Changing hydrosocial cycles in Periurban India

Carsten Butsch*, Shreya Chakraborty, Sharlene L. Gomes, Shamita Kumar, Leon M. Hermans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
106 Downloads (Pure)


India’s urbanisation results in the physical and societal transformation of the areas sur-rounding cities. These periurban interfaces are spaces of flows, shaped by an exchange of matter, people and ideas between urban and rural spaces—and currently they are zones in transition. Periur-banisation processes result inter alia in changing water demands and changing relations between water and society. In this paper the concept of the hydrosocial cycle is applied to interpret the transformation of the waterscapes of six periurban villages in the fringe areas of Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata. In doing so, three specific aspects will be investigated: (1) the institutions shaping the hydro-social cycle, (2) the interplay between water as a livelihood-base and the waterscape, (3) the interplay between the waterscape and water as a consumption good. This approach opens new views on periurban interfaces as emerging mosaic of unique waterscapes. The meaning of water, the rights to access water and the water related infrastructure are constantly renegotiated, as permanently new water demands emerge and new actors enter the scene. Especially this process-based understanding links the theoretical lens of the hydrosocial cycle with the object of investigation, the periurban space.

Original languageEnglish
Article number263
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Household
  • Hydrosocial cycle
  • India
  • Institutions
  • Livelihoods
  • Periurban
  • Vulnerability
  • Water


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