Climate variability, rice production and groundwater depletion in India

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Alok Bhargava 2018 Environ. Res. Lett. 13 034022;


This paper modeled the proximate determinants of rice outputs and groundwater depths in 27 Indian states during 1980–2010. Dynamic random effects models were estimated by maximum likelihood at state and well levels. The main findings from models for rice outputs were that temperatures and rainfall levels were significant predictors, and the relationships were quadratic with respect to rainfall. Moreover, nonlinearities with respect to population changes indicated greater rice production with population increases. Second, groundwater depths were positively associated with temperatures and negatively with rainfall levels and there were nonlinear effects of population changes. Third, dynamic models for in situ groundwater depths in 11 795 wells in mainly unconfined aquifers, accounting for latitudes, longitudes and altitudes, showed steady depletion. Overall, the results indicated that population pressures on food production and environment need to be tackled via long-term healthcare, agricultural, and groundwater recharge policies in India.


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