This is the report of the first phase of the collaborative program on Local Supply and Conservation Responses to Water Scarcity supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and The Ford Foundation. The study investigated water management issues of four river basins: the Palar, the Sabarmati, and the Shekhawatiin Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Rajasthan respectively as well as the Tinau in Nepal that joins the West Rapti in Uttar Pradesh. Water management challenges in the Noyyal and the Bhavani basins of Tamil Nadu were also investigated. In the first three basins, water scarcity is an increasingly grim reality. The organizations and their principal investigators have extensive experience in analysing water management issues in scarcity situations. The fourth river basin was selected to capture the physical diversity of a Himalayan river and to analyse the water management concerns in an area of Nepal and India that is ostensibly rich in water resources but is beginning to confront a situation of stress.