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Simulated water resource impacts and livelihood implications of stakeholder-developed scenarios in the Jaldhaka Basin, India

Bruin, Annemarieke de; Condappa, Devaraj de; Mikhail, Monique; Tomer, Sat Kumar; Sekhar, Muddu; Barron, Jennie

Summary

This paper shows how multidisciplinary research can help policy makers develop policies for sustainable agricultural water management interventions by supporting a dialogue between government departments that are in charge of different aspects of agricultural development. In the Jaldhaka Basin in West Bengal, India, a stakeholder dialogue helped identify potential water resource impacts and livelihood implications of an agricultural water management rural electrification scenario. Hydrologic modelling demonstrated that the expansion of irrigation is possible with only a localized effect on groundwater levels, but cascading effects such as declining soil fertility and negative impacts from agrochemicals will need to be addressed.