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Kumar M.D.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy | Reddy V.R.,Livelihoods and Natural Resource Management Institute | Narayanamoorthy A.,Alagappa University | Bassi N.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy | James A.J.,Institute of Development Studies
International Journal of Water Resources Development | Year: 2017

This article questions the criterion used by government of India to classify agricultural areas into ‘rainfed’ and ‘irrigated’, merely on the basis of percentage of area under irrigation, in spite of the vast differences in the biophysical and socio-economic characteristics between areas classified as ‘rainfed’. This criterion fails to consider the agro-climate and hydro-meteorology of the area, which decide whether crops can be grown under rainfed conditions or require irrigation. Watershed development interventions, which are usually prescribed for agricultural development of rainfed areas, are bound to fail when rainfall is low and aridity is high, and strategically, interventions should be based on agro-ecology and hydro-meteorology. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group


Dinesh Kumar M.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy | Jagadeesan S.,Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd | Sivamohan M.V.K.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy
International Journal of Water Resources Development | Year: 2014

A detailed study was conducted in six districts of Gujarat, India, in gravity- and lift-irrigated commands of the Sardar Sarovar Project to assess the direct and indirect benefits of canal irrigation. Benefits such as savings in the cost of energy used to pump groundwater for irrigation, reduction in well failures, and increased income of well irrigators from farming (crops and dairy) were remarkable. Groundwater augmented by recharge from gravity irrigation resulted in large economic returns to the well irrigators in the command areas and reduced the cost of domestic water supply in villages and towns (through improved yield of agro-wells and drinking-water wells, respectively). Canal irrigation also raised wages for workers, through enhanced agricultural labour demand along with appreciation of land markets. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.


Kumar M.D.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy | van Dam J.C.,Wageningen University
Water International | Year: 2013

We approach the issue of water productivity in agriculture by identifying five sets of drivers of change. We find that irrigation efficiencies at the field level can result in real water savings under certain conditions, but that small farmers in most of South Asia and Africa have little incentive to adopt the appropriate measures. Although water productivity improvement and water savings at the regional level are possible through a shift to economically efficient crops, such changes may be constrained by concerns with respect to domestic and regional food security, rural employment, and farming system resilience. © 2013 Copyright 2013 International Water Resources Association.


Kumar M.D.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy | Scott C.A.,University of Arizona | Singh O.P.,Banaras Hindu University
International Journal of Water Resources Development | Year: 2013

This paper provides empirical evidence that power tariff reform with pro rata pricing and higher unit rates for electricity not only would promote equity, efficiency and sustainability in groundwater use, but also would be socio-economically viable for small-holder farmers. It shows that the arguments of "high transaction cost" and "political infeasibility" used against metering are valid only in specific regional contexts and under increasingly outmoded power-pricing and agricultural-production regimes, if one considers the recent advancements in remote sensing and the facts that overexploited regions have a low density of wells and are mostly owned by farmers who constitute a small segment of the farming community. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Dinesh Kumar M.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy | Bassi N.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy | Sivamohan M.V.K.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy | Venkatachalam L.,Madras Institute of Development Studies
Water and Energy International | Year: 2015

The fact that irrigation has acted as a key driver of agricultural growth and poverty reduction in many regions in India has motivated many researchers to aggressively lobby for subsidized power connections for wells and free or subsidized electricity in the farm sector as a ‘silver bullet’ for breaking the agricultural stagnation and reducing rural poverty in eastern India, under the pretext that it would help poor small and marginal farmers in this water abundant region to access well irrigation at affordable costs. The recent policy decision of the government of West Bengal to offer heavily subsidized power connections for well irrigation, and to remove the restrictions on issuing permits for drilling new energized wells is probably the outcome of one such lobbying. But, this decision has not taken cognizance of the situation vis-a-vis arable land and agro-ecology and other socio-economic realities of the State. While these policies would do no good to WB’s agriculture, it would surely and certainly do long term harm to the State’s water and energy economy. Some of the recent writings eulogizing the above policy are built on faulty assumptions. The new policy instead is retrograde in nature, as compared to the landmark decision of the Left Front government in the state to introduce metering of agricultural power users and charge for electricity on the basis of actual consumption and cost of supply. It would only lead to a windfall gain for the existing diesel pump owners, as they would be able to produce water cheap and sell it to poor farmers at prohibitive prices. We argue that a policy which is based on a strategy for intensifying the use of land and water will not work in eastern India. Instead, a new policy for agricultural growth, which is driven by the strategy of enhancing the productivity of land and water and which is built on the concept of multiple use systems, is needed. © 2015, Central Board of Irrigation and Power. All rights reserved.


Kumar M.D.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy | Pandit C.M.,Central Water Commission
International Journal of Water Resources Development | Year: 2016

This article discusses the bias of the growing constituency of civil society activists in India against conventional water management solutions implemented by the government, and the ‘alternatives’ they champion, which force the government to enter into an endless debate with these groups. The article goes into the fundamental reasons for this bias, and identifies four types of civil society activist: ‘professional’, ‘ideologue’, ‘romantic’ and ‘doomsday prophet’. The article also argues that water bureaucracies in India should adopt evidence-based policy making, subjecting the ‘alternatives’ to the same degree of scrutiny as the conventional ones, to end the policy dilemma, while enhancing the overall quality of design, execution and management of projects for better outcomes. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group


Kumar M.D.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy | Scott C.A.,University of Arizona | Singh O.P.,Banaras Hindu University
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2011

India's farm sector sustains livelihoods for hundreds of millions of rural people, but faces serious management challenges for land, water, and energy resources. Growing dependence on groundwater threatens water resources sustainability and power sector viability. Sustaining India's rising prosperity rests on managing groundwater. This study shows that raising power tariffs in the farm sector to achieve efficiency and sustainability of groundwater use is both socially and economically viable. The question is about how to introduce this shift. This paper discusses five different options for power supply, metering and energy pricing in the farm sector and the expected outcomes of implementing each vis-a-vis efficiency of groundwater and energy use, equity in access and sustainability of groundwater. It concludes that establishing an energy quota for each farm-based on sustainability considerations, and metering and charging pro rata for power used are the best options to manage groundwater and the energy economy. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Bassi N.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy | Kumar M.D.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy
International Journal of Water Resources Development | Year: 2011

This paper discusses the implementation of the Participatory Irrigation Management Act in Central India where the responsibility of irrigation management was partially transferred to the end users through the formation of farmers' organizations. The paper focuses on various reforms carried out as per the Act, and their impacts on irrigation management. Analysis shows that such programmes will reap intended benefits, if the end users are involved in a more effective manner with greater autonomy and delegation of powers. Further, for greater effectiveness, the Participatory Irrigation Management Act needs to enable a few institutional changes, which can be more suitable for the end users. © 2011 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Kumar M.D.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy | Singh O.P.,Banaras Hindu University | Sivamohan M.V.K.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy
Water International | Year: 2010

The current study shows that the recent diesel price hike had an insignificant impact on irrigation costs incurred by diesel well owners in eastern India. Further, analysis of the farming enterprises of diesel well owners and water buyers from both diesel and electric wells confronted with a differential cost of irrigation water showed that farmers would be able to cope with a very high rise in irrigation costs through irrigation efficiency improvements and allocating more area to crops that give higher returns per unit of land and water. By doing this, they are able to maintain the farm returns. © 2010 International Water Resources Association.


Mukherjee S.,National Institute of Public Finance and Policy NIPFP | Shah Z.,University of Cambridge | Kumar M.D.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy
Water Resources Management | Year: 2010

Urban water demand is rapidly growing in India due to high growth in urban population and rapid industrialization. Meeting this demand is a big challenge for the urban planners in India. Incidentally, the large urban areas are experiencing faster growth in population, and most of them are in arid and semi arid regions, which are naturally water-scarce. As a result, water supplies from local water resources including aquifers are falling far short of the high and concentrated demands in most urban areas. Under such situations, these large cities have to rely on distant large reservoirs. The analysis of 302 urban centers shows that cities with larger population size have much higher level of dependence on surface water sources. Also, greater the share of surface water in the city water supplies, higher was the level of per capita water supply. Multiple regression models are estimated for Class I cities and Class II towns in India. The results show that Population Elasticity of Water Supply (PEWS) change with time and space-for Class I cities it was 1.127 in 1988, whereas that with respect to 1999 population is 1.289. It also shows that Class I cities have better water supply (PEWS is 1.127 in 1988 and 1.289 in 1999) than Class II towns (PEWS is 0.396 in 1988 and 0.675 in 1999). Given the structure and pattern of urban population growth, economic conditions and water demands, large reservoirs will have a much bigger role in meeting urban water supply needs. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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