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Is Irrigation Water Free? A Reality Check in the Indo-Gangetic Basin

Author

Listed:
  • Shah, Tushaar
  • Ul Hassan, Mehmood
  • Khattak, Muhammad Zubair
  • Banerjee, Parth Sarthi
  • Singh, O.P.
  • Rehman, Saeed Ur

Abstract

Summary "Getting prices right" is the silver bullet widely advocated to developing countries in fighting waste, misallocation and scarcity of water. In the vast, poverty-stricken Indo-Gangetic basin, however, high surrogate water price is driving out small-holder irrigation. With rising diesel prices, most small-holders who use borewells for irrigation find effective water use cost soaring, obliging them to economize on water use even by quitting irrigated farming. Electrified borewell owners, far fewer, face low marginal cost but have to contend with stringent electricity rationing. Public irrigation systems grossly under-price irrigation, but these are getting marginalized despite massive government and donor investments.

Suggested Citation

  • Shah, Tushaar & Ul Hassan, Mehmood & Khattak, Muhammad Zubair & Banerjee, Parth Sarthi & Singh, O.P. & Rehman, Saeed Ur, 2009. "Is Irrigation Water Free? A Reality Check in the Indo-Gangetic Basin," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 422-434, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:37:y:2009:i:2:p:422-434
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. de Fraiture, Charlotte & Perry, C. J., 2007. "Why is agricultural water demand unresponsive at low price ranges?," IWMI Books, Reports H040602, International Water Management Institute.
    2. Kumar, M. Dinesh & Singh, O. P. & Sivamohan, M. V. K., 2008. "Diesel price hikes and farmer distress: the myth and the reality," Conference Papers h041887, International Water Management Institute.
    3. Shah, T., 2001. "Wells and welfare in the Ganga Basin: Public policy and private initiative in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, India," IWMI Research Reports H028784, International Water Management Institute.
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    5. Singh, O. P. & Kumar, M. Dinesh, 2008. "Using energy pricing as a tool for efficient, equitable and sustainable use of groundwater for irrigation: evidence from three locations of India," IWMI Conference Proceedings 245349, International Water Management Institute.
    6. de Fraiture, Charlotte & Perry, C. J., 2007. "Why is agricultural water demand unresponsive at low price ranges?," Book Chapters,, International Water Management Institute.
    7. Kumar, M. Dinesh & Singh, O. P. & Sivamohan, M. V. K., 2008. "Diesel price hikes and farmer distress: the myth and the reality," IWMI Conference Proceedings 245350, International Water Management Institute.
    8. Molle, Francois & Berkoff, Jeremy, 2007. "Water pricing in irrigation: the lifetime of an idea," Book Chapters,, International Water Management Institute.
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    10. Molle, Francois & Berkoff, J., 2007. "Water pricing in irrigation: the lifetime of an idea," IWMI Books, Reports H040600, International Water Management Institute.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Xenarios, Stefanos & Amarasinghe, Upali A. & Sharma, Bharat R., 2011. "Valuating agricultural water use and ecological services in agrarian economies: evidences from eastern India," IWMI Reports 158839, International Water Management Institute.
    2. Kishore, Avinash & Joshi, Pramod Kumar & Pandey, Divya, 2014. "Droughts, distress, and policies for drought proofing agriculture in Bihar, India:," IFPRI discussion papers 1398, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Shaheen, Farhet & Shah, Farhed A., 2017. "Climate Change, Economic Growth, and Cooperative Management of Indus River Basin," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258350, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Christian Franco-Crespo & Jose Maria Sumpsi Viñas, 2017. "The Impact of Pricing Policies on Irrigation Water for Agro-Food Farms in Ecuador," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(9), pages 1-18, August.
    5. Turral, Hugh & Svendsen, Mark & Faures, Jean Marc, 2010. "Investing in irrigation: Reviewing the past and looking to the future," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 97(4), pages 551-560, April.
    6. Clement, Floriane & Ishaq, Saba & Samad, Madar & Acharya, N. Sreedhar & Radha, A. Venkata & Haileslassie, Amare & Blümmel, Michael & Dey, Amitav & Khan, M.A. & Shindey, D.N. & Mit, Rajesh, 2010. "Improving water productivity, reducing poverty and enhancing equity in mixed crop-livestock systems in the Indo-Gangetic Basin," IWMI Reports 212431, International Water Management Institute.
    7. Zareena Begum Irfan & Bina Gupta, 2015. "To Consume or to Conserve: Examining Water Conservation Model for Wheat Cultivation in India," Working Papers 2015-101, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
    8. Enrica De Cian & Ian Sue Wing, 2016. "Global Energy Demand in a Warming Climate," Working Papers 2016.16, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    9. Xenarios, Stefanos & Amarasinghe, Upali & Sharma, Bharat R., 2011. "Valuating agricultural water use and ecological services in agrarian economies: evidences from eastern India," IWMI Research Reports H043778, International Water Management Institute.
    10. Erenstein, Olaf, 2009. "Comparing water management in rice-wheat production systems in Haryana, India and Punjab, Pakistan," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(12), pages 1799-1806, December.
    11. Clement, Floriane & Ishaq, Saba & Samad, Madar & Acharya, N. Sreedhar & Radha, A. Venkata & Haileslassie, A. & Blummel, M. & Dey, A. & Khan, M. A. & Shindey, D. N. & Mit, R., 2010. "Improving water productivity, reducing poverty and enhancing equity in mixed crop-livestock systems in the Indo-Gangetic Basin: CPWF project report 68," IWMI Research Reports H043549, International Water Management Institute.
    12. Mishra, Ashok & Siderius, Christian & Aberson, Kenny & van der Ploeg, Martine & Froebrich, Jochen, 2013. "Short-term rainfall forecasts as a soft adaptation to climate change in irrigation management in North-East India," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 97-106.

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