Although groundwater depletion is a global phenomenon, India faces the challenge in its severest of forms. Studies by India’s Central Ground Water Board suggest that in some parts of the country, water tables are receding at 1 meter per year and that the majority of water resources in Northwest and South India are overexploited. Furthermore, two-thirds of India’s 1.2 billion people are involved in agricultural work and are therefore especially vulnerable to groundwater depletion and related climate fluctuations.
Our program focuses on the causes, effects, and potential policy solutions to groundwater depletion in India. We are investigating the extent to which the use of nonrenewable “fossil” water is boosting current agricultural production and the future ramifications of its disappearance in the context of climate change. We are also assessing how related agricultural incentives and policies have resulted in the current rate of water abstraction. Finally, our program aims to identify the inter-state political and societal consequences of water shortages, because ground water is India’s main source of drinking water and is vital for both agricultural and urban development.
- Resources for the Future (RFF)