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The Groundwater Model Bill

Rethinking Regulation for the Primary Source of Water

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Groundwater is now the main source of water for all major water uses in India and needs to be given greater policy attention. The fact that it is a politically sensitive topic because any reform will affect some powerful constituencies cannot be an excuse anymore for lack of action. Inaction only increases existing inequalities in access to groundwater by progressively reinforcing the power of bigger landowners at the expense of other water users. This article examines the basic principles governing access to and use of groundwater inherited from the past to the Model Bill for the Conservation, Protection and Regulation of Groundwater, 2011, which provides a basis for rethinking groundwater regulation.

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