India’s Water Woes: Looming Crisis in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh

Updated: Jan 18

1. Abstract

The objective of this paper is to design effective solutions to address water stress in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh (UP), the most water stressed states in India. Introduction of tube wells and canal irrigation coupled with the breakthrough management practices driven by green revolution in the last five decades have helped boost agricultural production in India. This boost however has led to excessive consumption of water by the agriculture sector. We identify depleting groundwater level owing to inadequate management of water resources and heavy dependence on water-intensive crops as the primary source of water stress in these states. The water systems in both the states are severely stressed with adverse ramifications being experienced by the entire ecosystem.

This paper proposes water conservation social movements and campaigns to propagate the advantages of shifting from more water-guzzling crops to lesser ones, leveraging new techniques and micro-irrigation tools which need less water, and monitoring recommended policies to effectively tackle water stress in Punjab and UP.

2. Water – A Lifeline For Lifetime

Water is the lifeline of ecosystems, vital to human health and well-being and a precursor to economic prosperity. It is critical for sustainable development, eradication of poverty and hunger, and as demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic, for health and wellbeing. Water-related challenges need immediate solutions to avoid devastating repercussions. These challenges include accessibility, increased pressure on limited resources, and risk of droughts and floods.

The United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution “International Decade for Action – Water for Sustainable Development” (2018–2028) recognizing the growing challenge of water scarcity.[1]

Global Water Stress

Water stress occurs when the demand for water exceeds the available amount during a certain period or when poor quality restricts its use. The world has been experiencing increasing water stress, causing deterioration of freshwater resources in terms of quantity (aquifer overexploitation, dry rivers) and quality (eutrophication, organic matter pollution, saline intrusion). Physical water stress, the ratio of total freshwater withdrawn annually by all major sectors, including environmental water requirements, to the total amount of renewable freshwater resources, expressed as a percentage is a growing concern.[2]

Figure 1: Level of physical water stress

Source: The United Nations World Water Development Report 2019

Worldwide, 32 countries are experiencing water stress of between 25 and 70 % Agricultural countries, such as India, lie on the higher end of the spectrum owing to massive water demand by the agriculture sector.[3]

The agriculture sector continues to be the most water intensive sector in terms of global water demand. India’s water stress, as indicated, is worse than most countries in the African continent. As depicted in figure 2, withdrawal of water is increasing over the decades, with a sharp increase in the withdrawal from the agriculture sector.

Figure 2: Global water demand by sector to 2040

Source: The United Nations World Water Development Report 2019

Global water demand is expected to continue increasing at 1% per year until 2050.

This increase in demand can be attributed to population growth, socio-economic development and changing consumption patterns, accounting for an increase of 20 to 30% above the current level of water use, mainly due to rising demand in the industrial and domestic sectors[4]. The global figures on impact of water stress mask significant inequities between and within regions, countries, communities and even neighborhoods.[5]

Figure 3: Global impact of water stress

Source: The United Nations SDG 6

India’s Water Stress

While India lies in the broad spectrum of 25 to 70% in global water stress metrics, its per capita water stress is much higher than most other countries in the list, owing to its large-scale agriculture sector. Last year, NITI Aayog, declared that India is “suffering from the worst water crisis in its history, and millions of lives and livelihoods are under threat.”[6]

This availability of water in Punjab and UP is greater than most regions across the world. However, the lack of replenishment of the resources and overexploitation, lead to these states being the most water stressed states in India, with a score of 4.79 and 4.72 respectively on WRI’s Aqueduct 3.0 Country Rankings.[7]

Punjab and UP are very fertile states with largely agriculture driven economies. Punjab has 7.7 million hectares of gross cropped area and its agricultural sector contributed to 30% of the Gross State Domestic Product in 2018.

Figure 4: Water stress in India

Source: Baseline Water Stress Report, WRI

Water Guzzlers - The Culprit Behind UP and Punjab’s Water Stress

India’s food policy continues to be based on the focus that the Green Revolution laid on rice and wheat. Federal and state subsidies for fertilizer, power and water have helped India become the world’s second largest producer of those two staple grains. This, coupled with minimum support prices offered by the government have considerably increased consumption. Rice and wheat are two of the most water intensive crops in the world. 1 kg of rice takes 2300 liters/115 large buckets of water and 1kg of wheat takes 1300 liters/65 large buckets of water.[8]

Figure 6: Yield by States (in kg/hectare)

Source: Directorate of Economics & Statistics, DAC&FW

Water guzzlers such as rice, wheat, sugarcane and cotton consume the most volume of water per kg production and UP and Punjab are home to most of these water guzzlers. Punjab makes up only 5% of India’s land, produces about 21% of India’s wheat, 9% of its rice, and 8% of its cotton; UP with 16% of India’s land, produces ~12% of India’s rice and 30% of its wheat.

Figure 7: Percent area under irrigation of some of the highest crop producing states of India (2014-15)

Source: Directorate of Economics & Statistics, DAC&FW

As shown in figures 6 and 7, Punjab and UP have one of the highest percent area under irrigation and agricultural yield. Agriculture's heavy dependence on water makes it the largest contributor to the water stress problem in UP and Punjab.

In the below sections, we discuss the unique factors shaping the water crises in UP and Punjab in greater detail.

Punjab – The Granary of India

Punjab is one of the most fertile regions on Earth. Agriculture has contributed to poverty alleviation in Punjab as it now has less people living below the poverty line than any other state in India. Punjab’s GDP per capita rank is 15th. Increased wealth in Punjab has led to an improved standard of living, better education, and opportunities to travel for a substantial majority of the people. In 2017-18, the agricultural sector contributed to 30% of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP); between 2016-17 and 2017-18, the sector grew by 10%, greater than 8.2% that the overall economy clocked.

3. Causes of Water Stress in Punjab

a) Shift in cropping pattern and cropping intensity[9]

The cultivable area in Punjab is 4.2 million hectares (83% of total geographical area) and the net area sown is 4 million hectares i.e., 95% of cultivable area (national average being 40%). The gross cropped area, however, is 7.7 million hectares! This means that the area sown more than once in a year is almost 3.7 million hectares making the cropping intensity 186 %.[10]

b) Canal water supplies and switch to ground water

There has been a drastic reduction in canal irrigated area in the last couple of decades. This is mainly due to industrial pollution and un-treated effluents released in rivers and rivulets.

There are ~1.3 million -well connections in the state now as compared to ~0.2 million in 1970. 73% of the irrigation requirements are now fulfilled by groundwater resources. As can be seen in the chart below, of the 138 blocks for groundwater in Punjab, only 23 blocks are in the safe category.[11]

Figure 8: Groundwater blocks in Punjab

Source: Water Crisis: Issues and Challenges in Punjab (January 2018)

c) Free/subsidized power

In Punjab, power for agriculture was totally free from 1997 to 2002 and from 2005 onwards. The power subsidy for agriculture had amounted to 600m USD in 2013–2014 or ~1.5% of Punjab’s GDP.[12] This has increased the number of electric tube wells substantially.

d) Impact of rainfall on groundwater

Rainfall is the largest source of groundwater recharge and, hence, any deviations in the rainfall patterns distinctly impact the groundwater regime of an area. Punjab ranks in the bottom quartile among all states in India in terms of annual rainfall received.

Figure 9: Fall in water table (m)

Source: Water Crisis: Issues and Challenges in Punjab (January 2018)

The water tables in Punjab have been in continuous decline on a widespread basis, with aquifer depletion rates currently in the range 0.7–1.2 meters per year (World Bank 2010).[13]

e) Availability of groundwater at shallower depth-

Almost 11% of Punjab’s geographical area has shallow water tables, resulting in easy and unchecked over-exploitation. This is evidenced by the levels of ground water development (defined as annual ground water consumption more than annual ground water recharge) which were the highest in Punjab in 2011.[14]

Figure 10: Groundwater development (%)

Source: Groundwater resources of Punjab State (March 2017)

Uttar Pradesh – The Soul of India

Uttar Pradesh (UP), the most populous and fourth-largest state of India lies in the north-central part of the country. It has a population of 200 million (similar to Brazil) and is responsible for 8% of the national economic output.[15] and 24% of the national agricultural output.[16] In 2016-17, the agricultural sector contributed to a quarter of the GSDP.[17] UP is one of the top 10 contributors of the total economic output of the country.

4. Causes of Water Stress in Uttar Pradesh

a) Unsustainable dependence on groundwater due to the usage of subsidized electricity

Of the 75 districts in UP, 34 are overexploited for groundwater. Farmers have no incentive to reduce consumption of water as they are charged a fixed amount per connection. Submersible pumps[18] are left on, beyond the water requirement of the crop, as farmers believe in “more water, more crop” rather than “more crop per drop”. [19]

One of the reasons for this excessive dependence is lack of a rural feeder segregation. Rural feeder segregation is the separation of the technical infrastructure of agriculture consumers from non-agriculture consumers. Lack of segregation has increased pressure on groundwater extraction. Until the early 1970s, all State Electricity Boards charged tube-well owners based on their metered consumption but, because of various administrative and political issues, this was changed to a flat tariff in the early 1980s (Mukherji, Shah and Verma 2010).

Today, the vast majority of states still charge prices much below the marginal cost of supply. Land-owning farmers have become used to protective policies, and in many parts of the country they make up an important lobby group whose power and control over groundwater, it is widely believed, cannot be effectively regulated.

b) Excessive cultivation of sugarcane

Generally, crops require 300-500mm of rainfall/water for their growth; however, sugar cane requires almost five times as much to complete the growth cycle. Thus, the crop requires 1500-3000 liters of water to produce a kilo of sugarcane. UP is the highest sugarcane producing State in sub-tropical zone having area about 2.27m ha with the production of 135.6m ton cane.[20] In UP, area and production of sugarcane has increased at a significant annual growth rate of 0.6% and 1.1% respectively over the period 2000-15.[21] 44% of the total area under sugarcane production lies in UP, the highest in any other state in India.

Figure 11: Groundwater development (%)

Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India

c) Absence of recharge infrastructure for groundwater

UP receives 1.1% of the national rainfall (1025mm), which acts as the main source for recharging groundwater resources. The state is categorized with five distinct hydrogeological units – Bhabar, Terai, Central Ganga Plains, Marginal Alluvial Plain, Southern Peninsular area. Bhabar is the main recharge zone having deeper water levels.

Assessment of increasing dependence on groundwater resources can be gauged from the fact that in the year 2000, the state water development / exploitation rate was ~54% and in 2009, it was estimated at ~72%; this increased to ~74% in 2013. Total Groundwater Recharge of the state has been assessed as 69.92bcm (billion cubic meter) and Annual Extractable Ground Water Resource as 65.32bcm. The meagre difference between the rates of extraction and recharge is concerning.[22]

We are thus seeing that only 20.36bcm of net groundwater is available for future use and we are at a high percentage of extraction. Without the presence of a recharge infrastructure, continuous unsustainable extraction is worsening the water stress in UP.

d) Poor usage of other sources of agricultural irrigation like surface water through canals

Large-scale exploitation of groundwater is being done through a small irrigation sector. 48 million shallow tube wells, 49,480 medium tube wells, 33,510 deep tube wells and 30917 government tube wells exist in the state. The use of tube wells has nearly doubled from 30.5 % in 1965 to 67% in 2003. This excessive dependence on groundwater can be attributed to poor infrastructural connectivity of canals or surface water. Moreover, subsidized electricity simply makes it easier to utilize the tube wells and hand pumps, and thus groundwater. This is problematic as there is severe pressure on a single resource of water.

Figure 12: Share of different sources in total irrigated area (UP)

Source: Groundwater department, Government of UP

5. Effects of Water Stress in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab

The water systems in both the states are severely stressed with adverse ramifications being experienced by the entire ecosystem comprising humans, wildlife and natural surroundings.

As far as Punjab is concerned, overuse of water to sustain agriculture and maintain food security has already depleted good quality groundwater resources. The increasing dependence on these resources has led to widespread decline in the water table in central Punjab, high investment into tube wells, increased operation and maintenance cost, more power consumption, and deterioration of groundwater quality.

Traditionally, farmers in Punjab have almost always used centrifugal pumps for irrigation. These pumps have suction power that is enough to lift water up from shallow wells that are no more than 25 feet deep. However, as the wells got deeper, pump efficiency, water leakages and electric contact with water source became huge concerns. So, farmers invested heavily in shifting from centrifugal to submersible pumps. The replacement costs from centrifugal to submersible pumps for about 1 million tube wells alone work out to be $1.3bn at the rate of $1100 each. The energy demand has also increased. Statistics reveal that electrical consumption in agricultural sector has more than doubled to 10,248 rising number of children born with abnormalities. In fact, a train that connects Bathinda with Bikaner in neighboring Rajasthan is known as the ‘Cancer Express’[23] as it ferries a large number of cancer patients from Punjab to Bikaner for treatment at a hospital. The World Watch Institute has warned that if water is hauled at this rate, groundwater in Punjab shall be over by 2025.

Additionally, as a result of intensive groundwater use for irrigation, over 50% of the UP land area now has a falling water table. The consequences are increasingly evident in terms of irrigation tube well dewatering (draining out of or removing the water from the tube well), yield reduction, and pump failure, together with hand-pump failure in rural water supply wells. Concomitantly, and sometimes in relatively close proximity (10–20 km distance) to the groundwater overexploitation zones, canal leakage and flood irrigation is resulting in around 20% of the land area being threatened by a shallow water table, soil waterlogging and salinization leading to crop losses and even land abandonment. [24]In many villages in the sugarcane belt of UP, there are increasing cases of cancer, something completely unheard of a decade back. Even animals are dying of cancer. People are afraid to drink the groundwater — the water from the deep submersible pumps is colored due to high arsenic contamination — and have started relying on outside tankers for their drinking water needs.

6. The Way Ahead (Solutions)

Below-average rain for the last many years and over-consumption of groundwater for irrigation is leaving us with the only option of water conservation and producing more with less water. Water conservation social movements and campaigns have to be initiated to propagate the advantages of shifting from more water-guzzling crops to lesser ones and leveraging new techniques and micro-irrigation tools which need less water. We recommend four solutions focused on awareness-building, technological advancements, policy reform and social audit these are detailed below:


A social movement among farmers addressing water scarcity and its conservation is needed to stop overuse and wastage of water during farming. At the bare minimum, harvesting and conservation of water (through Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse) must be made mandatory. There is a very low level of awareness about depleting water tables, injudicious use of water, and wastage among farmers. Local Panchayat, schools, welfare agencies can play a crucial role in running campaigns on educating farmers on water preservation, crop diversification, resource conservation, and less water-intensive modern harvesting techniques.

A social movement to educate farmers to rationalize the use of free electricity and reduce the paddy area is the need of the hour for saving Punjab and UP from the looming desertification. For example, even though the benefits of the use of wastewater for agriculture have been globally acknowledged, a series of community-level surveys conducted have revealed hesitation in the use of treated wastewater. Awareness must be built to address this challenge and bring in a behavior change. Water needs to be managed as a community resource held, by the state, under public trust doctrine to achieve food security, livelihood, and equitable and sustainable development for all.

Gujarat’s Green Revolution Company established by Government of India and Government of Gujarat for promoting the use of micro-irrigation systems showed great success because of its awareness programs and farmer education initiatives on scientific water management techniques. It enabled adoption of micro-irrigation techniques by 0.64m farmers covering more than 1m hectares of land.[25] Similar steps can improve the depleting groundwater levels in UP and Punjab which would help in rebalancing the water table among other benefits.

Technological Advancements

a) Ground Water Monitoring[26]

Strategic use of Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies can help states identify and prioritize regions facing fast-enough decline in their groundwater resources. Use of such technologies can enable states to have large-scale coverage with higher accuracy, while saving time and resources investment. Further, availability of this data in the public domain can also enable other civil society actors as well as community members in prioritizing regions for intervention as well designing initiatives for conserving groundwater resources in these areas. The state of Andhra Pradesh provides a great example of utilizing technology for managing its groundwater resources. The state has geo-tagged all of its 1.5m bore-wells for effective monitoring and timely management of groundwater resources through an online platform. The real-time information of the groundwater levels provided by the platform has enabled significant rise in groundwater levels in the last 17 years, even in years of below-average rainfall. The latest cost-effectiveness report for remote sensing was done in 1999-2003. The Remote Sensing Application Centre, UP and the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre could collaborate and use regression estimation for soil stratification and land cover estimates to analyze the economic benefits of RS and GIS.

b) Devices

The governments can promote collaborations between farmers and industries to help implement water saving technologies. Devices such as use of tensiometers can be adopted to the Indian setting post modifications to make cost sustainable. A tensiometer is a simple device that measures the amount of energy required by the plant to pull soil water (water potential) at the current moisture level and guides farmers on when to irrigate. Though these devices have been long known, making these devices apt for the Indian agricultural ecosystem is the challenge at hand.

The main advantage of using the tensiometer is that irrigation can be scheduled which can lead to power and water savings. This translates into saving on the money spent by the state to provide subsidized electricity. Based on some logistic regression models as mentioned in the paper by Water International[27], it is hypothesized that young and educated farmers are more likely to adopt and to continue to use the tensiometer compared to older and less-educated farmers.

Reforming policies on irrigation and electric power supply such as the withdrawal of subsidies and volumetric pricing of electricity can help generate savings, which can potentially be used for promotion of tensiometers. The positive outcomes generated by early adoption of tensiometers from younger and more educated farmers could inspire and persuade other farmers and stakeholders to adopt water conservation technologies and practices.

Policy Changes

Although the Punjab and UP Governments have come out with various policies and guidelines to conserve water usage and promote crop diversification, they need to employ a “Carrot and Stick” approach.

Policies such as the Punjab Preservation of Subsoil Water Act (2009) that prohibits the sowing of nursery of paddy before May 10 and transplantation before June 15 are not executed on full scale and magnitude. Additionally, farmers need policy support from the Union and state governments, an MSP (Minimum Support Price) and assured market clearance for an alternative crop combination. This way farmers could obtain the same amount of per-hectare returns as they were getting from paddy. Besides Haryana, some other states have indirect programs to motivate farmers to move to less water intensive crops such as pearl millet, cow peas, bottle gourd and corn.

Farmers prefer rice and wheat primarily because of stable prices and assured state purchases. Corn and millets may use less water, but their price stability is unproven. Northern Punjab, a major producer of wheat and rice, is offering cash incentives to farmers who use less electricity to extract ground water. Many of these reforms will have gain popularity with farmers before they garner faith from the government.

We must also give time for reforms to play out. It is still a gamble: unlike rice, which the government always buys at a set price, these crops have no guaranteed market. Few farmers in the rice-growing district, where the water table has been declining by 0.7 meter every year, are keen to experiment with new crops. In its first year in Haryana, the government anticipates around 100,000 hectares (247,105 acres) would switch to alternate crops — but that’s only about 7 % of the land used for rice cultivation in the northern state.

a) Micro-irrigation

Micro irrigation is a modern method of irrigation; by this method water is irrigated through drippers, sprinklers, foggers and by other emitters on surface or subsurface of the land. It enables higher yield per hectare as well as lower consumption of water. Drip irrigation has the potential to save up to 60% water compared to surface water along with increasing the yield by 30% for the cultivation of sugarcane.[28]

With a mere 0.4% coverage of land under micro irrigation, UP is one of the worst performers in India in terms of adoption of this water-saving technology. Despite holding the highest share in terms of sugarcane cultivable area, UP’s yield/hectare at 62 tons/hectare is the lowest against other sugarcane producing states (the average being 80-90tons/hectare). Any positive development in the state could unlock the further potential opportunity of around $200bn in medium to long term plans.

Punjab also finds itself in a similar position. Even a decade after drip and sprinkler irrigation was introduced, the state has not managed to extend it to 1% of its area under cultivation. 83% (nearly 4.2m hectares) of the total 50,362 square km area of Punjab is under agricultural and horticultural crops cultivation. Currently, 33,711 hectares is covered under micro-irrigation, which is just 0.7% of the total cultivable land of the state.

A micro irrigation fund of $65m was set up by NABARD during 2017-2018. As per Guidelines of the MIF, a Tripartite Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) has to be signed between State, NABARD and Govt. of India for availing this fund. Accordingly, Tripartite MoA has been signed by States of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. [29]Tamil Nadu has utilized this fund and expanded their network of Micro Irrigation to 0.25m hectares accounting for 38% of the country’s area under micro irrigation. With falling subsidies and lack of motivation, UP and Punjab need to sign a MoA under this scheme and utilize the funds in order to implement Micro Irrigation schemes.

b) Feeder Segregation

Rural feeder segregation is the separation of electricity supply lines between agricultural and non-agricultural consumers in order to regulate consumption of subsidized electricity. In a water-constrained scenario where oversupply of power to agricultural farmers has led to lowering the water tables significantly without enough replenishment power supply to agriculture sector needs to be controlled. [30]

According to World Bank’s study, post feeder segregation implementation, the regular complain of low voltage has gone down from 80% to around 6% in Gujarat and Rajasthan. [31]This has also enabled regulated metering of groundwater usage by the agricultural sector. The Jyoti gram Yojana (JGY) in Gujarat has been implemented as an action plan for rural feeder segregation. Studies based on descriptive analyses claim that JGY has reduced groundwater extraction because of an estimated 37% decline in the use of farm electricity to power tube wells (Mukherji, Shah, & Verma, 2010; Scott & Shah, 2004; Shah et al., 2008).

Unfortunately, UP and Punjab have lacked implementing such a policy. A similar initiative in collaboration with Gujarat government could be taken up however greater attention to direct cost-benefit analyses is needed as post execution, most states have not been able to capitalize on the benefits to utilities in terms of revenue augmentation followed by optimization to lower costs.

Monitoring Solutions

a) Social Audit

Social Audit is recognized by many, including the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), as a powerful tool to enforce transparency and accountability. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was the first Act to mandate Social Audits by the Gram Sabha of all the projects taken up in the Gram Panchayat. Initial review of social audits necessitated defining the role of implementing agency to maintain neutrality and transparency. A social audit, conducted by the Social Audit Unit (SAU), Punjab and Directorate of Social Audit (DSA), UP to measure the outcomes of implementation, technology and policy interventions, as previously suggested will not only help monitor implementation but also improve the practice of democratic governance, making it more participatory, effective and inclusive. The basic objective of this exercise to ensure public accountability in the implementation of solutions, laws and policies.

Social audits have been remarkably effective in ensuring last mile implementations, particularly in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand. The SAU Jharkhand has been active in extending social audits beyond MGNREGA to Mid-day Meal scheme and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.[32] This extension can be replicated by the SAU Punjab and DSA UP to cover environment and water-related schemes and policies.

7. Conclusion

Water stress continues to envelope the globe. The agriculture sector, being the most water intensive sector in terms of global water demand, makes primarily agro-based states, Punjab and UP, the most water stressed states in India. Excessive cultivation of water guzzlers, such as rice, sugarcane, wheat, and cotton coupled with excessive depletion of groundwater continue to be root causes of water stress in the states resulting in declining water tables and increased instances of cancer due to arsenic contamination. This paper recommends four solutions focused on awareness-building, technological advancements, policy reform and social audit to tackle the ever-increasing threat of water stress in Punjab and UP.


Shatakshi Sharma is a management consultant with BCG and Co- Founder of Global Governance Initiative with feature publication on Yourstory.

Prior to graduate school at ISB, she was Strategic Advisor with the Government of India where she drove good governance initiatives and her work was featured by the Economic Times. She was also felicitated with a National Young Achiever Award for Nation Building. She is a part time blogger on her famous series-MBA in 2 minutes.

Naman Shrivastava is the Co-Founder of Global Governance Initiative. He has previously worked as a Strategy Consultant in the Government of India and is working at the United Nations - Office of Internal Oversight Services. Naman is also a recipient of the prestigious Harry Ratliffe Memorial Prize - awarded by

the Fletcher Alumni of Color Executive Board. He has been part of speaking engagements at International forums such as the World Economic Forum, UN

South-South Cooperation etc. His experience has been at the intersection of Management Consulting, Political Consulting, and Social entrepreneurship.

Anmol Verma is the Chief Mentor at GGI and­­­­ Director of Growth at Proactive for her, a women’s health start-up. Before this, she worked at Arisaig Partners as an investment analyst and was a founding team member of the Arisaig Next Generation (a global impact) Fund. After graduating from SRCC in 2015, she also spent 1.5 years at BCG. Anmol is a running enthusiast, an avid reader and loves working on projects at the intersection of technology and social impact.


Aakanksha Chhokra is a graduate from Manipal Institute of Technology, currently at the Indian School of Business. She has ~6 years of work experience in Goldman Sachs in the Consumer and Investment Asset Management as part of the Benchmark Analysis Team.

Aishwarya Geete is an engineer from VJTI, Mumbai. She has over 3 years of experience in business and is currently the Partnerships and Communications Lead at Avanti Fellows. She is an incoming candidate at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Saee Mandlekar is a BITS Pilani graduate, currently a first year MBA student at IIM Lucknow. She has 3 years of work experience in the portfolio management industry, constructing beta and smart beta indices for Asset Management Companies.

Ayush Agarwal is a second year Economics and Finance undergraduate at Ashoka University. An avid reader, he believes that policies can provide a much-needed nudge in the right direction and aims to contribute in the impact sector.

Muskaan Malhotra is a final year student pursuing Economics at Shri Ram College of Commerce. She is a policy enthusiast and aims to engage in the space of development and diplomacy in the future.

If you are interested to apply to GGI Impact Fellowship, you can access our application link here .


[1] United Nations Sustainable Development Goals [2] The United Nations World Water Development Report 2019 [3] The United Nations World Water Development Report 2019 [4] The United Nations World Water Development Report 2019 [5] The United Nations World Water Development Report 2019 [6] Niti Aayog Water Index Report 2018 [7] WRI’s Aqueduct 3.0 Country Rankings [8] Irrigation - Statistical Year Book India 2017 [9] Groundwater Depletion in Punjab, India (July 2017) [10] Farmer’s Guide, Punjab, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India [11] Water Crisis: Issues and Challenges in Punjab (January 2018) [12] Groundwater Depletion in Punjab, India (July 2017) [13] Water Crisis: Issues and Challenges in Punjab (January 2018) [14] Ground Water Resources Of Punjab State (March 2017) [15] Measured as % of Net Domestic Product a t Current Prices (2011-12 series) for FY 2015-16 [16] Measured as % of principal crops produced for FY 2015-16 [17] Uttar Pradesh Budget Analysis [18] Submersible pumps are made to be fully submerged in water. It is a centrifugal water pump, meaning it has a motor that powers an impeller designed to rotate and push water outwards. The motor is located within a waterproof seal and closely coupled to the body of the pump which it powers. [19] Chandra Shekhar, "Uttar Pradesh’s environmental crisis", Livemint, July 2018 [20] Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research, Lucknow (2013) [21] An Economic Analysis of Sugarcane Cultivation and its Productivity in Major Sugar Producing States of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra (Upreti, Priyanka & Singh, Alka. (2017)) [22] Dynamic Ground Water Resources of India, 2017 [23] Punjab’s Uranium Curse [24] India Groundwater Governance [25] Composite Water Management Index, Niti Aayog, 2019 [26] Composite Water Management Index, Niti Aayog, 2019 [27]Assessing the economic impact of a low-cost water-saving irrigation technology in Indian Punjab: the tensiometer [28] Tamil Nadu Agriculture University [29] “Webinar on Enhancing Water Use Efficiency and Coverage of Micro Irrigation in Indian Agriculture Held.” Press Information Bureau [30] Paliwal, Ankur. “Separate power feeders can greatly improve rural electrification.’” Down to Earth [31] Lighting Rural India: Is Feeder Segregation the Only Answer? [32] Social Audit Unit, Jharkhand

473 views0 comments