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

Articles By Irrigation

What Determines Groundwater Exploitation in India?

The authors are thankful to an anonymous referee for making very constructive comments and useful suggestions on the earlier version of the paper and the Alagappa University, Karaikudi for providing research assistance for writing this paper from the RUSA Phase 2.0 Scheme. The views expressed in this paper are the authors’ own. A Narayanamoorthy (narayana64@gmail.com) is senior professor and head, K S Sujitha (sujithakiran861@gmail.com) is research associate, R Suresh (saga42.suresh@gmail.com) is an assistant professor, and P Jothi (jothi5050@gmail.com) is adjunct lecturer at the Department of Economics and Rural Development, Alagappa University, Tamil Nadu.

Groundwater Irrigation and Agricultural Output Nexus

While the impact of groundwater irrigation on the productivity of crops and other parameters has been well-documented in India, not many studies are available highlighting its role in the value of agricultural output using district-level data. This paper attempts to find out the impact of groundwater irrigation on VAO using cross-sectional data for 189 Indian districts covering three time points: 1990–93, 2003–06, and 2017–20. Both descriptive and regression analyses have been used in this paper. The descriptive analysis shows that VAO per hectare is significantly higher for those districts having a high level of groundwater coverage (>50%) than the districts having less (<30%) groundwater irrigation. The multivariate regression analysis carried out by using yield augmenting and infrastructure variables shows that the role of groundwater irrigation in impacting VAO has significantly and consistently increased over time.

Women’s Farm Employment, Decision-making and Sources of Irrigation

Irrigation is one of the chief determinants of crop yields and sustainable agriculture. However, two surveys conducted among farmers and women in two regions of Uttar Pradesh highlight how irrigation sources impact women’s lives. The results reveal that the expansion of less important/used irrigation sources and water purchase have a positive impact on women’s participation in economic activities and empowerment. Thus, policies can be designed to improve the lesser-used irrigation sources, which, in turn, can contribute to women’s empowerment.

Missing Linkages in the Electricity–Water Nexus in Indian Agriculture

Agriculture electricity supply has been the Achilles heel in the context of electricity policy and subsidy in India. The study summarises all the electricity consumption methods and numbers in the major agricultural states by state electricity regulatory commissions and researchers. Clear disparities in electricity consumption can be seen for some states and crops in the numbers summarised. It highlights the issues with the current methodologies and proposes to develop better methods for estimation of energy consumption in agriculture.

Water and Agricultural Transformation in India

An argument for twin propositions is presented in this two-part paper: (i) that solving India’s water problem requires a paradigm shift in agriculture (Part I), and (ii) that the crisis in Indian agriculture cannot be resolved without a paradigm shift in water management and governance (Part II). The second part describes the paradigm shift needed in water, which includes rejuvenation of catchment areas of rivers, a shift towards participatory approaches to water management, focus on green water and protective irrigation, and widespread adoption of water-saving seeds and technologies, while building transdisciplinarity and overcoming hydro-schizophrenia in water governance.

 

Managing Groundwater–Energy Nexus in India

The fresh arguments made by Shilp Verma and others in support of the “SpaRC” model, as a solution for India’s multiple problems of groundwater depletion, farmer distress, poor financial working of the power sector and growing carbon footprint in agriculture are misleading, and the analyses presented to back them are flawed.

 

Water Resource Management of the Damodar Valley Corporation

The water resource management of the Damodar Valley Corporation project for irrigation purposes has been examined to reveal that illegal canal water utilisation has been increasing over the years. Water availability (per hectare) has been declining in the tail-end area compared to the head-reach and middle-reach areas in all seasons, which has led to differentiated agricultural productivity and crop patterns across different segments of the canal command area. Further, reduction of reservoir storage capacity and increased water demand for non-agricultural purposes have reduced the share of irrigation water and increased flood hazards in the monsoon season in the downstream area of the Damodar river.

Community Participation in Effective Water Resource Management

The initiation of the growth process in the rural economy in India, which is predominantly agriculture-based, needs optimum allocation and careful management of scarce water resources for irrigation. Using primary data, the impact of a tripartite institutional framework—comprising a non-governmental organisation, the funding agency, and the people (forming a community-based organisation)—on rural sustainability is examined. Tobit analysis is used to evaluate the impact of participation on rural sustainability. The results establish that community participation is critical in enhancing rural sustainability in terms of managing indigenous water harvesting structures like johads.

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.