International Energy Initiative,
Asian Regional Energy Initiative,
80-B Spencer Road, 2nd Cross, Fraser Town,
Bangalore 560 005,

+91 80 2555 3375

+91 80 2555 3375


  The Asian Regional Energy Initiative of the IEI

Efficient groundwater-based irrigation in India: Compilation of experiences with implementing irrigation efficiency

 As reported in our last newsletter, we have compiled information on the efforts that have been made in the country towards improving the efficiency with which groundwater has been accessed and used for agriculture.  With 60% of India’s net sown area watered by groundwater and electricity supplied at very low rates for its extraction, there have been serious impacts on groundwater availability and on the energy use for its extraction.  Efforts have been made over the past three decades – from local pilot projects, to state-wide programmes – for improving the efficiency with which groundwater is pumped, and, more recently, for its re-charge and conservation.

In this report of the Asian Regional Initiative of IEI, we have compiled the information available, from published reports, journal articles, and news bulletins, on the field activities and studies carried out with respect to efficient groundwater extraction and use for agriculture.  This compilation has two purposes.  We intend developing a repository on such reports that is publicly accessible and can be easily expanded.  As importantly, we are eliciting lessons from past experiences that would benefit future programmes, thereby helping to improve groundwater-based irrigation and conservation of energy and water.  The main financial support for this project was provided by the Prayas (Energy) Group, Pune.

Energy enterprises for development in rural areas

For the past three years, we at the Asian Regional Initiative of IEI have been involved with demonstrating the integration of improved energy services and livelihood.  A dairy and an associated biogas distribution system were established in a village (Chikkana Devara hatti, Tumkur district, Karnataka state) in south-western India. [Our newsletters during 2007-08 had progress reports on the project].

We are in the process of replicating the system in other areas.  A dairy has been established in another (Ramnagara) district, as shown in the pictures alongside.  Funding for further activities is being sought.