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

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Promoting Farm Ponds

Although the article “Problematic Uses and Practices of Farm Ponds in Maharashtra” (EPW, 21 January 2017) by Eshwer Kale rightfully highlights pertinent issues regarding the policy of promoting farm ponds and the manner in which farmers are using these structures; the solutions espoused by the author and the Maharashtra government are devoid of expertise regarding technicalities related to terrain, geography and water-pumping technologies.

Water War between Punjab and Haryana

Much has been said and written about sharing of river waters between Punjab and Haryana from time to time since the reorganisation of the state of Punjab in 1966. Various agreements, accords, tribunals, commissions and water sharing formulas have been worked out time to time, but the problem still remains unsolved. Haryana is stressing for the completion of the Sutlej-Yamuna Link to carry its share of surplus Ravi-Beas water (3.5 million acre-feet) awarded to it in 1976, while Punjab argues that it has no surplus water to share with Haryana, and is adopting various measures to check this outflow of water. Such awards and agreements are generally politically-induced, and therefore, remain unimplemented. This study highlights the ground realities related to irrigation to evaluate the claims and counterclaims of both the states.

Interlinking of Peninsular Rivers: A Critique

There are many aspects of the project for interlinking the peninsular rivers - conceptual, technical, environmental and economic - which need careful, detailed and objective review by independent experts and there has to be open public discussion of issues before the project is taken up for implementation. A proper review of the project must assess both its technical feasibility and whether the costs of increasing effective supply (including environmental and rehabilitation costs) by augmentation through interlinking is commensurate with the benefits by way of increased production. It must also be examined whether there is scope for improving efficiency of use beyond what is assumed, what the costs and benefits would be and how they will compare with those of interlinking

Struggle to Save Nagpur's Water Bodies

Efforts to save Nagpur's decaying water bodies, restore other surface reservoirs and recharge groundwater levels form one of the key initiatives proposed in a draft report for the region as part of the National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan commissioned by the ministry of environment and forests.

Development or Destruction?

Tubewell Capitalism: Groundwater Development and Agrarian Change in Gujarat by Navroz K Dubash; Oxford University Press, 2002; pp Xiii + 287, Rs 595.

Water Markets : Public Resource and Private Appropriation

The emergence of water markets has been a consequence of the popular use of groundwater and now increasingly surface water resources for irrigation. But as this paper explains, while this may have helped raise agricultural output, it has also seen a widening of rural inequalities and has had an adverse impact on the interests of small and marginal farmers and other weaker sections of society.

Global Groundwater Situation

It is widely predicted that problems of groundwater overexploitation will become more acute and widespread. The challenge then is not merely supply-side innovations but to set in place a range of corrective mechanisms that would involve a shift from resource development towards resource management. Countries with severe groundwater depletion still remain hampered however by lack of information. Not only is there no systematic monitoring of groundwater occurrence and draft, but management of such resources has for long remained in private informal channels, with public agencies playing only an indirect role.

Wealth and Waste

While instances of resource over-appropriation are in evidence in different settings globally, the error of a narrow tragedy of the commons analysis is to assume an original natural state of open access to resources. In all social forms, humans have created institutions to restrict individual access to resources so that they may be preserved for collective benefit. Tragedies of the commons occur when such collective institutions are undermined and individuals lose the sense that their long-term interests in resource preservation are being assured. The case of Gujarat's fishery presents one such instance where development overlooked local institutions that may have been able to restrict resource over-exploitation by fishers.

Water: Charting a Course for the Future - I

Water has suddenly become a favoured subject for seminars and conferences all over the world. A common trend in most of the discussions is to proceed from projections of demand to supply-side solutions in the form of 'water resource development' projects; estimate the massive investment funds needed; take note of the severe limitations on the availability of financial resources with governments; point to private sector investment as the answer; and stress the need for policy change to facilitate this. In India, consciousness of the importance of the subject led to the appointment of the first National Commission on water, which submitted its report in September 1999. This paper attempts to provide a broad and compendious account of the state of affairs in India as far as water resources are concerned and to chart a course for the future.
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