Changing Irrigation Practices and Emerging Sustainability Challenges in South Bihar, India
This research work engages with sustainability challenges emerging due to changing agricultural pattern, specifically irrigation practices (shift from surface based indigenous system to canal based irrigation and more recent dependence on ground water) in South Bihar, India. It tries to problematise the “science based” “expert” led understanding of “sustainability” that is pushed through policy discourses at national and international fora and attempts to situate the ideas of “sustainability” in the ground realities of socio-economic transformation happening at local and regional level. It specifically attempts to understand, that how “sustainability” related challenges and issues are “framed” and understood by different actors (primarily, farmers and labourers at the grassroots level and policy makers and academicians at the international and national level).
Aquifer Characterization, Artificial Recharge and Reuse of Suddenly Available Water in South Bihar
ASRA (Aquifer Storage & Recovery for Sustainable Agriculture) is an aquifer recharge project, funded by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Government of Australia. The objective of this project is to test a model of aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) technology using seasonal floodwaters in the region of South Bihar -a drought-prone region. This model aims to recharge the subsurface aquifers. The goal of the project is to provide the opportunity to farmers of the region to raise their incomes from agriculture and allied activities, through assured irrigation from the reuse of water stored beneath the surface during draught. The proposed work primarily involves aquifer mapping, assessment of social perception about technology adoption and study of environmental risks emerging due to groundwater depletion.