Mukherjee S.,National Institute of Public Finance and Policy NIPFP |
Kumar M.D.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy IRAP
Water Policy | Year: 2012
In the Gangetic floodplain of West Bengal, multiple use wetlands (MUW) play a significant role in the livelihoods of the local people. Over the years, these multiple use systems are being converted into single use systems for commercial gain by economically, socially and politically dominant groups. Compared to single use water systems, MUW benefit a larger number of people belonging to different socio-economic strata. Also, the economic and ecological functions of MUW change over time and space. These dynamic aspects of wetlands are often not fully recognised. Attempts to classify wetlands according to their uses across ecological zones and to carry out their economic valuation are limited. A wetland was selected in the Barddhaman district of West Bengal to evaluate the economic benefits of various direct uses. The study shows that the major economic benefits that people living in the surrounding area of the wetland derive are from wetland cultivation, direct irrigation, jute retting and fisheries. The largest benefit was from jute retting followed by fisheries and wetland cultivation. The irrigation benefits were found to be low owing to the greater distance of the farm land from the wetland, and easy access to groundwater owing to the shallow aquifers in the region. © IWA Publishing 2012.
Bassi N.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy IRAP
Water Policy | Year: 2014
Groundwater emerged as a major source of irrigation in India during the mid-1970s. However, a large expansion in well irrigation due to a massive rural electrification programme, government policies of promoting private tube well construction and large subsidies on electricity for agricultural use resulted in groundwater over-abstraction in many semi-arid and arid regions of India. In addition, most of the direct and indirect measures to regulate groundwater use have met with little success and have been largely ineffective in arresting groundwater over-exploitation. This paper reviews the institutional and market-based instruments that are now being advocated by scholars and practitioners as potential instruments for sustainable groundwater use. The review mainly focuses on research that examined the viability and impacts of establishing private and tradable water rights in groundwater and pro rata pricing of electricity for irrigation use as instruments to arrest the problems of groundwater over-exploitation in India. © 2014 IWA Publishing.
Bassi N.,University of Delhi |
Kumar M.D.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy IRAP |
Sharma A.,University of Delhi |
Pardha-Saradhi P.,University of Delhi
Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies | Year: 2014
Study region: India. Study focus: India has a wealth of wetland ecosystems that support diverse and unique habitats. These wetlands provide numerous ecological goods and services but are under tremendous stress due to rapid urbanization, industrialization and agricultural intensification, manifested by the shrinkage in their areal extent, and decline in the hydrological, economic and ecological functions they perform. This paper reviews the wetland wealth of India in terms of their geographic distribution and extent, ecosystem benefits they provide, and the various stresses they are exposed to. The paper also discusses the efforts at management of these fragile ecosystems, identifies the institutional vacuum and suggests priority area where immediate attention is required in order to formulate better conservation strategies for these productive systems. New hydrological insights for the region: It has been found that management of wetlands has received inadequate attention in the national water sector agenda. As a result, many of the wetlands are subject to anthropogenic pressures, including land use changes in the catchment; pollution from industry and households; encroachments; tourism; and over exploitation of their natural resources. Further, majority of research on wetland management in India relates to the limnological aspects and ecological/environmental economics of wetland management. But, the physical (such as hydrological and land use changes in the catchment) and socio-economic processes leading to limnological changes have not been explored substantially. © 2014 he Authors.
Bassi N.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy IRAP |
Rishi P.,Indian Institute of Forest Management IIFM |
Choudhury N.,Collective of Integrated Livelihood Initiatives CInI
Water International | Year: 2010
Setting up water users' associations (WUAs) and involving them in the management of delivery systems is an important innovation in improving the performance of public irrigation systems. Most Indian states are in a great hurry to turn over management of "below-the outlet" systems to WUAs. Yet the crucial link between the work done by the institutional organizers who set up these WUAs, the efficacy of the WUAs and the eventual performance of the irrigation systems remains unexplored. This paper attempts to explore this link. It shows that overdrive in the formation of WUAs may reduce their institutional sustainability. © 2010 International Water Resources Association.
Kumar M.D.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy IRAP |
Sivamohan M.V.K.,Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy IRAP |
Narayanamoorthy A.,Alagappa University
Food Security | Year: 2012
Two of the key factors that drive agricultural growth and food production in India are access to arable land and utilizable water resources. These are examined with particular reference to their regional variation in order to make an assessment of the magnitude of the food security challenge they pose for the country. Recent official estimates of groundwater exploitation in India are compared with actual negative physical, social and economic consequences of over-exploitation, as are evident in different regions, and their implications for national food security discussed. The analyses show that the real food security and water management challenge lies in the mismatch between water availability and agricultural water demand: high demands occur in water scarce but agriculturally prosperous regions and low demands in naturally water-abundant but agriculturally backward regions. Serious groundwater depletion problems, which occur in the naturally water-scarce but surplus food-producing regions, magnify the challenge. The small area of arable land per capita is a major reason for low agricultural water demand in regions that have abundant water. Sustainability of well irrigation in the naturally water-scarce regions, which is the backbone of India's food security, could be achieved through judicious investment in surface water projects which encourage direct irrigation and replenishment of over-exploited aquifers. Other strategies include: pro rata pricing of electricity in the farm sector; volumetric pricing of water from public irrigation systems; improving the efficiency of utilization of green water or the rainwater held in the soil profile; preventing depletion of the residual soil moisture in the field after crop harvest by reducing the fallow period; and reducing the use of water through a shift to low water consuming crops © 2012 Springer Science + Business Media B.V. & International Society for Plant Pathology.