Can India raise agricultural productivity while reducing groundwater and energy use?

M. Dinesh Kumar, Christopher A. Scott, O. P. Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


This paper provides empirical evidence that power tariff reform with pro rata pricing and higher unit rates for electricity not only would promote equity, efficiency and sustainability in groundwater use, but also would be socio-economically viable for small-holder farmers. It shows that the arguments of "high transaction cost" and "political infeasibility" used against metering are valid only in specific regional contexts and under increasingly outmoded power-pricing and agricultural-production regimes, if one considers the recent advancements in remote sensing and the facts that overexploited regions have a low density of wells and are mostly owned by farmers who constitute a small segment of the farming community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-573
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Water Resources Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • energy rationing
  • groundwater-electricity nexus
  • prepaid meters
  • pro rata pricing
  • water productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Water Science and Technology


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