This note is in response to the article “Major Insights from India’s Minor Irrigation Censuses: 1986-87 to 2006-07” (EPW, 29 June 2013) by Mukherji, Rawat and Shah. The authors claim to offer an understanding of the
evolution of ground water irrigation in India.

This note argues that the critique

The analysis presented in this paper shows that in water-scarce regions of India, run-off harvesting does not offer any potential for groundwater recharge or improving water supplies at the basin scale. The issues are many: (1) Water harvesting in the