Seenath Peedikakandi and P. Indira Devi
Though Kerala is considered as a water rich state, the data on well water levels shows that the depth from ground to well water level is increasing across the state. Management of declining groundwater resources includes improving resource availability and practicing optimum use thorugh increasing access of resources. A field level study was conducted in a water scarce region of Kerala state (Chittur Block) to understand the long term and short term strategies by farmers to adjust with groundwater scarcity. The measures to improve resource availability include enhancing extraction and adopting water conservation measures. Some of the adaptation strategies like digging of new bore wells are not ecologically sustainable whereas measures like installation of drip irrigation system are capital intensive. Adoption of low cost conservation measures like mulching, taking water harvesting pits and coconut husk burial were limited among the sample farms. There could be wide promotion of conservation measures with monetary support and awareness creation. Considering common pool natural resource status of groundwater, conservation measures could be treated as ecosystem services and monitory support for them could be a policy option.
Keyword: Water scarcity; Adaptation strategies; Irrigation innovation; Conservation measures; Awareness creation