Managing water for sustainable Agriculture: The case of Ralegan Siddhi in India.

Detta är en Master-uppsats från KTH/Mark- och vattenteknik


Water is essential element for human survival but unstainable development practices and short term economic benefits are responsible for water scarcity in many areas around the world. Climate change is aggravating the risk with distribution and water availability. Agriculture is a sector highly dependent on water. The livelihood of a vast population in the world depends on not only agriculture, but also forestry, wetlands and fisheries and land use which, in turn, are strongly influenced by water based ecosystems that depend on monsoon rains. India is a global agricultural powerhouse. It is the world’s largest producer of milk, pulses, and spices as well as the largest area under wheat, rice and cotton. But increasing water scarcity in India is affecting agricultural sector, hence affecting socio- economic conditions of poor Indian farmers. In some pockets of the country, attempts have been made during the last few decades to manage the scarce water resources more efficiently and govern them more wisely, so that agriculture as the main economic backbone of the local communities can be sustainably supported. Ralegan Siddhi is one such outstanding case where the rainwater harvested through local interventions has enabled sustainable development of the entire community. The village stands out as an oasis in the desert. The aim of the study is to understand how water has been governed in Ralegan Siddhi to enable sustainable agriculture and hence sustainable development of the community. Ultimately, the study is foreseen to help improve the farmers’ situation in water scarce areas in India and elsewhere by sharing this study report based on Ralegan Siddhi’s water governance practices with other researchers as well as concerned agencies and actors.

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