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Showing Abstract of Local Community and Traditional Pattern of Water Management: A Case Study from India


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[ Abstract Viewed: | Pages: 11 ]


Local Community and Traditional Pattern of Water Management: A Case Study from India

Topic: Published Year: 1390
Published in:

[ International Conference on Traditional Knowledge for Water Resources Management ]

Original Language: English Full Text Size: Not Available


Abstract of the Article


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Download This article in PDF format Local Community and Traditional Pattern of Water Management: A Case Study from India



[ Niharranjan Mishra ] - Assistant Professor Department of Humanities and Social SciencesNIT, Rourkela, Rourkela-769008, Odisha, India



Water, an inalienable element of life on earth, is used, shared, preserved and regulated as per cultural norms of the people everywhere. Cultural traditions, indigenous practices, and societal values determine how people perceive and manage water in the world's different regions. Earlier people used to conserve water for their multifarious use, both individually and communally, following age-old traditions. Even the traditional system of community management and local governance was the result of the ideas, values and beliefs. In the traditional system, participation was evolved over centuries as a culture and was enforced by social institutions. Social mechanisms were there to ensure participation of several social groups in the maintenance of natural resources. The peoples from the traditional rural and tribal societies used to use their valuable technical knowledge in acquiring and controlling water. The present day’s participatory approach in management of resources was quite significant in traditional societies. The culture specific factors in the form of traditional practices, values and beliefs used to play an important role in using, sharing, managing and conserving water resources. Using some PRA methods and anthropological techniques, the present paper attempts to see the Saura perceptions, cultural practices, beliefs in managing, sharing and also in conserving the water resources in Rayagada district of Orissa. This paper analyses the information on the traditional system of water management, the role of community and the importance of cultural practices, religious beliefs and pattern of agricultural practices in water management It also critically examines the impact of intervention of developmental initiations, new institutions in water management, agrarian reforms on age-old traditional system of resource management. It is observed in our study that there was a wonderful tradition of terracing system in water management among the Saura. Their day-to-day system of water management and its use was also surrounded with cultural practices and belief system. They had a rich ecological knowledge, which had its influence on their system of water management. The community cohesion and social capital played their most important roles in this traditional system of water management. Though this traditional system is still there, most of the traditional methods and practices in water management have been disturbed due to the interventions of outsiders and introduction of new institutions or developmental initiation in water management The communities which used to participate spontaneously is now not showing much interest in new institutions.Even the PESA (Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, which emphasises on the importance of the traditional practices among the indigenous cultures, is quite silent on this in the study area



Tradition, Participation, Community


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