Doctoral Researcher

  neha.khandekar AT ifpindia DOT org


I am a multidisciplinary researcher-practitioner-artist motivated to enhance engagement in the water-societyspace across various disciplines to be able to advance the science and practice of water in India. I co-founded the Indian Youth Water Network ( - a network of like-minded students & early career researchers- practitioners inspired to solve real-world problems in water resources in India. To take my initiative forward, I am co-organizing a series of panel discussions across India (first in this line hosted by IIT-Roorkee -, to begin engagement to develop a position paper on future of philosophy, science, and practice of water in India. Our paper has been selected at the Frontiers of water Journal's special issue by the Delft conference on socio-hydrology, 2021. In the past, I have worked in the capacity of a researcher-practitioner-manager-activist at ATREE, Bengaluru, TERI, New Delhi, and People’s Science Institute, Dehradun. Trained in interdisciplinary water resources management program during my Masters, I have 9 years of work experience engaging within the water resources space across India and South Asia. Specifically around research related to understanding interlinkages between water access and availability-agrarian livelihoods-hydropower-climate change-conflict. I have worked in research assignments at sub-national, national, and South-Asian levels within Upper Ganga and Cauvery basins in India while learning from extensive field visits.


My research proposes to study how policy imaginaries can be “decolonised” by bringing other forms of knowledge to bear on the policy modelling. The current imaginary of climate led vulnerabilities in the Cauvery Delta is shaped by the mainstream narratives of a drying delta. By incorporating alternative narratives generated by social movements, I am interested in looking at how these different narratives and material aspects interact and how a better understanding of these interactions could contribute to more inclusive & sustainable practices in the Cauvery Delta.

I propose to achieve this by studying the history and ethnography of a large-scale developmental project - ‘disaster resilient climate adaptation project in the Vennar sub-basin.

Other Publications

  • Envisioning Breaking Silos: Advancing agenda for decolonizing science, philosophy and practice of water in India. Indian Youth Water Network. Frontiers in Water and Delft International Conference on Socio Hydrology (forthcoming, awarded full waiver grant)
  • Dispute Resolution in the Cauvery Basin, India. Neha Khandekar, Veena Srinivasan. July, 2021. Handbook of Catchment Management 2e, Second Edition.
  • Towards more inclusive water management. Neha Khandekar, Tanvi Agrawal, Rashmi Kulranjan, Siddharth Krishnan. 55(25).
  • NWP 2020: How is India’s youth reimagining its water future?
  • Dynamics of urban water supply management of two Himalayan towns in India Declining Himalayan Water Towers and Urbanisation influencing water supply and demand in mountain regions in Uttarakhand. Book Chapter. Neha Bharti, Neha Khandekar, Prateek Sengupta, Suruchi Bhadwal.
  • Climate Change and Gender Dynamics: Mapping the Linkages in the Upper Ganga Basin in Uttarakhand, India. Book Chapter. Vani Rijhwani, Divya Sharma, Neha Khandekar, Roshan Rathod, G Mini
  • Addressing water-related shocks and coping decisions through enhanced community participation: case studies from Ganga basin, Uttarakhand, India. Divya Sharma, Neha Khandekar, Kamna Sachdeva, Suruchi Bhadwal.
  • Perceptions of climate shocks and gender vulnerabilities in the Upper Ganga Basin Neha Khandekar, Suruchi Bhadwal, Ganesh Gorti, Shivakshi Jasrotia, Vani Rijhwani
  • Growing Social Vulnerability in the River Basins: Evidence from the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) Region. 10.1016/j.envdev.2018.12.00
  • Exploratory agent-based model to understand migration scenarios: a study from the Indian Himalayan Region, Uttarakhand. Sharma Divya, Khandekar Neha, Sachdeva Kamna. 2020.
  • State Hydropower Policy in Uttarakhand, India: Re-linking Governance of Energy with Livelihoods and Irrigation. Stephanie Buechler, Debashish Sen, Neha Khandekar, Christopher A. Scott. ‘Water Governance, Stakeholder Engagement, and Sustainable Water Resources Management’. Water. (