The realities and challenges of contemporary groundwater-based smallholder irrigated farming across the Indus, Ganges and Yellow River Basins

Karen G. Villholth, Aditi Mukherji, Bharat R. Sharma, Jinxia Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingspeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Groundwater has played an increasing role in irrigated farming, livelihood support, poverty alleviation, and national food security in India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal since the advent of the green revolution in the 1960s. This paper presents a synthesis of the results of a cross-regional research effort, based on surveys in more than 60 villages, to map the contemporary realities and constraints of groundwater use and adaptation in irrigated agriculture within smallholder farmer communities across the alluvial plains of the major Indus, Ganges and Yellow river basins in Asia. The results show a general over-exploitation of groundwater resources m Pakistan, western India and China, and relative under-utilization in eastern India and Bangladesh. But more interestingly, and despite its great significance, practically nowhere is groundwater managed in an integrated manner. As a result, its use is sub-optimal where smallholders today employ a range of adaptation and coping strategies to uphold groundwater benefits. The research findings point to various axes along which to identify solutions and focus equitable and sustainable policies and management interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrends and sustainability of groundwater in highly stressed aquifers
EditorsMakoto Taniguchi, Alyssa Dausman, Ken Doward, Maurizio Polemio, Elango Lakshmanan
PublisherInternational Association of Hydrological Sciences
Pages89-102
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-1-907161-00-1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventSymposium HS.2 at the joint IAHS & IAH convention 2009 - Hyderabad, India
Duration: 6 Sep 200912 Sep 2009

Publication series

NameIAHS Publications
PublisherInternational Association of Hydrogeologists
Volume329
ISSN (Print)0144-7815

Conference

ConferenceSymposium HS.2 at the joint IAHS & IAH convention 2009
Country/TerritoryIndia
CityHyderabad
Period6/09/0912/09/09

Keywords

  • Bangladesh
  • China
  • Coping strategies
  • Energy
  • Groundwater
  • India
  • Irrigation
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Smallholder farming

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 2: Water Resources

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The realities and challenges of contemporary groundwater-based smallholder irrigated farming across the Indus, Ganges and Yellow River Basins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this