ACWADAM's action research has spanned two decades now. Moreover, its action research is backed by more than 35 years of conventional academic research by its founder trustee. The focus of this research is groundwater management. The action research has included scientific aspects of developing implementable plans for groundwater management, without overemphasising the need to publish research in a classically academic mode.

The conventional over-emphasis on scientific precision in aquifer understanding, ironically casts a mysterious mask on the pedagogy of groundwater as a common pool resource whereas this very aspect should become fundamental to many public programmes dealing with water, given India's large dependency on groundwater resources. In many ways, this contradiction leads to a disregard of science in various programmes.

ACWADAM undertakes independent and collaborative research to develop an improved understanding of aquifers, the demand imposed on groundwater and the associated supply systems. Such research endeavours to fill the gap between an academician and the practitioner. ACWADAM has been able to dovetail 'classical' research and action research into a 'facilitative' mode so as to produce improved responses to groundwater problems in different parts of India. ACWADAM has tweaked the process of understanding and mapping aquifers to suit its applicability to different programmes. Such research has also fed into policy reforms and international research on the subject of groundwater management. Action research is strongly driven by the process of field facilitation to various partner organisations.

This research includes but is not restricted to:

  • Aquifers in agriculture and rain-fed agriculture
  • Aquifers in drinking water and sanitation programmes
  • Aquifers and ecosystems
  • Artificial recharge and aquifers
  • Aquifers in watershed programmes
  • Participatory groundwater management (PGWM)
  • Urban groundwater