Next Article in Journal
CHNS Modeling for Study and Management of Human–Water Interactions at Multiple Scales
Previous Article in Journal
Removal of Arsenic(III) Ion from Aqueous Media Using Complex Nickel-Aluminum and Nickel-Aluminum-Zirconium Hydroxides
Article

Urban Mountain Waterscapes: The Transformation of Hydro-Social Relations in the Trans-Himalayan Town Leh, Ladakh, India

1
Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE), Heidelberg University, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
2
South Asia Institute (SAI), Heidelberg University, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(6), 1698; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061698
Received: 28 April 2020 / Revised: 27 May 2020 / Accepted: 11 June 2020 / Published: 14 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engaged Research for Urban Water Resilience)
Socio-economic processes and climate change impact the socio-hydrology of many small towns in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH), such as Leh in Ladakh. The rapidly urbanising town experienced a shift from agricultural livelihoods towards incomes mainly relying on the tourism sector. As results of this research show, the limited water resources essential to the everyday life of urban citizens have become increasingly important for the tourism sector and the urbanisation process. This study aims to understand the transformation of the urban mountain waterscape and the role of different actors involved. The waterscape approach frames hydro-social relations in a specific spatial context and additionally captures diverging hydromentalities within local actor constellations. Related discourses are materialised as water governance impacting the everyday life of urban citizens. A combination of quantitative, qualitative and participatory methods allows for a differentiated picture of current developments. Based on 312 household questionnaires, 96 semi-structured interviews, and a participatory photography workshop, this study provides evidence that urban restructuring induced by development imaginaries produces uneven water citizenships in Leh. Along with socio-economic shifts, the community-managed water regulation system is replaced by a technocratic scheme, centralising water supply and sanitation. While some of Leh’s citizens benefit from urban restructurings, others are confronted with environmental and social costs, such as a deteriorating water quality and a further reduction in quantity. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ladakh; urbanisation; water governance; urban transition; waterscapes; water infrastructure; hydromentalities; water citizenships; hydro-social relations Ladakh; urbanisation; water governance; urban transition; waterscapes; water infrastructure; hydromentalities; water citizenships; hydro-social relations
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Müller, J.; Dame, J.; Nüsser, M. Urban Mountain Waterscapes: The Transformation of Hydro-Social Relations in the Trans-Himalayan Town Leh, Ladakh, India. Water 2020, 12, 1698. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061698

AMA Style

Müller J, Dame J, Nüsser M. Urban Mountain Waterscapes: The Transformation of Hydro-Social Relations in the Trans-Himalayan Town Leh, Ladakh, India. Water. 2020; 12(6):1698. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061698

Chicago/Turabian Style

Müller, Judith, Juliane Dame, and Marcus Nüsser. 2020. "Urban Mountain Waterscapes: The Transformation of Hydro-Social Relations in the Trans-Himalayan Town Leh, Ladakh, India" Water 12, no. 6: 1698. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061698

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop