Adaptive approaches to groundwater governance: lessons from the Saurashtra recharging movement

This paper examines the Saurashtra recharging movement as a response to growing water scarcity conditions and increasing agrarian-based livelihood challenges. A variety of socio-technical actions have been carried out by the movement participants, which have resulted in increased agrarian-based livelihood incomes, primarily through increased groundwater availability and with it an improved quality of life. The paper identifies the key drivers of the recharging movement and the factors that have sustained it. Through a case study of a village, Ambaredi, in Rajkot district, the paper quantifies the additional water captured through primary data and analyses the scope for further enhancement through standard methods of groundwater assessment based on the computed stage of groundwater development after due allocations have been made for environmental flows and domestic use.