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    Andhra Pradesh Farmer Managed Groundwater Systems Project
  APFAMGS Project :  
APFAMGS project is an enabling intervention for reinforcing the internal strength and coping mechanism of farmers to explore and find out stable solution to the issues of ground water depletion and its adverse consequences. The project implementation follows series of steps to make the invisible groundwater fully understood by the farmers and thereby take appropriate actions. The various steps include:

Strengthen local institutions at the habitation and hydrologic unit level to bring on center stage discussions on emerging water crisis especially on groundwater

Demystify the science of hydrology through Farmer Water Schools (FWS) and train the farmers to take over all data collection leading to proper understanding of local water resource availability

Change perception of groundwater from private property to that of a “common good” ( individual farmers take decisions for collective good)
Articulate and share information across hydrological units through Crop Water Budgeting Workshops for evolving common strategies that limit damage to the groundwater system without sacrificing individual interest



Structure of the project

Project ActivitiesGlobal Relevance of APFAMGS Project Project USPPeople's InstitutionsGender ManistreamingEnhancing Farmers KnowladgeParticipatory Hydrological Monitoring (PHM) Farmers Water Schools Crop Water BudgetingReduction in Groundwater Pumping Abstaining from PaddyCrop DiversificationUse of Water Saving DevicesFood Security and NutritionEmergence of Local Groundwater GovernanceCreation of Trained Manpower Optimization of Food Flows Through Artificial groundwater Recharge (AGR)Geographic Information System (GIS)Data Base (HRIS+)Information KioskAPFAMGS websiteImpact of Project Implementation Benefits of adopting Crop Change Farmer's Reflections

Future Work Plan


Establish new relationship between farmers and groundwater by reducing stress on the aquifer

Adopt numerous steps at the farm level in improving crop water efficiency, implement water saving techniques and reduce chemical pollution

Implement local groundwater governance transgressing beyond individual holdings and habitations, without being coercive

Enable farmers voluntarily take painful decisions (reduce pumping, prevent construction of new wells, crop diversification, reduced application of chemical fertilizer/pesticides)

Groundwater development in regions with fast growing population and high density of borewell/ tubewell construction is attaining un-sustainable limits. Declining groundwater levels, land subsidence, increasing minerals like arsenic, fluoride, salinity are the common ill effects.

India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Yemen, Jordan, Mexico are some of the countries already witnessing the negative consequences of groundwater over pumping. Despite all the problems, groundwater provides the best opportunity for human development. Groundwater is easily accessible to a large number of users and provides cheap, convenient, individual supplies. Groundwater development is also largely self-financing, its largely private development and use ensure automatic cost recovery. When it is not degraded by human intervention, the major advantage of groundwater is its good potable quality.

Institutional and technological innovations by individual users adopting a collective approach offers the best opportunity for ensuring its upkeep and thereby its sustainability. Knowledgeable development of the groundwater resource provides the best opportunity for engaging large population with their families in the irrigation sector. Destruction of the groundwater resource is a major risk in fighting rural poverty

APFAMGS project has filled a vacuum in innovations in the groundwater sector by initiating a new model which addresses the issue of reducing/deteriorating groundwater resource by bringing in behavioral changes in the users. This approach continually engages the users by providing skills, capacity and knowledge that goes to promote innovations for reducing the consumption as well as improving the performance efficiency.

The project tested the relevance of its approach through an International workshop attended by participants from 13 countries. The operational methodology and the field level activities were presented to the participants over 2 weeks. The participants spend long time in the field interacting with the farmers and thereafter concluded that project approach could be replicated with necessary changes appropriate to the local situations.

Project USP
The unique aspect of the project is that it does not offer any incentives in the form of cash or subsidies to the farmers. What it offers is the means to increase their knowledge about the status of their groundwater resources by giving them the equipment and skills to collect and analyse rainfall and groundwater data. The project also facilitates access to information about water saving techniques, improving agricultural practices and ways to regulate and manage their own demand for water.

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