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Abstract

IN INDIA. USING groundwater for agricultural purposes is one of the oldest forms of irrigation. Traditionally dugwells were the chief means of irrigation in drought-prone areas. Farmers evolved indigenous methods to lift water from shallow dugwells. Waterlifts were mostly drawn by bullocks and also by human beings, depending upon the depth of well and the area to be irrigated. Over the years economic compulsions and technological innovations seemed to have influenced to a great extent the spatial and temporal spread of groundwater irrigation. The increase in population has necessitated the optimum utilization of available groundwater. This has led to the construction of dug-cum-borewells and tubewells. Animal-drawn waterlifts were gradually replaced by diesel and electric pumpsets. Single-farm wells have become multi-farm wells, because of the division of property among brothers and other kinship members. The emergence of all these techno-economic changes in the ways and means of groundwater exploitation is believed to have posed a threat to the sustainable supply of water for agriculture. It is therefore attempted in this paper to highlight the understanding 􀄠f groundwater management problems by the farmers and methods adopted by them to handle aquifer drawdown.

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