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Developing Network Programme on Revival of Village Pond


Managing Water Cycle including Rain Water Storage for Sustained Water Productivity in Plains

India is to feed 1.7 billion people by 2050 with ever-depleting soil and water resources. The disturbance of land-vegetation-climate balance by anthropogenic activities has led to decreased water resources and degradation of soil. The disturbed water cycle due to increasing runoffs and changing climatic conditions has initiated a situation of water scarcity which is going to aggravate in future times. Since most of our agriculture is dependent on rains, the disturbed water cycle is and will be affecting our agricultural production. The demand for non-agricultural sectors is expected to increase in future due to rapid industrial development which could be at the cost of water meant for agricultural sector. This necessitates catching every drop of rain water and storing it for its potential use in various sectors including agriculture. The Govt of India is stressing upon per drop, more crop as a thumb rule to promote farming through optimum utilization of water. We need to find ways to produce more with less land and water without any degradation to our natural resources. The Prime Minister of India recently stressed upon the judicious mix of 'traditional indigenous and new technologies to improve soil health and conserve water. Referring to water crisis, Prime Minister has pitched for efficient use of every drop of water.

The water cycle has been disturbed by anthropogenic activities over the years and disturbed water cycle is now affecting the productivity of all the sectors including agriculture. Its need of the hour that we conserve every drop of rainwater which otherwise is going down the drain to the oceans carrying along with it the fertile soil with nutrients. It is time now to account for the water resources, store these, conserve these by the judicious use of water in all the sectors of production. India, being a diverse country agro-climatologically, has different issues of water in different regions. Thus, different strategies need to be developed for different regions. 

It thus becomes of paramount importance to scientifically assess the water resources, store every drop of rainwater to minimize runoff and soil erosion, and use the available water judiciously as per the scientifically-based recommendations.

A proposal is being presented to Department of Science and Technologies (GOI) to develop demonstrative strategies in different regions of the Indian Plains for efficient management and utilization of water cycle.  

Issues

  • Increasing scarcity of water
  • Erratic rain distribution (unexpected events) due to changing climatic conditions
  • Fast depleting water resources (both ground and surface)
  • High rain/runoff water losses along with soil erosion/sediments
  • Non-functional village ponds and/or reservoirs
  • Low water productivity
  • Fast depleting water quality
  • Widely differing agro-climatic regions

Challenges

  • In-situ/ex-situ rainwater harvesting
  • Minimizing groundwater withdrawals
  • Recharging groundwater
  • Renovation/Construction of ponds/reservoirs
  • Improving water productivity at micro-watershed level
  • Conjunctive use of poor quality water

Working Regions

  • North (Irrigated Plains) – Punjab, Haryana, UP
  • East (Eastern Plains) – Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, W Bengal
  • Central (Rainfed Plains) – MP, Maharashtra, CGarh
  • West (Arid Plains) – Rajasthan, Gujarat
  • South (Coastal Plains) – T Nadu, AP, Karnataka

Approach

  • Micro-watershed overlapping village boundary as a unit for water management
  • Water budgeting
    • Water inputs
    • Water outputs
    • Excess/deficit water
  • Assessment of existing village ponds/reservoirs
  • Managing water resources including rainfall
    • Renovation of existing ponds
    • Construction of dug out type of water reservoirs
    • Embanked type of reservoirs
    • In-situ rainwater conservation practices
    • Intra-field rainwater harvesting
    • Cultural practices for judicious use of irrigation water
  • Conservation irrigation techniques
  • Recharge pits at selected spots in the micro-watershed
  • Use of existing recommendations for use of poor quality water
  • Rooftop rainwater harvesting
    • Rural areas
    • Urban areas

List of Potential Participating Scientists

1. Dr S S Kukal, Professor of Soil Conservation, Department of Soil Science, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana - 141004, India (sskukal@rediffmail.com)

2. Dr M J Singh, Extension Specialist, Farmer Advisory Service Scheme, Punjab Agricuiltural University, Mohali, Punjab (mmjsingh@yahoo.com)

3. Dr. Amlan Kumar Ghosh, Professor, Department of Soil Science & Agricultural Chemistry, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, UP-221005. (amlankumar@yahoo.com)
4. Dr Mukund Joshi, Professor of Agronomy, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore (mukund15454@gmail.com)
5. Dr Uttam Kumar Mandal, Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Regional Research station, Canning Town, West Bengal-743329 (uttam_icar@yahoo.com)
6. Dr Sudhir Yadav, Water Scientist (International Rice Research Institute, Philippines) ICRISAT, Hyderabad (s.yadav@irri.org)
7. Dr Saon Banerjee, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Vishavidayala, Kalyani, West Bengal (sbaner2000@yahoo.com)
 8. Dr V C Goyal, National Institute of Hydrology, Rorkee-247667.
 9. Dr. D. K. Chadha, Global Hydro Geological Solutions, Delhi.
10. CAZRI Jodhpur, Rajasthan
11. Walmi, pune, Maharastra
12. MP state council for S&T,Bhopal