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Smallholders and sustainable wells. A Retrospect: Participatory Groundwater Management in Andhra Pradesh (India)

Smallholders and sustainable wells. A Retrospect: Participatory Groundwater Management in Andhra Pradesh (India)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). May 2013
  • This study analyses the lives of two successive Participatory Groundwater Management programs in Andhra Pradesh, India, which ran from the mid-1990s to 2010, and were centred around small wells, typically servicing a few families each. The programs ran in 660 villagers across drought-prone districts of Andhra Pradesh, and by their culmination had and involved the participation of nearly 20,000 farmers as barefoot technicians. The core principles adopted by these programs were: demystifying hydrological science and technology for rural communities; enabling them to blend their local knowledge for sustainable management of their groundwater resources through a network of Farmer Water Schools and information kiosks, and an emphasis on reducing agricultural water demand through options such as reduction in the number of new wells that might lead to unsustainable over extraction (voluntary self-regulation), changes in cropping pattern, efficient water use and soil moisture management. The programs also addressed the overarching issue of hydrological data scarcity, necessary to formulate better policies, by involving farmers in the collection and recoding of such local data. The report suggests that the success of these programs lay in the fact that they recognised information, education and social mobilization as key objectives of a participatory model and not subsidiary criteria.
  • Geographical coverage: Asia
  • Main themes: Agriculture, Aquifer recharge, Capacity building, Groundwater, Irrigation, Participation, Water balance
  • Main target audience: Community project officers, Local communities, Project managers, Water managers
  • Main purpose: Reporting on project findings/outputs
  • Type of resource: Glossary, Methodology, Programme presentation
  • Download file (6.7 MB)
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Published in 2015