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Call for Papers // South Asia Water Competition (SAWAC) 2022

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. Abstracts must be submitted before 30 June, 2022.


© Photos: 1. SHWETANK KUMAR 2. CEE 3. HSS

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.


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 and resident 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 November 2022 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.

Important Deadlines

  • Abstract: 30 June 2022
  • First draft: 30 August 2022
  • Final draft: 30 October 2022
  • Award Announcement: 15 November 2022


Please submit your abstract and paper via email to: dubey@hss.de or to the respective national expert of the Review Commitee.

Further Information

Please visit the Hanns Seidel Stiftung website to find more information on the paper specifics, terms and conditions and the expert reviw committee.

For further queries, please contact Mr. Sandeep Kumar Dubey

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