Dr. Durba Biswas

Dr. Durba Biswas's picture
Dr. Durba Biswas
Adjunct Fellow
Real name: 

Research Areas

Water resource economics

Economic valuation

Gender and water resources and sanitation


  • 2011. Ph.D. (Environmental Economics), Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore.
  • 2004. M.Sc. (Economics), Madras School of Economics (MSE), Chennai.
  • 2002. B.A. (Economics), Ethiraj College for Women, Madras University, Chennai.  


  • Fellow (Assistant Professor level). July 2015-present. Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE).
  • Post Doctoral Fellow. June 2013 – July 2015. Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE).
  • Post Doctoral Associate.  December 2012 – May 2013.  National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore.
  • Research Associate. January 2012-June 2012. National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (NCAP), New Delhi.
  • Consultant Economist. September 2010 – June 2011.  International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Colombo, Srilanka and New Delhi, India.
  • Editor. December 2011 –January 2012.  Partnership for Transparency Fund, Washington, D.C.

Teaching, Training and Capacity Building

  • 2015- C2a - Economics for Environment and Development, Core course, ATREE, Coordinator, 25 lectures.
  • 2016-C3 - Integrated approaches in Conservation, Environment and Society, Core course, ATREE, Contributor, 4 lectures.
  • 2016- E005 – Gender and Environment, Elective, ATREE, 1 credit course, Coordinator, 16 lectures.
  • 2017- C2a - Economics for Environment and Development , Core, ATREE, Coordinator, 24 lectures.
  • 2017 - Ms. Shweta Joshi (M.A in Development, Azim Premji University, Bangalore). Internship. The research from the internship project was converted into an academic paper and submitted to Development in Practice.
  • 2017 - Ms. Simran Kalra (M.A. in Public Policy and Governance, Azim Premji University, Bangalore). Internship.

Invited Talks

  • Water & Gender: Insights from an Urban Slum Survey. Talk given at NIAS-DST Training Programme for Women Scientists on Science for Progress in India: Focus on Sustainability February 08-12, 2016, Bangalore on 9th Feb, 2016.

Panel discussion

  • Invited for a panel discussion on Panel Discussion on the theme ‘Environment, Economy and Human Wellbeing’. Spoke on the subtheme “Gender and Environment” at the National Conference on Environment, Economy and Human Wellbeing Organized by The Christ University in Collaboration with ISEC, March 1-2, 2016, Bangalore.
  • Invited for a Panel Discussion on 'Wastewater-a curse or an untapped resource?' on March 23, 2017 (Thursday) from 3:45 PM - 5:00 PM in the ATREE


Research Grants

  • Awarded the ISEC institutional fellowship grant for pursuing PhD in Environmental Economics.
  • Awarded the Malcolm and Elizabeth Adiseshiah grant for PhD.

Professional Membership

Indian Society for Ecological Economics (INSEE).


  • 2018 -Gendering Psychosocial Stress: Open Defecation among Slum Households in Peri-Urban Bangalore. Paper to be presented at the upcoming 2018 UNC Water and Health Conference: Where Science Meets Policy, North Carolina, USA. 29 October – 2 November, 2018. I have been awarded full scholarship to participate and present my work at the conference. 

  • 2018-Rethinking sanitation and water interlinkages in ‘future cities’ of India: case study of peri-urban Bangalore. Paper to be presented at the upcoming International Conference on the Challenges of Governance in Mega Cities, October 25-26, 2018.

  • 2018-Managing sanitation in ‘Future Cities’: Lessons from peri-urban Bangalore. paper presentation on 12 July, 2018, GIDR, Gujarat.

  • 2018-Planetary Health Annual Meeting. Participated in the three-day international conference organized by University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK on 29-31 May 2018.

  • 2018-Groundwater and Sanitation Nexus in Peri-Urban Small Town of Nelamangala (co-presenter). Paper presented at the Workshop on Groundwater Sanitation Nexus Research Programme, June 20, 2018, IIHS and Arghyam, Bangalore.

  • 2018-Gender and Energy: Energy Access and Women’s Changing Social Position. Invited participant in a one day workshop organized by TERI on May 22, 2018.

  • 2017-Water Quality as a Water Security Issue in Peri-urban towns in India (Co-author). Paper presented at the workshop on Peri-Uban Water Security: Interaction between Formal and Informal Players, July 27-28, 2017, SaciWATERs, Hyderabad.

  • 2017-Blueprint for Water Accounting in India. Participant in a one day workshop on 11th April, 2017 in New Delhi,  organised by MOWR, in partnership with India-EU Water Partnership (IEWP) and 2030 Water Resources Group (2030WRG).

  • 2016-Future of River Basin: Looking beyond Cauvery. Participated in the one-day Consultation Workshop at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore on November 17, 2016.

  • 2016-Inter-and intra-household dynamics of domestic water access in urban slums: A case study of Coimbatore. Paper presented in International Seminar on Anthropology and Global Climate Change: Local Knowledge, Cultural Adaptation and Resilience among the Indigenous Peoples, February 15 – 16, 2016, Department of Anthropology, University of Hyderabad, India.

  • 2016-Patterns and drivers of household water consumption in Coimbatore (co-authored with U. Devasenadhipathi [first author], Veena Srinivasan and Sharad Lele). Paper presented at the 8th Biennial Conference of INSEE on the theme of Urbanization and the Environment, January 4-6, 2016, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

  • 2015-Can market based instruments lead to efficient reallocation of canal irrigation water? An exploratory study (Co-Author). Paper presented in National Development Convention on Resources, Institutions and Development: Contestations and Possibilities in Globalizing India, February 11-12, 2015, Gujarat Institute of Development Studies. 

  • 2015-Farmers’ willingness to pay for improved irrigation water– A case study of Malaprabha Irrigation Project in Karnataka, India. Paper presented in international seminar on Natural resources and National Accounts in South Asia, February 5-6, 2015, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore. 

  • 2012-Climate Change and Policy Blind-Spots: A Review. Paper presented at Colloquium on Citizen Voices in Environmental Governance. August 23-24, 2012, Public Affairs Centre, Bangalore.

  • 2008-Estimation of Economic Value of Irrigation Water. Paper presented in the workshop on Interdisciplinary Research Methodology, January 2008, Madras Institute for Development Studies, Chennai.

  • 2004-Role of Institutions on Value of Water. Paper presented in World Water Week, Stockholm, Sweden, August 16-20, 2004, Stockholm International Water Institute, Sweden.

People Page

Journal Articles

Priyanka Jamwal; Durba Biswas; Daniel Phillips 2020 Provisional green infrastructure: transdisciplinary approaches to address contamination in urban streams Water Sci Technol (2020) 82 (11): 2209–2219. https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2020.518
Biswas D, S Joshi 2020 Sanitation and gendered psychosocial stress in peri-urban Bangalore Taylor & Francis Online, https://doi.org/10.1080/09614524.2020.1862762

Popular Writings

Book Chapters

Biswas, D., L. Venkatachalam , 2016 , Economic Analysis of Irrigation Institutions , Case Study in Environment and Development Essays in Honour of Dr U. Sankar [Eds.] K. R. Shanmugam and K. S. Kavi Kumar. Pp: 267-291. New Delhi: Sage.