This paper looks at the crucial issue of dry-season groundwater-availability in the state of Maharashtra, India. We look at the two key hydro-climatological measurements which are used to implement groundwater policy in the state, viz., water levels in 5000+ observation wells across the state and aggregate rainfall data. We see that there is substantial variation in groundwater levels within and across the years in most wells. We argue that for a large number of these observation well locations, aggregate

This paper analyses the ground-level impact of the national rural drinking water policy in Maharashtra. It observes that compared to what is reflected in the national rural drinking water programme database, the drinking water coverage status is poorer on the ground and scheme failures are more widespread. The case studies show that the causes of scheme failures have largely remained unchanged in spite of the changes in policy regimes. Poor capacity and expertise of state agencies are the main cause of poor outcomes and improving them will require infusion of new knowledge and practices.