A Study on Groundwater Irrigation Expansion in Bihar, India

Yogita Sharma

Department of Agricultural Economics, Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour, Bihar-813210, India.

Meera Kumari *

Department of Agricultural Economics, Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour, Bihar-813210, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Water use has increased by more than twice the rate of population growth over the past century. Although, there is worldwide water scarcity, an increasing number of areas are chronically short of water. There has been a substantial increase in irrigated areas in the last thirty -five years. The Net Irrigated Area (NIA) in Bihar has increased from 2808 thousand hectares in 1985 to 3083 thousand hectares in 2021. The total annual replenishable groundwater potential of Bihar has been estimated as 33.15 billion cubic meters (bcm) with an annual extraction of 13.50 bcm. The share of surface water is declining while groundwater is increasingly being used in crop production. A total of 11754 thousand hectares have been estimated as the ultimate irrigation potential in the state, including major, medium and minor irrigation schemes, utilizing both surface and groundwater. If the available potential is fully exploited, it can cover more than the total cultivated area of the state. Considering the interests of both present and future generations attention needs to be directed towards the sustainable use of groundwater and promoting various sources of surface water.

Keywords: Bihar, groundwater, irrigation, potential, surface water

How to Cite

Sharma , Y., & Kumari , M. (2024). A Study on Groundwater Irrigation Expansion in Bihar, India. Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, 42(5), 53–60. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajaees/2024/v42i52413


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