Groundwater Governance in the Indo-Gangetic and Yellow River Basins: Realities and Challenges, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Groundwater Governance in the Indo-Gangetic and Yellow River Basins

Realities and Challenges, 1st Edition

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

CRC Press

348 pages | 20 Color Illus. | 40 B/W Illus.

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One of the key features of agricultural development in the last five decades has been intensive groundwater use in the Indo-Gangetic Basin (Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh) and in the Yellow River Basin (China). Groundwater irrigates almost 60% of the net irrigated area in South Asia and 70% in the north China plains. Groundwater use for agriculture is still increasing. Despite the growing significance of groundwater to agricultural growth, food security and rural livelihoods globally, and at the same time significant signs of limitations and constraints for further use, knowledge of the subject has remained limited. The subject includes the wider issues of socioeconomic impacts, political economy, groundwater institutions, access to other resources like energy and land, approaches to resource governance and management and specifically integrating evidence-based science into management decisions.

This book addresses these information shortfalls and provides a consolidated and cross-disciplinary source of information and documentation of realities and challenges of contemporary agricultural groundwater use and management in poverty-prone areas of Asia. It draws on primary data collected in the course of an innovative, cross-coordinated and inter-disciplinary fieldwork programme, covering those regions in Asia that significantly depend on groundwater for agricultural livelihoods. This work is essential reading for hydrogeologists, socio-economists, agro-economists and water managers working in poor countries. Donors and implementers, both government and NGO, will also learn from the experiences described in this book.


If the world's water crisis is "mainly a crisis of governance", groundwater represents the grimmest side of this crisis in Asia. - Tushaar Shah, International Water Management Institute, India

Table of Contents




About the editors


Glossary of non-English words


Chapter 1. The role of groundwater in agriculture, livelihoods, and rural poverty alleviation in the Indo-Gangetic and Yellow River basins: A review

K.G. Villholth, A. Mukherji, B.R. Sharma & J. Wang

Chapter 2. Towards better management of groundwater resources—lessons from an integrated capacity building project in the Indo-Gangetic and Yellow River basins

K.G. Villholth

Chapter 3. A comparative analysis of the hydrogeology of the Indus-Gangetic and Yellow River basins

S.K. Jain, B.R. Sharma, A. Zahid, M. Jin, J.L. Shreshtha, V. Kumar, S.P. Rai, J. Hu, Y. Luo & D. Sharma

Region specific case studies

Chapter 4. Groundwater resource issues and the socio-economic implications of groundwater use: Evidence from Punjab, Pakistan

S.M. Kori, A. Rehman, I.A. Sipra, A. Nazeer & A.H. Khan

Chapter 5. Groundwater resources and the impact of groundwater sharing institutions: Insights from Indian Punjab

V. Selvi, D. Machiwal, F. Shaheen & B.R. Sharma

Chapter 6. Groundwater resource conditions, socio-economic impacts and policy-institutional options: A case study of Vaishali District of Bihar, India

A. Islam & R.S. Gautam

Chapter 7. Groundwater resource conditions and groundwater sharing institutions: Evidence from eastern Indo-Gangetic basin, India

K.H. Anantha, D.R. Sena & A. Mukherji

Chapter 8. The impact of shallow tubewells on irrigation water availability, access, crop productivity and farmers’ income in the lower Gangetic Plain of Bangladesh

A. Zahid, M.A. Haque, M.S. Islam & M.A.F.M.R. Hasan

Chapter 9. Reaching the poor: Effectiveness of the current shallow tubewell policy in Nepal

D.R. Kansakar, D.R. Pant & J.P. Chaudhary

Chapter 10. Agricultural groundwater issues in North China: A case study from Zhengzhou Municipal Area

R. Sun, Y. Liu, Y. Qian & K.G. Villholth

Chapter 11. Groundwater use and its management: Policy and institutional options in rural areas of North China

J. Cao, X. Cheng & X. Li

Thematic issues on groundwater irrigation

Chapter 12. Anthropological perspectives on groundwater irrigation: Ethnographic evidence from a village in Bist Doab, Punjab

R. Tiwary & J.L. Sabatier

Chapter 13. Social regulation of groundwater and its relevance to the existing regulatory framework in Andhra Pradesh, India

R.V. Rama Mohan

Chapter 14. Using the living wisdom of well drillers to construct digital groundwater data bases across Indo-Gangetic basin

S. Krishnan, A. Islam, D. Machiwal, D.R. Sena & K.G. Villholth

Chapter 15. Crop per volume of diesel? The energy-squeeze on India’s small-holder irrigation

T. Shah, A. Dasgupta, R. Chaubey, M. Satpathy & Y. Singh

Chapter 16. Managing the energy-irrigation nexus in West Bengal, India

A. Mukherji, P.S. Banerjee & S. Daschowdhury

Chapter 17. Groundwater markets in the North China Plain: Impact on irrigation water use, crop yields and farmer income

L. Zhang, J. Wang, J. Huang, S. Rozelle & Q. Huang

Subject index

Author index

SERIES IAH-Selected Papers

Colour Plates

About the Editors

Aditi Mukerji is a Researcher (Social Scientist) at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Colombo. Aditi received her PhD degree from the University of Cambridge, UK, in 2007. She has more than 8 years experience and her area of expertise is institutions and policies of groundwater management in South Asia.

In 2006, she co-edited a special issue of the Hydrogeology Journal focussing on social and economic aspects of groundwater governance. In 2008, she was awarded the Global Development Network Award for best paper under the category of Natural Resources Management. Her current research focuses on the impact of electricity reforms in India on the operation of groundwater markets. She has also worked on groundwater issues in Central Asia and on transboundary issues in the Nile Basin in Africa.

Karen Villholth is Senior Researcher at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS). She has more than fifteen years experience in soils and groundwater research and water resources management. She has been assigned to several international projects concerning water resources management, with long term experience from Denmark (her home country), Sri Lanka, Bolivia and shorter term experience from Thailand, USA, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Vietnam, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Guatemala, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Karen assumes the role of Senior Research Advisor to the Danish Government. She is the author of more than 25 peer-reviewed journal papers, and is the co-author of the books ‘The Agricultural Groundwater Revolution: Opportunities and Threats to Development.’, and ‘Groundwater Research and Management: Integrating Science into Management Decisions’.

Bharat Sharma is agricultural water management specialist and has over 30 years research experience in the developing countries. Presently he is Senior Researcher and Head of the New Delhi office of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). He has more than 200 scientific publications and a number of books/ proceedings to his credit.

Jinxia Wang obtained her PhD degree in agricultural economics from Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in 2000. Presently, she is senior researcher of Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and associate professor of Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research. She has published more than 70 papers with more than 30 papers in refereed international journals. In addition, she is co-author of three books.

About the Series

IAH - Selected Papers on Hydrogeology

The International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) serves scientists, engineers and other professionals working in the field of groundwater resource planning, management and protection. IAH has two book series which are produced under the imprint of CRC Press in the Netherlands, part of the Taylor and Francis Group. IAH books have the common purpose of spreading the science and knowledge of hydrogeology and are products arising from IAH’s congresses and meetings, its commissions and networks, as well as a variety of other sources. Information is gathered from highly respected sources and include case studies, regional descriptions, analyses of sub-disciplines and outputs from major international programmes.

Selected Papers
The first series is the Selected Papers, often referred to as the ‘green books’. These are collections of papers derived from Congress and other meetings which normally, but not always, were sponsored by IAH. They may also be a collection of papers derived from a programme of investigation that again need not necessarily have enjoyed direct IAH involvement.

International Contributions to Hydrogeology
The second series, International Contributions to Hydrogeology, the ‘blue books’, includes monographs on sub-disciplines of hydrogeology as well as outlets for major international investigatory programmes and collections of papers within a broad theme of international interest.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / Water Supply