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Home > Basin > Indo-Ganges > Training and research program on groundwater governance in Asia (PN42)

Full Project Title: The international training and research program on groundwater governance in Asia: Theory and practice (PN42)


Poor understanding of the resource and potential management options and associated weak governance leads to over-exploitation of groundwater in some areas, while under-utilization co-exists in other parts in the Indus-Gangetic and the Yellow River Basins.

The project aimed to address the deficiencies in human capacity of managing groundwater in the two large basins of the world- the Indus-Gangetic basin and the Yellow River basin. The basic premise of the project was that proper groundwater management needs to be built on informed knowledge of professionals from the region, with emphasis on inter-disciplinary knowledge and understanding of the actual groundwater situation in the rural areas.

Research Highlights

Research highlights

  • Groundwater irrigation requires affordable and secured energy supply. Cost recovery of energy production (which sometimes is deferred in certain regions) and efficiency gains will become increasingly important. Proper understanding of groundwater-energy nexus is critical for the development of properly targeted policies, investments and subsidies.
  • In many cases, general poverty and poor infrastructure systems and poorly developed markets limit the farmers in fully optimizing the production levels. Supportive poverty alleviating initiatives are required especially the northeastern parts of South Asia (eastern India, Nepal and Bangladesh), to realize the development potential inherent in groundwater irrigation.
Project Outcomes

Project outcomes

  • Cross-cutting research in various pilot sites to develop, adapt and validate new technologies and their use strategies, in partnership with key stakeholders, has increased end-user adoption in the pilot sites based on positive feedback and promotion by the first adopters; scaling out begins as the technologies and strategies begin to spread to other villages.
  • Positive feedback drives an increase in institutional knowledge and support for the project outputs. Among scientists and researchers, there is better appreciation and collaboration in groundwater governance
  • Purpose level outcomes, such as eventual wider adoption; community level livelihood improvements, and creation of a favorable policy environment at different scales is expected to be achieved after the end of the project.
Publications and Outputs

To view all outputs from project PN42 visit our document repository.

Selected publications and outputs

Research papers

  1. Wang, J., J. Huang, S. Rozelle, Q. Huang, and A. Blanke. 2007. Agriculture and groundwater development in northern China: trends, institutional responses, and policy options. Water Policy, 9 (S1): 61–74, IWA Publishing.
  2. Wang, J., J. Huang, A. Blanke, Q. Huang, and S. Rozelle. January 2007. “Development, Challenges and Management of Groundwater in Rural China.” In The agricultural groundwater revolution: Opportunities and threats to development. In Giordano, M. and Villholth, K.G (eds). CAB International: Wallingford. UK and Cambridge MA: 336 p.
  3. Giordano, M. and K.G. Villholth. 2007. “Groundwater use in global perspective –can it be managed” In The agricultural groundwater revolution: opportunities and threats to development. Giordano, M. and K. Villholth (eds) CAB International: Wallingford. UK and Cambridge MA: 336 p.
  4. Lashari, B.; J. McKay; K.G. Villholth. 2007. Institutional and legal groundwater management framework: lessons learnt from South Australia for Pakistan. International Journal of Environment and Development, vol. 4(1): Serial Publications, New Delhi, India.


  1. Sharma, Bharat, R.; Villholth, K.G.; Sharma, K.D. (eds.). 2006. Groundwater research and management: Integrating science into management decisions. Proceedings of IWMI-ITP-NIH International workshop on “Creating Synergy between Groundwater Research and Management in South and Southeast Asia”, Roorkee, India. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute. 282 p.
  2. Giordano, M. and Villholth, K.G. (eds.) 2007. The agricultural groundwater revolution: Opportunities and threats to development. CAB International: Wallingford. UK and Cambridge MA: 336 p.
  3. Mukherji, A.; Villholth, K.G.; Sharma, B.R.; Wang, J. (eds.) 2009. Groundwater Governance in the Indo-Gangetic and Yellow River Basins: Realities and Challenges, International association of Hydrologists Selected Papers:15; CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Oxford, UK, 328 p.
  4. McKay, Jennifer; Sharma, Bharat, R. (eds.) 2009. From Colossal Anarchy to Sustainable Development: Groundwater Governance in the Indo-Gangetic and Yellow River Basins and Australia – Case Studies of Feasible Approaches. 16 chapters. Draft sent to UNU Press, Tokyo. Manuscript under review.
Final Report
Project Partners

Project partners


Project Lead

Project lead


For more information on Phase 1 outputs please contact Udana Ariyawansa.