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Groundwater depletion and coping strategies of farming communities in hard rock areas of southern peninsular India

  • Anantha K.H.


    (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Andhra Pradesh, India)

  • K.V. Raju


    (Professor, the Centre for Ecological Economics and Natural Resources (CEENR), Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore, Karnataka, India)

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    This study examines the impact and potential opportunities of groundwater irrigation on rural farm households. Focusing on the size and pattern of the groundwater economy in selected villages located in the hard rock areas of Karnataka, India, the paper argues that the groundwater economy is shrinking due to the depletion of this precious resource. Although investment in groundwater irrigation provides wealth-creating opportunities in addition to helping to meet consumption needs, more often than not, the ongoing need to drill for new wells to counteract severe depletion problems cuts into the investment returns and ultimately affects the pool of assets. Farmers have adopted several coping strategies to overcome the negative externalities of groundwater depletion in this region. Groundwater irrigation has the potential to be a more productive instrument for sustainable rural development in fragile eco-regions. But, in order to make investment in this area a viable option for rural livelihood enhancement, certain policy, institutional factors and other issues need to be addressed.

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    Article provided by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in its journal Asia-Pacific Development Journal.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (December)
    Pages: 119-144

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    Handle: RePEc:unt:journl:v:17:y:2010:i:2:p:119-144
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    1. , . "Managing water in the face of growing scarcity, inequity and declining returns: exploring fresh approaches. Proceedings of the 7th Annual Partners Meet, IWMI TATA Water Policy Research Program, ICRISA," Conference Proceedings h041870, International Water Management Institute.
    2. , . "Managing water in the face of growing scarcity, inequity and declining returns: exploring fresh approaches. Proceedings of the 7th Annual Partners Meet, IWMI TATA Water Policy Research Program, ICRISA," Conference Proceedings h041869, International Water Management Institute.
    3. Kijne, J. W. & Barker, R. & Molden. D., 2003. "Water productivity in agriculture: limits and opportunities for improvement," IWMI Books, Reports H032631, International Water Management Institute.
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