Livelihoods and Natural Resource Management Institute

Mehdipatnam, India

Livelihoods and Natural Resource Management Institute

Mehdipatnam, India
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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

Hochman Z.,CSIRO | Horan H.,CSIRO | Reddy D.R.,University of Hyderabad | Sreenivas G.,University of Hyderabad | And 5 more authors.
Agricultural Systems | Year: 2017

This paper describes an investigation of various adaptations of rice based cropping systems to climate variability in India's Telangana State. All adaptations were generated through participatory engagement and were field-tested with local smallholder households before being evaluated through cropping system simulation analysis. This approach contrasts with most research about adaptation of cropping systems to climate variability and climate change that is mostly based on simplifying assumptions about current farmer management practices and where the feasibility of implementing proposed adaptations is rarely tested. In this study, the investigation commenced with discussions about climate related issues in rice based farming systems between researchers, farmers and NGOs in three villages in three Mandals of the state of Telangana. Participatory intervention was used to identify new practices that could provide more adaptive and robust responses to climate variability. Suggested adaptations were implemented in on-farm experimentation. Fields demonstrating these adaptations were monitored and results were discussed with participating farmers at regular ‘Climate Club’ village meetings. Crop and soil data from these fields were used to locally parameterise the cropping systems simulator APSIM. Local adaptations that were trialled in the villages were simulated using local soil and long term historical weather data. In each of the case studies, a number of adaptations that were developed and implemented in the villages were shown through simulation to be successful in terms of agricultural production, stability of yields and resource use efficiency. Of the adaptations investigated, sowing rules to reduce the chance of crop failure due to early dry spells were most readily adopted and are also relatively easy to extend to other villages. Strategic irrigation of rainfed crops such as maize and cotton resulted in significant gains to profitability and stability of these crops but cannot be considered in isolation where access to water is limited. Reduced irrigation of rice resulted in over 60 mm/ha/yr. savings in water and some improvements in gross margins but this adaptation was not popular with farmers due to its burden on labour and added risks associated with unreliable supply of electricity for pumping at critical times. The reduced rice area for strategic irrigation of rainfed crops adaptation resulted in improved gross margins per hectare per year and higher net water productivity. This adaptation is most promising but will require institutional change around water use policy and more equitable allocation of limited water resources within villages. These results led us to the proposition that participatory action research with smallholder farmers, coupled with field-testing and simulation analysis can produce practical and productive adaptations to climate variability. © 2016

Ratna Reddy V.,Livelihoods and Natural Resource Management Institute | Saharawat Y.S.,ICARDA | George B.,ICARDA
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2017

Watershed management (WSM) is the most widely adopted technology in developed as well as developing countries due to its suitability across climatic conditions. Watershed technology is suitable to protect and enhance soil fertility, which is deteriorating at an alarming rate with agricultural intensification in high as well as low rainfall regions. Of late, WSM is considered as an effective poverty alleviation intervention in the rain fed regions in countries like India. This paper aims at providing a basic watershed policy and implementation framework based on a critical review of experiences of WSM initiatives across South Asia. The purpose is to provide cross learnings within South Asia and other developing countries (especially Africa) that are embarking on WSM in recent years. Countries in the region accord differential policy priority and are at different levels of institutional arrangements for implementing WSM programmes. The implementation of watershed interventions is neither scientific nor comprehensive in all the countries limiting the effectiveness (impacts). Implementation of the programmes for enhancing the livelihoods of the communities need to strengthen both technical and institutional aspects. While countries like India and Nepal are yet to strengthen the technical aspects in terms of integrating hydrogeology and biophysical aspects into watershed design, others need to look at these aspects as they move towards strengthening the watershed institutions. Another important challenge in all the countries is regarding the distribution of benefits. Due to the existing property rights in land and water resources coupled with the agrarian structure and uneven distribution and geometry of aquifers access to sub-surface water resources is unevenly distributed across households. Though most of the countries are moving towards incorporating livelihoods components in order to ensure benefits to all sections of the community, not much is done in terms of addressing the equity aspects of WSM. © 2017

Venot J.-P.,International Water Management Institute IWMI | Reddy V.R.,Livelihoods and Natural Resource Management Institute | Umapathy D.,Innovative Design
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2010

Continuous upstream water development in the South Indian Krishna Basin has resulted in declining water availability downstream. Upstream water use is not adjusted to reflect rainfall fluctuations, and downstream farmers of the Nagarjuna Sagar irrigation project in the state of Andhra Pradesh are increasingly vulnerable to water supply shocks. Understanding the adaptive capacity of irrigated command areas to fluctuating water conditions is critical. This paper documents the wide range of adjustments adopted by managers and farmers in Nagarjuna Sagar during a period of fluctuating water availability (2000-2007). Primary and secondary data indicate managerial adjustments such as rotational and timely water supplies to meet critical water demands of standing crops. Farmers responded to changing conditions through: (a) crop diversification, (b) shifting calendars, (c) conjunctive use, (d) suspending cultivation, (e) sale of livestock, (f) out-migration, and (g) tampering with the irrigation system. Adaptive strategies are more diverse in the tail-end than in the head-end of the canal network and local adjustments are often uncoordinated and may degrade the resource base. A better understanding of the practices induced by changes in water availability is needed to refine current water allocation and management in large surface irrigation projects. Crop diversification, deficit irrigation in low-flow years, and conjunctive use are some of the practices to be promoted in a conducive agricultural environment. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Reddy V.R.,Livelihoods and Natural Resource Management Institute
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2012

Hydrological knowledge or information has mostly remained in the domain of scientific community. The communities that interact with the hydrological aspects such as groundwater and surface water on a day to day basis are hardly aware of the information that could critically influence their livelihoods. From the perspective of the communities' information pertaining to groundwater aquifer characters, potential to provide the water resource, surface groundwater interactions in varying geo-hydrological conditions are important. The 'public good' nature of the resources and their linkages with ecological systems gives rise to externalities that could be pervasive. In a number of countries, especially the developing countries, groundwater is the single largest source of drinking as well as irrigation water. In the absence of scientific information with the communities, extraction of groundwater resources for productive purposes has become a risky venture leading to adverse impacts on livelihoods. The externalities associated with over exploitation of groundwater resources and the resulting widespread well failure is identified as one of the main reasons for pushing farmers into debt trap and one of the reasons for farmer suicides in India. The negative externalities are increasingly becoming severe in the context of climate variability.This paper attempts to highlight the importance of hydrological information to the user communities from a socioeconomic perspective using a newly developed framework 'REDUCE' based on theories of effective communication. It shows, based on the evidence, how farming communities are getting affected in the absence of the basic hydrological information across socioeconomic groups. It is argued, using relevant information that the negative externalities could be mitigated to a large extent with proper dissemination of information among the communities and capacitating them to measure and use the information on their own. In order to make the hydrological information relevant and useful for the communities at the macro level, there are six key areas to be addressed viz., Resource (water), Estimation or Evaluation, Distribution, Users, Communication and Execution. Ground water extraction and use is associated with mostly negative externalities. Estimation methods and scale are not commensurate with the users' needs. The natural distribution pattern of the groundwater accentuates the inequalities in its access and use. These inequalities could be corrected through proper policy interventions that pave the way for treating the resources as a common pool resource instead of allowing it to be exploited like a private resource. That is, the hydrological resources ought to be brought under the management regime with the help of policy and governance structures. Users neither have the wherewithal to obtain the right kind of information nor the ability to manage the resource judiciously without institutional support. In this context the communication part of the process of groundwater management becomes important. The external agencies like the NGOs, scientists and policy makers and implementers have to interact and provide the right kind of information packaged to suit the needs of the users. Innovative execution of policies through evolution of institutional mechanisms and user involvement is key to the success of groundwater management. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Croke B.,Australian National University | Herron N.,Bureau of Meteorology | Pavelic P.,Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics | Ahmed S.,National Geophysical Research Institute | And 5 more authors.
Water Practice and Technology | Year: 2012

Watershed Development (WSD) programs in rainfed dryland agriculture in India have been introduced in an effort to promote more sustainable management of the surface and groundwater resources, and to improve the livelihoods of farmers. This paper outlines the planned research for a project exploring the impacts of WSD at the meso-scale (∼100 km 2). The aim of the project is to develop and apply integrated models to assess cost effectiveness and water-related equity outcomes of stakeholder defined WSD scenarios; and to integrate and apply, in collaboration with project partners, the knowledge arising from the project at local, state and national policy levels. © IWA Publishing 2012.

Reddy V.R.,Livelihoods and Natural Resource Management Institute
Water Policy | Year: 2010

This paper makes an attempt to assess the water sector under scarcity conditions in the State of Rajasthan. It adopts the criteria of physical, economic, financial and equity performance across sub-sectors. The assessment brought out clearly that no indicator has shown satisfactory performance in any of the sub-sectors. Though the urban drinking water sector is relatively better in performance, a lot more needs to be done in order to bring it to the threshold level of economic and financial performance. The huge expenditures incurred in this sector are not going towards real investments that would improve the performance of the sector. Despite the fact that the water sector (except groundwater) is in the hands of the government, equity goals are not achieved. An urban and rich bias is prevalent as far as access to water and public distribution of water. Apart from suggesting some short-term measures to meet the immediate demands, this paper argues that institutional reforms are critical for sustainable water resource management under scarcity conditions. © IWA Publishing 2010.

Batchelor C.,Water Resources Management Ltd | Reddy V.R.,Livelihoods and Natural Resource Management Institute | Linstead C.,WWF UK | Dhar M.,WWF India | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2014

Water saving and conservation technologies (WCTs) have been promoted widely in India as a practical means of improving the water use efficiency and freeing up water for other uses (e.g. for maintaining environmental flows in river systems). However, there is increasing evidence that, somewhat paradoxically, WCTs often contribute to intensification of water use by irrigated and rainfed farming systems. This occurs when: (1) Increased crop yields are coupled with increased consumptive water use and/or (2) Improved efficiency, productivity and profitability encourages farmers to increase the area cropped and/or to adopt multiple cropping systems. In both cases, the net effect is an increase in annual evapotranspiration that, particularly in areas of increasing water scarcity, can have the trade-off of reduced environmental flows. Recognition is also increasing that the claimed water savings of many WCTs may have been overstated. The root cause of this problem lies in confusion over what constitutes real water saving at the system or basin scales. The simple fact is that some of the water that is claimed to be 'saved' by WCTs would have percolated into the groundwater from where it can be and often is accessed and reused. Similarly, some of the “saved“ runoff can be used downstream by, for example, farmers or freshwater ecosystems. This paper concludes that, particularly in areas facing increasing water scarcity, environmental flows will only be restored and maintained if they are given explicit (rather than theoretical or notional) attention. With this in mind, a simple methodology is proposed for deciding when and where WCTs may have detrimental impacts on environmental flows. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Reddy V.R.,Livelihoods and Natural Resource Management Institute
International Journal of Water Resources Development | Year: 2016

This article examines the rationale, technologies, economics and institutional modalities in water quality management operations to draw lessons for designing policies for sustainable service delivery at scale. While the rationale for providing potable drinking water at affordable prices is clear, their economic viability is weak given their present scale of operations. There is a need for institutional safeguards for selection of deserving villages and water quality monitoring. It is argued that public–private–community partnerships are economically viable and sustainable. Adopting appropriate technologies could help with addressing the water quality issues in a more comprehensive manner. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Reddy V.R.,Livelihoods and Natural Resource Management Institute | Batchelor C.,Water Resources Management Ltd
Water Policy | Year: 2012

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) service levels remain stubbornly low in rural India despite high levels of public expenditure recently. In many areas, this is because service levels have slipped back for reasons including inadequate protection of water sources (quantity and quality) and more attention given to capital expenditure than expenditure on operational and capital maintenance. This paper argues that adoption of a life-cycle cost approach (LCCA) could play a significant role in rectifying this by providing a framework for identifying and plugging gaps in the present pattern of expenditure. It is argued that LCCA will provide a sound basis for implementing the WASH Guidelines released by the Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission in 2010. These guidelines signal a shift away from viewing the provision of WASH services as primarily an engineering challenge to one that requires activities that include source protection, institution building and long-term support and pro-poor planning, all of which need to be budgeted for by WASH service providers and/or users. Preliminary findings indicate that LCCA can be used to assess actual life-cycle costs of sustainable, equitable and efficient WASH service delivery. The challenge now is to investigate how best LCCA can be mainstreamed into WASH planning and other governance processes. © IWA Publishing 2012.

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