Affiliations: Centre for Development and Environment Policy Indian Institute of Management Calcutta Kolkata – 700 104, India
Abstract: South Asia, with its burgeoning population density and poverty on the one hand, and rapid urbanization and industrialization on the other, seems to be facing an impending water crisis. This crisis is not due to water shortage, but due to conflicts over water use at various levels. The governments in the region have neglected the knowledge base needed to research water systems management and deal with these conflicts. The paper stresses that only a transdisciplinary approach, including the engineering and medical sciences, along with social, political, and economic expertise, can help in poverty alleviation and development. Eventually, the paper traces the knowledge gaps in water systems management in South Asia and sets forth a research agenda based on the emergent paradigm of integrated water resources management.