Assessment of agricultural water management in Punjab, India, using bayesian methods

Tess A. Russo, Naresh Devineni, Upmanu Lall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Scopus citations


The success of the Green Revolution in Punjab, India, is threatened by a significant decline in water resources. Punjab, a major agricultural supplier for the rest of India, supports irrigation with a canal system and groundwater, which is vastly overexploited. The detailed data required to estimate future impacts on water supplies or develop sustainable water management practices is not readily available for this region. Therefore, we use Bayesian methods to estimate hydrologic properties and irrigation requirements for an under-constrained mass balance model. Using the known values of precipitation, total canal water delivery, crop yield, and water table elevation, we present a method using a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm to solve for a distribution of values for each unknown parameter in a conceptual mass balance model. Model results are used to test three water management strategies, which show that replacement of rice with pulses may be sufficient to stop water table decline. This computational method can be applied in data-scarce regions across the world, where integrated water resource management is required to resolve competition between food security and available resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSustainability of Integrated Water Resources Management
Subtitle of host publicationWater Governance, Climate and Ecohydrology
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319121949
ISBN (Print)9783319121932
StatePublished - Sep 4 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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