Good evening from the 113 degree heat of Ahmedabad, India. I am interning with the Gujarat Institute of Development Research (GIDR) where I am evaluating watershed development programs that were initiated by the central government to sustain productivity of dry and semi-arid regions of the country by adopting more efficient production and conservation techniques. This research effort, undertaken at GIDR for evaluating these watershed development programs, is known as the “Forum of Watershed Research and Policy Dialogue”. The forum focuses on watershed development sustainability, gender and caste equity, and democratization in rural India.
At the moment I am primarily conducting field investigations to determine the spatial distribution of groundwater withdrawal scenarios by farmers in select rural watersheds, (2) collaborating with an evaluation team in analyzing the collected field data and determining the program efficiency on three scales (household level, farm level, and watershed level), and (3) evaluating the impact of technology on the economic welfare of households in the select watersheds.
We basically want to answer the question of “What impact do watershed development activities have on rural areas, especially groundwater resources, agricultural production, and socioeconomic conditions?” The ultimate goal is to help policymakers create guidelines for the watershed development programs in the state.
I’m hoping that with my background in hydrology and environmental science I can bridge development scenarios with water management with technological advancement and water policy. Stay tuned!