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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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Query on Sand Mining and related Conflicts at Solution Exchange Water Community

Mining has been one of the leading causes of conflicts across the country and there have been many agitations and legal interventions. Mining for sand especially impacts water availability in several ways because it is an unregulated activity:

  • Unregulated and indiscriminate sand mining is affecting the health of riverine ecosystems

  • It is also affecting the hydrology of rivers as sand acts as an aquifer and indiscriminate sand excavation is leading to water scarcities, especially for drinking water, as people make pits in the sand to get water during summer months and also agriculture as the wells near the banks of the river (and sometimes in the river bed itself) go dry affecting local people's livelihoods

  • Very often there is a nexus between local politicians-contractors-bureaucrats in this operation and the fight is between this nexus and the local people

In addition, mining for minerals – coal, iron ore, bauxite, limestone and rock quarrying – impacts the quality of water and drastically lowers the water table. Mining also results in sedimentation of affecting the storage capacity of dams. They lead to confrontations between local people and mining companies over loss of agricultural land because of a lack of access to water and rehabilitation. The issues here are:

  • It is a revenue resource for state governments and panchayats

  • It is a source of livelihood for local people, usually fetching better incomes

  • It is a ecologically destructive activity in terms of affecting water quality and quantity, deforestation and socio-economic upheavals

In this context, we request members to share their experiences on the following issues:

  • Instances of conflicts over sand mining from river beds, giving details of the location of the conflict, the conflicting parties, issues at stake, present status, mining licensing issues, etc.

  • Other conflicts over mining in general, with similar details

  • What can be done to prevent such conflicts and lessons from their outcome

Once the series is complete, we will be compiling them and sharing them with members to study conflict resolution in different contexts.

If you are not a member of Solution Exchange Water Community we would like you to join the community and contribute to the discussions. See the details regarding joining the community at