Evolving an integrated approach for improving efficiency of ground water pumping for agriculture using electricity

Ground water pumping using electricity is a complex issue, leaving all actors - the farmers, distribution company, State government and environment conscious analysts - frustrated and dissatisfied. Farmers are frustrated with the poor quality of electricity supply, distribution companies with the low revenue, State government with the high levels of subsidy and the environmentalists with inefficient water use resulting in falling water tables. Level of mistrust between actors is also quite high. The process of evolving a sustainable solution is not clear. This discussion paper is an attempt towards working out some ideas to address the issue. It is based on grass-root level study in 2 villages in Andhra Pradesh and discussions with various actors. Activities included field level measurement of pumping efficiency, installation of capacitors and presentations to State power companies as well as the Regulatory Commission.