Will WUA be Successful?
“The future is always present, as a promise, a lure and a temptation.”
Where Do We Want to Go? Are We Reaching to our Goals?
Huge investments in WUA formations and capacity building are of use, only and only when performance evaluation of WUA is enforced from the top authorities to bottom, otherwise are of little use. If the model of IMT / WUA fails, it will cause huge loss to the state exchequer not only in investments on capacity building, but also in the form of such assets that are now more badly damaged projects and repairs of which will be very costly.
Till now there is no book / government direction on the new role of WRD, DOA in the concept of WUA.
Technological innovations and progress has created high agricultural production, low water consumption and cost reduction in production. In India, still the costs of productions are heavy and productions are not high in spite of huge investments and efforts.
Severe environmental effects such as water logging, soil salinity, stagnant pools of foul water, degradation of quality of surface and ground water, permanent droughts and poison in food are now not uncommon. Irrigated agriculture with high doses of fertilizers, pesticides and polluted water are responsible to a large extent, besides many other causes.
Efficient irrigation does no not require huge calculations or huge manpower or huge investments in drip / sprinklers.But it requires only a strong will, proper operational plan of the project and reallocation (diversion) of subsidies to furrows and borders. Even the cost of huge turnouts can be curtailed through siphon tubes. Saving in water does not warrant heavy investment in lining of canals. It does not decrease water consumption. Rather un- lined canals are more warranted to recharge ground water and save huge investments.
Recharge of ground water in urban areas / fields through costly structures do not increase availability of rain fall or too much increase in ground water. It only redistributes availability to a limited extent. It cannot be done to the extent of natural recharge. Rather may pollute ground water. Over drafting cannot be replenished more than the normal recharge.
Water shed works, water harvesting in fields and all storage reservoirs (small, medium and large) increases evaporation and reduces availability of overall water and runoff in semiarid regions. However these are useful at local level to enhance water availability at local places as well as to longer time in arid regions (deserts). All of them are required only to a limited extent according to the hydro-metrology of a region and a compromising policy is required to make use of investments done. Unbalanced investments are making many huge investments redundant. Our open wells, boweries, kunds etc. then small reservoirs and now tube wells have become and remaining are becoming redundant (these have gone dry). Medium and large reservoirs are suffering low inflow. No amount of cleaning them can bring water in them.
Higher agricultural production and irrigation efficiencies cannot be achieved unless and until the DOA lays a heavy stress in the irrigation at field and its evaluation.
This book deals with a very low cost efficient operation of irrigation projects in conjunction with efficient agriculture of high production at low cost. It explains as to
How Do We Reach to our Goals?
There are two key ingredients to maximizing agricultural production from a given and limited volume of water: people and technology. Of these, people are more important. The best and most innovative technology in the world is of no use if people themselves cannot use it, see no advantage in it or do not understand it.
In general, all farmers are interested to increase their production, learn and adopt latest technology to the extent it is economical, long lasting and easy. If it is inconvenient and not cost effective, they very quickly discard the same.
There are only following 10 points in the order of priority to increase productivity of agriculture and save water along with the responsibility of the department
- Irrigation scheduling of crops (DOA), can save water and increase yield by 15 to 20%
- Adoption of furrow methods of irrigation (DOA), can save water and increase yield by 10 to 15%
- Canal scheduling (DOA and WRD), can save water by 10 to15%
- Evaluation of performance of fields (DOA), can save water and increase yield by 10 to 15%
- Adoption of layout of field including surface drainage (DOA and WRD), can save water and increase yield by 15 to 20%
- Adoption of advance agriculture technology (AAT) (DOA), can save water and increase yield by 15 to 20%
- Adoption of conjunctive use of surface and ground water (DOA), can save water and increase yield by 15 to 20%
- Evaluation of WUAs (DOA and WRD), can save water and increase yield by 15 to 20%
- Essential Improvements in irrigation system (WRD and DOA), can save water by 15 to 20%
- Changes in agriculture and subsidy policy to include all above aspects can save water and increase yield by 30 to 45 %
Thus without any investments, efficiency and food production can be increased by 10 to 60 %, simply by a good operation of irrigation projects and evaluation of irrigation fields. Further it can be increased by another 10 to 20% with minor investments in improvements of water courses and layout of irrigation system in the fields.
One important condition is that DOA and WRD stop blaming each other and farmers and start working from the easiest point, slowly tough points will follow. All above items are beyond the capacity of WUA and it can only help the DOA and WRD.
Those who say that without renovation, improvement, automation etc. (huge investments) are experts to make fool of educated wise people as they know that these will never act and have thousands of excuses.
Taken from the book:
OPERATION OF IRRIGATION PROJECTS FOR EFFICIENT AGRICULTURE AND CANAL LINING POLICY
Practical integrated approach