IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Groundwater Irrigation in North India: Institutions and Markets

  • Banerji A

    ()

  • Meenakshi J V
  • Gauri Khanna

This paper analyzes the institutions and markets that govern groundwater allocation in the sugarcane belt of Uttar Pradesh, India, using primary, plot-level data from a village which shares the typical features of this region. Electricity powers tubewell pumps, and its erratic supply translates into randomness in irrigation volumes. The paper finds that plots are water-rationed, owing to inadequate supply of power. A simple model shows that a combination of such rationing and the village-level mechanism of water sales can lead to great misallocation of water across plots, and result in large crop losses for plots that irrigate using purchased water. We infer the existence of a social contract that mitigates these potential losses in the study area to a remarkable extent; in its absence, average yields are estimated to be 18% lower. The finding that the water allocation is close to efficient (given the power supply) marks a sharp contrast with much of the existing literature. Notwithstanding the social contract, the random and inadequate supply of power, and therefore water, is inefficient. The dysfunctional power supply is part of a larger system of poor incentives to produce reliable and adequate power. In simulations we find that such reliability can improve yields by up to 10 %, and pay for a system of electricity pricing that gives incentives to the power supplier to actually provide adequate power. However, even at reasonably high power prices, irrigation volumes are large enough to continue to seriously deplete the water table. The problem is that traditional rights of water use do not take into account the shadow price of the groundwater. We provide a rough first analysis to suggest that a 15% markup on the economic unit cost of providing electricity would make for intertemporally efficient water use. [WP SANDEE No. 19-06]

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.esocialsciences.org/Download/repecDownload.aspx?fname=Document12132007260.8840753.pdf&fcategory=Articles&AId=899&fref=repec
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:899.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:899
Note: Institutional Papers
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.esocialsciences.org

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:899. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Padma Prakash)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.