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Case study: TARU Leading Edge: Water conflicts across regions and sectors - Latur City
Category: Water & Sanitation

Indian cities are undergoing rapid urbanization and their resource footprints are growing. As the cities grow and demand for natural resources grow, they face competition and conflicts with other users in the region and hydrological basin, resulting in shortages and scarcities in cities. The climate change exacerbates these conflicts.

Water sector is one of the conflict areas for the cities. As the cities are unable to provide sufficient water, the urban users are increasingly dependent on ground water and even in normal years both municipalities as well as the residents are dependent on ground water. While there is some information on municipal use of groundwater available, the private use of ground water is still not known. The cities located in hard rock areas of the Indian peninsula have limited resources of ground water. 


The urbanization results in reduced infiltration due to increase in built up areas and the aquifers also get polluted by lack of sufficient sewerage systems in the core city. The natural recharge from rainfall gets reduced through increase in impervious areas, while recharge from the sewerage across the year increases and it increases pollution. In cities such as Bangalore, the core area with water supply shows raising water table, but in peripheral areas, the water table declines due to over extraction from excessive withdrawal from unserved new buildings.

The 2014 and 2015 monsoons were in deficit in significant parts of the Central India, especially Marathwada. The Marathwada region has seen two years of consecutive drought. This has impacted agricultural, industrial and domestic sectors at regional scale and water supply at City level. This has also created conflicts between city vs region, taluka vs taluka and district vs district. The Case of Latur and other cities in the Marathwada region is presented in this document to highlight these challenges and to explore options for water management across scales and sectors under urbanization and climate variability. 


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