17 May 2015

"Per Drop More Crop" : India 2015, Water Management & Agriculture

Across the world, water scarcity is severe problem due to burgeoning population, energy and industrial needs, expansion of agricultural activities, in addition to changing climate and contamination of water sources. Climate change is projected to alter rainfall distribution resulting in dry spell or meteorological aberrations like, Drought (IPCC, 2014) whereas injudicious use of agrochemicals leads to high chemical run-off creating eutrophication in water bodies supplemented by heavy industrial water discharge and sewage effluents (CPCB). It not only threatens water supply and availability to agricultural purposes but also alarms the shabby conditions of drinking water availability per capita in our country.

India 2015, Water Management & Agriculture
source (usf.vc)
Our more than 70 % of available water is being used for agriculture and remaining for other purposes. Groundwater table is declining day-by-day with severe pollution on surface water. In order to ensure all those problems regarding water availability, there is need of hour for comprehensive water policy and its implementation. Government is focusing on irrigation projects for assuring “per drop more crop” with key theme of enhancing water use efficiency, so as to divert available water from agriculture to drinking purpose to ensure good health of citizen of our country.

India 2015, Water Management & Agriculture
source (sswm.info)
As per latest report of IMD, we will have 93% of rainfall this monsoon; it means there will be normal monsoon. But recent witnesses of devastating loss in Rabi season due to erratic rainfall and storm under reeling climatic variability compelled us to have proper monitoring and contingency planning for agriculture. Recent announcement made by government in due course of compensating the losses may be “A RAY OF HOPE”. But to implement these entire announcements to the real beneficiaries might be a challenging task for government. 

 "Per Drop More Crop" : India 2015, Water Management & Agriculture
source ( libelium.com)
When we look into deeper perspective, why it would be so, then certainly we have multifold loopholes in the functionaries, like

(a) Lack of proper drought monitoring mechanism and agency in India
(b)Poor co-ordination between private and government functionaries, For example, if any private agency like, SkyMet, will forecast weather condition with robust contingent plan, then governmental panel and agencies ( IMD & ICAR) used to blame on their credibility
(c)We must have trained people with expert consultancy for implementing all contingent planning formulated by research centre and government agencies in collaboration with private agencies for the development of country which would be a win-win situation for all
(d) There is a need of transformation in policy for implementing at central and state level department of agriculture and water resources.

Water Management & Agriculture OECD countries
source (oecd.org)


Hence, comprehensive approach with robust policy is of great importance in water resources planning and management for rain fed country, India.

(Written by Prakash Jha, National Chief Coordinator at All India Agricultural Students Association (AIASA) and Research Fellow at IARI (Indian Agricultural Research Institute), New Delhi)







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