Neither water nor governance

Traditionally agriculturalists of western Madhya Pradesh had adopted practices that made most use of the soil moisture and conserved the ecosystem to ensure a sustainable output. However, from the decade of the 1970s a more intensive agricultural system was introduced involving the use of hybrid seeds, chemical fertilisers and higher irrigation either through canals from dams or through groundwater extracted with pumps. This has led to a growing shortage of water and the need for water governance to regulate use. The effects of this new system on the availability and use of water in the basin of the Man River (a tributary of the Narmada River) was revealed by a study are described briefly here.