Towards sustainable groundwater systems in South Asia: Data exploration in Nalanda district in Bihar, India
Groundwater resources and irrigation systems are a fundamental consideration for sustainable and inclusive food system transitions in South Asia. Over the course of the latter part of the 20th century and the early 21st century, groundwater has become the primary source of irrigation water across South Asia and globally. The aquifers in Western and Peninsula regions in South Asia have faced water scarcity and groundwater depletion. But in the Eastern Gangetic Plains, aquifers are still considered underutilized by most planners and policymakers. This has resulted in increased investments in groundwater irrigation for water security and climate adaptation. However, the aquifer response to increasing irrigation water withdrawals remains poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, TAFSSA is developing watershed assessment on sustainable groundwater use. Starting with Nalanda distric in Bihar, India, a relatively water scarce district within the Eastern Gangetic Plains. This research note reports on the initial findings from existing groundwater data and outlines key steps towards building a groundwater model to support sustainable groundwater management and planning.