Key Messages

The policy note examines the growing need for energy efficient water pumping for agriculture in Karnataka (India's second most water-stricken state).

Rainfall inconsistencies and limited tracking of existing water systems have contributed to excess water withdrawals, further leading to greater energy use between 2006-13. CSTEP's analysis presents three possible outcomes in line with irrigation power consumption over the next few years: first  a business as usual case that sees a surge in energy demand, second  a varying demand in sync with fluctuating water levels; and third an aggressive instance with extreme withdrawals, eventually flattening out with negligible water levels by 2030.

Each of these possible scenarios discussed imply a greater need for energy but through the intervention of more energy efficient pumps (whether electric or solar) or alternate technologies, this demand can be potentially reduced by 30%. Complementing this, a more robust financial oversight, coupled with routine monitoring, can fine-tune the proposed measures for Karnataka's agriculture-water-energy nexus.