This book deals with the challenges for efficient groundwater management, with a focus on South Asia and India, providing a balanced presentation of theory and field practice using a multidisciplinary approach. Groundwater of South Asia is increasingly confronted with overuse and deteriorating quality and therefore requires urgent attention. Management of the stressed groundwater systems is an extremely complex proposition because of the intricate hydrogeological set-up of the region. Strategies for sustainable management must involve a combination of supply-side and demand-side measures depending on the regional setting and socio-economic situations. As a consequence, the challenges of efficient groundwater management require not only a clear understanding of the aquifer configuration, but also demand for the development of a comprehensive database of the groundwater occurrences and flow systems in each hydrogeological setting. In addition, drilling and well construction methods that are appropriate to different hydrogeological formations need to be implemented as well as real-time monitoring of the status of the groundwater use. Also corrective measures for groundwater that is threatened with depletion and quality deterioration need to be installed. Finally, the legal framework of groundwater needs to be rearticulated according to the common property aspect of groundwater. These challenges should revolve around effective groundwater governance by creating an atmosphere to support and empower community-based systems of decision-making and revisit the existing legal framework and groundwater management institutions by fostering community initiatives.
This book is relevant for academics, professionals, administrators, policy makers, and economists concerned with various aspects of groundwater science and management.