Optimal water resource management in water stress condition : A Newsletter of AFPRO Volume 2, Issue 2 of July 2011

AFPROSmall and marginal farmers are most affected from water stress situations, and need simple, sustainable and effective measures for water conservation and management.

AFPRO has a long and illustrious experience of working on water resource management. The learning’s from community centric interventions assist the community in identifying and accepting region specific low cost models on efficient water use in agriculture and allied activities. Such models include drip irrigation, gravity flow systems, in-situ soil and moisture conservation, water harvesting measures, System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and Integrated Farming Systems. Further, AFPRO takes immense interest in capacitating the farming communities for adapting to different water stress conditions under current climate change regimes.

This issue of the newsletter deals with the following -

Water Conservation and Management for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods by Pradip Kumar, Principal Specialist cum Coordinator, NRM, AFPRO, New Delhi – This article by AFPRO deals with Mission Sunehara Kal, a Water Conservation and Management Project in the district of Mewat of Haryana with resource support from ITC Limited to address the problem of fast depleting ground water table and water availability in the project villages. Efforts were made to improve livelihood conditions of farmers by adopting improved agriculture practices. The intervention context included attributes such as institution development & capacity building, participation and self-help promotion, sustainable water conservation and management, and agri-based livelihood development. The article discusses how the formation of a Village Development Committee (VDC) under the Gram Panchayat to take the responsibility of maintaining the water harvesting structures is a unique expression of the participatory process practiced at the grassroots.

Gravity Flow System: Effective Water Resource Management for Hilly Terrains in North-East India by Tamal Biswas, Jr. Agri. Eng., AFPRO Task Force, Guwahati – This article from is based on AFPRO’s Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT) supported project “Enhancing livelihood food security through diversion based irrigation” to empower tribal farmers in 145 villages of Eastern and North-Eastern States, namely Jharkhand, Orissa, Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura. The project mainly aims at harnessing the natural flow of water and bringing the water up to the agricultural fields so that the farmer can cultivate the second (rabi) crop. This will ensure food security for the villagers or the targeted tribal communities. By identifying the right water sources and connecting these to the farm lands through gravity based distribution systems, protection irrigation for both kharif and rabi crops can be ensured. Together with this, training of farmers on appropriate agricultural skills such as SRI, mixed farming, organic farming, crop rotation, and dryland farming will enable them to grow successful crops thereby further improving their food security.

Ground Water Recharge to Overcome Water Stress – An Experience from PIKA Project by AFPRO Head Office & AFPRO Lucknow Office – This article deals with the USAID funded ‘Partnership for Innovation and Knowledge in Agriculture’ (PIKA) project designed and implemented in five Area Development Programs (ADPs) of World Vision India clustered in UP within five districts. This project is designed to address the key constraints for enhancing agricultural productivity of small holder farmers.  One of the facets of this project is to ensure the sustainability of natural resources, mainly soil and water that are being depleted at an accelerated rate due to inefficient irrigation systems, overexploitation of groundwater (leading to a significant decline in water tables), soil salinity and soil erosion. This article details AFPRO’s contribution to the PIKA project in providing the necessary expertise and technologies required to meet the key objective of project i.e. improved water resource management and soil conservation in the project areas. In this regard, AFPRO undertook several measures, both structural as well non-structural, to effectively manage water resources and conserve the soil cover, with emphasis on replenishment of depleting groundwater, such that groundwater may be a sustainable source of irrigation for agriculture. Each of these measures has a significant role in restoring water levels and has been briefly described in the article.

Community Participation in Watershed: Ensuring Sustainable Water Resource Management  by Ashish Kumar Patel, Jr. Agri. Eng., AFU-III, Udaipur - This article deals with the Indo-German Watershed Development Programme (IGWDP), in tribal dominated Anjeni village in Lasaria Block, Udaipur District, Rajasthan for watershed development activities where AFPRO in collaboration with the local community provided socio-technical support to the NABARD watershed development programme during the pre-capacity building phase, with a view to achieve community participation for sustainability of the programme.

The newsletter also covers the following events –

  • Pre SACOSAN-IV Meeting, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Training on Village Baseline Survey, organized by CCAFS, at Kisumu, Kenya

To read the previous issues of the newsletter from the AFPRO website please click here 

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