Ensuring the sustenance of water resources that act as sources of water for cities threatened by urbanization and developmental pressures is a crucial problem in peri-urban areas. The objective of this research was to establish the role of change in agricultural land use as a determinant in the evaluation of the existing water management system and to ascertain whether the control by the government or community management can be effective in ensuring the sustenance of water resources in peri-urban areas. The cases selected for the study were the water management systems present in two villages located in the peri-urban areas of Chennai, India. This research adopted a case study strategy with mixed methods of analyses. The analysis traces trajectories of change in the land use of agricultural lands and the common lands related to water management through methods, trend analysis, analysis of spatial patterns of change and the changes in the components of the community management. Results from the analysis indicated that under the context of intensive change from agricultural to nonagricultural land uses, the interlinkages within the traditional community management model had broken up, making community control improbable. The current management model of the government was also found to be inadequate. Results indicated that government agencies with trained personnel engaged in periodic maintenance activities, constant monitoring against encroachment, and pollution, and through the formation of user associations under their control can ensure the sustenance of water resources.
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