urban hydrlogy

“Why all urban hydrology is social hydrology”

Public Talk

Dr. Deepak Malghan
Centre for Public Policy,
IIM Bangalore

One of the principal concerns of hydrology is to characterise 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 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. Deepak Malghan and his colleagues 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. In his presentation, Deepak will 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.

About the speaker:
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 working on another new multiyear 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. Deepak’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 holds a Ph.D. in ecological economics from the University of Maryland and MPA from Princeton University.