Social Ecology of Domestic Water Use in Bangalore

Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. XLVIII No. 15, April 13, 2013, Special Article, 40-50

Author(s): Mehta, V. ; Kemp-Benedict, E. ; Goswami, R.; Muddu, S.; Malghan, D.
Year: 2013

Research Area(s): Water Resources

Description: This paper develops a metabolic framework for domestic water use in Bangalore, one of the fastest-growing urban agglomerations in India. The rapid growth of urban India has added new saliency to the resource conflict between the burgeoning cities and village India that continues to be the home for vast majority of Indians. Cities, like living organisms, depend on external metabolic flows to keep them alive. Among all the metabolic flows of matter and energy none is more important than water – especially water used for meeting basic drinking water and other domestic consumption needs. Our urban metabolism framework treats Bangalore as a tightly coupled social-ecological system and shows that a spatially explicit understanding of consumption patterns is crucial to addressing three central aspects of the water conundrum – equity, ecological sustainability and economic efficiency.

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