Need for an Evolved Groundwater Justice in Rural Areas of Uttar Pradesh, India

V. S. Tari, N. Siddiqui, D. Rathi, N. N. Siddiqui, D. K. Wahyuni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As groundwater is the primary element of life, countries all over the world are experimenting with legal reforms. The degree to which law reforms combine justice and sustainability is a crucial question. In response to this question, the present article focuses on a case study of Uttar Pradesh, India. Our response is based on a content analysis of the Uttar Pradesh Groundwater (Management and Regulation) Act, 2019, and the Uttar Pradesh Groundwater (Management and Regulation) Rules, 2020. Three conclusions emerged from our investigation. First, the 2019 Groundwater Act and the 2020 Draft Groundwater Rules are primarily motivated by concerns about resource sustainability, particularly in areas where the water table is steadily declining. Still, neither the 2019 Groundwater Act nor the 2020 Draft Groundwater Rules propose any proactive groundwater justice measures. Second, we suggest that some locally defined basic elements are critical in supporting sustainability and – to a lesser extent – groundwater justice. These characteristics include a community’s ability to (1) recognize a crisis and show a willingness to address it; (2) establish a rule-bound community groundwater resource; (3) demonstrate leadership and a sense of community; and (4) make use of awareness, information, and knowledge. Our third conclusion is that there is a need for community practices and state-led groundwater law to co-evolve; this co-evolution has the potential to create groundwater arrangements that support both groundwater justice and sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-137
Number of pages13
JournalNature Environment and Pollution Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Co-evolution
  • Groundwater
  • Groundwater justice
  • Legal reform
  • Sustainability


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