Bundelkhand region in Central India is infamous for its frequent droughts. The lack of water in the region.Farmers in this region have been either aligning their farming with seasonal rainfall patterns or are dependent on diesel or electricity operated pumps for irrigation. But the erratic rainfall, prolonged droughts and poor electricity supply have disrupted farming practices, making them riskier.
Pumping ground water using solar energy is now seen as the solution to these water woes. The Central government started the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-Kusum) scheme in 2019 to overcome challenges of irrigation supply. Through this scheme the government subsidises these solar pumps for the farmers. However, solar water pumps rely on existing or available groundwater, which is already scarce in the region.
In this episode, Suno India’s Sneha Richhariya travels in three districts of Bundelkhand to understand if solar water pumps can solve the issue of irrigation for the farmers of this region and figure if it possesses a threat to its groundwater levels.
Note: This report was produced with the support of Internews’ Earth Journalism Network. It was originally published by Suno India on 28 September 2023.