Members > Zareen Bharucha

Senior Research Officer, University of Essex

I am an interdisciplinary researcher working on nature-society interactions in the Global North and South, across rural and urban spaces. My core project uses resilience theory, political economy and political ecology to critique current patterns of agricultural land and water use in the Global South. My work on 'alternatives' collates evidence for the sustainable intensification of agriculture but also critically analyses how 'scarcity-based', market-oriented resource management produces perverse impacts that deepen vulnerability. An emerging interest is to work on the links between well-being and nature. So far, I have explored the psychological benefits of engaging with sustainability projects in the Global North and the emotional impacts of changing natures in the Global South.

Key research Interests: Drylands, Aridity, Water Scarcity, Sustainable Intensification, Well-being, Political Ecology, Climate Change,

Skype: zareen-bharucha

Recent Posts

All Paths Lead to Rain: Explaining why Watershed Development in India Does Not Alleviate the Experience of Water Scarcity

Abstract: Watershed development (WSD) projects in India are key to meeting a range of human development goals in rain-fed agrarian landscapes. However, outcomes are often observed to be partial and short-lived. Weoffer a novel perspective on the reasons. Our analysis shows that the dominant 'water narratives' of WSD policyand practice and the lived experience of local people contribute to a naturalisation of water scarcity, resulting inwidespread views that WSD is primarily a means for increasing irrigation water supply. We show how this over- simplifies the complex problem of agricultural water use and perversely contributes to a continuing experience of water scarcity rather than its resolution.