Why all urban hydrology is social hydrology: Dr. Deepak Malghan


On October 29th, 2014, we were honored to co-host Professor Deepak Malghan (Centre for Public Policy, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore, Fung Global Fellows Program, Princeton University) for "Why all hydrology is social hydrology: Evidence from Bangalore, India" with the Brace Center for Water Resources Management .


Talk Abstract


Why all hydrology is social hydrology: Evidence from Bangalore, India

One of the principal concerns of hydrology is to characterize the dynamic water balance in a watershed. Rapidly burgeoning urban agglomerations in Asia present a unique challenge to hydrology as natural hydrological cycles are severely perturbed by human activity. Bangalore receives an average annual rainfall of about 1800 MLD (million litres a day) but also imports 1450 MLD of river water from a distant source. Groundwater withdrawal rates are poorly characterised but the last two decades have been witness to major qualitative and quantitative changes in Bangalore's aquifers. Thus in Bangalore,  anthropogenic drivers dominate the hydrological cycle. We develop a spatially explicit social metabolism framework to account for the tight coupling of social and biophysical systems that is used to characterise this "social hydrology" of Bangalore. We show how such a model can contribute to understanding of the three central aspects of the urban water conundrum -- equity, biophysical sustainability, and economic efficiency. In my talk, I will draw on data from the public utility in Bangalore as well as preliminary results from arguably the largest domestic water survey in urban India (conducted in 2013) to illustrate our social metabolism framework.

Presentation Slides

PDF icon deepak_malghan_why_all_urban_hydrology_is_social_hydrology.pdf


About the speaker

Deepak MalghanDeepak Malghan

Dr. Deepak Malghan is an ecological economist with primary interest in theoretical models of the economy-ecosystem interaction problem. He is currently revising a book manuscript, On Being the Right Size: Scale, Ecosystem, and Economy that attempts to reformulate ecological economics from a “scale” perspective. Deepak is also beginning a new multi-year book project (provisionally titled Citius, Altius, Fortius: A History of How the World Became Efficient). This project aims to uncover the global social and intellectual history of the idea of efficiency from its origins in the Scottish Enlightenment to the present time. His empirical research interests include social hydrology and ecological distribution. Malghan’s research is highly interdisciplinary and routinely uses technical tools from economics, chemical engineering, historical analysis, hydrology, and ecology. Deepak is on the faculty of Centre for Public Policy at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore where he directs the Ecological Political Economy Lab. He is also a Fung Global Fellow at the Princeton Institute for Regional and International Studies, Princeton University. Malghan holds a Ph.D. in ecological economics from the University of Maryland and MPA from Princeton University.