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Laws relating to water in India have diverse origins, including ancient local customs and the British Common Law. The in-depth chapters in this compendium, written by luminaries from various fields, pertain to issues on water and proceed to a discussion of the legal questions that arise. This volume thus straddles two domains, viz., (i) water-resource policy, management, conservation, conflict-resolution, etc., and (ii) water law. The book also briefly raises and explores the case for a constitutional declaration on water and an overarching national water law.
The book is an invaluable resource for policy-makers, planners and administrators concerned with water at the Central, State and local levels; students, academics and practitioners in the domains of water as well as law; and social scientists, NGOs and activists concerned with the various issues discussed in the book. It should be useful as a main or supplementary textbook in universities and research or management institutions where any aspect of water (engineering, ecological, legal, social, economic, management or other) is a subject of study.
Iyer's latest book is a welcome and timely.... This book is recommended reading for anyone interested in water issues regardless of their disciplinary training or ideological position. This volume should motivate young scholars, particularly from the disciplines of sociology and geography, to formulate research questions for empirical enquiry in the water arena, including issues related to legal pluralism.
(Contributions to Indian Sociology)
This book is a bold and comprehensive attempt to capture all that we know about how to manage and regulate the various `vessels` that hold water for different uses... Unlike a typical law book that would either argue from a normative understanding of a basic principle, eg the human rights approach towards legislation, or generalise from case laws towards legal framework, this book combines both the approaches through contributed articles.... The book marks a "watershed" in water legislation documentation. (Business Standard)
It is a well-conceived and well-written volume, for which both the editor and the contributors deserve full appreciation. Their painstaking efforts and the thoroughness of their work are remarkable. What is unique about the book is that it does not not deal with water law per se but with water law as it relates to various physical, economic, institutional, and policy aspects affecting water resource management in India...Despite the legalistic nature of the subject, the language used in most of the chapters is easy to follow even by the lay people. A major addition to the existing literature, the book fills a gap in one of less-researched areas of water resource management and connected areas. It should serve as a valuable source for senior researchers working in the water-law interface. (The Hindu)
Worth reading.... The books packs in 20 papers on different aspects of water and the legal questions that arise. The papers are written by well known experts... This gives the reader a more holistic perspective.... Recommended reading. (Civil Society)
The book has made a commendable effort in bringing together experts from various streams of expertise to identify the lacunae plaguing the existing framework and explore ways to address these from diverse perspectives....It is a useful contribution to the literature on the social dimensions of water, and will be essential reading for education and research in the various dimensions of development studies, water management as well as law. (Economic & Political Weekly)
Water is not just a rights issue for laws and policies but a fundamental issue of the country's governance for the Constitution itself to address and accommodate. Water and the Laws in India is indeed a rich compendium of well-researched articles by knowledgeable persons critiquing the existing legal framework and proposing wide-ranging changes in it. The production by SAGE publications is impressive though the price (Rs 995) for the Indian market is a bit too high. Yet, no library or department dealing with water can afford not having a copy of this informative publication.
About the Author
Ramaswamy R Iyer is Honorary Research Professor at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He served in the civil service for 34 years before retiring as Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources.