Setting the Context — Water Governance in Bengaluru

In this series, we explain the need to better understand how water moves through cities and illustrate effective ways to create and visualise urban water balance through the case of Bengaluru.

Nov 3, 2022

Without a single agency to coordinate work and ensure water is managed holistically, the city suffers, apparent from the recent floods and water pollution.

Read | Part 1: Why We Need Urban Water Balances

Figure 1. Some of the larger lake systems of Bengaluru. The networks have been fragmented due to encroachment into lakes and connecting canals/rajakaluves. Map by Shashank Palur.


Figure 2. Institutions in Bengaluru’s water management and their various functions. Information gathered by Sneha Singh, Rashmi Kulranjan, Shashank Palur and Muhil Nesi (Note: Colours of links are used only for legibility)

Figure 3. Institutions acting as ‘custodians’ of different lakes. Bengaluru’s lakes are a classic example of how fragmentation occurs in water governance — different agencies manage different lakes while the broader system goes ungoverned. Map by Shashank Palur.


This work was conducted by the authors when they were with the Centre for Social and Environmental Innovation at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (CSEI-ATREE). The work is now being taken forward by WELL Labs in collaboration with ATREE.

If you would like to collaborate with us outside of this project, write to us. We would love to hear from you.

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