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Stefan Görlitz, Steffen Schwörer, Marius Ferdin


student / Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU)

Oct - Dec 2009

stefan.goerlitz [at]; steffen_schwoerer [at]; m.ferdin[at]

Research Project: Water-Governance in the Cauvery River Basin


Personal Dates:

Names: Stefan Görlitz, Steffen Schwörer, Marius Ferdin

Study Programme: Master “Öffentliches und betriebliches Umweltmanagement“, FU Berlin


Mobility stipend (Research project)

3 months (October-December 2009), Location: Cauvery River Basin, SE India (Karnataka and Tamil Nadu)


Short description (goals, plans):

We are all enrolled in the „Environmental Management“ Master´s program at the FU Berlin and are conducting a research project on water policy and sustainable water use in India.

 There has been a dispute about the water quantities of the Cauvery watershed between the upper riparian state Karnataka and lower riparian state Tamil Nadu for several decades. In such cases the Indian federal policy provides for the installation of a Water Tribunal, whose award is as binding as a supreme court decision. In the Cauvery Dispute a final award has been spoken in the year 2007 after 17 years of negotiations, however,  both states opposed the Tribunal´s decision and appealed to the Supreme Court (SC). Since  the SC accepted the state´s appeals, the whole case remains in an unsolved state.

While the political and scientific discussion predominantly adresses the allocation of water quantities and political solutions to end the dispute, our research work focuses on the nexus between the water usage and efficiency on the one hand, and the conflict as a barrier to sustainable water use on the other hand. Based on this analysis we will asses possible policy instruments in regard to their effectiveness and chances for implementation. The research is being carried out based on quantitive interviews with experts and stakeholders on the different political levels.


Previous knowledge and preparation, relevance of the mobility stay:

The research project is part of the master´s course “Integrating Environmental Protection” in which it is being prepared. The research project will be carried out in cooperation with experts from academia and practice working in the field of water management, as well in India as in Europe.


Contact persons, cooperation partners:

Eduard Interwies, InterSus Sustainablity Services, Berlin

Ashok Jaitly, Director Water Resources Division at TERI, Delhi