Abstract for: Sociopolitical Factors Influencing Water Shortages in Maharashtra Nagar: A Qualitative Model from the 2011 Winter Institute

The Winter Institute is a two-week intensive experience hosted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in partnership with Washington University in St. Louis. Through the Winter Institute, students use community driven system dynamics to engage community members in investigating social problems that affect their livelihoods. In January 2011, the second Winter Institute was held in Mumbai, India. A core modeling team consisting of students, CORO Fellows, and professionals from the non-profit, non-governmental agency Prayas worked with four slum communities to look at issues pertaining to water, solid waste, financial inclusion, and housing. This paper presents the qualitative model developed by the water team. The model emphasizes the sociopolitical factors driving water shortages and identifies community coordination, increased maintenance and repair of water infrastructure, and policies to redefine legal residency in slums as potential places for future interventions.