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Water Management in Agriculture: Issues and Strategies in India

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Abstract

Water the critical resource of agriculture, has not been well managed in India, despite the country being an agricultural powerhouse. This paper discusses pertinent issues related to irrigation in India and the strategies and arrangements to address water scarcity for irrigation. The study finds that problems are largely institutional, structural, and administrative. Overcoming them is crucial for agricultural development in general and water management in particular
International Journal of Development and Sustainability
ISSN: 2186-8662 www.isdsnet.com/ijds
Volume 7 Number 2 (2018): Pages 578-588
ISDS Article ID: IJDS17122601
Water management in agriculture: Issues
and strategies in India
V. Basil Hans *
Department of Economics, St Aloysius Evening College, Mangaluru 575 003, Karnataka State, India
Abstract
Water the critical resource of agriculture, has not been well managed in India, despite the country being an
agricultural powerhouse. It has some 195 MH of land under cultivation of which some 62 per cent is rain-fed and 37
per cent, irrigated. Agriculture uses 85 per cent of the water resources with low efficiency. The rain-fed area is the
critical area of cultivation with the largest concentration of rural poverty spanning several agro ecological regions.
Water management is related to three important challenges in the agricultural front today namely raising
productivity per unit of land, reducing poverty, and responding to food security needs. In the light of the new call to
achieve “more crop per drop”, this paper discusses pertinent issues related to irrigation in India and the strategies
and arrangements to address water scarcity for irrigation. The study finds that problems are largely institutional,
structural, and administrative. Overcoming them is crucial for agricultural development in general and water
management in particular.
Keywords: Agriculture; India; Management; Pani Panchayats, Water
* Corresponding author. E-mail address: vhans2011@gmail.com
Published by ISDS LLC, Japan | Copyright © 2018 by the Author(s) | This is an open access article distributed under the
Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
provided the original work is properly cited.
Cite this article as: Hans, V.B. (2018), “Water management in agriculture: Issues and strategies in India”, International
Journal of Development and Sustainability, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 578-588.
International Journal of Development and Sustainability Vol. 7 No. 2 (2018): 578-588
ISDS www.isdsnet.com 579
1. Introduction
“Irrigation is everything in India; water is even more valuable than land”, remarked Sir Charles Trevelyan
decades ago. “If the monsoon fails, there will be lockout in agricultural industry” remarked Wolff. Today the
general acceptance is that the problem is not shortage of water but one of its poor management, i.e.
utilisation, augmentation, and conservation. The country is endowed with 183 million hectares of cultivable
land, 115.6 million farming families, 400 million of annual precipitation, and a conducive agro-climate for
cultivating a variety crops. About two-thirds of the country’s population work in agriculture and feed over
1000 million people every day. Yet majority of farmers are under the clutches of poverty, debt and hunger
(Hans, 2010). Micro studies on poverty in rural areas cannot keep out irrigation as an explanatory factor. For
instance Gurunathan (2008), applying linear regression technique for estimating the strength of irrigation in
determining rural poverty in the state of Tamil Nadu (for 37 years from 1964 to 2000) found that rural
poverty can be reduced by 1.54 per cent through an increase of one hectare of groundwater irrigation for
very thousand rural population. Study by Hans (2007) in Belthangadi and Mangalore taluks of Dakshina
Kannada District, Karnataka using chi-square method revealed that as households move up from below
poverty line to higher income levels they are in a better position to availability and accessibility of irrigation
infrastructure. In many cases, the average income per household almost doubled when irrigation was utilised.
Indian agriculture even now is heavily dependent on the monsoons. Nearly 70 per cent of the net sown
area is rain-dependent. Problems of Indian agriculture are intricately linked to per-capita availability of
water in a cost-effective manner. This fact has to be viewed in the context of 2007 that was earmarked as
“Water Year” by the Government, as also the general crisis and contemporary challenges in agricultural
sector. Even a non-farm activity like insurance is penetrating the irrigation sector and we now have rainfall
insurance and re-insurance in India. Demand for food is increasing but vast majority of lands remain fallow
during dry season. This is so in more than half of the arable land (Zaman 2009). Water problem is a triple
problem problem from supply side, from side and from quality angle.
By the year 2030, India needs to produce 60 per cent more rice with much fewer resources. To keep up
the momentum of growth, a careful economic valuation of inputs including irrigation is of considerable
importance (Kiran, et.al 2009). The use of major resources of the earth like water has to be guided by the
principles of optimum and scientific utilisation, both as individual commitment and international agreement
(Hans and Jayasheela 2010; Singh 2010). Despite rapid strides in high-tech agriculture and
commercial/corporate farming, sustainable agriculture and livelihood security will largely be decided on the
natural resource base, use and conservation. With this in mind the objectives of this paper are:
to present the problems and challenges in the waterfront for Indian agriculture;
to highlight areas that need to be addressed for better water management; and
to examine some initiatives in India to save water,
2. Extent and Effects
Irrigated agriculture is limited only to 46 per cent of the cropped area in India, but it contributes nearly 56
per cent of the agricultural output, and about 60 per cent of food grains production comes from irrigated area
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(Nagdev, 2012). Efficiency or deficiency in farming is largely related to water rainfall or irrigation. It is true
for productivity improvements through area expansion as well as through combined inputs (irrigation,
fertilisers, plant protection measures etc.). Even the entrepreneurial ability in farm operations is water-
linked. No doubt under modern farming irrigation is one of the inputs in integrated farm management. Total
Factor Productivity criterion of farm efficiency places adequate importance on irrigation to explain
variations in yields and technical efficiencies across crops and across farms. For instance, a study of paddy
farmers in the state of Andhra Pradesh by Raju (2004) revealed that the non-availability of assured irrigation
leads to low-level usage of fertilisers too and in turn, low yields.
3. Irrigation scenario
India has irrigation potential of 139.89 hectares of which 108.3 m ha (i.e. about 77 per cent) has already been
utilised (see Table 1). The average annual per-capita availability of water is estimated to be about 1,829 cubic
metres at the national level. This is expected to decline to about 1,341 CUM by the year 2025 and 1.140 CUM.
by the year 2050, owing to the increase in population. The per-capita storage capacity in India is only about
207 CUM. as compared to 1,111 CUM in China. Out of the total water supply, the share of irrigation at present
is about 80 per cent. This is likely to go down to 73 per cent by 2025.
Table 1. Water Resources of India
Geographical Area 328 m ha
Culturable Area 185 m ha
Rainfall 4000 cubic km
Utilisable Water Resources 1122 cubic km (including
Resources 432 cubic km from Groundwater)
Ultimate irrigation potential 139.9 m ha
Source: S. M. Mendhekar and M. L. Chalakh, Technical Digest, issue 6
As water is vital not only for increasing output of varied crops but also for sustainable employment and
income in the agricultural sector, proper planning and management of this resource is very essential.
Creating appropriate infrastructures and adopting suitable management practices will help augment the
utilisable water resources and improve the efficiency of the facilities.
4. Strategic issues
There a global threat to water resource, not just in terms of climate change but also model of valuation and
distribution. For instance, in Chile, water is no longer a public good; it has become a capital good, left to the
discretion of speculators and is separated from the land. The result? Water is sold as a market good at high
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prices. The small farmers are now almost a species in extinction, replaced by seasonal workers. These are
some of the visible effects of the crisis in rural Chile, 50 years after a land reform which postulated that “the
land is for those who work it.” Now, in order to tackle the crisis, the grandchildren of the land reform –
environmental and social activists are proposing an alternative i.e. a new land reform to reclaim water as a
public good, at a time when a persistent drought is affecting much of Chile. The situation is so acute making it
necessary to use tanker trucks to distribute water in some low-income neighbourhoods in cities around the
country. Commodification and privatisation of water led to the imbalance between human rights,
environmental integrity and corporate profits. Now the people are thirsting for structural reforms to bring
new market rules and uphold human rights including water access and sanitisation (Milesi, 2017; Larrain,
2012). Such a situation has already arrived in India. Water scarcity is rampant, often resulting in crop failure,
poverty, social conflicts and farmers’ suicides (an average of 15,000 annually). India, being a signatory to the
World Trade Organisation (WTO), it is under pressure to open its market to the globalised economy. So, the
impoverished farmers will certainly need assistance which is much more than financial. across the dry land
states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, social workers from the Sadguru Foundation created several village-level
cooperatives that in turn setup a number of SHGs, lift irrigation groups, horticulture groups, mil vendors
groups etc. These productive groups are asset and job-creating and at the same time work as social networks
of civic associations known to confront poverty, resolve social disputes and provide opportunities for
community development (Agoramoorthy and Hsu, 2015).
Keeping in mind both utilisation and conservation aspects of water ‘efficiency’ parameter is the key
strategic factor. Inefficiency limits capability and reliability. While this is a physical issue, we have some
economic issues too. The financial manifestations of current investment and water pricing policies have their
deleterious economic consequences on the production front. A shortage of water, which may be seasonal,
multi-annual or secular, is a threat to a wide range of economic activities municipal water supply and
water-based sewerage, water-intensive industries and agriculture, hospitals, mines, power stations, shale-
gas production, hotels, etc. It is possible to make the Irrigation Departments autonomous and self-financing
through increased water charges, improving collection rates and developing instruments to capture private
sector investments in development and management (Dewangan, 2016). Subsidised water rates sap farmers’
interest to opt for the tenets of water use efficiency and conservation. Millions of dollars spent on irrigation-
subsidies, have led to more water use, not less. This has led to fall in water tables ranging from 15 per cent
to 75 per cent, say the scientists. Further, we have institutional issues like weak organisation base and
delivery mechanisms for water, allied inputs and extension services (Mendhekar and Chalakh, n.d; World
Water Council, 2015; Nixon, 2013).
India has been experiencing successive droughts in the past several years. Nine states Andhra Pradesh,
Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh
have declared a drought in the year 2015-16. All these point to the need for strategies in the short and long
term to prevent droughts, mitigate the adverse effects of droughts, and ensure a better and more efficient
management of water resources. Building a climate-resilient agriculture is the need of the hour. (Dev, 2016).
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5. Challenges and opportunities
One of the most important challenges both in waterfront and food front is that of climate change. The term
“global climate change” refers to the rising temperature of the earth due to an increased amount of carbon
dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). The phenomenon and presence of climate change has
created more intensity in the uncertainty of water availability, making it difficult to optimise actions and
their timings (OECD, 2014).
Natural resources have become vulnerable. Agriculture in India is in a peculiar situation of growth with
vulnerability. A significant part of the annual variation in India’s GDP growth over the past century is
attributable to yearly variations in rainfall. Rise in the sea level and depletion of potable water as well
irrigation potential are serious concerns. Estimates predict that with increase in temperature by 2080-2100
the probable loss in crop production is 10-40 per cent (Hans, 2011; Hans 2012). Green House Effect is a
challenge to green revolution today.
In several coastal areas of the country a new problem is rising. Sand mining is causing the water table has
gone down and due to this farmers have been increasing the horse-power of their motors, again with
repercussions on cost and economic performance of irrigation and cultivation (Selvakumar et.al, 2008).
Substantial progress in irrigation has been made through programmes and policies such as Command
Area Development Programme (1974-75), Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (1996-97), National
Water Policy (2002) and so on. Yet the major problem in irrigation continues to be the under-utilisation of
potential, particularly of major and medium irrigation projects.
The outlays on major and medium irrigation rose from Rs376 crore in the First Five Year Plan to more
than Rs1,65,000 crore in the Eleventh Plan, which was cumulatively Rs3,51,000 crore (GoI 2012). A study of
210 major and medium irrigation projects by a Delhi non-governmental organisation (NGO) that used data
from the Ministry of Agriculture showed that after investing Rs1,30,000 crore, between 1990-91 and 2006-
07, these projects were irrigating 2.4 million hectares (ha) less than before. The Twelfth Plan working group
indicated that there had been massive time and cost overruns (Dev, 2016). Added to this is the sensitive issue
of user-charges. Lack of thorough knowledge of scarcity-value of water to its user is an obstacle in its efficient
use. Political interferences, shortages of electricity etc. are also affecting the working of Water (pani)
Panchayats.
6. Lessons, suggestions and conclusion
Apathy and administrative constraints are making agriculture weary. A multi-pronged strategy is needed to
improve water-management system and practice in India.
1
Every farmer and farm-based organisations
should implement this. Central Government as well as the state governments should ensure and enhance
1
Water resource management is the activity of planning, developing, distributing and managing the optimum use of water resources.
It is a sub-set of water cycle management. Ideally, water resource management planning has to regard to all the competing demands
for water and seek to allocate water on an equitable basis to satisfy all uses and demands (Shinde, 2015).
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incentives to invest in adaptation of new methods of water saving, harvesting etc. particularly to meet
uncertainties of weather and global climate changes. Even the innovative “participatory public delivery
system” should be encouraged for water management in general and underground water in particular. The
underlying principle should be one of “least cost” according to the objectives of effectiveness, economic
efficiency and equity. As stated by the then President of India, His Excellency Shri Pranab Mukherjee,
“Strategic partnerships for adoption of best practices and to maximise benefits through technology transfer
have become more important today.
India, which had witnessed a Green Revolution in the Sixties, is now moving towards an “Evergreen
Revolution”, recognising the positive role that information technology can play as powerful catalyst for
sustainable agricultural development. India’s strategy centres on the Action Plan for Information and
Communication Technology (ICT) for Agriculture, which has been operational since 1995.”
1
People associated with agriculture and allied activities should be recognised as resource management
communities with awareness and positive attitude towards an “integrated approach to the utilisation of
natural resources” soil, water and bio-diversity. This approach should not be an adhoc one, but a strategic
collaboration for sustainable ecosystems, rural livelihoods and food security (Bunning, n.d.). Moreover, it has
to be strong in its quantitative and qualitative dimensions. Irrigation has to be developed in terms of area
coverage as well as conservation. Dissemination of time-tested technical know-how regarding water use, re-
use and replenishment as well about drought and disaster management should be made available eve to
small and marginal farmers. Research in labs should be dovetailed with field experiments to cater to felt-
needs of farmers and to enrich the experiences.
Knowledge sharing is going to be another important sub-sector in this scheme of things in the coming
days. The Central Water Ministry has in this connection called for active participation of all stakeholders.
Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) along with the Water Users Associations (WUAs) has been
conceived as the thrust area in the effective irrigation management by involving and associating the farmers
in planning, operation and maintenance of the irrigation system in India. So too the Irrigation Management
Transfers (IMT) Programmes which states are keen about (Mahapatra, 2006). Progressive involvement of
farmers in water management has yielded desirable results in terms of equity, efficiency and economy.
It has already sounded on a research programme of farmers’ participatory action in 5000 villages to
promote “more crop and income per drop” of water, training of water-masters in each Pani Panchayat
2
and
wider dissemination of know-how to the user-level through electronic and print media. Pani Panchayats that
in 1972 came to save many famers during the severe drought in Maharashtra and also became very popular
1
From the Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the inauguration of the Asia-Africa Agri-Business Forum, 05-
February-2014. Reproduced in “Food Security: Asia-Africa Agribusiness Partnership”, The African Executive, Issue 461, 19-26
February, 2014.
2
Pani in Hindi means water. Pani Panchayats are water councils at the grassroots level viz., the villages. Pani Panachayats are in a
sense water users’ associations. These are funded by state governments and consist of all the farmers within the command of a
minor or sub-minor canal, or of a Lift Irrigation Point. It will have a bank account of its own. The rights and responsibilities of the
Pani Panchayat will be governed by an Agreement between the Pani Panchayat and the state’s Department of Water Resources. In
2016, the International Year of Pulses, the M.S. Swaminathan Foundation has come up with a new concept called “Pulse Panchayat s”.
This shows how we can reinforce water schemes with crop schemes towards integrated farm management
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in Orissa should be revitalised in all states of India. Similarly Karnataka’s programmes such as Jal Nirmala
(clean water), Jalarakshana (water protection) and Namma Bhumi Namma Thota (our land, our garden),
Gujarat’s aquifer mapping exercise (under MGNREGA), Rajasthan’s Jal Chitra (water map) and other
initiatives must bring in harmony between people and the environment. There should be not be any clash of
interests here. Huge and largely successful programmes like MGNREGA and the National Rural Livelihood
Mission (NRLM) can be linked with many small yet locally viable and sustainable water management
programmes. Such efforts will also strengthen local governance and participatory management. More and
more collaboration of related ministries with the civil society can thus, initiate a paradigm shift in rural
development in general and water management in particular, i.e. a shift away from narrow engineering
construction approach to demand driven participatory approach (Likhi, 2014).
Study by M.L. Jat and others conducted in Bhilwara district of Rajasthan during the year 2011-2013 to
assess the economic feasibility of refinement renovation of a traditional water harvesting structure under
Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (National Agriculture Development) project revealed that the average number of
irrigations in one ha increased from 1.8 to 3.86 after renovation of existing and crop diversification index
increased from 0.432 to 0.782 and 0.432 to 0.659 during and seasons, respectively. Increased water
resources and improved technologies increased the productivity by 28 to 48.5 per cent in both the seasons.
On an average, 54,499 annum was obtained after one year of renovation of with an average B: C ratio of 2.52
against total expenditure of 35,859. Besides, about 251 to 403 man-days employment was generated as
indirect benefit due to water resource development and implementation of improved crop production
technologies. The average cost of water storage in the renovated was found to be 6 m , whereas, a net return
of 19 m was realised by utilising the stored water for irrigation to crops and fish during the first year of
study. Renovation of existing nadies (rivers) increased ground water recharge by 15-41 per cent (Jat et.al,
2016). Lessons such as these are inspiring no doubt but emulation in more and more districts of the country
is what we are eager about.
Strict enforcement of laws to prevent indiscriminate sand mining, and injudicious use of electricity etc.,
can save a lot of water without adversely affecting the crop production and productivity. Damage control
exercises should be taken up for implementation without wasting any time. This is in the interest of all
resources, including labour. For instance, enhanced land and labour productivity due to better water
management can lead to higher real wages too. Yogindra Alagh (2011) has estimated that if land
augmentation emerges with success of the interrelated issues of water management, cropping intensity can
rise by 0.5 per cent annually and in the decade 2010/2020, real wages would rise by 7 per cent additional or
27 per cent in total and rural-urban inequality would go down.
Educating the farmers has to be at the top of the agenda of agricultural development in general and water
management in particular. While IT and BT need to be promoted on a large scale, they should be made
‘farmer-friendly’. In the light of the recurring drinking water scarcity also in several parts of the country,
water management for both irrigation and drinking purposes would receive urgent attention. Choice of
techniques for optimisation of resources should be crystal clear to all concerned. Public and private
investments will have to be stepped up for this national cause. Therefore, policies and programmes for
irrigation development in the future have to be ‘focused’ on increasing per-capita availability of water; cost
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and time reductions of irrigation projects; rationalisation of rates; better maintenance of works and sound
management of natural resources coupled with HRD of farm-managers.
Water-saving and water-use efficiency schemes and strategies such as Awareness campaigns on Water,
Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Training programmes on Sustainable Agriculture (SA) and Water Use
Efficiency (WUE), and rainwater harvesting, water recycling etc. which are already functional must be
become “best practices” of all water users. It is heartening to note that citizens’ initiates are also forthcoming
in a positive way. For instance, the “Next drop” started by Anu Sridharan as a platform between citizens and
the government has helped solve the water problems of the residents in Hubli, a town in Karnataka.
1
Similar
case is that of Uddhav Kedkar of Shivni village (Maharashtra). These eco-saviours, fighting like warriors are
the change-makers, the Global Indians who have acted locally.
In the tsunami-hit lands of Andaman, Several NGOs (e.g. Voluntary Health Association of India, Nehru
Yuva Kendra, Nandi foundation, Tata Institute of Social Sciences etc.) actively participated in enhancing
livelihood security of the affected people. They took up ‘cash for work’ programme and did desiltation of
water bodies, clearing of fields from damaged crops, strengthening of river bunds and so on. The rescue,
rehabilitation and reassuring measures helped agriculture to revive (Hans, 2011).
Rational management of water needs strong pro-democratic and environment-friendly systems in place.
Further they need to be integrated with best farm practices. No doubt, this is going to be a daunting task
given the fact that climate change will heighten the need to anticipate water shortages worldwide (Jaeger,
2017). There are clear challenges with definite choices. The most difficult challenge is to make the best
choice. Water can save us. We can also save water. Preaching is good, but practice makes us perfect.
Acknowledgement
The author is grateful to the useful comments and suggestions made by anonymous referees on the earlier
version of this paper. Any remaining errors are my own.
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... With each passing day, food needs are rising but large area of lands continues to be unproductive. To maintain the current force of development, a cautious fiscal evaluation of various resources with water system is significant (Hans 2016). These resources like water should be managed by principles of optimum utilization with the commitment of each and every individual and the government. ...
... India has capability of irrigation of around 139.89 hectares, from which 108.3 m ha (i.e., around 77%) is already under use (Hans 2016). The average yearly water accessibility per person is evaluated near around 1829 cubic meters at nationwide level. ...
... India's available water resources(Hans 2016) ...
Chapter
Industrial hygiene professionals and other pharmaceutical industry occupational health specialists have acknowledged that occupational exposure to active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) may cause unintended health impacts in the handling of these drugs by employees. In an industrial setting, where a worker offers a route of exposure to a powerful chemical compound, there is a high likelihood or risk that the compound will produce the designed response. Industrial hygiene offers needed policies to prevent occupational exposure to powerful compounds and elements of a good powerful safety program for compounds. Industrial hygiene is all about anticipating and assessing the hazards of powerful compounds; determining which of the procedures present the greatest risks; assessing the risks; and controlling future occupational exposures mainly through engineering and administrative systems. It basically deals with assessing the hazards of current or new compounds, conducting risk assessments on all prospective exposures to risks, assessing future exposures, carrying out risk assessments and controlling steps to prevent risks, accidents and sensitive events in the workplace fields. To prevent exposure to powerful chemical compounds, all safety precautions should be introduced and failure of control exposures to powerful compounds may result in expensive program mistakes, delayed manufacturing schedules and possibly dangerous exposures to industrial employees.
... With each passing day, food needs are rising but large area of lands continues to be unproductive. To maintain the current force of development, a cautious fiscal evaluation of various resources with water system is significant (Hans 2016). These resources like water should be managed by principles of optimum utilization with the commitment of each and every individual and the government. ...
... India has capability of irrigation of around 139.89 hectares, from which 108.3 m ha (i.e., around 77%) is already under use (Hans 2016). The average yearly water accessibility per person is evaluated near around 1829 cubic meters at nationwide level. ...
... India's available water resources(Hans 2016) ...
Chapter
Water is the basic necessity of agriculture, and yet it still has not been properly utilized in India, in spite of the fact that our nation is an agricultural capital. India has approximately 195 million hectares area of land under agricultural cultivation. Out of this, more than 54% is rainfed and 46% is irrigated from rivers or underground water. Agriculture utilizes 85% of the available water assets, but its efficiency is very low. The rainfed region is the basic cultivating region with most of the rural farmers covering numerous agriculture promising states. Water management faces three most important difficulties in agricultural sector today which specifically are increasing productivity per unit area of land, decreasing poverty, and food safety and security needs of country. With the motto to achieve “More Crop Per Drop,” this paper focuses on India’s available water resources, their current utilization, and it explores whether it can be used more efficiently by bringing some changes in farming system, current agriculture practices in India followed by the various issues which are faced while implementing proper irrigation techniques; the major problems are institutional, structural and administrative. It also discusses various government strategies and schemes followed by new techniques which can be utilized to improve current scenario of water management in agriculture.
... With each passing day, food needs are rising but large area of lands continues to be unproductive. To maintain the current force of development, a cautious fiscal evaluation of various resources with water system is significant (Hans 2016). These resources like water should be managed by principles of optimum utilization with the commitment of each and every individual and the government. ...
... India has capability of irrigation of around 139.89 hectares, from which 108.3 m ha (i.e., around 77%) is already under use (Hans 2016). The average yearly water accessibility per person is evaluated near around 1829 cubic meters at nationwide level. ...
... India's available water resources(Hans 2016) ...
... The pre-head storage potentiality in India is only about 207 CUM. Taking the total water supply, currently the irrigation shares about 80%, which is estimated to reduce to about 73% by 2026 (Basil Hans, 2018). ...
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In mediterranean countries, water is considered as the most basic assets for economic sustainability growth. For cultivation, water is not only essential but also essential in different sectors such as in industries and economic growth. It is considered as also an important component of the environment with significant impact on natural conservation and health. Around 70% of fresh water withdrawals goes to agriculture. The use of water within the sectors are very diverse and included mainly for irrigation pesticides and fertilizers application and sustain livestock. In India, agriculture is an important sector for sustenance and growth of Indian economy. Today, in the whole world, India is one of the largest producers of agricultural products. Several agricultural commodities like tea, coffee, oil seeds, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, rice, wheat, spices etc. are considered as the major supplier from India. For crop and yards water, irrigation management involves the monitoring of water applications. It is especially important to monitor soil moisture in order to promote optimise crop yields without runoff percolated loss.
... Out of the total water supply, the share of irrigation at present is about 80 per cent. This is likely to go down to 73 per cent by 2025 (Hans, 2016). ...
... To encounter this problem organic farming was introduced which was an untapped market in the beginning. In order to maintain an ecological balance between life and environment and thereby meeting the food demand and increase the soil fertility with soil organic carbon, educating people and creating awareness became crucial through imparting information about the detrimental effect of nonorganic cultivation [8]. In order to maintain the sustainability of resource, many farmers practice the usage of crop rotation in different cycles. ...
... Study findings concluded that both the institutional and individual factors played a major role in determining sustainable access to safe water. V.Basil Hans (2018) in his study analysed and concluded that the problems of property, water scarcity, food obscurity, land productivity and low water productivity were due to poor Management of Irrigation water. Findings showed that the problems are largely at Institutional, Structural and administrative in nature. ...
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Irrigation has become a life lone of agriculture people. The early civilizations flourished along the river valleys. The importance of water is inevitable for the sustainable development of a nation as it is closely linked with social, cultural, economic and environment benefits. Over the years the country is learnt to have understood the importance of management in the course of irrigation development scenario of continuing pressure on water resources and its essentiality for the sustenance of life has evolved concept of conservation. Following which many efforts have been taken like watershed development scheme, water harvestment, renovation of ponds, tanks, De-silting of canals, strengthening of bunds and introduction of micro irrigation schemes and so on to conserve water. Even then the issues of water scarcity, droughts, salinity, depletion of ground water, lack of adoption of advanced irrigation technologies, fund crunch, drainage problems and the inefficient operation, maintenance and monitoring mechanisms prevailed. To overcome from these shortfalls water the effective managerial practices can be followed by considering cost, time, quality, organizational designed and implementation dynamics. Develop an integrated approach for the effective management of water resources through networks, linkages, coordination , cooperation and harmonization. With the improved research, collaborating technology transfers and dissemination of advanced irrigation practices can eliminate or mitigate the existing issues of low water efficiency, low water productivity, in-equity and adopting to the effective managerial irrigation practices can resolve the issues in the irrigation conservation and restore ecological balance for the sustainable development..
Chapter
Agriculture sector play the most important role in the developing country like India where more than fifty percentage of its population relay on the agriculture sector (Annual Report 2016-17 Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Government of India; Mahesh et al. A cloud computing architecture with wireless sensor networks for agricultural applications 2:34–38 (2020) [1–2]). In India agriculture sector faces many challenges that can be overcome to the large extent with the involvement of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into the Agricultural farm field (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome, 2017 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Agriculture A Report to the G20 Agricultural Deputies; Ramappa (2008) Information and communication technologies (ICTs) in India: an insight into progress of Rural Economy. Finan Agri–A National J Agri Rural Develop; Shalendra et al. ICT Initiatives in Indian agriculture-an overview. Indian J Agri Econ 66:489-497 (2011) [3–5]). This paper proposed a wireless sensor-based architecture that implement various sensor on the farm field and gather environmental data from agriculture farm field than these data are processed in a central server and passed to the farmer as alert for water needs to crop, protection of crop from animals and fire, diseases detection, crop growth information, weather information.
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Indian cities are rapidly expanding and with increase in migration the country is expected to witness unprecedented urbanization in the coming decade. In this context, it is important to take a holistic and realistic view of the challenges faced by Indian cities with respect to water so as to prepare and formulate policies that prompts for sustainable use of water resources and makes cities water resilient. This study evaluates the extent of water scarcity across forty-two million-plus Indian urban agglomerations incorporating Water Poverty Index (WPI). WPI combines the physical water availability with the people's capacity to access the resource, in order to assess the water scarcity. The purpose of the index is to offer a single composite value which plays a vital role in prioritizing the work related to water. The index captures the vulnerability or risk facing Indian cities to water scarcity based on five critical dimensions viz.; resource, capacity, access, use and environment.
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Agricultural production can only be sustained on a long term basis if the land, water and forests on which it is based are not degraded further. Improvements in water resources management are essential to raise agricultural productivity and reduce land degradation and water pollution. Salinization, alkalization and water logging should be addressed by a more careful approach to drainage and the regulation of water quantities through efficient use of irrigation water, which require that water be applied to growing crops at appropriate times and in adequate. The integrated management of water resources could only be possible through adoption of efficient and optimum use of irrigation water, which could only be ensured by judicious and economic use of irrigation potential whatsoever created to increase crop production. The integrated water resources management also includes the concept of rainwater management that has got an immense important on the way to develop the rainfed farming system. It has got relevancy particularly in installing small-scale irrigation system based on farmers’ participatory approach for sustainable crop production for maintaining sustainable growth and development of agriculture. Modern irrigation techniques like sprinkler and drip should be promoted when water is scarce and the topographic and soil conditions do not permit efficient irrigation by conventional methods. Promotions of such water saving devices should be an objective of the national water policy. Water resource management is a integrated and multidisciplinary activity, managing irrigation water that needs agronomy and crop husbandry, efficient methods and system of irrigation needs soils scientists and engineers. More than 98% of the irrigated lands are under the coverage of surface irrigation where more than 50% of water as considered as wastages wherein effective minimization of wastage of water used for irrigation and application of right quantity of water at right time will be the key to successful management of this crucial resource. So question of judicious management of water is pertinent while prioritizing researchable issues became of national importance.
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The current paper dealt with an evaluation of water management through community participation and emergence of Pani Panchayat in a case study of Vir Bajrang Bali Pani Panchayat under Lift Irrigation Project of the Hirakud Command Area (HCA), Orissa state in Eastern India. Broad objectives of this paper is to examine the functioning and otherwise of Water User Association (WUA) or Pani Panchayat promoted by the State and the local traditional irrigation institutions in the HCA, Orissa and to evaluate their functioning & characteristics in the context of local water management. The precise objectives are; (1) to analytically review the Orissa Farmers Management of Irrigation Systems Act and study the functioning of the Pani Panchayat, (2) to examine about the peoples participation and their liveliness, (3) the apparatus of water management and control, and its impact of such management on productivity among the members and (4) to recommend policy interventions to make the formal institutions more successful. The paper concludes that the Pani Panchayat as regulatory institutions in charge of water distribution on equitable basis, their performance has been reasonably weak and unsuccessful. Even though Pani Panchayat has been initiated and endorsed in the State for more than a couple of years, the acceptance of the model have been lethargic and scattered. As Pani Panchayat is a new concept needing enough experimentation and experience before finalization of its content and constituent in greater detail, the irrigation agency is not in a position to spell out the different component of the programme in concrete terms, the farmers should be informed accordingly. Otherwise frequent changes in the provisions will give a confusing picture to the farmers and they will lose confidence in the irrigation authority. A detailed action plan should be prepared in consultation with the water users through Participatory Rural Appraisal method. A feasibility study should be under taken by examining the caste class conflict, groupism, political differences and history of confrontation and conflict if any. It is necessary to apply bottom-up approach instead of top-down for sustainability. There must also be mechanisms to ensure that the benefits of the project are equally distributed to all concerned stakeholders.
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Water management requires multiple levels of policy action. The problem is not a shortage of water, but the absence of proper mechanisms for its augmentation, conservation, distribution, and efficient use. Water management should be given number one priority in agricultural policy, particularly to prevent drought, minimise the risks due to drought and build a climate-resilient agriculture.
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World agriculture faces an enormous challenge over the next 40 years to produce almost 50% more food up to 2030 and double production by 2050. With demand for food and water rising, farmers need to use water more efficiently and improve agricultural water management. Technology and better management can help achieve this improvement Support tools are being developed to enable greater efficiency in water management strategies, such as the computerized linking up of soil moisture monitors to drip irrigation systems. Moreover, water charges for farmers rarely reflect real scarcity or environmental costs and benefits. Sustainable use of groundwater by agriculture is usually achieved through licenses and other regulatory instruments. The challenges of improving water management in agriculture are major but by taking some basic steps, they are not insurmountable. Policymakers should also work to ensure that water charges to agriculture better reflect full supply costs.
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India’s drylands, located in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, receive low rainfall (annual average of 95–1000 mm). Farmers have to rely on the monsoon rains to cultivate crops. Realizing the irrigation water need of the farmers who inhabit the drylands, a non-profit agency called NM Sadguru Water and Development Foundation (hereafter, the Sadguru Foundation), initiated social work based on irrigation water to assist farmers in growing more crops. In this article, we present data on the irrigation-based social work implemented by the Sadguru Foundation across the drylands of western India and how it benefits local farming communities.
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