Day 13 – Q 2.With the help of suitable examples, examine the significance of decentralised water storage and irrigation techniques for India’s agro-climatic conditions.
2. With the help of suitable examples, examine the significance of decentralised water storage and irrigation techniques for India’s agro-climatic conditions.
उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की मदद से, भारत की कृषि-जलवायु परिस्थितियों के लिए विकेंद्रीकृत जल भंडारण और सिंचाई तकनीकों के महत्व की जाँच करें।
According to the Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) report released by the Niti Aayog in 2018, 21 major cities (Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and others) are racing to reach zero groundwater levels by 2020, affecting access for 100 million people.
India accounts for only about 4 % of global water resources, but supports 18 % of the World’s human population and 15 % of its livestock, putting considerable strain on water resources. Agriculture consumes more than 80 % of the total usable water available in the country.
Significance of decentralised water storage and irrigation:
- Decentralised storage systems offer the possibility to provide safe drinking water where centralised supply systems are not feasible due to technical, economical or institutional reasons. Ex: In rural communities or informal settlements.
- Small water bodies (mainly tanks) are less capital-intensive, user-friendly with fewer environmental problems and augment groundwater resources through sub-surface recharge. Ex: Existence of decentralised water storage systems in (Hebbal) Bengaluru, etc.
- Decentralised supply offers the possibility to provide clean, reliable drinking water to rural or informal settlements where centralised systems are not economically or technically possible.
- Wide range of simple, relatively inexpensive and cost effective options are available so people can choose the technologies most appropriate for them. Ex: Drip irrigation, Sprinkler technique, etc.,
- In cities with grave water crisis decentralised water storage is the only solution and the society as a whole should a make an effort in this regard. For Ex: Individuals and communities in Chennai have created a simple rainwater harvesting apparatus which can successfully collect 225 litres in just 10 minutes.
- Traditional irrigation techniques such as tankas, khadins, vav, ahar pynes are significant in areas such as arid and semi-arid regions. Ex: Bikaner, Jaisalmer, South Bihar.
- They are independent from an institutional set-up or centralised systems.
The World Bank, in its report India’s Water Economy: Bracing for a Turbulent Future (2006), had outlined that dams in India have the capacity to store only about 30 days of rainfall, compared with 900 days in major river basins in arid areas of developed countries. Hence, more efforts need to be taken to develop water infrastructure in a decentralised manner by shifting the focus to cost-effective methods.