In rural and remote areas, solar photovoltaic energy (PV) water pumping systems (SPWPSs) are being favored over diesel-powered water pumping due to environmental and economic considerations. PV is a clean source of electric energy offering low operational and maintenance cost. However, the direct-coupled SPWPS requires inventive solutions to improve the system’s efficiency under solar power variations while producing the required amount of pumped water concurrently. This paper introduces a new quadratic V/f (Q V/f) control method to drive an induction motor powered directly from a solar PV source using a two-stage power converter without storage batteries. Conventional controllers usually employ linear V/f control, where the reference motor speed is derived from the PV input power and the dc-link voltage error using a simple proportional–integral (PI) controller. The proposed Q V/f-based system is compared with the conventional linear V/f control using a simulation case study under different operating conditions. The proposed controller expectedly enhances the system output power and efficiency, particularly under low levels of solar irradiance. Some alternative controllers rather than the simple PI controller are also investigated in an attempt to improve the system dynamics as well as the water flow output. An experimental prototype system is used to validate the proposed Q V/f under diverse operating conditions.