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Chasing the Watertable: Equity and Sustainability in Groundwater Access, Gujarat, India

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Moench, Marcus
Conference: Inequality and the Commons, the Third Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Washington, DC
Conf. Date: September 17-20, 1992
Date: 1992
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/1814
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Forestry
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): water resources
forestry
common pool resources
groundwater
IASC
Abstract: "Degradation and depletion of groundwater resources is emerging as a major concern in many arid and hard rock sections of Gujarat. Depletion tends to disproportionately affect the poor by further limiting their access to the resource. Unfortunately, the same can be said for most management alternatives other than supply creation. At present, little management is done. NABARD, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, limits access to institutional credit in areas designated as overdeveloped. Electricity connections for pumpsets are also limited in these areas. Wealthy individuals with access to private sources of capital and the ability to bribe officials can bypass these limitations. Other management options (state regulation or energy price manipulation) also have major equity implications. Inherent tensions exist between equitable access to groundwater resources and management options to ensure sustainable use. New institutional approaches--similar, for example, to those used in joint forest management options to ensure sustainable use. New institutional approaches--similar, for example, to those used in joint forest management--are required which can incorporate both equity and sustainability goals."

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