Access to water and control over it is not only a matter of survival but an issue of democratic participation of all citizens in the management of their country's natural resources, particularly as conflicts over water increase.

This paper is set in the context of a larger development policy debate pertaining to regional inequalities in India. Historically some regions had experienced agricultural prosperity due to their resource endowments especially water. The complementarity between modern inputs and water has boosted the public investments in these regions in order to achieve food self-sufficiency.

The national economy is growing at near double-digit rates but neither industry nor non-agricultural activities in rural India have been able to provide livelihoods for millions of rural workers. It is this failure that underlies the spurt in rural violence that has highlighted once again the issue of the poor's access to land, water and forests. It is gradually being recognised that further deterioration of economic, social and political conditions of the rural poor can neither be arrested nor reversed without a significant policy shift towards a comprehensive land reform programme.

Some recent studies on forest-based common pool resources have interpreted situations in which households choose to spend time on collection from the forest commons for sale and value addition as an income enhancing activity that is independent of the common's role as a safety net. Feb 23-29, 2008

Common lands are an invisible resource from the point of view of revenue classification. The Rajasthan Land Revenue and Panchayati Raj Acts make no mention of issues related to common lands. However, from one perspective it can be claimed that the state has almost half of its total geographical area being put to community use, notwithstanding its specific legal and revenue status.

Watershed development is an important component of rural development and natural resource management strategies in many countries. A watershed is a special kind of common pool resource: an area defined by hydrological linkages where
optimal management requires coordinated use of natural resources by all users. Management is difficult because watershed systems have multiple, conflicting uses, so any given approach will spread benefits and costs unevenly among users. Theories

the Udaipur administration recently announced its plans to go ahead with allotment of land for jatropha plantation. The move, made under the recently notified Rajasthan Land Revenue (Allotment of

Exclusionist policies of forest conservation, of which preservation via dislocation is an extreme manifestation, need to be situated within the broad canvas of the conservation-poverty-rural livelihood interface.

"I have no choice but to leave my village in search of work. Otherwise, my family will starve,' says Samra Malik of Malikput village in Orissa's Koraput district. He, and several others landless like

During the earliers days, hilly villages used to have their own ponds, which served the community. The ponds were desilted by the community. But over the period of time, bond of the villagers over such common property is getting weak.