Water and state governance: India, Kenya, Germany

Gujarat, India. (c) Peter Mollinga

July 19, 2024 | 10:00 h - 12:45 h

This upcoming event is organized by the Bonn Water Network* in which ZEF is a member. 

Venue **: ZEF Conference Room, ground floor, Genscherallee 3, 53113 Bonn 




10:00 am Welcome and opening

10:05 - 10:45 am (20 minutes presentation, 20 minutes discussion)

Topic 1: Adapting to water reforms: A case study of water regime transitions in Ludhiana, India
Speaker: Dr Pranjal Deekshit, TISS Mumbai (Assistant Professor & Chairperson Center for Water Policy and Governance)

This paper studies the challenges in socio-technical transition of the urban water supply  regime of Ludhiana (India), using the 'multi-level actor network' frame by focusing on assemblages of practices that shape relationship between actors and (non-human) components of water systems.

Draft conference paper to be presented at the 4S-EASST conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on July 16, 2024 

10:45 - 11:00 am Coffee break

11:00 - 11:40 am (20 minutes presentation, 20 minutes discussion)

Topic 2: The poverty of Sustainability: Behavioral choices of drinking water in Kenya and Germany
Speaker: Dr V. Subramanian Saravanan, IDOS Bonn (Senior Researcher)

The poverty of sustainability stems from the gap between macro instrumental measures and the inner human dimensions that determine the micro practices. This paper explores the poverty (of sustainability) amidst scarcity in the city of Nakuru in Kenya and amidst plenty in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. The challenge of overcoming the poverty of sustainability remains a topic of debate that can be ameliorated by complementing scientific approaches with non-scientific knowledge and practices.

Link to paper 

11:40 am - 12:20 pm (20 minutes presentation, 20 minutes discussion)

Topic 3: Performance, consumption and production: State governance and the uses and meanings of water in the Sardar Sarovar Project, Gujarat, India
Speaker: Prof. Peter P. Mollinga, ZEF Bonn (ZEF Senior Fellow) and SOAS London 

The paper analyses the uses and meanings of  the water released from the Narmada dam/Sardar Sarovar Project since the early 2000s. The relatively limited amount of scholarship on the functioning and imagining of the Sardar Sarovar Project project since it became operational is reviewed. Theoretically, the paper explores how water infrastructure functions as ‘logistical power’ in state governance.

Forthcoming ZEF Working Paper

12:20-12:45 pm General discussion and closure


About the Bonn Water Network

*The Bonn Water Network (BWN) contributes to strengthen the expertise needed in research, training and practice to implement water-related sustainable development goals around the world. Formally established in 2020 the Bonn Water Network bundles the capacities of nine Bonn-based institutions and one partner institution based in Berlin, all renowned for working on water and related issues in international research, development policy and training.



** Online: If you cannot attend the meeting in-person please join per zoom via the following link:


Meeting ID: 655 7739 5271 Passcode: 950559



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