India's groundwater dependence and the crises of depletion and contamination of groundwater resources require the development of a robust groundwater dependence framework. Understanding the challenges of developing a groundwater governance framework for regions of extensive groundwater development versus relatively less-developed areas of groundwater development is important.

The groundwater crisis is acquiring alarming proportions in many parts of the country. Strategies to respond to groundwater overuse and deteriorating water quality must be based on a new approach involving typologising the resource problems and redefining the institutional structure governing groundwater. This approach is based on the notion of groundwater as common property.

This article outlines an