Groundwater forms the backbone of India’s agricultural economy even while some ninety percent of the country’s rural drinking water is sourced from groundwater. Similarly, around half of the urban and industrial water usage in the country is estimated to be dependent on aquifers. On the one hand millions of people and a wide variety of uses are currently dependent on groundwater while on the other, groundwater resources have come under severe stress in many parts of the country. Groundwater is a common pool resource that occurs in aquifers. Aquifer-based Participatory Groundwater Management (PGWM) is an innovative concept in developing an alternative paradigm for managing India’s groundwater resources. Although mechanisms of legislation and governance mechanisms are essential, they cannot address the crisis, in isolation, of a people-centric approach to groundwater management. The blending of science, technology and people in efforts of collectively managing groundwater resources is necessary and promising. The conceptualisation of PGWM begins with a resource-centric approach of understanding aquifers against a conventional, business-as-usual approach of focusing on ‘sources’ of groundwater such as wells and springs. Moreover, the PGWM approach includes a blend of supply augmentation and demand management that combines work on aquifers and communities. PGWM is currently a small movement that has brought some 10 odd organisations to work in a collaborative mode towards improved management and governance of groundwater in India. ACWADAM continues to play the role of an anchor in these collaborations.

Correspondence address:

Advanced Center for Water Resouces Development and Management
ACWADAM ,"Suvidya", 27, Lane no. 3,
Kshipra Society, Karve Nagar,
Pune - 411 052 Maharashtra, India

Registered address:

ACWADAM, 4, Lenyadri society,
Sus Road, Pashan,
Pune – 411021. Maharashtra, India