Irrigation in India: building farms of the future


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Irrigation in India: building farms of the future


Date: Thursday 11 October 2018, 5:15pm

Location: Somerville College, Woodstock Road OX2 6HD


India faces complex water scarcity challenges, particularly in its farming sector: groundwater resources are rapidly declining and monsoon patterns becoming more variable.

In response to these challenges, and to promote agricultural growth, many Indian state governments have increased public investment in irrigated agriculture.

Madhya Pradesh has witnessed some of the fastest agricultural growth in India, having taken steps to rehabilitate its irrigation systems, reform public-sector institutions and launch community-led efforts to ensure sustainable irrigation management.

However, findings from ongoing doctoral research at the University of Oxford’s School of Geography and the Environment, indicate that farmers tend to use more water inefficient practices following irrigation investment, and new infrastructure does not necessarily protect crops from monsoon variability (Sinha et al., 2018).

The Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development, the Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment, and the Oxford Water Network, invite you to a unique event, convening policy makers from the Government of Madhya Pradesh, World Bank irrigation specialists, and experts from Oxford’s School of Geography.

This event will tell the story of Madhya Pradesh’s irrigation reforms, present ideas to inform future irrigation policy, and debate new ways to develop sustainable and resilient farms in India.T

Ranu Sinha, Michael Gilmont, Robert Hope & Simon Dadson (2018) Understanding the effectiveness of investments in irrigation system modernization: evidence from Madhya Pradesh, India, International Journal of Water Resources Development, DOI: 10.1080/07900627.2018.1480357


Register here

This event will be followed by refreshments at Somerville College.

Dr Radhika Khosla, Research Director of the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development, Senior Research Associate in Environment and Energy, Smith School of Enterprise and Environment


  • Shri Radheshyam Julaniya, the Additional Chief Secretary, Water Resources Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh, India.
  • Mr Joop Stoutjesdijk, Lead Irrigation Engineer, Water Global Practice, Sustainable Development Network, The World Bank.


  • Ms Ranu Sinha: Doctoral Candidate in Water Science, Policy and Management, School of Geography and the Environment;
  • Prof Robert Hope: Professor of Water Policy, Director, Water Programme, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment;
  • Prof Simon Dadson: Professor of Hydrology, School of Geography and the Environment;
  • Dr Dustin Garrick, Associate Professor and Departmental Research Lecturer in Environmental and Resource Management, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.