Games for Groundwater Governance: Field Experiments in Andhra Pradesh, India
Groundwater is a common pool resource which experience depletion in many places around the world. The increased use of irrigation and water demanding cash crops stimulate this development. We present results of field experiments on groundwater dilemmas performed in hard rock areas of Andhra Pradesh, India. Two NGOs (Foundation for Ecological Security and Jana Jagriti) ran the games in communities in which they were working to improve watershed and water management. Games were played with groups of five men or five women, followed by a community debriefing. Results indicate that longer time of NGO involvement in the village was associated with more cooperative outcomes in the games. Individuals with more education and with higher perceived social capital played more cooperatively, but neither gender nor method of payment had a significantly effect on individual behavior. When participants could repeat the game with communication, similar crop choice patterns were observed. The games provided an entry point for discussion on the understanding of communities of the interconnectedness of groundwater use and crops choice.