India's participatory groundwater management programme: learnings from the Atal Bhujal Yojana implementation in Rajasthan

This study, in collaboration with the Ministry of Jal Shakti of the government of India (GoI), assesses Atal Bhujal Yojana, a central sector scheme of India, for the state of Rajasthan, one of the seven Indian states where the scheme is being implemented. Launched in 2019, Atal Bhujal Yojana aims to mainstream community participation and inter-ministerial convergence in groundwater management. India relies majorly on groundwater for meeting its drinking water and agricultural production demands, leading to its emergence as the largest abstractor of groundwater in the world. However, sustainability is threatened. The invisible and dynamic nature of groundwater, coupled with the anthropological and natural threats, made the need for community participation in the management of this resource crucial.