Globally, it is predicted that there will be water shortages by 2050. Urban water ecosystems become important in this scenario as they help maintain ground water tables in cities along with providing other critical urban services. Rapid urbanisation have put these ecosystemsunder threat. The outlook to managing environmental resources have up until now been based on the assumption that all changes will be gradual without accounting for potential multilevel interactions. Such incomplete approaches need to be relooked at in the present scenario in which urban ecosystems provide services for social benefits and are increasingly becoming vulnerable to changes (International Lake Environment Committee, 2005). Apart from finding a solution to deal with unpredictability and uncertainty of changes subjected to resource systems, the challenge involves, uniting various actors at multiple scales to agree upon methods to manage the dynamics of SES’s (Folke, et al., 2005). Bangalore, a city once known for its lakes, presents a challenging case to study the current institutional arrangements which are guiding lake basin management efforts in the city. Lakes in Bangalore which were man made tanks traditionally built to supply the city with drinking and usable water, now remain in a state of disrepair because of extensive pollution and encroachments. The management of these tanks or lakes have seen a drastic transfer from local communities to overlapping government regimes. The use of these lakes have also evolved with time. Historically used for domestic, agricultural and religious purposes, these lakes now find use in providing spaces for recreation and exercise to surrounding residents. This study is focussed towards analysing the influence of institutional arrangements on sustainability of urban lake basins in Bangalore. Ostroms socio-ecological framework is used to analyse why some lakes have shown an improvement in the way they are managed and why some have not and still remain deteriorated. The variables from Ostroms framework are selected based on their link with collective action, namely: resource size, number of actors, social capital and trust, presence of leadership, operational rules, monitoring rules, networking activities and existing government policies. The type of research in this study is explanatory, using the case study method of analysis of 3 lakes in Bangalore: The Puttenhalli lake, the Kowdenhalli lake and the Kaggadaspura lake which are all at different phases of redevelopment. This research mainly concludes that the SES framework by Ostrom has helped to successfully draw on the impact of the non linear relationships between institutional variables on sustainability of lake basins. The results from this study highlights the necessity for polycentricism when it comes to institutional arrangements in urban areas. A system where the local community is able to self organise and be a part of the management process which is contextual, based on local requirements is essential. However, this research also concludes that working in collaboration with government agencies especially on structural, engineering interventions will make the institutional system more robust. Keywords: Ostroms Socio-ecological framework, Institutional Arrangements, Sustainability of Lake Basins, Lakes in Bangalore

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Rozema, J. Jaap
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

Chowdhury, N. Noireeta. (2019, September). Analysing the influence of institutional arrangements on sustainability of lake basins in Bangalore, India. Retrieved from