated settlement. It is in this context the present training programme is being organized.
Objectives, modules, methods and team of resource persons
This training programme is aimed at introducing participants to the basic concepts, debates, theoretical and analytical approaches and emerging issues related to water, water conflicts and their resolution in India.
The training programme will have modules on the following components:
• Understanding water
• Normative concerns around water
• Legal and institutional issues related to water
• Understanding water conflicts in India
• Conflict resolution: approaches, methods with special emphasis on negotiations and stakeholder dialogue
The training programme will involve lectures, group discussions, assignments, case studies and interactive sessions with resource persons. A good set of reading material would be made available to the participants prior to the training programme.
The programme will be coordinated by a team of resource persons having considerable experience on theoretical and practical aspects of dealing with water conflicts in different geographies of India. Key members of the team are Prof. S. Janakarajan, Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS), Chennai; K J Joy & Suhas Paranjape, SOPPECOM, Pune; Phillip Cullet, IELRC, New Delhi; A Latha, CPSS, Kerala and Pranab Choudhury, Baitarani Initiative, Odisha. We would also get a few more resource persons.

Target Participants
The programme is designed for middle level / senior level functionaries of NGO / civil society groups and movements, government officials in water resource departments, researchers/teachers from academia, lawyers, media professionals and activists working on water related issues. The seats are limited to about 25 participants.

Programme dates, Logistics and Costs
The programme is scheduled during 18 ‐ 22 July 2011. This is a residential training programme and will be held at natural setting in Satapada on Chilika Lake. Chilika is the largest brackish water lake in Asia and is one of the Ramsar sites. Satapada is about 100 Km from Bhubaneswar through Puri.
Lodging and boarding arrangements for the participants will be made at the venue. Local hospitality will be provided by the Forum. Travel support would be provided to participants up to 3 tier AC train or bus.
The training programme is partially supported by CAPNET.
Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management (SOPPECOM), the secretariat of the Forum, is a non‐profit, non‐governmental organisation working in the area of Natural Resource Management (NRM) primarily in the rural areas. It is committed to the principles of sustainable and rational use of natural resources, equity and social justice in the distribution of benefits especially to the disadvantaged sections like dalits, landless, women, democratic and decentralized governance of these resources. As an organization committed to these principles, SOPPECOM extends its support to grassroots groups working on NRM issues through training, resource literacy, and participatory planning, research and policy advocacy. (
About Odisha State Center
The State Centre of the Forum, hosted at Baitarani Initiative, SHRISTI is working on a project ‘Engaging with Water Conflicts in Odisha’ since February, 2009 as part of the work of the Forum. Objectives of this project are to document water conflicts, to attempt resolution of water conflicts and to work towards prevention of water conflicts in Odisha in association with other local Civil Society Organizations.
Baitarani Initiative has emerged out of a Civil Society action research initiative on exploring options towards community sensitive river basin management in the Baitarani River in Odisha in 2006. ( )
About Satapada
Located at a distance of 50 kilometers from Puri, Satapada on Chilika is very famous for Irrawaddy Dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris). 'Sata' means 'Seven' and 'Pada' means 'Village', so the name Satapada means group of seven villages. It is located on the southern part of the Chilika Lake. The exact geographical location is 19°40'10"N and 85°26'38"E. Satapada is also famous for Sea Mouth Island where Chilka lake meets the Bay of Bengal.
Last Date for Application
The last date for receiving the application along with endorsement of employer/institution is 7 June 2011.
Applicants will be informed of the selection by 10 June 2011.
Kindly send your application in the prescribed format via e‐mail (as a .doc file) to or post to:
Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India
Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management
16, Kale Park, Someshwarwadi Road,
Pashan, Pune 411 008
Maharashtra, INDIA
Tel: +91‐20‐2588 0786/ 2588 6542
Fax: +91‐020‐2588 6542