Study // Solarising Groundwater Irrigation in India: A Growing Debate
By Nitin Bassi. India’s carbon footprint in agriculture is on the rise. Heavy subsidies for electricity and diesel to pump groundwater for irrigated agriculture increase carbon emissions. Researchers and practitioners have suggested to promote solar pumps for well irrigation. In this way agricultural growth can be made carbon-neutral and groundwater use in farming more sustainable.
India is on a path to reduce its carbon emission intensity with a major thrust on increasing the grid-connected solar photovoltaic capacity. However, the carbon footprint in agriculture is on the rise. Heavy subsidies for electricity and diesel to pump groundwater for irrigated agriculture, combined with lack of regulations on water withdrawal, are resulting in both groundwater over-exploitation and increased carbon emissions. Some researchers and practitioners have suggested large-scale promotion of solar pumps for well irrigation as a way to make agricultural growth carbon-neutral and groundwater use in farming sustainable. This article examines whether solar pumps for groundwater irrigation are technically feasible and economically viable in India.
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Volume 34, 2018 - Issue 1: Politics and Policies for Water Resources Management in India
International Journal of Water Resources Development
is a policy and practice-oriented Journal that covers all aspects of water resources policy, management, development and governance. It is an interdisciplinary journal that focuses on water resources and their economic, financial, social and environmental-related impacts.