Author Biography

Kelly D. Alley is professor of Anthropology at Auburn University. Her research focuses on religion, activism, politics, energy, policy and law related to rivers in India. She is the author of, On the Banks of the Ganga: When Wastewater Meets a Sacred River (University of Michigan press, 2002).

Ryan Hile is pursuing his PhD in Geography at the University of Utah. He works as a GIS Analyst for the DIGIT Lab in the University of Utah Geography Department. His research interests include GIS and GIScience, human dimensions of environmental hazards, and social justice.

Chandana Mitra is a climatologist, GIS analyst and physical geographer. She is Assistant Professor of Geography at Auburn University. Her research focuses on urban climate, mesoscale modeling and climate change in the US and South Asia.


This paper introduces the busy field of hydropower development in the Himalayan region of the GBM basin to press the urgency for greater information and data exchange. The paper provides an example of a mapping method and a database that will add to the existing online sources of information and analysis offered by nongovernmental agencies and some government departments. This project contributes to the general aim of many citizen groups to limit, monitor and regulate the practices of hydropower companies and the management of their infrastructure in the GBM. The monitoring pressure from citizen groups and science projects continues to serve as an important replacement to the weak functioning of the country environment ministries and corrects the corruptions of the license raj that plaque project deals and environmental clearances. These citizen motivated knowledge exchanges, especially through online portals and social media, can even push for better transnational instruments for formal governmental data sharing.


Earlier drafts of this paper were presented at the BAPA-BEN International Conference on Water Resources in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2013 and for the AAA panel on Developing the Himalaya in 2012. The authors appreciate the comments and support provided by members who attended these sessions. Our mapping project has been supported by the College of Liberal Arts and the Center for Forest Sustainability at Auburn University.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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