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To Consume or to Conserve: Examining Water Conservation Model for Wheat Cultivation in India

Author

Listed:
  • Zareena Begum Irfan

    () (Madras School of Economics)

  • Bina Gupta

    () (Department of Environmental Science, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, Uttarakhand)

Abstract

Constitutionally in India, the individual states have responsibility for water, forests, and agriculture. Major canal irrigation accounts for over 80 percent of India's irrigation. The intensive wheat irrigated system in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh states of India is observed to analyze the impact of incentive mechanism favoring the crop yield and water use. The regions selected for the present study are built on a long tradition of canal irrigation. Findings from farm surveys are used to examine water management and water productivity in the Haryana and Uttar Pradesh state. Attributes of the irrigation sources help explain the widespread interest in groundwater use and the relative demise of canal water use. Sole consumption of groundwater as irrigation source was altered by the initiation of conjunctive water of both surface and ground through the incentive pathway by municipal level irrigation managers. A combination of technological, land use and market based approaches is likely to be most effective in achieving sustainable water management in these intensive cereal systems. Based on the data set for the Indo-Gangetic Plain, the overall goal of this paper was to examine how the irrigation management reform has proceeded since the early stages of implementation and what the impacts are of the incentive mechanisms on water use and crop yields. The results show that irrigation management reform has accelerated in the study sites. The econometric model results indicate that using incentive mechanisms to promote water savings is effective under the arrangement of contracting management. However, if incentives are provided to the irrigation managers, the wheat yield declines significantly. The results imply that at the later stage of the reform, the cost of reducing water use by providing incentives to managers includes negative impacts on crop yields. Therefore, the design of win–win supporting policies is aimed to be achieved from the present study to ensure the healthy development of the irrigation management reform.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:mad:wpaper:2015-101
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Tyagi, N.K. & Agrawal, A. & Sakthivadivel, R. & Ambast, S.K., 2005. "Water management decisions on small farms under scarce canal water supply: A case study from NW India," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 77(1-3), pages 180-195, August.
    3. Shah, Tushaar & Scott, C. & Kishore, A. & Sharma, A., 2003. "Energy-irrigation nexus in South Asia: Improving groundwater conservation and power sector viability," IWMI Research Reports H033885, International Water Management Institute.
    4. Molden, David, 2007. "Water for food, water for life: a comprehensive assessment of water management in agriculture," IWMI Books, Reports H040193, International Water Management Institute.
    5. 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.
    6. Molden, David, 2007. "Water for food, water for life: a comprehensive assessment of water management in agriculture: summary. In Russian," IWMI Books, Reports H041260, International Water Management Institute.
    7. Molden, David, 2007. "Water for food, water for life: a comprehensive assessment of water management in agriculture: summary. In Arabic," IWMI Books, Reports H041261, International Water Management Institute.
    8. Kijne, Jacob W. & Barker, Randolph & Molden, David J. (ed.), 2003. "Water productivity in agriculture: limits and opportunities for improvement," IWMI Books, International Water Management Institute, number 138054.
    9. Hellegers, P. J. G. J. & Perry, C. J. & Berkoff, J., 2007. "Water pricing in Haryana, India," IWMI Books, Reports H040607, International Water Management Institute.
    10. Molden, David, 2007. "Water for food, water for life: a comprehensive assessment of water management in agriculture: summary," IWMI Books, Reports H039769, International Water Management Institute.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Canal Irrigation; Incentive; Water Use; Crop yield;

    JEL classification:

    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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