Books & Book Chapters

Rural water systems for multiple uses and livelihood security

Rural water systems for multiple uses and livelihood security, edited by M. Dinesh Kumar, A. J. James and Yusuf Kabir, Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2016, 324 pp ISBN 9780128041383

The book covers the technological, institutional, and policy choices for building rural water supply systems that are sustainable from physical, economic, and ecological points-of-view in developing countries. While there is abundant theoretical discourse on designing village water supply schemes as multiple use systems, there is too little understanding of the type of water needs in rural households, how they vary across socio-economic and climatic settings, the extent to which these needs are met by the existing single use water supply schemes, and what mechanisms exist to take care of unmet demands.

The case studies presented in the book from different agro ecological regions quantify these benefits under different agro ecological settings, also examining the economic and environmental trade-offs in maximizing benefits. This book demonstrates how various physical and socio-economic processes alter the hydrology of tanks in rural settings, thereby affecting their performance, also including quantitative criteria that can be used to select tanks suitable for rehabilitation.

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Micro Irrigation Systems in India: Emergence, Status and Impacts

Micro Irrigation Systems in India: Emergence, Status and Impacts (India Studies in Business and Economics), edited by PK Viswanathan, M. Dinesh Kumar and A. Narayanamoorthy, Springer, Singapore, 2016, 178 pp. ISBN-10: 9811003467

This book takes stock of micro irrigation systems (MIS), the technological intervention in India’s agricultural and water management sectors, over the past couple of decades. Based on empirical research from the major agriculturally dynamic states, viz., Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the book provides a nuanced understanding and objective assessment of the implementation and adoption of MIS across these states. It addresses several of the questions related to adoption and impacts of MIS in India. On the adoption side, the key question that the book addresses is which segment of the farming community adopts MIS across states? The impacts analysed include those on physical, agronomic and economic aspects. At the macro level, the question being asked is about the future potential of MIS in terms of saving water from agriculture and making more water available for environment. The book also addresses the question of the positive/negative externalities and real social benefits and costs from the use of MIS, a major justification for heavy capital subsidies for its purchase by farmers. It also brings out certain critical concerns pertaining to MIS adoption, which need to be addressed through more empirical research based on longitudinal panel/ cross sectional data.

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The Sardar Sarovar Project: Assessing Economic and Social Impacts

The Sardar Sarovar Project: Assessing Economic and Social Impacts, S. Jagadeesan. and M. Dinesh Kumar, Sage Publications, New Delhi, 2015, 312pp, ISBN-9789351501268

This book is set in the context of growing debate on the role of large dams in the development of the countries whose rural landscape is largely dependent on agriculture. It employs several innovative methodologies in environmental economics to quantify externalities as well as direct benefits of gravity irrigation and drinking water supplies from the Sardar Sarovar Project- an aspect never undertaken for a project of this size.

The book also tracks the history of rehabilitation and resettlement of people displaced from the Narmada valley to examine how their socio-economic and cultural life has changed over time.

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Thirsty Cities: How Indian Cities Cab Meet Their Water Needs

Thirsty Cities: How Indian Cities Cab Meet Their Water Needs, M. Dinesh Kumar, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2014, 342 pp, ISBN 10: 0-19809955-X

With urban population increasing by 38.1 million from 2001 to 2011, infrastructure in Indian cities, including water supply, has come under enormous pressure. Urban water management has come to be an important challenge for many developing countries of the world, characterized as they are by high economic growth, rapid urbanization, and unregulated industrialization.

While a range of solutions- from rainwater harvesting to community participation and public-private partnerships- are often suggested, this book argues against these fragmented approaches. Covering an entire gamut of issues relating to water supply, wastewater treatment, storm water management, water allocation, and water resources management as components of an integrated system, it presents an Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) framework for India.

The author indentifies the available opportunities as well as the constraints and challenges in implementing water management solutions indifferent physical, socio-economic, administrative, and institutional settings that prevail in Indian cities and towns. In the process, he defines the criteria for choosing the range of technical, economic and institutional alternatives for improving the performance of urban water systems in a wide range of situations.

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The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus: Lessons from India for Development

The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus: Lessons from India for Development, edited by M. Dinesh Kumar, Nitin Bassi, A. Narayanamoorthy and M.V.K Sivamohan, Routledge, London and New York, 2014, 224 pp, ISBN 978-0-415-73303-8

It is becoming increasingly recognized that for the optimal sustainable development and use of natural resources, an integrated approach to water management, agriculture, food security and energy is required. This ‘nexus’ is now the focus of major attention by researchers, policymakers and practitioners.

In this book, the authors show how these issues are being addressed in India as part of its economic development, and how these examples can provide lessons for other developing nations. They address the conflicting claims of water resources for irrigation and hydropower, where both are scarce at the national level for fostering water and energy security. They also consider the relationship between water for irrigated agriculture and household use and its impact on rural poverty. They identify weaknesses in the current hydropower development program in India that are preventing it from being an ecologically sustainable, socially just and economically viable solution to meeting growing energy demand.

The empirical analyses presented show the enormous scope for co-management of water, energy, agricultural growth and food security through appropriate technological interventions and market instruments.

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Water Management, Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Developing Economics

Water Management, Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Developing Economics, edited by M. Dinesh Kumar, M.V.K. Sivamohan and Nitin Bassi, Routledge, UK, 2013, 233 pp, ISBN-9781138900516.

This book addresses strategies for food security and sustainable agriculture in developing economics. The book focuses primarily on India, a fast-developing economy whose natural resources base is not only under enormous stress, but also complex and not amenable to a uniform strategy. It critically reviews issues which continue to dominate the debate on water management for agriculture and food production.

The book examines, using global and national datasets, the validity of the claim that large water resource projects cause serious social and environmental damage. It then explores the potential of these systems for tackling groundwater mining, sustaining well irrigation and reducing the energy footprint of irrigated agriculture through return flow recharge in the command areas. The authors examine claims that the future of Indian agriculture is in rainfed farming supported by small water harvesting. They question whether water-abundant eastern India could, through a groundwater revolution with the right policy input, become the granary of India. In the process, they look at the less researched aspect of the food security challenge, which is land scarcity in eastern India.

The book analyzes the physical, economic and social impacts of large-scale adoption of micro-irrigation systems, using a farming system approach for north Gujarat. Through an economic valuation of the multiple benefits of tank systems in western Odisha, it shows how value of water from large public irrigation systems could be enhanced. The book also looks at the reasons why the much-needed institutional reforms in canal irrigation have had only limited success in securing higher productivity and equity, using the case studies of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Finally, it addresses how other countries in the developing world, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, could learn from the Indian experience.

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Managing Water in River Basins: Hydrology, Economics, and Institutions

Managing Water in River Basins: Hydrology, Economics, and Institutions, M. Dinesh Kumar, Oxford University Press, 2010, ISBN: 9780198065364, Published online, October 2012.

This volume focuses on the management of water in river basins and the strategies and challenges involved in economizing the use of water for meeting its future needs in India. It provides an in-depth analysis of existing methods of water management and highlights the gaps in the use of water in various river basins. It identifies major challenges in water management, including productivity improvement in key-use sectors, inter-sectoral allocation, and trans-boundary resource management; and proposes various alternative strategies for water management. It also examines the institutional and policy measures in India designed to ensure sustainable water use.

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Water Management in India: What Works, What Doesn’t

Water Management in India: What Works, What Doesn’t, M. Dinesh Kumar, Gyan Publishing House, New Delhi, 2009, 351 pp, ISBN 978-81-212-1033-1

This book deals with some of the most debated yet unresolved questions regarding water management options for India and several other developing economies. It argues that there are serious knowledge gaps about “what solutions work and under what conditions”. It challenges the “received wisdom” about the potential of some of the water management solutions in popular parlance. It also questions the “sceptical pessimism” about the feasibility of some of the more classical approaches. The water management options being investigated are: roof water harvesting for domestic water security; local water harvesting and groundwater recharge; virtual water trade; micro irrigation for water demand management in agriculture; pricing of electricity for regulating groundwater pumping; and creating large water storages for ensuring sustainable water use. In the process, the book attempts to explode certain myths about what can solve India’s water scarcity problems. This book will be useful for policy makers, academics, practitioners, researchers and students in the area of water management.

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Water Productivity Improvements in Indian Agriculture: Potentials, Constraints and Prospects

Water Productivity Improvements in Indian Agriculture: Potentials, Constraints and Prospects, edited by M. Dinesh Kumar and Upali Amarasinghe, International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 160 pp.

In 2005, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) launched a three-year research study on ‘Strategic Analysis of India’s River Linking Project’. The primary focus of the IWMI-CPWF project is to provide the public and the policy planners with a balanced analysis of the social benefits and costs of the National River Linking Project (NRLP). The project consists of research in three phases. Phase I analyzed India’s water future scenarios to 2025/2050 and related issues. Phase II, analysed how effective a response NRLP is, for meeting India’s water future and its social costs and benefits. Phase III contributed to an alternative water sector perspective plan for India as a fall back strategy to NRLP. This volume presents findings of research in Phase III. It assesses the potential contribution, constraints and prospects of contributions from water productivity improvements in the irrigation sector to an alternative water sector perspective plan for India.