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

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  • Sheetal Sekhri

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sheetal Sekhri, 2013. "Missing Water: Agricultural Stress and Adaptation Strategies in Response to Groundwater Depletion in India," Virginia Economics Online Papers 406, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vir:virpap:406
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    File URL: http://www.virginia.edu/economics/RePEc/vir/virpap/papers/virpap406.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sheetal Sekhri & Paul Landefeld, 2013. "Agricultural Trade, Institutions, and Depletion of Natural Resources," Virginia Economics Online Papers 405, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
    2. Zaveri, Esha & Wrenn, Douglas H. & Fisher-Vanden, Karen, 2016. "Water in the Balance: The Impact of Water Infrastructure on Agricultural Adaptation to Rainfall Shocks in India," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236216, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Gautam, Madhur, 2015. "Agricultural Subsidies: Resurging Interest in a Perennial Debate," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 70(1).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Groundwater Depletion; Agricultural Production; India;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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