'Understanding Emerging Independent Regulatory Frameworks: Lessons for Reforming Karnataka’s Water Governance'
This chapter examines Karnataka's water sector reforms and the birth of the independent regulatory frameworks (IRA) in India. It also examines some conceptual and empirical approaches to addressing issues of water governance, with respect to transparency, public participation and accountability, amidst concerns of equity and sustainability. The chapter explores alternative governance mechanisms, and outlines key challenges of the water governance system. It explains the anchors role of the government as a custodian of water resources, and the need to circumscribe water governance in the context of the "Right to Water," premised upon principles which are socially and environmentally sound, with greater emphasis on public control over scarce resources. The challenge of water governance is to be informed by certain principles based on equity, sustainability and public participation. Drawing from National Water Policy, the Karnataka State Water Policy, 2002, includes tariff restructuring, and encourages private player participation, reviews of existing policies and formulation of new ones.