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Copyright 1. Shwetank Kumar 2. CEE 3. HSS

Copyright 1. Shwetank Kumar 2. CEE 3. HSS

Call for Papers

South Asia Water Competition (SAWaC) 2022

Keeping in view the importance of water governance in South Asia region, Hanns Seidel Foundation is pleased to invite university students and scholars from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan to write papers on various themes of water governance. This call for papers is for those trailblazing students and young thinkers who can present innovative ideas on water governance in South Asia.

This call for papers aims at mobilising and challenging young minds to think about water problems and solutions from national and regional perspectives. The papers are expected to help produce interesting discussion, provide policy inputs and help the stakeholders understand the need and ways of promoting water cooperation and strengthening water governance in South Asia.


The topics that a candidate or a group of candidates (joint authorship) can write about are the following but not limited to: 

  • National water policies and their implications for South Asia
  • Role of regional cooperation in water governance in South Asia
  • Geopolitics and Water in South Asia
  • Climate Change, water management and future of South Asia
  • Transboundary water cooperation in South Asia: Opportunities and Challenges
  • Application of physical and social science tools – such as remote sensing, isotope tracing, IWRM, nexus approach – to solving water problems

With the growing population, expanding urbanisation and rapid industrialisation, demand for water in the South Asia region is also steadily increasing. Even as per capita water availability decreases, the demand for it is growing. Lack of water availability poses multiple developmental challenges, from ecological fragility, food insecurity to poverty.

South Asia depends on Himalayas for its water, food, and ecosystem services. But climate change is altering the existing equilibrium. Water is one of the most susceptible resources to climate change. Global warming of 1.50C will have devastating impacts on the Himalayas and its nations. Due to climate change, glaciers have been melting and retreating and, in the process, impacting water flows in the downstream areas. Unchecked, glacier retreat can have deleterious consequences for the whole region. The issues of glacier retreat need urgent attention and must be arrested to prevent water crisis. Glacial Lake Outburst Floods are already a recurring phenomenon in the region, which causes huge loss to life and property.

The unfolding water challenges in South Asia stem, in addition to those posed by climate change, also from mismanagement and drivers related to poorly conceived or executed development activities. For example, excessive groundwater pumping as well as filling up of traditional ponds is leading to the drying up of springs –the lifeblood of village life –across the Himalayas. Because they were created by our own shortcomings, these drivers need to be addressed by us now before climate change exacerbates existing malaise. Addressing these and other latent challenges is possible through a range of tools developed to address specific challenges, ranging from IWRM, transboundary collaboration along different official and unofficial tracks, bringing in hydromet and hydrogeological sciences as well as newer ones ranging from remote sensing and prediction to the nexus approach.

  • Master’s or PhD students or young scholars from Think Tanks
  • Age up to 35 years
  • Citizen of South Asia
  • Maximum one winner from each country.
  • Travel on HSS expenses to take part in HSS’ Annual South Asia Conference on Water, to be held in 2023 for 2 to 3 days in one of the South Asian countries.
  • Opportunity to present your paper before an august audience consisting of politicians, diplomats, bureaucrats, scientists and academicians.
  • The papers by the winners will be published in an edited volume.
  • Abstract: 30 June 2022 [Extended date for Bangladesh: 30 July 2022]
  • First draft: 30 August 2022
  • Final draft: 15 October 2022
  • Award Announcement: 15 December 2022

Please submit your abstract and paper to this email: dubey(at) 


to the respective national expert of the Review Commitee.

  • The papers should contain examples, approaches or models of regional water governance in the Hindukush Himalaya region under consideration of their applicability.
  • Candidates may write on any topic given under Topics head or combine some of them. Also, candidates can choose a completely different topic that pertains to the water governance challenges of South Asia.
  • Contribution must be original and should not infringe any copyright. Use of existing literature should be duly referenced in the papers.

Dr Abu Syed

Senior Fellow, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, Bangladesh

Email: mabusyed(at)

Dr Uttam Kumar Sinha

Fellow, Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, India

Email: uksinha2001(at)

Mr Dipak Gyawali

Academician, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, Nepal 

Email: dipakgyawali.dg(at)

Dr Muhammad Ashraf

Chairman, Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources, Pakistan

Email: muhammad_ashraf63(at)

1. Bangladesh

  • Mr. Shah Salah Uddin Chowdhury, Mr. Sawgat Ahmed Shuvo & Mr. Md Mehbuboor Rahman

(Sub-Divisional Engineers, Planning and Special Project Wing, Public Works Department, Dhaka)  

2. India

  • Mr. Kumar Saurabh & Mr. Lokendra Sharma 

(Ph.D. Scholars, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore)

3. Nepal

  • Ms. Bhumika Thapa

(Research Associate, Nepal Water Conservation Foundation, Kathmandu) 

4. Pakistan

  • Mr. Kashif Zaheer & Mr. Ahsan Hamid

(Ph.D. Scholar, National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad & M.Phil. Student, Riphah International University, Islamabad)  

For queries, please contact:

Mr. Sandeep Kumar Dubey