Understanding Farmers’ Groundwater Attitudes For Better Groundwater Management
Free (open access)
477 - 487
M. E. Varua, J. Ward, B. Maheshwari
In India, many farmers rely on groundwater for agricultural production. The individually constructed and managed tube well access to groundwater in hard rock aquifers has enabled the majority of these farmers to improve farm incomes and diversify livelihoods. Extensive groundwater exploitation coupled with the lack of institutional rule to establish new wells and regulate pumping levels by individual well owners had led to over extraction of the resource. This paper presents results of the study conducted in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan to examine farmers’ attitudes to groundwater use and management; and to test whether their attitudes across catchments are the same. A hierarchical cluster analysis of groundwater attitude held by survey respondents in Megraj (Gujarat) and Dharta (Rajasthan) watersheds was utilised to ascertain this. The results show that there are four distinct clusters present in each watershed. In addition, preferred water management by cluster membership is reported. The paper concludes that there is a need to account for attitudinal diversity when designing groundwater policies and processes to assist communities shape coordinating instruments to sustainably manage local aquifers.
groundwater, groundwater attitudes, hierarchical cluster analysis, water management, aquifers, diversity, cluster membership, watersheds