Energy supply and the expansion of groundwater irrigation in the Indus-Ganges Basin

Christopher A Scott, Bharat Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Irrigation using groundwater has expanded rapidly in South Asia since the inception of the Green Revolution in the 1970s. Groundwater currently represents the largest source of irrigation in the Indus-Ganges Basin (IGB), which feeds over one billion people and provides direct livelihoods for hundreds of millions of farmers. Although abundant in absolute terms, groundwater is overexploited in the western IGB plains and is underutilized in the east. The spatial and temporal patterns of groundwater development are the result of multiple demand factors: (a) farmer investment, (b) subsidies and markets, and (c) population density; as well as supply factors: (d) sources of groundwater recharge, and (e) energy supply and pricing. This paper examines trends in electricity supply and groundwater development in the Indian portion of the IGB over the 1980-1999 period, with contextual reference to groundwater irrigation in Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Principal findings include early-1980s' growth in numbers of electric pumps across the Indian IGB followed by 1990s' stagnation in the eastern part of the basin; this trend is linked to electricity supply and pricing policies, which have varied markedly from state to state. The eastern IGB presents an energy-groundwater paradox: a region rich in energy sources but with inadequate electricity supply that has led to increased reliance on diesel power, which in turn is limiting development of groundwater - one of this region's most abundant and agriculturally productive resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of River Basin Management
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Fingerprint

irrigation
groundwater
basin
electricity supply
energy supply
pricing policy
green revolution
diesel
recharge
population density
pump
market
resource
energy

Keywords

  • Energy supply
  • Groundwater
  • Northern India
  • Subsidies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

Energy supply and the expansion of groundwater irrigation in the Indus-Ganges Basin. / Scott, Christopher A; Sharma, Bharat.

In: International Journal of River Basin Management, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2009, p. 119-124.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{094a9a12da1f4e3dab03645f32612d7f,
title = "Energy supply and the expansion of groundwater irrigation in the Indus-Ganges Basin",
abstract = "Irrigation using groundwater has expanded rapidly in South Asia since the inception of the Green Revolution in the 1970s. Groundwater currently represents the largest source of irrigation in the Indus-Ganges Basin (IGB), which feeds over one billion people and provides direct livelihoods for hundreds of millions of farmers. Although abundant in absolute terms, groundwater is overexploited in the western IGB plains and is underutilized in the east. The spatial and temporal patterns of groundwater development are the result of multiple demand factors: (a) farmer investment, (b) subsidies and markets, and (c) population density; as well as supply factors: (d) sources of groundwater recharge, and (e) energy supply and pricing. This paper examines trends in electricity supply and groundwater development in the Indian portion of the IGB over the 1980-1999 period, with contextual reference to groundwater irrigation in Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Principal findings include early-1980s' growth in numbers of electric pumps across the Indian IGB followed by 1990s' stagnation in the eastern part of the basin; this trend is linked to electricity supply and pricing policies, which have varied markedly from state to state. The eastern IGB presents an energy-groundwater paradox: a region rich in energy sources but with inadequate electricity supply that has led to increased reliance on diesel power, which in turn is limiting development of groundwater - one of this region's most abundant and agriculturally productive resources.",
keywords = "Energy supply, Groundwater, Northern India, Subsidies",
author = "Scott, {Christopher A} and Bharat Sharma",
year = "2009",
doi = "10.1080/15715124.2009.9635374",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "7",
pages = "119--124",
journal = "International Journal of River Basin Management",
issn = "1571-5124",
publisher = "International Association of Hydraulic Engineering Research",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Energy supply and the expansion of groundwater irrigation in the Indus-Ganges Basin

AU - Scott, Christopher A

AU - Sharma, Bharat

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - Irrigation using groundwater has expanded rapidly in South Asia since the inception of the Green Revolution in the 1970s. Groundwater currently represents the largest source of irrigation in the Indus-Ganges Basin (IGB), which feeds over one billion people and provides direct livelihoods for hundreds of millions of farmers. Although abundant in absolute terms, groundwater is overexploited in the western IGB plains and is underutilized in the east. The spatial and temporal patterns of groundwater development are the result of multiple demand factors: (a) farmer investment, (b) subsidies and markets, and (c) population density; as well as supply factors: (d) sources of groundwater recharge, and (e) energy supply and pricing. This paper examines trends in electricity supply and groundwater development in the Indian portion of the IGB over the 1980-1999 period, with contextual reference to groundwater irrigation in Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Principal findings include early-1980s' growth in numbers of electric pumps across the Indian IGB followed by 1990s' stagnation in the eastern part of the basin; this trend is linked to electricity supply and pricing policies, which have varied markedly from state to state. The eastern IGB presents an energy-groundwater paradox: a region rich in energy sources but with inadequate electricity supply that has led to increased reliance on diesel power, which in turn is limiting development of groundwater - one of this region's most abundant and agriculturally productive resources.

AB - Irrigation using groundwater has expanded rapidly in South Asia since the inception of the Green Revolution in the 1970s. Groundwater currently represents the largest source of irrigation in the Indus-Ganges Basin (IGB), which feeds over one billion people and provides direct livelihoods for hundreds of millions of farmers. Although abundant in absolute terms, groundwater is overexploited in the western IGB plains and is underutilized in the east. The spatial and temporal patterns of groundwater development are the result of multiple demand factors: (a) farmer investment, (b) subsidies and markets, and (c) population density; as well as supply factors: (d) sources of groundwater recharge, and (e) energy supply and pricing. This paper examines trends in electricity supply and groundwater development in the Indian portion of the IGB over the 1980-1999 period, with contextual reference to groundwater irrigation in Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Principal findings include early-1980s' growth in numbers of electric pumps across the Indian IGB followed by 1990s' stagnation in the eastern part of the basin; this trend is linked to electricity supply and pricing policies, which have varied markedly from state to state. The eastern IGB presents an energy-groundwater paradox: a region rich in energy sources but with inadequate electricity supply that has led to increased reliance on diesel power, which in turn is limiting development of groundwater - one of this region's most abundant and agriculturally productive resources.

KW - Energy supply

KW - Groundwater

KW - Northern India

KW - Subsidies

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=70350540805&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=70350540805&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/15715124.2009.9635374

DO - 10.1080/15715124.2009.9635374

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:70350540805

VL - 7

SP - 119

EP - 124

JO - International Journal of River Basin Management

JF - International Journal of River Basin Management

SN - 1571-5124

IS - 2

ER -