Depletion of groundwater resources has emerged as a major concern in many parts of India today. This has a tendency to disproportionately affect the poor farmers by limiting their access to the resource. Appropriate institutional structures are, therefore, required to manage groundwater, ensure equitable distribution of irrigation water and increase agricultural productivity. The paper examines the alternative regulatory mechanisms that exist in India to prevent overexploitation of groundwater resources. This brief interpretive appraisal of some of the existing institutional arrangements also seeks to provide an overall perspective within which the different regulatory mechanisms can be assessed.