Institutional Intervention in River Water Management: The Study of Yamuna River Sub-Basin in India

13 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2012

Date Written: March 22, 2011


Water is a primary resource for several human activities, and rivers are a major source of water in several parts of India. Unfortunately, rivers also becoming a major sink of wastes that flow into them. River water management is an important area of natural resource management that crosses several disciplines, and, in order to be more effective, it requires public intervention through appropriate institution and an action plan approach. River water authority is normally set up for assuming the managerial function of river water administration (mostly at regional/ basin level), particularly with regard to the sharing/allocation of river water. The allocation of river water in itself is a contentious subject, especially when it flows through several states; a similar problem arises now with regard to its pollution across them.

This paper makes an attempt to highlight the status of water of an inter-state river (river Yamuna), and discusses the need for establishing an exclusive administering agency for ensuring better river water quality and quantity. It first analyses the critical state of Yamuna river water resource in the past and the impending need for public intervention; the use of economic values of water as one of the guiding principles of prioritization and allocation of water to uses and jurisdictions is also discussed. It also takes stock of the performance of the implementation of Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) as an institutional approach towards river water management, and attempts to identify the alternate institutional arrangements and appropriate policy instruments for achieving the objectives within a broad management framework.

Suggested Citation

Nallathiga, Ramakrishna, Institutional Intervention in River Water Management: The Study of Yamuna River Sub-Basin in India (March 22, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Ramakrishna Nallathiga (Contact Author)

NICMAR ( email )

NICMAR, 25/1, NIA Post Office, Balewadi
Pune, Maharashtra 411045
91-20-66859146 (Phone)


Center for Good Governance ( email )

Dr MCR HRD Campus, Road No. 25, Jubilee Hills
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh 500033
91-40-23541907 (Phone)


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