ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Veena SrinivasanSubscribe to Veena Srinivasan

Transitioning to Sustainable Development Goals for Water

Large infrastructure projects threatening ecosystems and livelihoods by diverting water and depriving rural populations of access to water are being promoted in the name of drinking water provisioning. Implementation and monitoring efforts have barely made any progress on Sustainable Development Goals that involve recognising trade-offs and synergies.

From Groundwater Regulation to Integrated Water Management

Groundwater over-exploitation poses a severe threat to food, water and livelihood security in India, but the approach to groundwater regulation has been guided by the simplistic prescription that to achieve sustainable use, pumping must be less than recharge. This article explains the hydrological cycle and the close relationship between groundwater and surface water, and argues that the conventional notion of sustainable groundwater use is fundamentally flawed. Groundwater, soil moisture and surface water are part of a single integrated resource, and cannot be regulated independent of each other. The solution is not sustainable use or the compartmentalisation of surface and groundwater but the fair and transparent reallocation of renewable freshwater resources.

Focusing on the Essentials

Welcoming the debate on the assumptions underpinning water resource monitoring in India triggered by the Mihir Shah Committee report, the authors suggest that the proposed National Water Commission should focus on providing integrated data and science to help water managers and policymakers, avoiding getting directly involved in planning or regulation.
Back to Top