ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Are Wells a Potential Threat to Farmers' Well-being?

Since in many states surface water sources have been utilised fully, there has been a massive expansion of groundwater irrigation. With the progressive decline in the water table, farmers have resorted to the competitive deepening of wells. This has resulted in increased costs of well irrigation and in a new inequity among the well-owners and between well-owning and non-well-owning farmers. Similarly, urban water demands have increased tremendously for domestic and industrial purposes. While there has been an ever-increasing demand for water, there has hardly been any effort to develop infrastructure to treat used water. This contributes to the pollution of the existing water stock. Therefore, water resources are under severe threat not only because of the ever-increasing demand and competing demand (from various sectors), but also because of the diminishing quality caused by discharge of untreated domestic sewage and industrial effluents. The main objective of this paper is to show how the degradation of the groundwater resource base through over-extraction and pollution contributes to inequity, conflicts, competition and, above all, to indebtedness and poverty.

Allocating the Common Heritage-Debates over Water Rights and Governance Structures in India

This paper represents a preliminary effort to identify a social basis for groundwater rights reform in India and to identify governance structures capable of ensuring that stakeholder values are reflected in the water allocation decision-making processes. This is done by first examining basic philosophical divides between the treatment of water as a commodity versus a common heritage. Customary and statutory rights structures governing groundwater and surface water in India are discussed next followed by current debates over reform. Thoughts toward a new rights and governance structure drawing on key features in existing practice are then outlined. In conclusion, the author argues that governance structures must be designed to create a balance of power in water use decisions between private (either individual or group) right holders and common rights that reflect the common heritage nature of water resoures.

Approaches to Ground Water Management-To Control or Enable

Appropriate roles for the slate and local organisations in natural resource Management have been the source of debate both in India and internationally. Often, states attempt to address emerging natural resource problems via centralised control mechanisms. This approach is frequently ineffective and negates the interest local populations have in developing solutions to problems that effect them before all others. A basic philosophical premise underlying this paper is that local initiative represents a wellspring capable of generating innovative and implementable management solutions to many emerging problems. While local efforts are unlikely to generate solutions to all

Ground Water Availability for Drinking in Gujarat-Quantity, Quality and Health Dimensions

in Gujarat Quantity, Quality and Health Dimensions Helen Matzger Marcus Moench This paper attempts to identify some of the linkages between health, quality, availability and pollution of drinking water supply in Gujarat, Some of the major issues and potential solutions that deserve further investigation are discussed here.

Drawing Down the Buffer-Science and Politics of Ground Water Management in India

Science and Politics of Ground Water Management in India Marcus Moench Ground water resources in India are showing increasing indications of overdevelopment. Well numbers have increased dramatically since the 1950s and overdraft and saline intrusion problems have become major issues in some locations. The overall magnitude of overdevelopment problems, their potential social implications, and existing management options are, however, unclear. The purpose of this paper is to examine selected ground water issues and discuss potential policy implications. An introductory overview is presented first. This is followed by brief analyses of the causes of overdevelopment, key information gaps in understanding the magnitude of ground water problems, and potential management alternatives. Policy implications are discussed in the final section.

Politics of Deforestation-Case Study of Cardamom Hills of Kerala

Case Study of Cardamom Hills of Kerala Marcus Moench The causes of deforestation in the Cardamom Hills in the Idukki district of Kerala can only be understood in the context of the relationship between ethnic and religious communities which greatly influenced migration, forest encroachment, and conflict over control of land. In this article a brief historical review is followed by specific developments in three periods, 1750 to 1860, 1860 to 1940 and 1940 to 1964. The author also focuses on the debate over land control conducted within and between states and communities which was a major force in shaping social relations in the High Ranges.

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