India's water race: What can we learn for the Eastern Gangetic Plains?

India is the largest user of groundwater in the world, using more than the US and China combined every year. In many parts of the country, declining groundwater levels coupled with electricity management are forcing farmers to install ever deeper wells, which results in higher energy costs associated with irrigation.

However, the situation is not the same everywhere in India. As part of the work under SDIP, we are exploring how much groundwater is available and how it is used in the Eastern Gangetic Plains.

In this area, groundwater is under-utilised due to high pumping costs, as farmers rely primarily on diesel pump sets. In promoting the development of groundwater in the EGP, there is a need to learn from experiences in other parts of the region to avoid common failures.   

Read more about the situation in Dr Avinash Kishore’s article in the Financial Express.

Dr Kishore is a Research Fellow in the New Delhi Office of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and contributes to ACIAR’s work under the SDIP program.

NewsTamara Jackson