Andhra’s groundwater crisis & a trail of suicides

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Une femme marche avec de l’eau sur le lac asseché de Osman Sagar dans l’état indien de l’Andrha © AFP PHOTO/Indranil MUKHERJEE

Groundwater has failed Andhra Pradesh’s farmers. Between 1997 and 2006, about 4,500 farmers committed suicide, unable to repay loans they had taken to drill borewells. MOYNA and ASHUTOSH MISHRA found farmers scoffing at rules to dig deeper for an uncertain resource. They have few alternatives. The Andhra government intends to check the increasingly depleting groundwater reserves by roping in farmers to monitor groundwater use. Will it result in a shift to less water-intensive crops?

Down to Earth

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