Land & Water

Andhra Pradesh Farmer-managed Groundwater Systems

The project's objective was to equip groundwater farmer users with the necessary data, skills and knowledge to manage groundwater resources available to them in a sustainable manner, mainly through managing and monitoring their own demand.

The project did not profess to secure livelihoods, alleviate poverty, or increase incomes of project participants. The assumption was that access to scientific data and knowledge would enable farmers to make appropriate choices and decisions regarding the use of groundwater resources and agricultural practices.

Andhra Pradesh Farmer Managed Groundwater Systems (APFAMGS) project's key premise was behavioural change leading to voluntary self regulation. In seven drought prone districts of Andhra Pradesh, India, thousands of farmers residing in 638 habitations spread over several hundred kilometers had voluntarily taken a number of steps to reduce groundwater pumping, for tiding over the problem of groundwater depletion. Launched in July 2003, the APFAMGS project was a partnership with farmers for implementing Demand Side Groundwater Management concept. This project demonstrated an alternative model to the Supply Side approach which called for spending billions for creating new structures.

The project's operational framework was the Hydrological Unit (HU) or micro basins. It was being implemented in 638 villages across seven drought-prone districts of Andhra Pradesh by local partner NGO's. The project reached out to over Nine hundred thousand of the population forming part of Anantapur, Chittoor, Kadapa Kurnool, Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda and Prakasam.