CS2 Efficient Water Use in Agriculture
Sustainable development of land and water resources is very important for a country like India which shares about 16% of the global population with only 2.4% of land and 4% of water resources. India is an agricultural country and around 60-70% of population is dependent on agriculture.
The growing demand of food grains needs more efforts to enhance agricultural production. This necessitates efficient utilization of all inputs to agriculture; especially water, as it consumes more than 70% of total water.
Efficient and judicious use of water in agriculture can be achieved by introducing the advanced methods of irrigation like Micro-Irrigation which will help in savings of significant amounts of water and increase the quality and quantity of produce. Micro-irrigation is the application of water in and around the root zone of the plants, achieving higher water use efficiency resulting in improved crop yield. With Micro-Irrigation, substantial quantum of water can be saved over conventional methods and 90 to 95 % on farm water use efficiency can be achieved. Significant savings in the use of fertilizers (20 to 50%) and 20 to 70 % increase in yield can be achieved.
Apart from this, management of cropping patterns for the areas in line with local availability is a need of the hour. Economic models established for the community may have to undergo transformation in such cases timely leading to sustenance to change. There are other angles to improving water use efficiency at storage and conveyance levels as well, which have a bearing in overall efficiency targets.
Govt. of India had launched a Centrally Sponsored Scheme named National Mission for Micro-Irrigation (NMMI) during the year 2005-06 under XI Plan to promote Micro-Irrigation.National Water Mission has been constituted during the year 2008 with its goal to increase the water use efficiency by 20%. These emphasize the need for water conservation and improvement in water-use efficiency to achieve “More Crop per Drop” at the field level.
Some of the measures required to improve irrigation efficiency are Lining of canals, Proper operation and maintenance of irrigation system, Recovery of water charges to meet the operation and maintenance cost, Equitable water distribution, Automation, effective Management Information System (MIS) and decision support system (DSS), Participatory Irrigation Management, Improvement on farm level water management, Reducing gap in Irrigation potential created and utilized, Promotion of Micro-Irrigation techniques like Drip and Sprinkler irrigation, Fertigation Chemigation etc and session will take up the issues for transforming them into ensuring efficiency and sustainability building in the sector.