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Effective interventions for ground water management in India

Source : World Bank

Notes by Narsi

I had always known that Indians are not the most efficient when it comes to ground water use. But I was really surprised to learn that India extracts more than the United States and China put together (Source: World Bank).

As you can easily figure out, groundwater is a highly relevant, and an existential component for most of our daily needs - whether one is an urban resident, an industry or a farmer. Groundwater scarcity can hence be quite devastating for many rural communities, especially those who are at or below poverty line.

But groundwater management is not an easy task at all for rural communities given the vastness of the country, the diversity of segments, current cultural norms etc.

How can the government intervene in something like this? This World Bank article provides an excellent context and backgrounder, as well as highlights of some of the projects initiated under the GoI's well-thought out Atal Jal program.

A key take-away for me: These programs need to have a sustained long-term vision, and use a template that relies on rigorous science but at the same time has the flexibility to involve and engage multiple stakeholders.

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