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The downstream externalities of harvesting rainwater in semi-arid watersheds: An Indian case study

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  • Bouma, Jetske A.
  • Biggs, Trent W.
  • Bouwer, Laurens M.

Abstract

Water-related investment projects affect downstream water availability, and therefore should account for these externalities. Few projects do, however, owing to lack of awareness, lack of data and difficulty in linking upstream investments to downstream effects. This article assesses the downstream impacts of rainwater harvesting in a semi-arid basin in Southern India, focusing on the trade-offs that arise when crop water use is re-allocated from a downstream surface water irrigation system to groundwater irrigated agriculture upstream. The results indicate that the downstream impacts are considerable and that net benefits are insufficient to pay back investment costs. Further research is required to reduce the uncertainties in the water balance of irrigation systems at basin level, to account for the inter-annual variability of crop water availability and to elaborate the wider welfare effects.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Water Management.

Volume (Year): 98 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7 (May)
Pages: 1162-1170

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Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:98:y:2011:i:7:p:1162-1170

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agwat

Related research

Keywords: Downstream externalities Watershed development Groundwater irrigation Water re-allocation Cost benefit analysis Monte Carlo simulation;

References

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Cited by:
  1. S. Nedumaran & Beleke Shiferaw & M. Bantilan & K. Palanisami & Suhas Wani, 2014. "Bioeconomic modeling of farm household decisions for ex-ante impact assessment of integrated watershed development programs in semi-arid India," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 257-286, April.
  2. Giordano, Meredith & de Fraiture, Charlotte, 2014. "Small private irrigation: Enhancing benefits and managing trade-offs," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 175-182.

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