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An evaluation of groundwater institutions in India: a property rights perspective

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  • Jayanath Ananda

    () (Central Queensland University)

  • Mohamed Aheeyar

    () (International Water Management Institute)

Abstract

Groundwater governance has become an intractable policy issue, which has many implications for the living standards and well-being of millions of rural poor in South Asia. Groundwater governance is complex as it is influenced by various hydrogeological, sociopolitical and socioeconomic factors. Unregulated groundwater extraction rates in South Asia have depleted the aquifers causing a raft of socioeconomic, environmental and human health problems. This paper analyzes de facto rights in groundwater markets and other emerging ‘groundwater-sharing institutional arrangements’ in India. Using a multi-dimensional property rights model, the paper decomposes de facto groundwater rights while drawing insights and broad policy lessons. The findings indicate that there is much scope for enhancing the ‘small group groundwater sharing’ governed by social regulatory measures. Moreover, distortionary subsidies for agriculture in general and groundwater development, in particular, have had an adverse impact of the resource use and merit further attention.

Suggested Citation

  • Jayanath Ananda & Mohamed Aheeyar, 2020. "An evaluation of groundwater institutions in India: a property rights perspective," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 22(6), pages 5731-5749, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:endesu:v:22:y:2020:i:6:d:10.1007_s10668-019-00448-8
    DOI: 10.1007/s10668-019-00448-8
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Governance; Markets; Water sharing; Social regulation; Transaction costs; South Asia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • Q22 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Fishery
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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