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Conflicts Case Studies

We have collated Case Studies on topics like Transboundary Disputes, Contending Water Uses, Water Quality, Micro-level Disputes and more.
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Provisional Case Study Format

Provisional Format for Documenting Case Studies on Water Conflicts in India.

Each case study must be between 1500 - 2000 words. It must be accompanied by a map of the area in question and at least three electronic photographs (is possible) of good resolution relating to the conflict and associated issues such as region, people, project maintenance and crops.


The title must reflect the common perception of the conflict. Examples:

Cauvery river basin

Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme

Paddy cultivation in the Upper Krishna Project


The subtitle must be a catchy, positive one-liner that underlines the main source of conflict or captures the uniqueness of the case study.


(1) Krishna river basin
Conflict arising from implementing the recommendations of the tribunal

(2) Ponniar and its downstream tanks
Tamil Nadu, a traditional downstream state, uses 'upstream' arguments

(3) Bhavani Sagar Dam

Unauthorised lift irrigation infringes on water rights of older schemes


The case study must begin with brief description of the area, location and the geographic and political boundaries of the area in question. If the conflict is local, please provide details of the region, its significant geographical features, catchment area and so on. The idea is to give the reader a clear mental picture of the problem and all the factors that influence it. Also please specify the size of the area involved in the conflict and where possible, the number of people affected.


All case studies must be accompanied by a map that points to the state(s) and a detailed map of the area in question.

The conflict

Describe the conflict in very simple, direct terms. Assume that your reader knows nothing about it. Do not exaggerate, do not use an excess of adjectives, and do not take a stand on the issue: state the facts as clearly as possible and let your readers draw the sequence of events from there. Include a box with a brief chronology of events. Use small, pithy sentences.

Current status

Outline how the conflict is poised today. Is the issue active or dormant? Is the matter pending in a court or tribunal? Is some action forthcoming from the state or local government?

Highest and lowest points

What were the highest and lowest points for the conflict? Describe the events when was the conflict at its peak, and when it was closest to being resolved. This will help readers see the events that aggravate conflicts and what efforts help to ease the situation. In this context, historic pictures or photos that give us an idea of the situation are welcome.

The opposing stands

List the opposing stands of various parties involved and briefly summarise:
What do they want?
What is their reasoning?
What have they done?
Also describe the impact of these opposing stands and ensuing conflict on the ecology, economy and society in the affected areas. If possible put a cost to the conflict, again in terms of ecology, economy and­ society. It is not always possible to quantify these issues but any indicative figures available will give an idea of the scope of the case.

Scope for dialogue

This is where the author's view of the conflict must be stated (not the judgement). Author should be able to give some suggestions how a process can be initiated to resolve. Please take stands or suggest the solutions. Are there possibilities for resolving the conflict? What steps and processes must be adopted? If the conflicts cannot be resolved through existing institutional and legal set ups, do suggest what are the possible new legal, institutional and social instruments that can resolve them.

While presenting your view of the conflict, however, take care not to take a position or appear to favour one side or in any way aggravate the conflict.
Also describe earlier attempts by persons or institutions to resolve the issue.

Key institutions and people

Give a list of names and contact information of key persons or institutions, who have worked in the area and/or have knowledge of the issue and the area.

Publications and websites

Include a list of publications that are based on the conflict or include information on it. Also list websites that may have similar information. Also do provide newspaper/journal clippings, if available.

Details of author(s)


Institute,if any






Brief description of association: How have the author/s been associated with or observed the conflict? In what capacity and for how long have they been associated with the issue?