This paper describes the intervention strategy to improve water security in Sultanpur, a village in periurban Gurgaon, India. Most approaches to improving natural resource management in periurban contexts focus on mobilising the community; little attention is paid to reorienting the state or strengthening the user-bureaucracy interface. This paper describes the action research process that was followed to reorient civic agencies engaged in the provisioning of water and to break from a situation of distrust and prisoners’ dilemma between water users and service providers. The paper argues that the creation and provision of a platform for direct engagement between water users and service providers can be a key tool for improving periurban water security. These platforms can provide support in building community resilience to face challenges such as climate variability and urbanisation, both of which threaten periurban water security. The action research emphasises on building the community’s capacity to ask for improved water supply and to negotiate with state service providers, rather than augmenting water supply physically.
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