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Missing Water: Agricultural Stress and Adaptation Strategies in Response to Groundwater Depletion in India

  • Sheetal Sekhri

    ()

Groundwater depletion is becoming a serious policy concern in many developing countries but little is known about the costs of groundwater depletion. I use annual deviations of depth to groundwater from 1999 to 2003 from the 1985-1995 decadal means for Indian districts, to investigate how production and sown area respond to groundwater uctuations. I nd that a 1 meter decline in groundwater in a year reduces food-grain production by 8 percent, water intensive crop production by 9 percent and cash crops by 5 percent. I also use year-to-year transitions of groundwater around a cuto value, at which cost of technology required to access groundwater exogenously increases due to physical constraints, to examine coping mechanisms. I nd that for short run shocks around this cuto , sown area for food-grains and water intensive crops falls by 7 to 8 percent, whereas there is no change for cash crops. I evaluate the e ect of the transition of 10 year means of groundwater around this cuto on exit from farming. I do not nd evidence of exit of marginal or small farmers from agriculture. mitigating e ect.

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File URL: http://www.virginia.edu/economics/RePEc/vir/virpap/papers/virpap406.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Virginia, Department of Economics in its series Virginia Economics Online Papers with number 406.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vir:virpap:406
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.virginia.edu/economics/home.html

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  1. Brozovic, Nicholas & Sunding, David L. & Zilberman, David, 2010. "On the spatial nature of the groundwater pumping externality," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 154-164, April.
  2. Sheetal Sekhri, 2011. "Public Provision and Protection of Natural Resources: Groundwater Irrigation in Rural India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 29-55, October.
  3. Varghese, Shalet Korattukudy & Veettil, Prakashan Chellattan & Speelman, Stijn & Buysse, Jeroen & Van Huylenbroeck, Guido, 2013. "Estimating the causal effect of water scarcity on the groundwater use efficiency of rice farming in South India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 55-64.
  4. Sheetal Sekhri, 2014. "Wells, Water, and Welfare: The Impact of Access to Groundwater on Rural Poverty and Conflict," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 76-102, July.
  5. Richard Hornbeck & Pinar Keskin, 2011. "The Evolving Impact of the Ogallala Aquifer: Agricultural Adaptation to Groundwater and Climate," NBER Working Papers 17625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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