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India - A hydrogeologic and socioeconomic evaluation of community-based groundwater resource management : the case of Hivre Bazaar in Maharashtra (Inglês)

In the hard-rock terrains of peninsular India groundwater resource management cannot be generally achieved through policy and regulatory actions by government, given the extremely large numbers of individually small users and the limited institutional capacity which needs to be focused on that small proportion of critical aquifers at risk of irreversible degradation. There are, however, just a few examples of long-standing community self-regulation of groundwater resource use for agricultural irrigation, which need to be understood and replicated by any available mechanism. Hivre Bazaar (1,140 population), in the drought-prone part of the elevated Deccan traps country of Maharashtra state, is one such example and has received particular attention because of its apparent success at increasing farmer incomes and social well-being. It is the subject of this study to assess its socio-economic dynamics, agricultural evolution and hydrogeological sustainability, which was carried out by Grass Roots Action for Social Participation (GRASP) in coordination with Ground Water Management (GW-MATE) and with advice from Maharashtra-Groundwater Surveys and Development Agency (GSDA). The central objective of the study was to generate sufficient data to make an independent and impartial analysis of the effectiveness of village-level community management of groundwater resource use at Hivre Bazaar (Ahmednagar District) in terms of resource status, agricultural revenue and socioeconomic welfare. Critically also the study needed to assess the 'self-regulation mechanisms' adopted by the village community, since this should also provide insights into the sustainability and replicability of the initiative.

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