Emerging Water Insecurity in India: Lessons from an Agriculturally Advanced State
This book investigates water development in India with a special focus on its most agriculturally advanced state, Punjab, as well as the global water scenario on a more general level. It explores and highlights the use and abuse of water, especially sub-soil water, in the agricultural, industrial and domestic sectors. It also reveals the classic case of the virtual exportation of underground water from Punjab to the rest of India. In addition to analysing the fast depleting water table and emerging water insecurity, the study critically examines water governance and policy intervention. The book provides a number of important lessons for all those regions and countries that are encountering the twin issues of food and water scarcity and are grappling with the problem of sustainable development. This insightful text will be of much interest to students and researchers in the water sector and the field of sustainable development, as well as farmers, social scientists, policy makers, agricultural experts, environmentalists, and all those concerned with emerging water insecurity in the world.
Dr Ranjit Singh Ghuman is currently Professor of Economics at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, Chandigarh, India, having previously served as Nehru SAIL Chair Professor at the same institution for five years. Prior to this, he was Professor of Economics at Punjabi University, Patiala, India. In addition to his 44 years of teaching and research experience, he has 13 books, 114 research journal articles and book chapters, and 37 research projects/reports to his credit. His current areas of interest are development economics, water issues, corporate social responsibility and rural economic development.
Dr Rajeev Sharma is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, Chandigarh, India. He has two books, 13 research papers and twenty research reports to his credit. His areas of research interest include agricultural development, climate change, sustainable development, rural livelihood and corporate social responsibility.
"Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink; this situation is developing fast in India but is being overlooked or is going out of hand by default. India has Himalayan glaciers that feed major river systems that are receding due to global warming. Sweet water that flows into these rivers is harvested only partially and is ending up into the brackish water of the Ocean. On the one hand in some coastal areas sea water is being desalinated at huge cost for drinking purposes and in some areas water is being fetched from long distances in pitchers. The problem that stares at the face of the country is the irrational use of the harvested water and lack of appropriate water use policy. The problem is a bit different and more acute in the state of Punjab. Dr. Ranjit Singh Ghuman and Dr. Rajeev Sharma in this book have highlighted the issues involved and corrective policy options for rationalization of water use, in the state of Punjab in particular."
Professor S. S. Johl Chancellor of Central University of Punjab, India
"Sustainability of water use at the present level is under great strain particularly in Punjab where ground water is over exploited and is getting increasingly polluted. The overall policy environment mainly with elements like free electricity for water extraction and free/subsidised water for domestic use is totally insensitive to the macro outcomes of the behaviour of water users involving huge wastages and inefficiencies. The wheat rice dominant cropping pattern which greatly contributed to the food self sufficiency of the nation has become unsustainable. This book dwells upon all these issues with insightful analysis of data and facts. The strongest point of the work is a comprehensive field survey of water use behaviour of farmers, industrial units and households. This book by Ranjit Singh Ghuman and Rajeev Sharma is a very valuable contribution to the study of water economy. "
Dr S.R. Hashim
Director, IEG, New Delhi
"The water security in this book has been viewed in the form of sustainable use of water and maintenance of its fair quality. The emergence of water scarcity in an agriculturally advanced region have been analysed in a development process based on private profiteering sans social concerns. Apathy of public policy through free power for agriculture and lack of rain water harvesting has been brought out and lessons from development experience have been made through empirical analysis. The book will be very useful reading for all those concerned with sustainable development and having stake in the water sector."
Dr Sucha Singh Gill Professor of Economics, Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, India
"Punjab represents a classic case of overexploitation of water resources driven by the nexus of technology and policy. The authors demonstrate how a blessed region is heading towards dreadful future not due to any natural factors but due to absence of suitable regulation and measures essential for sustainable use of natural resource. I hope the book will awaken the society to collectively decide future course of action to save Punjab from reckless over-exploitation of water resources."
Professor Ramesh Chand NITI Ayong, Government of India
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