The Tungabhadra river basin: proceedings of the first stakeholder meeting

A stakeholder workshop for the Tungabhadra basin was organised by the Society for Promoting Participative Eco-system Management (SOPPECOM) and the UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science of Dundee University in Scotland in Hospet, India (Karnataka) on 9-10 January 2007. The ensuing discussions centred on the issues in the Tungabhadra basin such as the intersectoral allocation of water, agricultural and industrial pollution, the problems of downstream flows and the problems for the livelihoods of the 11,000 fishing families dependent on the river because of reduction of fish stocks as well as biodiversity loss. Water pricing was also discussed and the need for tiered water pricing. The region has a number of Water User Associations, but even so water rights was an issue that emerged strongly because water rights are tied to land rights, creating an access problem for those who are landless. Additionally the implementation of environmental law, water law and the Right to Information Act was discussed. The need for the expansion of general public education on water issues and the need for the collection and dissemination of scientific information was stressed by a number of participants, as well as public participation in the governance of the basin.