I am Docent/Associate Professor and researcher in the field of water resources management. An environmental anthropologist by education, I have about two decades of experience in research, education and advocacy in diverse areas including water policy, gender and water, human right to water, climate change and water, integrated water resources management, participatory approach in water management, and traditional water management systems. After a long tenure of more than 16 years at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, at Södertörn University I am currently the Consortium Coordinator of a large transnational project titled “Nature-Based Solutions for Water Management in the Peri-Urban: Linking Ecological, Social and Economic Dimensions” (NATWIP). This is an EU Cooperation Water-JPI project, with partners in Sweden, Norway, Spain, South Africa, Brazil and India. Recently, a new research project titled “Hydro-territorial Rights and Rural Sustainability in the Global South” has received funding from the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (Formas). This comparative research will look at the situations in India, Tanzania and Bolivia. Recently I also completed a EU-Interreg funded study in the Baltic Sea Region that explored the sustainability of river restoration projects.
I have authored several international publications and have started Millennium Water Story (www.millenniumwaterstory.org), which is an information, education and communication initiative. Co-founded with Om Prakash Singh, an environmental documentarian and visual anthropologist, this is the first initiative in the world that aims at water sensitization through exclusive photo-documentary works. My most significant publication is a book titled “The Human Right to Water: From Concept to Reality”, published by Springer International Publishing Switzerland. This pioneering book situates the human right to water discourse in a broader interdisciplinary perspective, expanding its scope beyond the narrower legal dimensions, defining a new approach for effectively realizing the right.
I have served as an expert in the water sector independently and as member in working groups in Sweden, India and also at many other places, including evaluation of the working of non-governmental organizations in the sector and of projects for research funding agencies. I have played an instrumental role in establishing and strengthening educational cooperation between Sweden and India through the Linnaeus-Palme Academic Exchange Program supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Erasmus Mundus Program supported by the European Commission.
MY RESEARCH PROJECTS:
- Hydro-territorial Rights and Rural Sustainability in the Global South [Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (Formas) 2022-2024, Project leader].
- NATWIP - Nature-Based Solutions for Water Management in the Peri-Urban: Linking Ecological, Social and Economic Dimensions [EU Cooperation Water-JPI, 2019-2023, Consortium Coordinator].
- RETROUT - Development, promotion and sustainable management of the Baltic Sea Region as a coastal fishing tourism destination [EU Interreg Baltic Sea Region grant on Blue Growth, 2017-2021, sub-project leader for study on River Restoration]
- Climate Change, Water Stress and Adaptation: A Cross-Cultural Study in India from Gender Perspective [Sida-FORSK / VR grant, 2012-2015, Co-applicant responsible for examining cultural capital for climate adaptation from gender perspective, with focus on drought mitigation]
- Children’s Right to Water: Problems and Prospects of its Effective Realization in India from Gender Perspective [Sida-SAREC grant, 2007-2009, Co-applicant responsible for exploring challenges to enjoying the right from socio-cultural perspective]
- Relevance of socio-cultural context in realization of the human right to water in India: An insight from gender perspective [Sida-SAREC grant, 2006-2008, Co-applicant responsible for examining hindrances to the right with focus on water quality and community-based factors]
- Contamination of water resources in Tarkwa mining area in Ghana: Linking technical, social-economic and gender dimensions. [Sida–SAREC grant, 2004-2006, Co-applicant responsible for examining social and gender dimensions]
- Women and Water: Encountering the challenges of water resource management in rural India from gender perspective. [Sida-SAREC grant, 2003-2006, first Co-applicant and later Main applicant responsible for exploring traditional water management systems as gendered processes].