Groundwater is becoming an increasingly popular resource because of the relative ease and flexibility with which it can be tapped. While developing groundwater resource promises to help alleviate poverty in many areas, the most formidable challenge is its sustainable use and management in regions where it is under threat.
The central focus of this book is groundwater management in India: the economies that groundwater generates, the socio-economic impact of its intensive use, and the physical, institutional and policy options for its management. The book provides a fresh analysis of the socio-ecology of groundwater, based on a synthesis of macro and micro level data on the hydrological, social, economic and institutional parameters. The region of North Gujarat has been specifically studied to document the uncontrolled use of groundwater and the ill-effects of such exploitation. With alarming drops in water levels and increasing levels of fluorides and TDS in groundwater, the region's water problems have attracted international attention because of their implications in terms of reducing the viability of irrigated agriculture as also their impact on community health. The findings are used to draw policy conclusions regarding the tools for managing groundwater in other regions with similar resource and use characteristics. The authors have used several new methodologies, analytical procedures and criteria to analyse groundwater use in agriculture, the economic value of groundwater, water intensity of milk production and the efficient use of groundwater.
M. Dinesh Kumar is Executive Director, Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy (IRAP), Hyderabad. He has 24 years of professional experience in the water and agriculture sector, undertaking research, consulting, action research, and training. He is also the Associate Editor for Water Policy and the Editorial Board Member for International Journal of Water Resources Development. He has three books and nearly 150 research articles, including many in international peer-reviewed journals, to his credit. O P Singh is a researcher at the South Asia Regional Programme of the International Water Management Institute, India. He has over ten years of experience in research on water management in India and has published several articles in national and international journals.