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Bringing Aquifers and Communities Together: Decentralised Groundwater Governance in Rural India

  • Dhaval Joshi
  • Himanshu Kulkarni
  • Uma Aslekar
Chapter
Part of the Springer Water book series (SPWA)

Abstract

India is the largest user of groundwater in the world, with an atomistic resource development paradigm. The millions of groundwater users across the diverse hydrogeological settings of the country have led to an overarching dependency on the resource for agricultural livelihoods, drinking water security and also meeting and increasing industrial and urban water demand. Increasing dependency has led to growing exploitation trends, often with concurrent contamination effects and complex competition around groundwater resources. Groundwater management efforts are emerging where science and participation of communities have led to management of aquifers as CPRs. However, such management has also revealed the urgent need for a groundwater governance agenda which tackles the problems through effective amalgamation of hydrogeology, stakeholder engagement and institutional arrangements. The article discusses the framework for an integrated groundwater governance paradigm in India that follows a bottom-up approach through decentralisation of the principles of governance and some examples of how this is evolving in conjunction with participatory groundwater management.

Keywords

Groundwater Governance Hydrogeology India Stakeholder Regulation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Arghyam Trust, Bengaluru and Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation (BRLF), New Delhi, for supporting our work on participatory groundwater management and springshed management across India. We would also like to thank Ford Foundation, New Delhi, for supporting the work on groundwater governance in India. The engagement with stakeholders (communities, resource persons and government officials) in the field and the ensuing interactions deepen our understanding about the resource and its socio-economy, and hence our work will not be complete without acknowledging them all.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dhaval Joshi
    • 1
  • Himanshu Kulkarni
    • 1
  • Uma Aslekar
    • 1
  1. 1.Advanced Center for Water Resources Development and Management (ACWADAM)PuneIndia

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