Farmers, who so far have had to depend on undependable electricity supplied at night, will get full-voltage daytime power from solar panels and will extract more water and at a faster clip. State governments are not paying enough attention to this threat, worries Tushaar Shah, senior fellow at the International Water Management Institute in Colombo. The only way to counter this threat, Shah says, is to treat solar power as a cash crop and let farmers sell power back to the grid. The Karnataka state government has made a move in this direction.

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