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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. Source


Bahinipati C.S.,Gujarat Institute of Development Research | Venkatachalam L.,Madras Institute of Development Studies
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2014

Economic costs imposed by climatic extremes have been increasing over the years and are expected to follow a similar trend in the coming years as well. Such costs are incurred due to two factors: (1) natural climate variability and anthropogenic climate change and (2) exposure and vulnerability of socio-economic factors. The impact of these factors as identified separately through a ‘normalisation technique’ is analysed in the existing normalisation studies conducted mostly in developed country contexts; these have produced mixed results. However, one needs to enquire about the influence of the above two factors in a developing country context where the anticipated impacts of climate extremes are significant. This study, therefore, makes an attempt to adjust impact data, in terms of the reported population affected and economic damages of three extreme events, namely cyclones, floods and droughts, together for societal changes between 1972 and 2009 in Odisha in eastern India. Further, the second component is analysed in two ways: (1) assuming that exposed socio-economic factors are equally vulnerable similar to the other normalisation studies, i.e. no adaptation and (2) incorporating adaptation in the existing normalisation methods—which has attracted less attention so far in the literature. The results suggest that: (a) both the natural climate variability and the socio-economic factors influence the increasing damages in the recent decades, and (b) when adaptation is introduced in the normalisation model, economic losses have reduced significantly compared to the estimates using the existing normalisation models. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg Source


Against the discussion on the rationale and scope for water demand and supply management in India, this paper provides a brief overview of the status and effectiveness, as well as the technical, institutional and financial requirements of six demand management options (i.e. water pricing, water markets, water rights, energy regulations, water saving technologies, and user and community organizations) and one supply management option (involving the implementation of the National River Linking Project, NRLP). The paper then develops a framework that captures the analytics of water demand management in terms of both the impact pathways of and operational linkages among the options and their underlying institutions. Using this framework, the paper outlines a strategy for water demand management that can exploit well the inherent synergies among the options, and also align them well with the underlying institutional structure and its environment. Similarly, based on an analysis of the NRLP, the paper also indicates the strategy for implementing the NRLP and thereby promoting water supply management within the financial, institutional and political constraints. The paper concludes with the policy implications for water demand and supply management in India. © 2011 IAHS Press. Source


Venkatachalam L.,Madras Institute of Development Studies
International Journal of Water Resources Development | Year: 2015

The present study analyzes the role of informal markets in fulfilling the water requirements of poorer households in Chennai City, India. The results of a survey reveal that a significant number of poor people purchase water from informal markets and that they incur a sizeable expenditure on water purchases; some of these households are also willing to pay additional amounts for improved water supply from public sources. The results suggest that improvements in public water supply would significantly increase the welfare of the poor. The informal markets need to be regulated and monitored so that they can serve the households in a better way. © 2014, © 2014 Taylor & Francis. Source


Saleth R.M.,Madras Institute of Development Studies | Amarasinghe U.A.,International Water Management Institute
Water Policy | Year: 2010

Against the backdrop of a discussion on the rationale, logic and scope of irrigation demand management in India, this paper provides a brief overview of the status, effectiveness and technical and institutional requirements of six demand management options, that is, water pricing, water markets, water rights, energy regulations, water saving technologies and user organizations. The paper then develops a framework that captures the analytics of irrigation demand management in terms of both the impact pathways of and the operational linkages between the options and their underlying institutions. Using this framework, the paper also outlines a strategy for irrigation demand management that can exploit the inherent synergies between the options and align them well with the underlying institutional structure and its environment. After discussing how such a strategy can be effectively promoted within the institutional and political constraints facing countries such as India, the paper concludes with the policy implications of irrigation demand management. © IWA Publishing 2010. Source

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