This article draws on a case from the north-western Indian state of Rajasthan to examine whether drip irrigation saves water. Drip irrigation is being promoted to preserve groundwater and enhance resilience to climate change. However, the article finds that in the absence of regulations over groundwater abstraction, farmers acquire drip irrigation to intensify production rather than to conserve water. This occurs in a political and economic context where farmers are incentivized to do so, further exacerbating groundwater overdraft. The article concludes with a discussion of drip irrigation’s impact on farmers’ livelihoods and its implications for groundwater policy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Water Science and Technology
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law