Research ArticleAGRICULTURE

Groundwater depletion will reduce cropping intensity in India

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Science Advances  24 Feb 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 9, eabd2849
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd2849
  • Fig. 1 Mean winter cropped area from 2000–2001 to 2015–2016

    Cropped area is shown (A) across India, (B) in a highly cropped region in Punjab, and (C) in a medium-intensity cropped region in Bihar. Pixels that were never cropped are highlighted in white, pixels that were 100% cropped across all 16 years are highlighted in dark green, and pixels for which we do not have cropped area data are highlighted in gray.

  • Fig. 2 Association between irrigation source and cropping intensity.

    Exponentiated regression coefficients and confidence intervals when estimating the percent difference compared with tube well irrigation in (A) the probability of ever having a winter crop, (B) persistent cropped area (mean from 2000–2001 to 2015–2016), (C) the coefficient of variation of cropped area, and (D) sensitivity of cropped area to interannual rainfall variability (per mm/day of rainfall) when using dug or canal well irrigation. (E to H) Exponentiated regression coefficients and confidence intervals when estimating the percent difference compared with dug well irrigation for these same metrics. Significant coefficients (P < 0.05) are highlighted in black, and nonsignificant coefficients are highlighted in light gray.

  • Fig. 3 State-by-state differences in the association between irrigation source and cropping intensity.

    Maps showing state-specific exponentiated regression coefficients for canal-irrigated villages compared with tube well–irrigated villages when estimating (A) whether a village was ever cropped, (B) the mean winter crop area for cropped villages, (C) the coefficient of variation of cropped villages, and (D) the sensitivity of winter crop area to interannual rainfall variability. (E to H) State-specific exponentiated regression coefficients for canal-irrigated villages compared with dug well–irrigated villages for these same metrics. Significant results for a given state are highlighted with an asterisk. States for which we did not have cropped area data or where regressions could not be run because of limited variation in irrigation source are highlighted in gray.

  • Fig. 4 State-by-state winter cropped area loss estimates due to groundwater depletion with and without replacement with canals.

    Maps showing state-specific estimates of winter cropped area loss (in red) and gain (in blue) (A) if all critically depleted groundwater is lost with no replacement, (B) if groundwater irrigation is replaced with canals (using national-level regression coefficients), and (C) if groundwater irrigation is replaced with canals (using state-level regression coefficients).

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    Groundwater depletion will reduce cropping intensity in India

    Meha Jain, Ram Fishman, Pinki Mondal, Gillian L. Galford, Nishan Bhattarai, Shahid Naeem, Upmanu Lall, Balwinder-Singh, Ruth S. DeFries

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