Conflicts around Water Use in Rainfed Agriculture: Addressing the Cross-Sectoral Dimensions

Water scarcity is increasing worldwide. Conflicts over access to water for agriculture do not happen in isolation. They cross sectors and needs. They include conflicts between access to drinking water and access to irrigation water. In India, the existing legal framework for dealing with these conflicts is conceptually sound, but loses potency when different needs simultaneously come into play. These result in contestations. The problem is largely based on India's sectoral understanding of water, which considers surface and groundwater rights separately. There are also distinct regulations for irrigation and drinking water supplies.

This project will examine the Rajsamand Lake dispute, which has been under judicial proceedings for several years. Researchers will collect primary data from a range of stakeholders and use secondary material to analyze this case study. The project will fill a key research gap. It will unearth and highlight the kinds of problems, both theoretical and empirical, which arise when various water rights clash-in this case, irrigation and drinking water.

The project will result in a set of relevant policy recommendations on the issue. The research team will publish the findings in a peer-reviewed journal.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Friday, March 8, 2013

End Date

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


8 months

IDRC Officer


Total funding

CA$ 7,600


India, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia

Project Leader

Prof. Philippe Cullet


(Chief, Administrative Services) for and on behalf of Centre for Policy Research Registered Society

Institution Country


Institution Website