Groundwater management in India's Punjab and Haryana: a case of too little and too late?

Rosencranz, Armin, Puthucherril, Tony George, Tripathi, Sushruti and Gupta, Surya (2021) Groundwater management in India's Punjab and Haryana: a case of too little and too late? Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law, 40 (2). pp. 225-250. ISSN 02646811

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The North Indian states of Punjab and Haryana (P&H) are a part of the water-rich Indo-Gangetic river basin. Despite this abundance, both states are on the cusp of a severe water crisis due to groundwater over-extraction. The proliferation of tubewells to support irrigation is responsible for more than 90 per cent of the groundwater extraction in both states. What started as a boon during the Green Revolution has given rise to a host of socio-economic and environmental issues. Overexploitation of groundwater is not a simple problem that the laws can quickly fix. In 2020, both P&H passed legislation to manage their water, including groundwater; however, these legal responses are far from what is required. This article examines the law on groundwater in P&H, focusing on the fallouts of silo-based decision-making where the different facets of water management are left to various authorities resulting in working at cross-purposes and inefficient decision-making. We argue that there is an urgent need to (1) delink groundwater rights from land rights and (2) adopt an integrated resource management strategy if P&H are to utilise their groundwater sustainably

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Green Revolution | Groundwater | Groundwater Rights | Integrated Water Management | Stubble Burning | Tanker-Mafia | Tubewell Capitalists | Waterlogging
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Social Sciences (General)
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of Environment & Sustainability
Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2022 09:18
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2022 11:14
Official URL:


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