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In 1947, British India - the part of South Asia that is today's India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh - emerged from the colonial era with the world's largest centrally managed canal irrigation infrastructure. However, as illustrated by the author, the orderly irrigation economy that saved millions of rural poor from droughts and famines is now a vast atomistic system of widely dispersed tube-wells that are drawing groundwater without permits or hindrances. This book examines the development of this chaos and the prospects to bring it under control.