Political Economy of Water Management, Climate Justice, and Human Rights in Srikona, Assam: A Case Study
Through a political economy lens of analysis, this research paper examines how, over a period of time, myriad factors have together resulted in conditions of seasonal water scarcity in the village of Srikona. It sheds light on how the lived realities of villagers in terms of socio-economic conditions and lifestyle, especially with regard to water use, have changed from before 2007 to 2020, owing to phenomena such as climate change, government schemes, acquisition of adjacent land and the villagers’ once primary source of water, a lake, to establish a military station, and net in-immigration. Associated themes of climate justice, water rights, inequality, ecological impact, socio-political dissatisfaction, and occupational shifts related to greater financial insecurity are also explored in context. Additionally, the implications of recent pertinent developments including the Citizenship Amendment Act and a national water-security scheme are considered, along with future consequences. Finally, the conclusion includes suggestions derived after the multi-dimensional analysis of the situation, these being effective representation of stakeholders, targeted regulation of consumption, and revision of policy.
Keywords - Water Rights, Climate Change, Political Economy, Water Management, Climate Justice