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University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad (2007)

Groundwater markets in Karnataka : key issues in sustainability

Mahantesh R.Nayak

Titre : Groundwater markets in Karnataka : key issues in sustainability

Auteur : Mahantesh R.Nayak

Université de soutenance : University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Agricultural Economics 2007

The groundwater is a highly scarce resource in the Karnataka state and is also depleting fast. It is one of the major factors of production in the agrarian economy of the state. The groundwater draft in the state is more than its recharge, particularly in the arid and semi-arid regions and has caused deepening of groundwater table. There are private water sellers sharing water with fellow farmers and charging water mostly on crop sharing basis. In all of these situations, a farmer’s decision to sell water depends on the reliability of water supply, existence of buyer in the neighbourhood and price of water. The present study was taken up in Karnataka state with the objective of examining groundwater markets- their status, supply and demand for water, externalities involved and sustainability and equity issues. The study mainly uses primary data obtained from 120 farmers spread across Belgaum, Bijapur and Bagalkot districts of Karnataka. Data were processed using tabular analysis and Logit Model. The sample farmers consisted of 44.17 percent self-users, 27.50 percent self-users-cum-sellers and 28.33 per cent buyers. The important sources of irrigation in the study area were borewell, open-cum-borewell and openwell. Fall in water table was mainly due to decrease in rainfall and increase in number of wells. Nearly 79 percent of the farmers had ‘insecurity’ feeling with respect to groundwater resource mainly due to fall in water table. Farmers suggested changing the irrigation method from furrow to drip/sprinkler for conserving water. Annual crops fetched highest average gross returns per ha for both sellers and buyers. Well-owners sold water to neighbourhood farmers only if they had surplus water. The most serious negative externalities of groundwater marketing were reduction of water outflow during pumping and fall in water table. Some policy implications that emerged from the study were implementation of effective groundwater recharging technologies, monitoring of prescribed inter-well distance, nationalisation of groundwater resource and establishment of ‘Community Borewells for Irrigation’, among other

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