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Brining Green Revolution to Rainfed Areas

Proceedings of the International Symposium Held on 23 to 25 June 2008 at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University


Dr. Arumugam Kandiah Visiting Professor, TNAU Dr. K. Ramaswamy Professor, TNAU Regional Programme Specialist, UNESCO and A. Sampathrajan Dean, Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute, TNAU

Volume I

Published Jointly by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, New Delhi Office, New Delhi July 2008

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Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore

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978-81-89218-41-6 2011 UNESCO, New Delhi Bal Vikas Prakashan Pvt. Ltd.

With a global withdrawal rate of 600 700 km3/year, groundwater is the worlds most extracted raw material. Particularly in rural areas of developing countries, in arid and semi arid regions and in the inlands, groundwater is the most important source of drinking water. Irrigation systems in many parts of the world strongly depend on groundwater resources. Groundwater is also a reliable resource for industry. However, managerial control over groundwater resources development and protection is often lacking and that has led to uncontrolled aquifer exploitation and pollution. Intensive aquifer use affects springs, stream base-flow, groundwater table, piezometric level, groundwater storage, surface water - groundwater interface, wetlands and land subsidence. Groundwater vulnerability to the human impacts is therefore recognized as a serious worldwide social, economic and environmental problem. It has been estimated that about 80 countries, constituting 40% of the worlds population, are suffering from serious water shortages and that within 25 years two thirds of the worlds population will be living in water-stressed countries. Although long been seen as the only option to improve crop productivity and thus the quality of life of millions of people, development of irrigation is not always possible because of the inherent climatic constraints in the arid and semi-arid regions of the world. It is now a well understood fact that expansion of irrigation, although technically possible, is not always cost-effective or environmentally friendly. Thus development of rainfed agriculture is not only necessary to improve the food security but also is a necessary prerequisite for the sustainable development of the world. UNESCO is working to create the conditions for genuine dialogue based upon respect for shared values and the dignity of each civilization and culture. The world urgently requires global visions of sustainable development based upon observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which lie at the heart of UNESCOs mission and activities. UNESCO has a mandate to advance hydrological sciences and their application for improving water security. UNESCO is therefore uniquely placed to work with other concerned partners to popularize and better study water harvesting technologies. Through its International Hydrological Programme (IHP), and especially through its Water and Development Information for Arid and Semi-Arid Areas (GWADI) initiative, UNESCO remains committed to sharing its know-how, cooperating with others and building new partnerships. In its VIIth Phase, IHP is extensively working in the field of rainwater harvesting, not only to consolidate existing knowledge, but also to develop cheaper and more appropriate technologies for water harvesting. I am confident that this set of proceedings of the International Symposium on Water Harvesting - bringing green revolution to rainfed areas will serve as good reference to those who are genuinely committed to bring green revolution to rainfed areas. Parsuramen

Armoogum Parsuramen Director and UNESCO Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka

List of Contributors
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. A. Balakrishnan, Department of Agronomy, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, India A. Sarangi, Senior Scientist, Water Technology Centre, IARI, New Delhi, India A. Subba Rao, Indian Institute of Soil Science, Nabibagh, Berasia Road, Bhopal-462038, Mathia Pradesh, India A.K. Misra, Indian Institute of Soil Science, Nabibagh, Berasia Road, Bhopal-462038, Mathia Pradesh, India A.K. Tripathi, Indian Institute of Soil Science, Nabibagh, Berasia Road, Bhopal-462038, Mathia Pradesh, India A.K.Sinha, Professor, Department of Geology, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India Arun Balamatti, AME Foundation, No. 204, 100 Feet Ring Road, Banashankari 3rd Stage, 3rd Phase, 2nd Block, Bangalore 560 085 B.K. Gavit, Associate Scientist, Maharashtra Remote Sensing Applications Centre- Nagpur, Maharashtra, India Bharat R Sharma, International Water Management Institute, New Delhi Office, New Delhi, India

10. C S Kallimani, AME Foundation, No. 204, 100 Feet Ring Road, Banashankari 3rd Stage, 3rd Phase, 2nd Block, Bangalore 560 085 11. C.A. Madramootoo, Dean of Faculty, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University, SteAnne-De-Bellevue, Montreal, Canada 12. C.Jayanthi, Department of Agronomy, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, India 13. C.R. Shanmugham, Programme Advisor, DHAN Foundation, Madurai, India 14. C.Vennila, Department of Agronomy, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, India 15. C.Vijayalakshmi, Department of Crop Physiology, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India 16. D. Manohar Jesudas, Professor and Head, Department of Farm Machinery, Agriculture Engineering College &Research Institute , Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, India 17. G. Sujata, Scientist/ Engr-SD, National Remote Sensing Agency-Hydrabad, Andhra Pradesh, India 18. Gunnar Jacks, Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering, KTH, Stockholm, Sweden 19. Harnath Jagawat, NM Sadguru Water and Development Foundation (NMSWDF), Dahod, Gujarat, India 20. I.Muthusamy, Professor, Department of Soil and Water Conservation Engineering, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, India 21. Ian Gale, British Geological Survey, Wallingford, Oxon, UK 22. Indra, Lecturer, E.S.College of Engineering & Technology Villupuram, India 23. J.Diraviam, AME Foundation, No. 204, 100 Feet Ring Road, Banashankari 3rd Stage, 3rd Phase, 2nd Block, Bangalore 560 085 24. J. Venkitapirabhu, Associate Professor (Agrl.Extn.), ODL, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, India 25. K.V. Rao, Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture, Hyderabad, India 26. K. Arulmozhiselvan, Professor of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India 27. K. Ramaswamy, Professor, Department of Soil and Water Conservation Engineering, Agriculture Engineering College and Research Institute , Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, India 28. K.G. Mandal, Indian Institute of Soil Science, Nabibagh, Berasia Road, Bhopal-462038, Mathia Pradesh, India

29. K.Kathirvel, Professor, Department of Farm Machinery, Agriculture Engineering College & Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, India 30. K.M. Hati, Indian Institute of Soil Science, Nabibagh, Berasia Road, Bhopal-462038, Madhya Pradesh, India 31. K.Palanisami, Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development Studies (CARDS), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India 32. K.Palanisami, Director, CARDS, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, India, 33. K.R. Koundal, Joint Director, IARI and Project Director, Water Technology Centre, IARI, New Delhi, India 34. Koichi Fujita, Professor, CSEAS, Kyoto University, Japan 35. K.P.R. Vittal, Central Arid zone Research Institute, Jodhpur, India 36. Lakshmi Devi, Lecturer, E.S.College of Engineering & Technology Villupuram, India 37. M. Karthikeyan, Team Leader, DHAN Foundation, Madurai, India 38. M. Madhu, Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute and Research Centre, Udhagamandalam 640 004, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India 39. M. Palanisamy, Programme Leader, DHAN Foundation, Madurai, India 40. M. R. Rajagopalan, Secretary, Gandhigram Trust, Gandhigram, Dindigul, India 41. M.A. Fyzee, Scientist/ Engr-SE, National Remote Sensing Agency-Hydrabad, Andhra Pradesh, India 42. M.Jegadeesan, Visiting project Researcher, CSEAS, Kyoto University, Japan 43. M.Raghu Babu, Assitant Professor, APAU, Bapatla, India 44. Madar Samad, International Water Management Institute, South Asia Regional Office, Hyderabad, India 45. N.Sritharan, Department of Crop Physiology, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore India 46. N.Varadaraj, Regional Director, Central Ground Water Board, Chennai, India 47. O.P.S. Khola, Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute and Research Centre, Udhagamandalam 640 004, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India 48. P. Balasubramaniam, Associate Professor (Agrl.Extn.), ODL, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, India 49. P. Pathak, International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics, Pathancheru, Andra Pradesh, India 50. P. Singh, International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics, Pathancheru, Andra Pradesh, India 51. P G.Lavanya, Head of Division, Agricultural Policy and Planning Division, State. Planning Commission, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India 52. P.K. Mishra, Central Soil and Water Conservation Research & Training Institute, Research Centre, Bellary, Karnataka India 53. P.K.Singh, Associate Professor, Department of Soil and Water Engineering,CTAE, MPUAT, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India 54. P.K.Selvaraj, Professor (SWC), Agricultural Research Station, TNAU, Bhavanisagar, India 55. R. Vengatesan, M.Sc.(Ag) Scholar (2005-2007) in Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Department of Soil and Environment, Agricultural College, Madurai, India 56. R. Vijayaraghavan, Professor and Head, KVK, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, India 57. R.K. Singh, Indian Institute of Soil Science, Nabibagh, Berasia Road, Bhopal-462038, Mathia Pradesh, India 58. R.K.Haroon, Planning Officer, Agricultural Policy and Planning Division, State Planning Commission, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

59. R.Sakthivadivel, IWMI Senior Fellow & Visiting Professor, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India 60. R.Thangamani, Executive Engineer, Hydrology Division, Central Water Commission, Chennai, India 61. S. Gunasekaran, Team Leader, Holistic Water Development Project, Gandhigram Trust, Gandhigram, Dindigul, India 62. S. K. Gupta, Scientist - D, Central Ground Water Board, Western Region, Jaipur; India 63. S. Mohan, Professor, Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Division, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras, Chennai, India 64. S.L. Patil, Central Soil and Water Conservation Research & Training Institute, Research Centre, Bellary, Karnataka India 65. S.Manivannan, Senior Scientist (SWCE), ICAR Research Complex for Goa, Ela,Old Goa, Goa, India 66. S.Mohamed Ghouse, Principal, E.S.College of Engineering & Technology,Villupuram and Former Chief Engineer, Agricultural Engineering Department, Nandanam Chennai, India 67. S.P. Wani, International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics, Pathancheru, Andra Pradesh, India 68. S.Senthilvel, Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development Studies (CARDS), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India 69. Sayyed Ahang Kowsar, Emeritus Senior Research Scientist, Fars Research Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Iran 70. Subshree, Lecturer, E.S.College of Engineering & Technology Villupuram, India 71. T. Selvakumar, Department of Agronomy, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, India 72. T.P.Natesan, Senior Hydrogeologist, TWAD Board, Chennai 73. T.Ramesh, Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development Studies (CARDS), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India 74. T.Ramesh, Department of Agronomy, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University, Coimbatore, India

S.No. Chapter Name Page No. Parallel Session Theme 1: Water Harvesting at the Farm level 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Management of Aquifer Recharge supply? Ian Gale The key to sustainable rural groundwater 3-11 12-33 34-41 42-49 1-67

In situ Rainwater Harvesting and Related Soil & Water Conservation Technologies at the Farm Level, P.K.Mishra Low Cost On-Farm Indigenous and Innovative Technologies of Rainwater Harvesting, R.K.Singh Integrating In-situ Soil Moisuture Conservation Techniques and Supplementary Irrigation for Sustainable Farming in Dryland Areas, K.Ramaswamy Conservation of Rainwater and Sustainaility of Productivity through Imporved Land Management and Cropping System in a Vertisol of Central India, K.M. Hati, A.K. Misra, K.G. Mandal, A.K. Tripathi, A. Subba Rao, R.K. Singh, S.P. Wani, P. Singh and P. Pathak Implements for Water Harvesting and In-stiu Mositure conservation, D.Manohar Jesudas and K.Kathirvel Effect of In-situ Conservations practices on runoff, soil loss and yield performances of chshew in Goa, S.Manivanan

50-56 57-61 62-67

6. 7.

Parallel Session
Theme 2: Water Harvesting at Micro-watershed Level - continuation 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Drought Mitigation through Floodwater Harvesting for the Artificial Recharge of Groundwater: Prudence vs Large Dms, Sayyed Ahang Kowsar Tank Systems for Water Harvesting, R.Sakthivadivel Water Harvesting and Ground Water Recharge, N.Varadaraj Potential of Water Harvesting as a Tool for Drought Mitigation, S.Mohan Impact of cost effective water harvesting techniques on artificial groundwater recharege through open wells and recharge from natural streams, K.Ramaswamy Rain water harvesting, recharging and skimming techniques suitable for saline ground water tracts of South India Case study, I.Muthusamy and M.Raghu Babu 68-108 69-72 73-78 79-87 88-94



104-108 109-153 111-112

Parallel Session
Theme 3: Enhancing Water Productivity in Rainfed Areas 14. 15. Crop Management Options to Enhance Water Productivity of Rainfed Area, S.Natarajan, C.Sudhalakshmi, R.Jagadeeswaran and R.Venkitaswamy Opportunity for Enhancing Crop Water Produtivity in Rainfed Areas:: An Assessement for Rainfed Areas of India, Bharat R Sharma, K V Rao and KPR Vittal Improving Productivity in Dryland Groundnut Framing LEISA Otucomes from South India, Arun Balamatti, J Diraviam and C S Kallimani

113-118 119-128


17. 18. 19. 20. 21.

Water Productivity at Different Scales Under Canal, Tank and Well Irrigation Systems, K.Palanisami, T.Ramesh and S.Senthilvel Integrated Farming System for Increasing Agricultural Wter Productivity, C.Jayanthi, T.Ramesh and C.Vennila Generation of regional water harvesting potential scenarios using CLIMGEN model, A. Sarangi, C.A. Madramootoo and K.R. Koundal Improving Water Productivity in Maize by Nutriseed Holder Techinque under Micro Sprinkler and Drip Irrigation, K. Arulmozhiselvan and R. Vengatesan Aerobic Rice for mitigating water scarity: Physilogical approaches, C.Vijayalakshmi, N.Sritharan and P.K.Selvaraj

129-134 135-138 139-142 143-148 149-153

Parallel Session Theme 4: Policies, Institutions and Socio-Economic Aspects 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. Socio-Economic Issues in Watershed Development Programs, Madar Samad Community Resource Management: Much needed strategy in Tank Irrigation system in India, M. Jegadeesan and K. Fujita Indigenous Knowledge use in Dryland, P. Balasubramaniam, R. Vijayaraghavan and J. Venkitapirabhu Priciples and Policty Perspective of Rain Water Harvesting, P.G.Lavanya and R.K.Haroon Impact of National Watershed Programmed for Rainfed Agriculture. A case study in Tamilnadu, A.Balakrishnan and T.Selvakumar Holistic Watershed Development A practical Approach for Creating an Enabling Environment to Promote Waer Harvesting, M.R.Rajagopalan, S.Gunasekaran 154-188 155-159 160-168 169-173 174-182 183-185


Parallel Session Theme 5: Role of Research, Extension and Education 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. Natures own water harvesting- Groundwater recharge in some different environments, Gunnar Jacks Water Harvesting A look at the past and vision for the future, R.Thangamani Water Resources Management and Sustainability of Drinking Water Resources TAWD Experience, T.P.Natesan Artificial Recharge and Aquifer storage in Lower kantli River Basin Rajasthan, India A Case Study, S. K. Gupta Capacity building Human resources and institutional development in support of soil and water conservation in India, O.P.S. Khola and M. Madhu Otureach programmes on water harvesting and land development for sustainable agricultural dryland watersheds, C.R. Shanmugham, M. Palanisamy and M. Karthikeyan Role of Research, Extension and Education in Water Harvesting A case study - Groundwater recharge in hard rock regions of Coimbatore district, 189-236 191-194 195-196 197-202 203-212 213-222



Tamil Nadu, India, D.Tamilmani, A.Raviraj and S.SanthanaBosu


Theme 1 Water Harvesting at the Farm level

Ian Gale

Objectives of MAR
MAR describes intentional storage and treatment of water in aquifers. The term artificial recharge is also commonly used, but adverse connotations of artificial suggest that it is time for a new name. Managed Aquifer Recharge is also intentional as opposed to the incidental impacts of land clearance, irrigation and leakage from water mains and sewerage systems. Managed Aquifer Recharge is carried out all over the world for all kinds of reasons and, in its simplest form involves constraining surface runoff and encouraging infiltration to aquifers through the construction of earthen field bunds. A large percentage of schemes are developed to store water for future use, for drinking water supplies and agriculture. Other reasons to manage aquifer recharge include the control of saltwater ingress, the augmentation of low river flows, reduction of runoff and soil erosion,

absorption of floodwaters to reduce their destructive capacity and the control of subsidence. Managed Aquifer Recharge should be regarded as one method to manage water resources in conjunction with a wide range of others, including surface storage, exploitation of groundwater, demand management, wastewater reuse etc.

Managed Aquifer Recharge Techniques

Numerous schemes exist to enhance recharge of groundwater and they are as varied as the ingenuity of those involved in their construction and operation. These schemes are designed with the prime objective of enhancing recharge (intentional recharge) but aquifers can also be recharged unintentionally (incidental recharge) whilst undertaking other activities, for example irrigation. Intentional methods are aimed at enhancing groundwater supplies but may also achieve other purposes such as flood mitigation and reduced soil

erosion. Here the focus is on intentional recharge, the methodologies applied being broadly grouped into the following categories: Spreading methods In-channel modifications Well, shaft and borehole recharge Induced bank infiltration, Rainwater harvesting Many schemes require low levels of technology and can be (and have been for centuries) implemented with little engineering knowledge. Although simple in principle the efficient operation of spreading basins and infiltration schemes needs a good knowledge of the physical, hydraulic, geochemical and microbiological processes in operation and how to mange them for optimum performance. Similar issues need to be addressed in roof top rainwater harvesting. For further details on these types of schemes, e.g. construction, restoration, operation etc. the reader is referred to (Central Ground Water Board, 2000), (CGWB/ UNESCO, 2000), (National Institute of Hydrology, 1998), (American Society of Civil Engineers, 2001), (OHare et al., 1982), (Huisman and Olsthoorn, 1983), (Pacey and Cullis, 1986) and (United Nations, 1975).

Infiltration or Recharge Ponds or Basins

An infiltration basin is either excavated in the ground, or it comprises of an area of land surrounded by a bank, which retains the recharge water (e.g. storm water), until it has infiltrated through the base of the basin. If the aquifer material is fine, rapid clogging will occur. In this case, covering the bottom and sides with an approximately 0.5m thick layer of medium sand can delay the clogging process and extend the recharge periods in the facility (Huisman and Olsthoorn, 1983). The same technique should be used on a fissured-rock aquifer, to prevent deep penetration of suspended solids or algae, which could result in irreversible clogging. The depth of the basin should be shallow enough, to allow rapid draining in cases where cleaning of the basin by drying and scraping is necessary. Water levels should be managed to prevent growth of vegetation or accumulations of algae and consequent resistance to the flow of water. The area of land available for infiltration basins and the infiltration rate determines the volume of recharge achievable. Clogging of the basin floor is the predominant problem during recharge, creating a filter skin on the bottom and sides of the spreading basin. To counteract this, the following methods should be considered: Apply a rotational system of water spreading and drying and subsequent scraping of the basin. Drying kills algal growth, and this, combined with scraping of the basin bottom, restores infiltration rates. Construct ridges on the floor of the basin and control the water level to winnow fines to settle in the troughs, thus maintaining infiltration rates on the sides of the ridges. Mechanical treatment of the recharge water by primary sedimentation to remove suspended solids. Settling efficiency can be increased by addition of flocculating chemicals Chlorination of the recharge water to prevent microbial activity Mechanical treatment of the soil by ploughing to increase permeability Lining the basin with a layer of medium sand to act as a filter to remove suspended solids.

Spreading Methods
Water spreading is applied in cases where the aquifer to be recharged is at or near to the ground surface. Recharge is achieved by infiltration through permeable material at the surface, which is managed to maintain infiltration rates. In situations where there is a reliable source of good-quality input water, and spreading infiltration can be operated throughout the year, then hydraulic loadings of typically 30 m/yr can be achieved for fine texture soils like sandy loams, 100 m/ yr for loamy soils and 300 m/yr for medium clean sands and 500 m/yr for coarse clean sands (Bouwer, 2002). Evaporation rates from open water surfaces range from about 0.4 m/yr for cool wet climates to 2.4 m/yr for warm dry climates so form a minor component of the water balance. Where the source of water is sporadic from seasonal flow containing high loads of suspended solids, management of the recharge structure becomes increasingly important in order to minimize clogging to maintain infiltration rates and keep evaporation from open water to a minimum.

Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT)

Planned reuse of water will become increasingly important as demand from users and the environment

results in wastewater becoming regarded as an asset rather than a disposal problem. Practical research undertaken over the last few decades, notably in Phoenix, Arizona, Bouwer, (2002), has investigated hydraulic, operational and bio-geochemical processes involved in wastewater recharge and recovery. Water quality improvement is often the primary objective to remove all suspended solids and micro-organisms. Removal of nitrogen species through denitrification is also a key benefit as is the reduction in concentration of dissolved organic carbon through biological processes. Phosphates and metals can also be removed but are retained in the soil.

Controlled Flooding
In areas of relatively flat topography water may be diverted, with the help of canals, from a river and spread evenly over a large surface area. A thin sheet of water forms which moves at a minimum velocity to avoid disturbance of the soil cover. Highest infiltration rates are observed on areas with undisturbed vegetation and soil cover (Todd, 1959).

close to ground surface. The wastewater contains industrial pollutants of many types; in Leon the effluent from the tanning industry is a significant component. The main impact on the groundwater quality in the irrigated area is the presence of poor-quality water to depths of 50 to 100 m with chloride concentrations of 800 to 1000 mg/l in the upper portions. Many of the other pollutants in the wastewater are removed or attenuated in the distribution system and the soil zone. This helps to prevent pollutants such as organic carbon, nutrients, heavy metals and pathogens form reaching the groundwater body. The main threat to groundwater is increasing concentrations of chloride being drawn to the municipal supply wells in the area (Chilton et al., 1998).

In-Channel Modifications Percolation Tanks Behind Check-Dams

An inexpensive way of spreading water can be achieved by the construction of check-dams across a streambed with the construction material being in situ river alluvium. To avoid annual erosion or destruction of these structures a concrete spillway is often constructed and, to contain and channel surface runoff, bunds are also built. Associated field bunds retard the water flow to the stream and thus create an opportunity for this water to infiltrate into the ground as well as reducing soil erosion.
An example: the AGRAR study, India (Gale et al., 2006)

Incidental Recharge
It is important to take incidental recharge into account as it can form a significant component of the water balance of a catchment. Leakage from water, wastewater and storm-water systems in urban areas can contribute significantly to groundwater recharge, in some cases resulting in rising groundwater levels and flooding. Irrigation excess water from irrigation canals and fields have historically caused water logging and salinization problems. However, where managed beneficially this incidental recharge can become an asset. For example, in the Indo-Gangetic Plain groundwater levels rose by about 6 m over a ten-year period and the water has been increasingly scavenged for irrigation water outside the surface water irrigation season. IWMI, 2002 estimate that about 60% of the water applied to rice paddy is utilised, the balance percolating to groundwater. Recent studies demonstrated that large canal irrigation systems can be modified to augment groundwater recharge. The use of urban wastewater for irrigation can have additional problems and benefits. Use of municipal wastewater for agricultural irrigation is widely established in Mexico. Around cities such as Leon and Mexico City itself, groundwater levels are falling rapidly where abstraction to meet demand from a rapidly expanding population, exceeds recharge. However, where the wastewater is used for irrigation, the water tables are

In order to quantify the impacts of check dam recharge structures on the hydrology of a catchment and the hydrogeology in the immediate vicinity, three research sites were instrumented and monitored. These sites were selected to be representative of a range of hydrological as well as socio-economic environments. Satlasana, Gujarat (VIKSAT). The Aravalli Hills which surround the villages studied form a well-defined catchment of approximately 20 km2. The area is semi-arid; the average annual rainfall is around 650 mm, with rainfall occurring from late June until the end of September. There are typically 30 to 35 days of rainfall in a year. The main aquifer in the catchment is formed by shallow weathered and fractured granitic rocks. These are overlain in the upper regions of the valley floor by thick layers of sediment (15-20 m) weathered from the hillsides. The main part of the valley floor is moderately undulating.

Kolwan Valley, Maharashtra (ACWADAM). The Kolwan Valley is located on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats and, as a result, rainfall is 1800 mm/a on average, although highly variable. The rain occurs mainly during a single monsoon season, generally from June to October. The detailed local geology comprises a series of eight basalt units (lava flows). Each unit has a compact, less weathered lower section and a fractured/jointed, more weathered upper section; the latter having the capacity to store more groundwater, being more permeable and therefore a much better aquifer. The check dams at Chikhalgaon are all located on the upper section of one of the basalt units. Kodangipalayam, Tamil Nadu (TNAUWTC). The Kodangipalayam watershed consists of two micro-watershed with a total area of 5.0 km2. Rainfall occurs in two seasons as a result of the southwest monsoon (June to September) and the northeast monsoon (October to December). The regional average total annual rainfall is 650 mm, measured at Sulur (7 km from Kodangipalayam). The area is underlain by shallow weathered crystalline hard-rocks (charnockites, migmatites and banded gneisses) which have relatively low groundwater storage capacity.
The findings

Sand Storage Dams

Sand dams are best sited in undulating terrain under arid climatic conditions, where runoff is often experienced as flash floods. The dams are typically constructed in sandy, ephemeral riverbeds in well-defined valleys. A dam wall is constructed on the bedrock, across the width of the riverbed to slow down flash floods or longer ephemeral flow events. This allows coarser material to settle out and accumulate behind the artificial dam wall. The dam wall can be raised after each successive flood event, the height of the wall thereby determining the flood flow and the amount of material accumulating. However, sufficient overflow should be allowed for finer material to get carried away (Murray and Tredoux, 1998).

Subsurface Dams
Subsurface dams may be used to detain water in alluvial aquifers. In ephemeral streams where basement highs constrict flow, a trench is constructed across the streambed keyed into the basement rocks and backfilled with low permeability material to constrain groundwater flow. The groundwater is recovered from wells or boreholes.

Recharge Releases
Where flow is very flashy and contains large amounts of suspended solids, the water may be lost to the catchment or to the sea before it can be given the opportunity to infiltrate to replenish the aquifer. Constructing of larger dams on ephemeral streams to capture and store this flow to reduce the sediment load followed by controlled release of the water into the downstream reaches where groundwater recharge occurs. A good example of this practice is the OMDEL scheme in Namibia.

The additional water that the recharge structures are contributing to the aquifer was quantified and an indication of the distance to which the impacts can be seen were estimated. A measure of the effectiveness of the recharge structures is how this additional recharge compares with the natural groundwater recharge across the whole of the study areas. The studies show remarkably similar results despite the considerable differences in catchment area, rainfall (both quantity and distribution), geology and useage. The equivalent depth (4.8 to 12 mm) of additional rainfall recharged represents only a small percentage (0.6 to 1.4%) of the available rainfall but is calculated to be a significant percentage increase to that recharged naturally, 13 to 23 %. Check dams therefore can make significant contributions to recharge but need to be distributed so there is sufficient rainfall to be captured, i.e. some dams never appear to fill except in exceptional circumstances. Account also needs to be taken of the redistribution of recharge at the catchment scale as larger tanks, down stream may be deprived of water.

Wells, Shafts and Boreholes Open Wells and Shafts

These structures are used to recharge shallow phreatic aquifers and where the surface layers are of low permeability and hence spreading methods are not effective. Wells that have run dry are often used for this purpose. Coarse material is sometimes used to fill pits or trenches to act as a filter and can be replaced if clogging becomes severe. Settlement of the suspended solids in the recharge water is needed prior to recharge in order to

reduce the potential for clogging of pores, particularly if the source is storm water. Subsequent abstraction may flush fines out of pores and go some way towards recovering the recharge capacity. The significance of the contribution made by this method needs to be compared to the quantity of recharge occurring naturally, but it could be valuable where shallow, low-permeability layers constrain infiltration from the surface. Use of wells has the potential to introduce not only suspended solids directly into the aquifer but also chemical (nitrates, pesticides, etc.) and bacterial (including faecal) contaminants. The spreading structures described earlier have the advantage that the water infiltrating from the surface passes through soil and alluvial deposits which can act as extremely effective filter/treatment mechanisms.

adjacent to the surface water body (OHare et al., 1982). Provided that the permeability of the stream or lakebed and aquifer are high and the aquifer is sufficiently thick, large amounts of groundwater may be abstracted from a well or a gallery without serious adverse effects on the groundwater table further inland (Huisman and Olsthoorn, 1983). A particular variant of this method is used in coastal zones and is known as inter-dune filtration. Here the valleys between coastal sand dunes are flooded with water from rivers to infiltrate into the underlying sediments and create a recharge mound. The mound can play an important role in preventing saline intrusion as well as providing a source of water that is abstracted further inland. This technique has been used for centuries and is highly developed along the coast of The Netherlands where rivers are the source of water for the recharge. In other schemes, storm and urban wastewater (e.g. S.Africa) and treated wastewater (Factory 21, Los Angeles) are the sources of water. A key objective of these types of schemes is to improve the quality of the often poor-quality source water and much research has been undertaken to understand and optimise the management of suspended solids, clogging and the attenuation of dissolved solids, including organic compounds, using physical, chemical as well as biological processes.

Drilled Wells and Boreholes

Well or borehole recharge is used where thick, low permeability strata overlie target aquifers, in order to recharge water directly into the aquifer. Recharge wells are also advantageous when land is scarce (OHare et al., 1982). However, recharge water quality requirements are usually significantly higher for borehole injection than for groundwater recharge by means of spreading. A detailed description of this method is beyond the scope of this document, but can be found in (Pyne, 1995. Pyne, 2005). Where the well/borehole is used for both injection and recovery (Aquifer Storage Recovery: ASR), costs are minimised and clogging is removed during the recovery cycle. Water can be injected into a borehole and recovered from another, some distance away, to increase travel time and benefit from the water treatment capacity of the aquifer. This is referred to as Aquifer Storage Transfer and Recovery (ASTR)

Rainwater Harvesting
Rainwater harvesting, in its broadest sense is the collection of runoff for productive use and usually involves the concentration of rainfall from a larger area for use of storage in a smaller area as soil moisture or groundwater. Roof-top rainwater harvesting is a special case being increasingly used in urban areas for tank storage, urban irrigation and groundwater recharge.

Induced Bank Infiltration

Riverbed infiltration schemes commonly consist of a gallery or a line of boreholes at a short distance from, and parallel to the bank of a surface water body. Pumping of the boreholes lowers the water table adjacent to the river or lake, inducing river water to enter the aquifer system. To assure a satisfactory purification of the surface water in the ground, the travel time should exceed 30 to 60 days (Huisman and Olsthoorn, 1983). The factors controlling the success of induced infiltration schemes are a dependable source of surface water, of acceptable quality, and the permeability of the river or lake-bed deposits and of the formations

Dry Land Farming

In semi-arid regions, dry land farming systems utilise between 15 an 30% of rainfall, the majority evaporating (30 50%) and the remainder going to surface runoff (10 25%), and groundwater recharge (10 30%). Interventions ranging from field bunds, contour ploughing and rock weirs in drainage channels to floodwater diversions into bunded cropping areas all aim to reduce runoff and concentrate the water to be stored in the soil profile or the deeper aquifer. Whichever system is used, the aim is to significantly reduce surface runoff and evaporation in order to enhance agricultural

production and, often groundwater recharge.



can be used to improve the quality of water as it recharges, through physical and biochemical processes.

Roof-Top Rainwater Harvesting

Roof-top rainwater harvesting can conserve rainwater for either direct consumption or for recharge of groundwater. This approach requires connecting the outlet pipe from a guttered roof-top to divert rainwater to either existing wells or other recharge structures or to storage tanks. Drainpipes, roof surfaces and storage tanks should be constructed of chemically inert materials such as plastic, aluminum, galvanised iron or fibreglass, in order to avoid contaminating the rainwater. Where the water is used for direct consumption, the initial water from a rain shower is often allowed to run to waste to flush accumulated dirt off the collection area and gutters. The main sources of contamination are pollution from the air, bird and animal droppings and insects. Bacterial contamination may be minimized by keeping roof surfaces and drains clean but cannot be completely eliminated. Advantages of collecting and storing rainwater in urban areas is the reduction of demand on water supply systems as well as reducing the amount of storm-water run-off and consequent urban flooding.

Storm-Water Runoff
Urban areas generate significant quantities of storm-water runoff. The runoff is highly variable in quantity with peak discharges occurring after heavy rainfalls. In order to obtain a more consistent supply, infiltration and storm-water retention ponds, grassed areas, porous pavements and wetlands are recommended for watershed areas (Murray and Tredoux, 1998). The best quality runoff water in urban areas is from roof-tops and increasingly initiatives (e.g. all government buildings in India) are being made to direct this water immediately to groundwater recharge through infiltration galleries wells and boreholes. This not only replenishes urban aquifers that are often over-exploited, but also, introduces good quality water into often-polluted groundwater. In rural areas, intense rainfall can generate surface runoff from agricultural fields. In some areas (e.g. Saurashtra, India) this runoff is channeled into large diameter hand dug wells to directly recharge the aquifer. Holding bunds are sometimes constructed to reduce the suspended sediment load, but not the dissolved contaminant load. For this reason direct recharge to open wells is to be discouraged in preference to infiltration through a soil or sand layer which can be managed to remove some dissolved constituents.

Sources of Recharge Water

A prerequisite for artificial recharge of groundwater is the availability of a source of water of suitable quality, in sufficient quantity. Several sources of water can be considered for use as recharge water, namely surface water, runoff water, wastewater or water for potable supply.

Wastewater as a source is of predictable volume with a fairly uniform rate of flow over time and of constant, but inferior quality (Murray and Tredoux, 1998). Wastewater requires significant treatment before being considered to be of acceptable quality for aquifer recharge and to minimise the extent of any degradation of groundwater quality (Bouwer, 1996). The compounds of concern depend on the wastewater source, i.e. industrial or domestic wastewater. Wastewater as a source offers a significant potential for all non-potable uses. However, with proper pre- and post-treatment or dilution with native groundwater, potable use also can be a viable option (Bouwer, 1996).

Surface Water
Surface water can be a consistent source of recharge water depending on the climatic situation. Under humid conditions moderate variability in river flows can be expected, and perennial rivers are predominant. Under arid or semi-arid conditions ephemeral rivers prevail. In lakes, water is not flowing significantly and is clear with little or no suspended material. In the absence of pollution by waste discharges or agricultural runoff, and with little algal growth, lake water may be used for spreading directly without any pre-treatment (Huisman and Olsthoorn, 1983). Water from polluted rivers or lakes, in particular those with industrial-waste discharges, should go through pre-treatment processes prior to recharge. In some situations infiltration basins

Potable Water
Potable water is a major source of recharge water used in Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) schemes. High-quality treated water is injected through wells, usually into confined aquifers to create a bubble

of potable water in the aquifer. These bubbles can be created in non-potable aquifers by displacing the native water and have proved to be a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable method for resolving a wide variety of problems (Pyne, 1995 and 2005). The schemes are usually constructed near treatment works, the source of the recharge water, to save cost and to utilise surplus treatment capacity. In arid areas, such as the Gulf region of the Middle East, were water demand exceeds the availability of water from renewable resources, freshwater from desalination plants is used to bridge this gap. To ensure water availability during emergencies, for example, when desalination plants are out of commission, large freshwater storage capacities are required. Field trials have been undertaken to evaluate the feasibility of introducing desalinated water into aquifers to build up this freshwater reservoir (Mukhopadhyay and Al-Sulaimi, 1998). Due to the high quality of the desalinated water, no major geochemical compatibility problems are expected as the water can be treated to minimise any potential reactions with the aquifer material; for example the pH can be adjusted to be non-aggressive.

enjoying de facto rights of access only. In some countries steps have been taken to codify customary rights, though (more typically) the state is reluctant to transfer access rights to local communities or individuals. Public administration, increasingly in collaboration with local communities. Moves towards forming natural resource management partnerships with communities or user groups for particular resources are found in many countries. In India, for example, this is now the preferred model for watershed development - in which artificial recharge of groundwater plays an important part. Local government, operating independently of government departments, but drawing on services from them. In many African countries (e.g. Ghana; Malawi; South Africa), local government is now taking on responsibilities in water supply and sanitation provision, not as a provider but as a facilitator in a demand driven process. In India, where administrative decentralisation is now a core feature of watershed development (under the partnership model described above), growing attention is focusing on the interface with political decentralisation through the Panchayati Raj local government reforms. Why the emphasis on decentralisation? In many countries, state led approaches to natural resource management have been monolithically blamed for the degradation of natural resources. As a consequence, the state is advised to adopt a facilitative rather than a leadership role. Decentralisation and participatory management are clearly linked. Participatory management can be defined as a process whereby those with legitimate interests in a project both influence decisions which affect them, and receive a proportion of any benefits which may accrue (ODA, 1995). It is now generally accepted that to enhance and sustain the productivity of natural resources, those engaged in and affected by managing the resource must participate in planning its rehabilitation and management.

Institutional Issues
In order for aquifer recharge schemes to be successfully implemented and managed as a component of wider watershed management strategies, the institutional, regulatory, economic and livelihoods structures need to be taken into account. A variety of approaches has been employed for implementing natural resource management activities such as artificial recharge, with responsibilities resting (to varying degrees) with the state, local government, development agencies, NGOs and local people. A dominant institutional theme emerging over the last two decades in natural resource management has been decentralisation, in tandem with efforts to promote a more bottom-up, participatory planning process (Carney and Farrington, 1998). As the poor are disproportionately dependent on common pool resources, improvements in decentralised management - whether in equity of rights and responsibilities, in resource productivity, or in its sustainability can contribute substantially to their livelihoods. Three distinct institutional approaches have varying legitimacy and potential capacity to contribute to such improvements (Farrington et al., 1999). Informal, often traditional user groups, generally

Summary and Conclusions

The benefits to society of using groundwater have been clearly demonstrated, particularly in arid and semi arid regions. Aquifers provide a store of groundwater, which, if utilised and managed effectively, can play a vital role in poverty reduction and livelihood stability. Access to groundwater reduces vulnerability to drought, increases agricultural yields and contributes to societal

equity where shallow groundwater levels mean access for everyone. Maintaining water resources and shallow groundwater levels through augmentation by Managed Aquifer Recharge contributes to, and maintains the above benefits when used as one mechanism in a broader watershed management strategy. Where water table aquifers have been overexploited for irrigation and rural or urban use, decline in water levels are eventually accompanied by a deterioration of water quality. Managed Aquifer Recharge with surplus runoff through surface infiltration structures will usually provide high quality water that will not only replenish resources but can also improve groundwater quality through dilution. Where low-permeability layers are at the surface water needs to recharged through wells or boreholes. The beneficial effects of filtration through soil are lost with these methods and additional pretreatment is required. Techniques for applying Managed Aquifer Recharge range from simple field bunds, to capture storm water, to deep injection of highly treated water into confined brackish aquifers. Understanding the hydrogeological, chemical and microbiological processes that apply, combined with the institutional and socio-

economic implications is important for sustainable implementation and management of schemes. Managed Aquifer Recharge is becoming a vital component of watershed management strategies by optimising the use of water resources (often available only sporadically) through storage of water in depleted aquifers for subsequent recovery and use. Managed Aquifer Recharge often provides the cheapest form of new safe water supply for towns and villages. Uptake has been constrained by lack of understanding of hydrogeology and/or knowledge of MAR but it has the potential to be a major contributor to UN Millennium Goals for Water Supply, especially for village supplies in semi-arid and arid areas. MAR is part of the groundwater managers toolkit, which may be useful for replenishing depleted aquifers, controlling saline intrusion or land subsidence as well as improving water quality through filtration and chemical and biological processes. On its own it is not a cure for over-exploited aquifers, and can merely enhance volumes of groundwater abstracted. However it may play an important role as part of a package of measures to control abstraction and restore the groundwater balance.



American Society of Civil Engineers, 2001. Standard Guidelines for Artificial Recharge of Ground Water. EWRI/ ASCE 34-01, American Society of Civil Engineers, ASCE, Reston, Virginia, USA. Bouwer, H., 1996. Issues in artificial recharge. Water Science and Technology, 33(10-Nov): 381-390. Bouwer, H., 2002. Artificial recharge of groundwater: hydrogeology and engineering. Hydrogeology Journal, 10: 121-142. Carney, D. and Farrington, J., 1998. Natural Resource Management and Institutional Change. Routledge Research/ ODI Development Policy Studies. Central Ground Water Board, 2000. Guide on artificial recharge to ground water, Central Ground Water Board , Ministry of Water Resources, New Delhi. CGWB/UNESCO, 2000. Rainwater harvesting and Artificial Recharge to groundwater - A guide to follow, Central Ground Water Board, India. UNESCO, IHP Programme. Chilton, P.J. et al., 1998. Groundwater recharge and pollutant transport beneath wastewater irrigation: the case study of Leon, Mexico. In: N.S. Robins (Editor), Groundwater pollution, aquifer recharge and vulnerability. Geological Society, London, pp. 153-168. Farrington, J., Turton, C. and James, A.J., 1999. Participatory Watershed Development: Challenges for the TwentyFirst Century. OUP, New Delhi. Gale et al., 2006. Managed Aquifer Recharge: an assessment of its role and effectiveness in watershed management. British Geological Survey Commissioned Report CR/06/107N. Available at projects.html#AGRAR Huisman, L. and Olsthoorn, T.N., 1983. Artificial Groundwater Recharge. Pitman, Boston. Mukhopadhyay, A. and Al-Sulaimi, J., 1998. Creation of potable water reserve in Kuwait through artificial recharge. In: Peters, J H et al. (Editor), Artificial Recharge of Ground Water. Balkema, Rotterdam, Netherlands, Amsterdam, pp. 175-180. Murray, E.C. and Tredoux, G., 1998. Artificial Recharge - A Technology for Sustainable Water ResourcesDevelopment. 842/1/98, Water Research Commission, Pretoria. National Institute of Hydrology, 1998. Review of Artificial Recharge Practices. SR-5/97-98, National Institute of Hydrology, Jal Vigyan Bhawan, Roorkee, India. ODA, 1995. A Guide to Social Analysis for Projects in Developing Countries, Overseas Development Administration. HMSO, London. OHare, M.P., Fairchild, D.M., Hajali, P.A. and Canter, L.W., 1982. Artificial Recharge of Ground Water. Status and Potential in theContiguous United States. Norman, Oklahoma. Pacey, A. and Cullis, A., 1986. Rainwater Harvesting - The collection of rainfall and runoff in ruralareas. IT Publications. Pyne, R.D.G., 1995. Groundwater recharge and wells: a guide to aquifer storage recovery. Lewis Publishers. Pyne, R.D.G., 2005. Aquifer Storage Recovery. A guide to groundwater recharge through wells. Second edition. ASR Systems Press, Gainsville, Florida 32602 USA. Todd, D.K., 1959. Annotated Bibliography on Artificial Recharge of Ground Water Through1954. 1477, U.S. Geological Survey. United Nations, 1975. Ground-Water Storage and Artificial Recharge. 2, United Nations, New York.


In situ Rainwater Harvesting and related Soil & Water Conservation Technologies at the Farm Level
P.K. Mishra and S.L. Patil

Almost 6.1 billion ha (40%) of the earths total land surface is dry. Out of this, nearly 5.2 billion hectares are Arid, Semi Arid and dry Sub humid lands that are collectively referred to as drylands. It is estimated that 70% of partially productive drylands are threatened by various forms of degradation, impacting the well being and future of one-sixth of the world population (Harahsheh, 2002). Lack of food security poses a particular burden on people and nations in the dryland regions of the world, particularly in tropical areas of Africa and Asia that are experiencing rapid population growth and/or high population density. Global food demand is expected to be more than double by 2050 because of population growth and increased per capita consumption. While the challenge cannot be met through increased agricultural production alone, increased production is essential as part of the solution. However, in many cases including India, production capacities of dryland countries are deteriorating in the face of rapid population growth, misdirected agricultural practices, and widespread of land degradation (Rao, et al., 2007). The environmental conditions of the worlds/Indias drylands and unpredictability of rainfall

make these areas marginal for intensive agriculture. Land degradation in drylands due to water erosion, loss of soil fertility, ground water depletion and loss of vegetation, results in the decline of both economic and environmental potential in these regions. The demand for fresh water is increasing globally at an accelerated rate especially for agriculture and various other sectors including domestic, energy and industrial uses. The accelerated demand for rainwater can be met through the efficient rainwater conservation. In the world about 73% of the cropland is rainfed. In India, about 60% of the cultivated area is rainfed and contributes nearly 40% of the total production (mainly coarse cereals, oilseeds, pulses and fruits etc.). In addition to major livestocks production systems, about 93% of cultivated area under sorghum, 94% under pearlmillet, 79% under corn, 87% under pulses, 76% under oilseeds, 64% under cotton and 59% under tobacco in India predominates drylands (Singh et al., 2007). The rainfed/dryland eco-system in India is characterized by erratic rainfall and frequent droughts. In such situations, in situ rainwater conservation plays a greater role for maintaining/ increasing crop productivity. In the rainfed areas,

the rainwater harvesting and management assumes greater priority. It is therefore essential to conserve the rainwater in situ. Therefore the excess runoff is to be stored in farm ponds/tanks/water storage structures constructed along the water courses for reusing the surface water or recharging the ground water depending on the geological formations. The stored runoff is to be recycled as a protective irrigation or continuous irrigation to meet the optimum water requirements of the crops. This results in increased crop productivity in the region/State/Country and meets the demands of the increasing human/bovine food requirements (Mishra et al., 1994). In India, low yields and crop failures in these drylands often lead to food and fodder scarcity resulting in a near famine situation that further accelerate the process of land degradation. Alfisols, Entisols, Vertisols and associated soils dominate the SAT areas (Virmani, et al., 1991). These soils are generally highly degraded with low water retentive capacity, and have multiple nutrient deficiencies. In the drylands of Indian human population is likely to reach 600 millions by 2025 from the present 410 millions. Similarly, the livestock population is likely to exceed 650 million by 2025 from the present 509 million. On the other hand, the area under dryland crop production may decrease to 85 million ha by 2025 from the present 97 million ha. Thus, from such a significantly reduced cultivated area, crop production must increase from the present 0.8 to 1.0 t ha 1 to 2.0 t ha 1 by 2025. Furthermore, the quality of the produce must improve the meet the global market standards. Also, the cost of production needs to be reduced in order not only to improve the farmers net income but also remain globally competitive. This would help in maintaining the food security in the years ahead. Rapid increase in human and bovine population in India has resulted in greater pressure on the natural resources especially rainwater and top fertile soil. It means that conservation of these resources, especially water, is the top priority of the day. In other words, the water resources of our country have to be put for better beneficial use with available technologies at our command. The excess surface water that flows to the sea should be stored and used efficiently for drinking, irrigation, industrial use, navigation etc. without affecting the hydrological cycle. Water conservation basically aims at matching demand and supply of water. The strategies for water conservation may be either

demand-oriented or supply-oriented. Strategies such as creation of storage, long distance transfer and control of water loss through evaporation are the common loss of water in its efficient use before it reaches the sea. Water and soil conservation practices for agricultural lands includes, in situ or inter terrace rainwater conservation practices, conservation of rainwater at terrace level through bunds and guiding the excess runoff for safe disposal through grassed waterways to the farm ponds/tanks/dams for its storage and recycling to the agricultural lands. These are called hard ware measures, which are of permanent type provided for improvement of relief, physiography and drainage features. These are executed with major Government support with the purpose to check soil erosion, regulate overland flow and reduce peak flow. The present approach to reduce runoff by adopting suitable in situ management practices includes, tillage practices comprising primary tillage operations i.e. summer or deep ploughing either every year or once in three years depending upon the soil type, land smoothening to avoid local depressions, frequent harrowing and secondary tillage practices with frequent intercultivations. The other rainwater conservation practices include, adoption of small section bunds or vegetative barriers on contour, contour sowing, opening ridges and furrows across the slope, tied ridging, zing terracing, scooping, compartmental bunding, broad bed and furrows, broad bed and ridge, vertical mulching and dead furrow formation in every row or at 3 m interval on contour depending upon the rainfall situations in black and red soils. In addition, evaporation control/ in situ rainwater conservation measures using mulches i.e. soil, sand and vegetative mulches have resulted in greater benefits especially in winter (rabi) crops in deep black soils. Apart from these management practices, increasing the infiltration rate and moisture retention capacity of soil by improving their physical conditions with application of amendments and organic materials is of greater importance in the integrated approach for rainwater conservation in rainfed/dryland areas. Adoption of these options depending upon the rainfall, soil type, and land topography/slope would reduce runoff and increase in situ rainwater conservation in rainfed and dryland areas and reduce the ill effects of occasional dry spells (Mishra et al, 1999). All these measures are software measures which are mostly responsible for initiation rainwater conservation and management and are easily and voluntarily adopted by

the farmers as they can be made integral part of the agronomic measures/package of practices. In situ rainwater conservation is a vital component of dryland crop management practices. Earlier efforts were mainly concentrated on strengthing and formation of bunds across the slope. This resulted in reducing soil erosion rather than achieving uniform rainwater distribution in the soil profile. Present emphasis is mainly concentrated in increasing the opportunity time of water penetration to soil through land configurations, and applications of amendments and organic materials. With appropriate demonstration and action learning exercise the in situ rainwater conservation measures can be easily popularized. Several indigenous technical knowledge (ITKs) relating to in situ rainwater conservation measures are in practice, befitting the agro-ecological settings. These ITKs can be converted to medium technical knowledge (MTK) by addressing the researchable and extension issues. The Semi Arid tracts are mostly characterized with red and black soils. The problems associated with different soil types are different in physical, chemical and hydrologic terms. The red soils have low water holding capacity, higher infiltration and crusting tendency. In black soils even though the water holding capacity is high, low infiltration rate results in greater loss of soil and rainwater. In medium to deep black soils the crack formation results in wetting of subsoil with first showers. In the years of low rainfall, the soil profile wetting is not uniform and results in a dry layer in the profile. This ultimately results in lower crop yields. Major part of the countrys rainfed agriculture is fed by the Southwest monsoon in addition to the Northeast monsoon especially for the black soils region of Deccan pleatau of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Hence, its onset, continuity, intensity, volume and withdrawal patterns have a tremendous influence on the agricultural production. High intensity rains produce volumes of water beyond the intake capacity of the soil and may leave the soil dry at lower depths. With intermittent long dry spells this situation affects rainfed crops adversely, even in areas with moderate to high rainfall. Thus improving soil surface conditions to increase infiltration and improving water-holding capacity are two basic requirements in drylands. The inter-terrace management practices for in situ conservation of rainwater and ensuring its uniform distribution within the field and throughout the crop growth period assume paramount importance in dryland crop production.

The research efforts on rainwater management have resulted in identification of several useful technologies for in situ rainwater conservation. However, the choice of the most appropriate practices is a function of the soil type, rainfall characteristics, and topographic features. Hence, in situ rainwater conservation plays a greater role for stabilized/sustained crop yields in the Semi Arid Tropics of India. This can be achieved with appropriate tillage and in situ rainwater conservation practices at the individual farm level. In this paper the in situ moisture conservation measures including ITKs are discussed. Tillage Practices Vegetative Barriers Mulching Land Configuration Crop Residue Management Soil Amendments

Tillage Practices
Cultivation of soil helps to increase pore space and also keeps the soil loose so as to maintain higher level of infiltration. Musgarve and Free (1936) found that cultivation of the surface greatly enhanced water intake of soil particularly in the beginning of storms. In the absence of cultivation, the highly crusting red soils produce as much or even more runoff than the low permeable Vertisols under similar rainfall situations. Larson (1962) stated that pulling a tillage implement through soil results in the total porosity and thickness of the tilled area being greatly increased temporarily. Surface roughness and micro depressions thus created play greater role in higher retention of water (Unger and Stewart, 1983). Different tillage operations are carried out to incorporate crop residues, conserve the rainwater in situ, recharge soil profile, prepare smooth seed bed for greater seeds to germinate with better root system, to reduce conserved soil water loss (secondary tillage) and its efficient utilization and control weeds/pest or diseases and increase the crop yields (Patil, 1998, Thyagaraj, 1999 and Vittal et al., 1983). Generally the primary tillage operations are carried prior to sowing to prepare the smooth seedbed and secondary tillage are carried out to control weeds, reduce evaporation and support the plants through earthening up. In general tillage operations make the soil receptive to rainfall through increased infiltration

rate. Deep tillage with plough followed by chiselling (Channappa, 1994) opens the hard layers and increase the infiltration rate and water storage capacity and finally results in better crop growth with higher yields in the red soils at Bangalore, Karnataka, India (Tables 1 and 2). Similarly, in the red soils in the farmers fields at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India, the deep ploughing with chisel plough + disc plough + cultivator increased the soil water in the profile at different stages of sorghum growth as compared to soil cultivation with cultivator once or twice i.e. reduced tillage operations (Manian et al., 1999). Primary tillage carried out in the Alfisols at Hyderabad, ICRISAT, India, (Pathak and Laryea, 1995) improved the soil physical properties with better root development (Table 3). In the Alfisols in SAT of India, the residue management represents only a minor part of the cropping system; reduced/minimum tillage concepts are at a disadvantage in dryland cropping. It was also observed that deep tillage reduced the runoff, soil loss and increased the soil water in the red soil profile with increased sorghum yield by 26% over Table 1:
Depth (cm) 0-15 15-30 30-60 60-90 Source: Channappa, 1994

normal tillage in the Alfisols at ICRISAT, Hyderabad, India (Table 4). The positive effect of deep tillage on rainwater conservation, better root development and increased crop yields were observed for 2 to 5 years after tillage depending upon the soil texture and rainfall. The beneficial effects of off season tillage (Sanghi and Korwar, 1987) are much pronounced (Table 5) during the low rainfall/drought year (43% increase in yield) as compared to mild drought year (31% increase in yield) and near to the normal rainfall year (24% increase in yield).

Crust management in Alfisols

The crust formation in Alfisols is a major constraint in seedling emergence/germination and reduces the soil and rainwater conservation and results in greater soil and water losses. The crust formation can be managed through reduction in silt and clay content in the top surface soil layer. This was attributed to a positive relationship between the occurrence and strength of the crust with silt and clay content in

Soil water storage in the profile as influenced by deep tillage in red soils
Soil water percentage (%) (after 81 mm rainfall) Ploughed area 10.74 13.22 12.27 13.33 Unploughed area 3.59 7.13 8.59 Dry

Table 2: Effect of mould board ploughing on ragi yield, Bangalore, India

Treatments 1981 Local practice of 2-3 wooden ploughing One additional mould board ploughing in July Source: Channappa, 1994 12.2 16.7 Grain yield (q ha1) 1982 10.4 15.7 Mean 11.3 16.2

Table 3: Effect of subsoiling on root density (cm cm 3) 89 days after emergence of maize (Deccan Hybrid
103) on an Alfisol, ICRISAT Centre, rainy season 1984 Soil depth (cm) Subsoiling 00-10 10-20 20-30 30-40 40-50 50-60 Source: Pathak and Laryea, (1995) 0.55 0.29 0.20 0.15 0.12 0.14 Root density (cm cm3) Normal tillage 0.42 0.21 0.09 0.10 0.06 0.05 S.E.+ 0.072 0.022 0.034 0.028 0.016 0.039


Table 4: Effect of normal and deep primary tillage on sorghum yield, runoff and soil loss on Alfisols at ICRISAT Centre (1983)
Tillage practices Normal tillage (mould board plowing 12 cm deep) Deep tillage (cross chiseling 25 cm deep ) LSD (P=0.05) Source: ICRISAT, (1983) Sorghum yield (kg ha1) 2160 2720 386 Runoff (mm) 285 195 44.0 Soil loss ( t ha1) 3.27 2.86 0.702

Table 5:
Tillage practices

Effect of off-season tillage on yields of sorghum in red soils of Hyderabad

Grain yield (kg ha 1) 1977 1978 934 1336 43 391 1979 1052 1965 31 508 Mean 1312 1910 46 1950 2430 24 595

No off season tillage Off season tillage Percent increase due to off season tillage Rainfall in growing season (mm) Source: Sanghi and Korwar, (1987)

the surface soil. This indicates that for Alfisols non turning tillage system is better than tillage with turning plows (inversion brings soil from argillic horizon which contains much higher clay and silt). In Alfisols crust formation is a major problem from sowing up to the crop canopy formation. During this period higher runoff was observed even when soils were dry. The shallow tillage imposed as additional intercultivations were effective in breaking the crust and increasing infiltration rate in addition to the reduced runoff and soil loss. The significant increase in crop yields due to additional shallow intercultivations was observed only in normal and low rainfall years (Pathak and Laryea, 1995).

onset of the rainy season, which does not permit timely sowing and management of crops. There is common threat of flooding when intense rains are received, and the possibility that rainy season cropping may reduce soil moisture available in profile for growing postrainy season crops are also some of the reasons for fallowing Vertisol during the rainy season (Pathak, 2004). In the Vertisols the effect of tillage was more pronounced in terms of rainwater conservation and recharge of soil profile especially during drought years as compared to normal and above normal rainfall situations. In the deep black soils of Bijapur, Karnataka, India, deep tillage conserved higher amount of soil water in top 0.60 m soil depth as compared to medium and shallow tillage from sowing up to harvest in winter sorghum. Higher soil water with deep tillage was attributed to increased infiltration rate and decreased bulk density. This results in better development of root and shoot in winter sorghum with deep tillage. Deep tillage recorded higher sorghum yield over medium and shallow tillage (Table 6). The increase in sorghum yield with deep tillage was 27% over medium and 57% over shallow tillage during drought year (1994 95) as compared to increase in yield by 17 and 34% over medium and shallow tillage during normal year (1995 96). These results clearly indicate that the effect of deep tillage is more pronounced in conservation of rainwater, better plant growth and increased yield during drought year as compared to normal year (Patil and Sheelavantar, 2006).

Tillage in Vertisols
The most important physical constraints to rainfed crop production on Vertisols includes (i) narrow range of soil water content for tillage, (ii) high erodibility, (iii) tendency to become water-logged and (iv) poor trafficability (Kampen and Burford, 1980). Vertisols are hard when dry and have very plastic consistency when wet. Tillage at an inappropriate soil moisture content leads to compaction of the sub-soil. Traditionally, rainy season fallowing is quite common on these soils. Reasons for rainy season fallowing of Vertisols are the difficulties that the farmers encounter in preparing the hard dry soil prior to the onset of the rainy season and/or the sticky nature of the wet soil after

Even in the deep black soils of Bellary, Karnataka, India, the conventional tillage conserved greater rainwater and increased the soil water in the profile and winter sorghum yields by 13 and 8% over reduced and low tillage, respectively (Patil, 2007 and Patil and Mishra, 2008). Similar results were also observed in the Vertisols of Solapur with conventional tillage recording higher yields of winter sorghum over reduced and low tillage (AICRPDA, 2006). The water use efficiency (WUE) of winter sorghum in the conventional tillage increased from 8 to 10% over low tillage. The sunflower yield increased by 21 and 33% in conventional tillage over reduced and low tillage in the deep black soils of Bellary during winter season of a dry year (2007 08). Due to higher rainwater conservation, conventional tillage resulted in increased WUE by 16% over reduced tillage and 25% over low tillage (Patil and Mishra, 2008).

soil erosion; reduce the overall cost of gully control, to protect the banks against damage caused by waves and animals. In combination with earthen bunds or loose boulder structures, vegetative barriers are more effective in conservation of natural resources and increasing the crop productivity.

Vegetative barriers include rows of perennial grasses, hedges, wind brakes and shelterbelts etc. on contours. Barriers across the gully in rows with different species: consisting of close growing grasses, shrubs and fast growing trees that may have some value as fuel, fodder, etc. are preferred. Locally existing vegetative species are more useful as their establishment is easy and local people are well versed with their management. It was observed that growing hedge rows (creating a vegetative barrier) along the contour or on a grade, reduced the runoff and soil loss; at the same time provided additional fodder during off seasons. The effectiveness Table 6: Effect of tillage practices on infiltration rate, bulk density, root growth and grain yield of winter sorghum in the Vertisols of Bijapur, Karnataka, India.
Infiltration rate (mm h )

Tillage practices Deep tillage Medium tillage Shallow tillage S.Em+ LSD (P=0.05)

Bulk density (Mg m ) 1.23+0.03 1.27+0.02 1.31+0.05


Root length (cm) 67.0 57.6 41.7

Grain yield (kg ha1) 1994-95 1919 1509 1223 42 164 1996-96 Pooled 1835 1562 1368 47 186 1877 1635 1296 32 103

9.7+0.6 8.0+0.5 6.1+0.7

Source: Patil and Sheelavantar, 2006

Vegetative Barriers
Traditional mechanical bunds i.e. contour and graded bunds are effective in reducing runoff and soil loss. At some places due to poor maintenance these bunds have flattened over the years and became ineffective in conserving rainwater. Hence, research efforts have, therefore, been directed to develop vegetative measures to supplement mechanical measures. Biological measures of conservation have drawn greater attention in recent years because of their long life, low cost and low maintenance needs. Vegetation established on contours obstructs the flow of surface water, as a result soil particles settle on the upstream side and filtered clear water oozes through the barrier more uniformly at a reduced velocity. This results in higher infiltration and more uniform distribution of water. Vegetative barriers would act as a barrier and reduce velocity of the water flow, filter and retain some silt, arrest the

of vegetative barriers in conserving rainwater depends upon rainfall, soil type and the growth of vegetative barriers. In the shallow red soils of Anantapur (mean annual rainfall 570 mm), Vetiver alone increased the groundnut yield by 11% and with contour cultivation the yield increased up to 39% with greater conservation of rainwater. While at Bangalore, in deep red soils (mean annual rainfall 890 mm), combination of graded bund and Vetiver performed better and conserved soil and water resource. In the shallow red soils of Hyderabad (mean annual rainfall 750 mm), Cenchrus or Vetiver barriers along with a small section bund recorded higher yields over conventional mechanical measures. In the black soils of Deccan Pleateau at Bellary, the vegetative barrier proved effective in conserving soil and rainwater and increasing the soil water availability in the profile. The increased water availability (Average of 3 land slopes) has resulted in the better plant growth

with increased grain yield of winter sorghum by 35% over control (Table 7). The vegetative barrier reduced the runoff by 36% and soil loss by 41% over control (Av. of 8 years for 100 mm rainfall). The vegetative barrier was more effective (Rama Mohan Rao et al., 1999

and potash from soil. More importantly, mulching improves the burrowing activities of earthworms and improves air moisture balance in the soil. Besides improving the physical properties of the soil, like better drainage in clayey soil, mulch returns to the soil the

Table 7: Effect of vegetative barrier on resource conservation and sorghum grain yield in black soils at Bellary, India (1988 89 to 1996 97, Av. of 8 years for 100 mm rainfall)
Treatments 0.5% Runoff (mm) Up and down cultivation (control) Vegetative barrier Soil loss (kg ha 1) Up and down cultivation (control) Vegetative barrier Grain yield (kg ha ) Up and down cultivation (control) Vegetative barrier Source: Rama Mohan Rao et al. (1999 and 2000) 911 1149 685 848 475 787 690 928 (35%)

Slope 1.0% 54.81 39.86 2167 1372 1.5% 59.14 44.10 1712 1027


49.65 22.69 1053 500

55.53 35.55 (36%) 1644 966 (41%)

and 2000) at higher slope (1.5%) and increased winter sorghum grain yield by 66% at 1.5% slope, 25% at 1.0% slope and 26% at 0.5% slope (Table 7). At Bellary with 500 mm mean annual rainfall the exotic Vetiver was less effective than the native grass (Cymbopogan martinii). The Vetiver requires higher rainfall (>650 mm) and can perform better in well drained red soils with neutral pH as compared to low rainfall with higher pH (>8.5) at Bellary. The native grass (C. martinii) is also not grazed by animals and can be used for thatching, in addition to its medicinal use.

micro nutrients taken from it. Thick mulch spread over the field conserves moisture in the soil, reduces the evaporation loss and improves the water holding capacity of the soil. As a result supplemental water demand of the crops is reduced.

Surface mulch (Organic and soil mulch) in deep black soil

Deep black soils in the Semi Arid Tropics in India are kept fallow in kharif and hence they remain bare by the time intense rains occur in September/ October. Beating action of the rain causes structural deterioration which reduces the further intake rate. Besides, the high evaporation losses in the absence of crop canopy in the initial stages of crop growth, the greater runoff and soil loss results in formation of cracks in the soil by mid November to early December and this further accelerates evaporation losses. If these are not controlled, soil water stored in the profile gets lost early and crops dry prematurely. Application of surface mulch at sowing (Rama Mohan Rao et al., 1985) was found to have a profound positive effect on grain and straw yields (Table 8). Crop residues such as sorghum and maize stubbles, dry grass, wheat straw and pigeonpea stalk, can be used as surface mulch. These mulches prevent moisture loss and prolong the moisture retention period. In

Mulching is the covering of the cultivated field with unused organic matter (grown in situ or Ex situ) with a little additional investment. Mulches are the important organic materials that not only dissipate the kinetic energy of the rain drops and prevent soil erosion (splash erosion) but also facilitate infiltration and reduce runoff and evaporation losses. Besides, this has the major advantages of (i) suppressing weed growth by preventing penetration of sunlight to the ground and (ii) conserving soil and rainwater in situ. By mulching and residue incorporation the biomass is returned to the soil to feed the microbes which help the plants to draw nitrogen and carbon from air and phosphorous

Table 8: Winter sorghum yields as influenced by moisture conservation practices

Treatment Control Control + Surface mulch Vertical mulch (4 M) Vertical mulch (4 M) + Surface mulch Source: Rama Mohan Rao et al., 1985 Grain yield (kg ha1) 1052 1375 1719 2138 Straw yield (kg ha1) 1400 1914 2405 2953

Table 9: Effect of surface mulch (5 t ha 1) on yield sorghum (t ha 1) at Solapur

Treatment Control Sorghum stubbles Redgram stalk Wheat straw Dry grass Source: Patil et al. (1981) 197071 Grain 0.27 0.56 0.80 0.65 0.73 Straw 2.05 2.89 3.86 4.05 3.28 197172 Grain 0.69 0.63 0.89 0.73 0.76 Straw 2.86 2.08 4.98 3.09 5.48 197273 Grain 1.22 1.88 1.95 1.70 2.16 Straw 5.40 8.44 7.72 8.89 8.49 Grain 0.72 1.02 1.21 1.04 1.22 Mean Straw 3.43 4.49 5.52 5.34 5.75

Vertisols at Solapur, India, (Av. of 3 years) crop residue incorporation increased sorghum yield by 50 to 70% (Table 9).

with a bullock-drawn harrow (Table 10). Creating dust mulch up to a depth of 10 cm resulted in 8% more grain yield (1833 kg ha 1) over organic mulch and 96% increase in yield over control in winter sorghum (Table

Table 10: Influence of dust mulch on water use efficiency and grain yield of pearl millet at Bellary
Treatment Dust mulch through harrowing No mulch Source: Rama Mohan Rao et al. (1985) Moisture used (cm) Water use efficiency (kg ha1 cm1) Grain yield (t ha1) 27.8 22.4 67.4 30.7 1.74 0.81

Table 11: Winter sorghum yields as influenced by dust and surface mulches
Treatment Control Organic mulch Intercultivation up to 5 cm depth Intercultivation up to 10 cm depth Intercultivation up to 15 cm depth Source: Rama Mohan Rao et al. (1985) Grain yield (kg ha1) 934 1760 1243 1833 1510 Straw yield (kg ha1) 2.43 2.95 2.95 2.95 2.78

Dust mulch
Due to the scarcity of organic materials, low cost method of frequent intercultivation between crop rows are adopted to create dust mulch or soil mulch through tillage during crop growth. The dust mulch is a useful operation that helps in breaking soil crust (especially in red soils). It augments high infiltration and breaks the capillary movement of water to the top layer and minimizes evaporation losses from the soil surface. Research studies at Bellary have indicated the possibility of doubling the water use efficiency and crop yields by providing dust mulch through repeated harrowing

11). Mulches (organic and soil) increased the sorghum grain and straw yields by 63 and 20% over control and proving their applicability especially during below normal/scarce rainfall situations in the black soil region during post rainy season for the crops cultivated on residual soil water (Rama Mohan Rao et al., 1985).

Vertical mulch
Soil water is the main limiting factor for successful crop production in the rainfed agriculture with inadequate rainfall and/or poor distribution. The problems become much more severe when soils are also

Table 12: Sorghum grain (kg ha 1) and straw yields (t ha 1) as affected by spacing of mulches
Treatments 2m 4m 8m Cracks filled with straw Control LSD(P=0.05) Rainfall situations 1972-73 Grain 523 412 236 198 017 Straw 2.19 2.02 1.48 1.46 0.95 1973-74 Grain 1641 1692 1614 1310 1120 459 Straw 3.03 3.25 2.86 2.70 2.65 0.39 1974-75 Grain 1495 1775 1770 1240 1123 N.S. Straw 2.94 3.02 3.73 2.08 1.89 0.99 1975-76 Grain 1027 1246 1122 982 1085 N.S. Straw 3.68 3.85 3.64 3.51 3.15 N.S. Grain 1172(40) 1381(53) 1186(42) 929(11) 836(-) Mean Straw 2.96(37) 3.04(41) 2.93(36) 2.44(13) 2.16(-) -

Drought year

Normal year

Moderate drought year

Normal year

Mean over years

Source: Rama Mohan Rao et al. (1978)

problematic. The crop productivity in Vertisols can be increased with increased intake rates as nearly 25% of rainfall during crop growth goes as runoff. Adoption of vertical mulch in black soils conserved soil water and increased the winter sorghum yields to the greater extent in the dry/drought years as compared to wet/ normal or above normal rainfall years (Rama Mohan Rao et al., 1978 and Ranga Rao et al., 1978). Compared with low yields in control plots (grain: 20 kg ha 1 ; straw: 0.95 t ha 1), mulches spaced at 2, 4 and 8 m produced 390 kg ha 1 of grain and 1.90 t ha 1 of straw in the extremely dry conditions of 1972 1973 (Table 12). However, the increase in grain and straw yields in wet conditions in 1973 1974 was 47 and 15%, respectively. Average over dry and wet years, vertical mulch resulted in 45 and 38% higher grain and straw yields. Higher sorghum yields were attributed to higher soil water content near the mulch and the favorable effects of mulch extended to 1.5 m on either side of the mulch row.

Sand mulching
Sand mulching has been practiced by the farmers in some pockets of Northern Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Experiments conducted at Dryland Centre Bijapur and Main Research Station Dharwad (Karnataka State) indicated distinct advantages with sand mulching (Anon. 2000 and Sudha, 1999). The benefits were directly proportional to the quantity of sand applied or mulch thickness (Table 13). Benefits of sand mulching were attributed to the reduction in runoff and increased wetting front. Hagman (1984) attributed improved crop yields in sand mulch compared to non-mulched soil to the increased soil temperature, conservation of rainwater in situ, reduced evaporation and controlled wind and water erosion which in turn increased water content at different stages of crop growth. In the Koppal, Gadag and Bagalkot districts of Karnataka State, sand mulching increased the cropping intensity to 200% especially in the years of drought in this low rainfall region (around 600 mm) with bi-modal

Table 13: Effect of sand mulch on soil water (cm) and pod yield of groundnut
Soil depth (cm) No mulch 0-15 16-30 31-60 0-15 16-30 31-60 0-15 16-30 31-60 0-15 16-30 31-60 30 DAS 3.56 3.60 7.56 4.87 5.38 11.13 4.95 5.42 11.72 0.87 1.48 2.75 90 DAS 4.99 5.14 11.29 5.66 5.80 12.74 5.67 5.86 12.83 0.29 0.62 NS Pod yield (kg ha1) 960

Sand mulch (5.0 cm)


Sand mulch (7.5 cm)


CD 0.05


Source: Sudha, 1999; Note: DAS: Days after sowing


distribution. In this region in the medium to deep black soils, farmers who practiced sand mulching could cultivate a short duration greengram compared to non mulched areas. In addition, winter sorghum yields in the postrainy season increased by 60 to 70% with sand mulching as compared to non-mulched areas. The utility of sand mulch therefore needs intensive study.

The simple technology of contour cultivation at Bellary, India was more beneficial (92% increase in yield) over up and down cultivation (Farmers practice) during drought year.

Scooping out soil to form small basins with basin listers or with similar implements, helps in retaining water on the surface that recharges the soil profile. At Hagari in Bellary district, inter-cultivation by hoes (with ropes tied around the prongs) was practiced successfully for scooping purpose in a cost effective manner. Scooping helped in reducing the runoff by 50% and soil loss by 65%. The winter sorghum grain yield increased by about 11 to 12% at Bijapur. This method has been found to be effective with compartment formations in the fields. A study conducted at ICRISAT (Pathak and Laryea, 1995) revealed that the scoops reduced seasonal runoff by 69% and soil loss by 53% when compared to the flat land surface. There was a significant increase in pearl millet grain yield by scooping practice (2.42 t ha 1) over flat seed bed (1.79 t ha 1).

Land Configuration
Soon after the execution of soil conservation structures (terrace level) in the field, it is essential to take up land smoothing in the inter bund area as inter terrace land treatment. This facilitates filling up of depressions and to remove the humps so as to enable the rainwater to spread uniformly in the field. Land configuration of the inter bund area can be modified for temporary inter plot harvesting of water and facilitate higher infiltration. These modified configurations could be implemented prior to or after the onset of monsoon and continued till sowing or even adopted after sowing and maintained till harvest.

Contour Cultivation
Carrying out all the field operations and sowing the crops across the slope following the contours (contour cultivation) provide a series of miniature barriers to water when it moves along the slope and also reduces runoff and soil loss and increases soil water and nutrient storage in the soil profile. The simple contour cultivation in the farmers fields in red soils of Kabbalanala watershed near Bangalore revealed the increased soil water in the profile during cropping season from 35th week up to 43rd week over farmers practice of up and down cultivation (Fig 1). Contour cultivation conserved the rainwater and reduced the runoff and soil loss and increased the yields of sesamum, fingermillet and groundnut in the red soils of Bangalore. The moisture conservation effect of contour cultivation was more felt when crops were supplemented with NPK fertilizers (Krishnappa et al., 1994and 1999) (Table 14). The conservation of rainwater is more beneficial during drought years especially at the reproductive stages of the crop growth. The effectiveness of this practice was compared with up and down cultivation in the farmers fields over a period to 4 years (Table 15). Contour cultivation resulted in 35 and 22% increase in grain yields in sorghum and setaria, respectively in black soils and 66% increase in sorghum grain yields in red soils over up and down cultivation (Rama Mohan Rao et al., 1985).

Bedding System
This is a system having furrow at every few rows of crops across the slope on a grade of 0.2 to 0.4%. The bed width could be 3 to 6 m depending on the crops, soil type, and rainfall. This is suitable for narrow spaced row crops. Even if a few rows are lost due to the furrow, the yields are made up due to better in situ rainwater conservation. There is no water stagnation in the bedding system. Hence, this system acts both as disposal system during high intensity rains and as a conservation measure during low rainfall situations. The bedding system of land management (Channappa, 1994) with a furrow opened at the time of sowing the crop at 1.5 to 3 m intervals was found to increase/stabilize yield levels over years by 8 to 10%, apart from better rainwater management at times of low as well as high intensity rains. Modified technique known as paired row pigeonpea fingermillet intercrop with a furrow in between the pigeonpea rows and 8 to 10 rows of finger millet was found to be the best intercrop as well as inter-terrace management practice for the red soil regions of Karnataka State, India. The relative performance of different bedding systems, i.e. flat bed (FB), broad bed and furrows (BBF), narrow bed and furrow (NBF) and raised-sunken bed (RSB), was studied in black soils at Indore. The results indicated

Fig. 1. Soil water in profile as influenced by farmers practice and contour cultivation.

Table 14:

Influence of contour cultivation and fertilizer use on yields (t ha 1) of crops

No NPK 0.22 0.29 (28)

Crop/cultivation practice Sesame Cultivation along slope Contour cultivation Finger millet Cultivation along slope Contour cultivation Groudnut Cultivation along slope Contour cultivation

Recommended NPK 0.33 (49)b 0.46 (61)b (38) a (107)c 0.79(44)b 1.24 (89)b (58) a (126)c 0.87(53)b (55) a (137)c 1.35(85)b

0.55 0.69 (25)


0.57 0.73 (28)


Source: Krishnappa et al., (1994); Figures in parentheses denote: a = % change over cultivation along the slope: b = % change over no NPK; and c = % change over cultivation along the slope and no NPK.

Table 15: Contour cultivation vs. up and down cultivation (1957-61)

Crops Mean yield (kg ha1) Contour Up and down cultivation cultivation Grain Straw Setaria (H-2) Red soils Kharif sorghum (K-340) Source: Rama Mohan Rao et al., 1985 Grain Straw 812 6097 189 3824 +66 +59 Grain Straw 285 1607 195 430 211 1209 159 390

% increase

Black soils Rabi sorghum +35 +33 +22 +10


that the maximum maize yields (2.01 t ha 1 and water use efficiency of 8.81 kg ha 1 mm 1) were observed in BBF system followed by RSB and FB systems. The BBF can be more intensively adopted using tropicultor developed at ICRISAT. This system of bedding is also getting more adoption in the farmers fields in the Indore region of Madhya Pradesh, India, for soybean cultivation in the Vertisols as it is useful in draining excess rainwater during high rainfall years and conserving and mitigating drought during drought years. In the black soils of Bellary also bedding system proved effective in conserving the rainwater, increasing the soil water in the profile and increased the winter sorghum grain yield by 23.7% and safflower yield by 7.7 % as compared to flat sowing (Average of 8 years).

greater during 1992 2000 (drought year) as compared to normal year of 2000 01. The effect of border strip was more pronounced during drought year in better conservation of rainwater than normal year (Table 16). When border strips were supplemented with terrace level measures i.e. graded bunds, the yields of sunflower and sorghum increased further up to 38 and 42%, respectively. These results clearly indicate the benefit of border strips in the Vertisols of Deccan Plateau in South India (Patil et al., 2004).

Zingg Terracing
Zingg terracing is adopted in low to medium rainfall areas in black soil with contour/graded bunds. The lower one third portion of inter bunded area is leveled to spread the runoff water in a large area. Usually water intensive crops are cultivated in the leveled portion (receiving area) while dry crops are cultivated in the unleveled (donor) area. This practice is more useful during drought years. In the leveled one third portions, normal crop can be harvested even during severe drought year and it is possible to cultivate two crops during normal year. This will not only increase the cropping intensity and also increase the crop yields in the region. In the Vertisols of Bijapur, lay out of field with Zingg terrace increased the winter sorghum and safflower yields by 4 and 30%, respectively over control (Anon., 1989 and 1990). The effect of Zingg terrace was more felt in the leveled portion than the unleveled portion. In the leveled portion the yields of winter sorghum and safflower increased by 25 and 44%, respectively over control (Table 17) .

Contour/Graded Border Strips

Leveled strips (10 to 12 m wide) are formed across the slope either on contour or on a grade depending on the annual rainfall. The system is efficient in ensuring uniform distribution of rainwater on the surface and in the soil profile, and increases the crop yields up to 20 to 30%. However, the lay out of border strips needs technical expertise and higher initial investment as the amount of earth work involved is more. In addition, when the land slope is high and the cutting depth increases more than 15 cm, it may result in a drastic fall in productivity in the initial years. These border strips are more suited on lands having < 2% slope.

In the black soils of P.C. Pyapili Watershed (Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh) lay out of farmers Table 16: Impact of rainwater conservation practices on crop yields (kg ha 1) in the watershed
Treatment Control Graded bund alone Border strips + graded bund 19992000 Sunflower 626 702 (12%) 888 (42%) (26%) Sorghum 910 1012 (11%) 1274 (40%) (26%) 20002001 Sunflower 474 529 (12%) 631 (33%) (19%) Sorghum 450 530 (18%) 655 (45%) (24%) Pooled Sunflower 550 616 (12%) 760 (38%) (23%)

Sorghum 680 771 (13%) 965 (42%) (25%)

Source: Patil et al., 2004; Figures in the parenthesis indicate % increase over control.

fields with graded border strips conserved the rainwater, recharged the soil profile and reduced the runoff and soil loss and increased the yields of sunflower and winter sorghum by 23 and 25% respectively (Mean of 2 years). The increase in yield with border strips was

Compartmental Bunding
Compartmental bunding is usually adopted in deep black soil areas for in situ harvesting of rainwater. The field is laid out into compartments of 6 m 6 m to 10 m 10 m using bund former. The harvested

Table 17:
Treatments Zingg terrace Levelled portion Unlevelled portion Entire plot

Effect of Zingg terrace on winter sorghum and safflower yields during winter season
Winter sorghum (kg ha1) (198889) 1190 949 989 950 4 % increase Safflower (kg ha1) (198990) 720 635 650 500 % increase


44 27 30

Contour bund (Check) Source: Anon., 1989 and 1990

water in these compartments facilitates high infiltration rate resulting in more soil water retention in the profile. This system is adopted in deep black soils to harvest rainwater received during the rainy season. It helps in better crop production during the postrainy season.

In a field study on Vertisols at Bellary from 2000 to 2003 indicated that the moisture conservation through in situ moisture conservation practices i.e. compartmental bunding and ridges and furrows increased the soil water in the profile and grain and straw yield of winter sorghum (Patil, 2005). The magnitude of increase in grain yield was 28% in compartmental bunding during 2000 01 was attributed to efficient utilization of water, especially conserved water to Ridges and furrows produce grain yield even though it was moderate Cultivation of crops under ridge and furrow drought year. Water use efficiency (WUE) was higher Table 18: Water use efficiency of sorghum as influenced by moisture conservation practices
Treatments 20002001 In situ moisture conservation practices 8.57 Flat bed Compartmental bunding Ridges and furrows S.Em.+ C.D. at 5% Source: Patil (2003). 9.86 10.77 0.54 NS (15) (26) 8.20 7.86 0.14 0.53 (13) (9) 6.71 6.82 0.20 NS (8) (10) 7.24 6.20 7.34 8.26 8.48 (13) (16) Water use efficiency (kg ha1mm1) 20012002 20022003 Pooled

during 2000 01 (moderate drought year) as compared to 2001 02 (above normal rainfall year) and 2002 03 (severe drought year) indicating that every unit of water was more efficiently utilized to produce grain yield (Table 18). The results (Patil, 2003) of three years mean indicated that the WUE increased by 13% (8.26 kg ha 1 mm 1) over flat bed (7.34 kg ha 1 mm 1). In the Vertisols of Bijapur, lay out of field with compartmental bunding conserved more rainwater and increased the winter sorghum yield by 23% over flat sowing (Patil and Sheelavantar, 2004). The water use efficiency was greater by % with compartmental bunding over flat sowing (Patil, 1998).

Table 19: Effect of ridging on cowpea and ragi yields

Treatment Flat on a grade sowing Flat on a grade sowing but later ridging up Sowing of beds (135 cm for cowpea and 150 cm for ragi) Source: Channappa (1978) and Annual Report of AICRPDA, Bangalore Centre, 1978 Grain yield (q ha1) Cowpea 7.76 7.54 6.73 Ragi 34.84 36.66 32.83


system across the major land slope with a gradient of 0.2 to 0.4% in land having 1 to 3% slope will conserve more rainwater in situ. This is suitable for widely spaced crops with 60 cm or more row spacing. A field length of 60 to 90 m is optimum for cultivation of crops with ridges and furrows. In the Vertisols of Bellary, ridges and furrows were more effective in conservation of rainwater and increased more winter sorghum grain yield during drought year (2000 2001) as compared to normal years of 2001 2002 and 2002 03 (Table 17). The mean WUE increased by 16% (8.48 kg ha 1 mm 1) with ridges and furrows over flat sowing. Studies conducted on moisture conservation for cowpea ragi double cropping system in the red soils at Bangalore revealed that ridging up after flat on a grade sowing Table 20:

is more advantageous (Table 19). Formation of ridges and furrows in the Vertisols of Bijapur, India, conserved more water and increased the grain yields of winter sorghum by 26% and water use efficiency by 25% (Patil and Sheelvantar, 2004). An evaluation of furrows for managing soil and water loss in an Alfisol under simulated rainfall (Mishra et. al, 2008) shows that across slope treatments with row spacing of 60 cm is as effective as 30 cm spacing in containing runoff and soil loss. The interaction of row spacing and rainfall intensity has no significant effect on resource conservation. Opening of furrows down the slope is an inefficient method for conserving water and soil. Cultivators need to be educated to plow and sow across slope following contours.

Runoff, soil loss and soil properties as influenced by crop residue incrporation
Average of 4 years MWD (1998-99 to 2001-02) (Microns) Runoff (mm) Soil loss (kg ha1) 4940 3934 582 688 3.7 3.9 Organic C (g kg1) N 165 199 Available nutrients 0-15 cm (kg ha1) P 12 16 K 427 448

T-1-Sorghum without disturbance (control) T-2-Sorghum + Dolichos (Dolichos cultivated for grain and residue incorporation at harvest) T-3-Sorghum + Dolichos (Dolichos cultivation and residue used as mulch at 45 DAS) T-4- Sorghum + Dolichos (Dolichos incorporated into the soil at 45 DAS ) T-5-Sorghum with intercultivation (Twice soil disturbance) LSD (P=0.05)

142 127

















589 35

3.6 0.03

183 26

13 NS

499 NS

Source: Nalatwadmath et al. (2006); DAS=Days after sowing.

Table 21: Grain yield and sorghum grain equivalent as influenced by residue management (Mean of 4 years1998-99 to 2001-02)
Treatments T-1-Sorghum without disturbance (control) T-2-Sorghum + Dolichos (Dolichos cultivated for grain and residue incorporation at harvest) T-3-Sorghum + Dolichos (Dolichos cultivation and residue used as mulch at 45 DAS) T-4-Sorghum + Dolichos (Dolichos incorporated into the soil at 45 DAS ) T-5Sorghum with intercultivation(Twice soil disturbance) LSD (P=0.05) Source: Nalatwadmath et al. (2006) Grass yield (kg ha1) 1469 167+495 2121 2301 1916 Straw yield (t ha1) 2.64 3.01 3.27 3.61 3.05 Sorghum grain equivalent 1807 4248 2535 2756 2303 397


Crop Residue Management

Red sandy loam soils become hard on drying and result in loss of rainwater and runoff and adversely affect the crop yields in the rainfed area. Red soils are usually poor in organic matter. Increasing organic matter content helps in extra retention of rainwater and in increasing crop yields. At Bangalore, incorporation of maize residue at 4 t ha 1 continuously for three years had its good effect in 1980, a dry year. The moisture content at sowing time in residue incorporated plots was 11.2 and 14.0% in 0 15 and 15 30 cm depths compared to 8.9 and 13.4%, respectively in plots without residue. The ragi yield from the plots with residue was 3497 kg ha 1 compared to 1982 kg ha 1 from control plots. Incorporation of crop residues i.e. paddy husk or powdered ground shells is recommended to increase the infiltration rate and conserve rainwater in the profile. Application of paddy husk at 5 t ha 1 increased soil moisture by around 2% and improved the soil properties. The final infiltration rate increased from 8.2 to 11.0 cm h 1. Application of paddy husk increased the sorghum (1st year), castor (2nd year) and sorghum (3rd year) grain yields by 33, 23 and 14% respectively (Singa Rao, 2004). In the Vertisols of Bellary, runoff and soil loss was reduced and soil water in profile increased with

along with Dolichos for grain purpose as compared to the rest of the treatments. The results of 4 years study indicated that it is better to cultivate Dolichos along with sorghum for seed purpose and incorporate the residues of Dolichos at harvest for better resource conservation and greater returns (Nalatwadmath et al., 2006).

Soil Amendments
A soil amendment is any material added to a soil to improve its physical properties, such as water retention, permeability, water infiltration, drainage, aeration and structure. The goal is to provide a better environment for roots.

Gypsum Application
Unless the infiltration rate is improved through improvement of structure, moisture conservation continues to be a problem in the deep black soils with higher clay content (>50%) especially in the Bellary soils of Deccan Plateau. Studies in this direction have indicated a severe water intake problem in soil having Exchangeable Sodium percentage greater than 7.0. This problem could be overcome by reducing ESP to less than 7 through gypsum application at Bellary, India (Anon.,1981) (Table 22).

Table 22: Effect of gypsum application on infiltration rate (mm h 1)

Treatment 1974 Gypsum No gypsum Source: Anon. (1981) 4.10 0.75 1975 4.60 0.75 Crop season 1976 4.50 0.75 1978 5.50 1.00 1959 7.20 1.00

incorporation of Dolichos at 45 DAS in the Sorghum + Dolichos cultivated for grain purpose as compared to Dolichos used as mulch or sorghum cultivated without Dolichos. The soil physical properties i.e. mean weight diameter and organic carbon and nutrient availability (N, P and K) was higher in plots with Dolichos incorporation or cultivated for grain or used as mulch along with sorghum as compared to cultivation of sorghum alone (Table 20). Even though sorghum grain yield was higher with Dolichos incorporation at 45 DAS (T4) the treatment with Dolichos cultivated for grain purpose recorded 495 kg ha 1 additional Dolichos grain yield in addition to 1674 kg ha 1 of grain sorghum (Table 21). Sorghum grain equivalent was significantly higher (3248) in sorghum cultivated

Tank Silt Application

Desiltation of tank silt and its application to the croplands improves the tank water holding capacity i.e. recharges the groundwater, improves the water holding, soil physical and chemical properties and crop yieldsthat is reuse and recycling of natural resources. Tanks are eco-friendly and farmers-friendly and deposit of gold mine in the form of tank silt. Recycling of tank silt rejuvenate the tanks and meets the water (thirsty) and nutrients (hungry) of the rainfed crops besides improving the soil properties in a cost-effective manner and in addition, recharges the groundwater. There is also a possibility of substituting inorganic fertilizers with

silt as an organic amendment for improving soil quality and its resilience to moisture stress during dry spells in rainfed areas. However, the quality of silt varies with each tank, which is primarily, a function of soil type and land use of the catchment. In general, tank silt application supplies all the nutrients to the crops unlike fertilizers that supply one, two or three at most. By the application of tank silt it reduces the demand for the straight fertilizers. Application of tank silt improves the crop yields on sustainable basis and brings the dynamic changes in the land use pattern in the region (CRIDA, 2006; Dhan, 2004 and Osman et al., 2001 and 2007). Application of tank silt to cotton increased the benefit-cost ratio (BCR) from 1.43 to 1.86 and in chillies with silt BCR was higher by 11% (2.54) over control (2.28). In a study of ICRISAT, Padmaja et al. (2003) have registered 1.17 as average benefit-cost ratio (for removing tank sediment and estimating value of sediment containing different nutrients) indicating that desilting operations are not only economically viable but also, have additional benefits like environmental protection, increased soil microbial bio-diversity, improved soil quality and increased water storage leading to self-sustained land use planning. In Andhra Pradesh nearly 40% of the total cultivated area is light textured red sandy loam to loamy sand. Clay content is low (< 15%) with low water holding capacity (5 to 10 cm m 1 depth) and are susceptible to leaching losses. Nearly 80% of the soils are under

rainfed cultivation; their low water storage capacity is a major constraint in crop production. Application of available tank silt or heavy textured soil in the top 50 cm depth resulted in decrease bulk density and increased soil water content by 6.5 to 23.5%. The improved soil water and nutrient status with application of tank silt/clay increased the tomato and ladys finger yields by 10.8 and 10.5%, respectively in the Ranga Reddy District of Andhra Pradesh (Singa Rao, 2004). Mishra, et al., (2001) studied the changes in physical, chemical and hydraulic properties of bentonite and soil (Alfisol) mixtures in different proportions and reported interesting results which may be considered while deciding the proportions of soil amendments. Addition of bentonite to soil (i.e. 1:10 mixture and higher by volume) would seal the entry of water through the mixture, hence not suitable for crop growth. Bulk density increases up to 1:5 (bentonite: soil) mixture and decreases with decrease in bentonite preparation till 1:50 mixture. Dispersion ratio and surface cracking increased with the addition of bentonite to the native soil.

Recommended Treatments for in situ Moisture Conservation

The research results at both the research Stations and in the farmers fields indicate that the in situ rainwater conservation practices reduce the runoff, soil and nutrient losses and recharge the profile both during rainy and postrainy season and increase the

Table 23: Data of the experiments/demonstrations in the farmers fields at different Dryland Centres/locations on in situ moisture conservation practices
Location Bijapur Crop Safflower Chickpea Rabi Sorghum Pigeonpea Rabi Sorghum Chickpea Safflower Rabi Sorghum Chickpea Pigeonpea Groundnut Suitable inter-terrace land treatments Compartmental bunding Compartmental bunding, Ridges and furrows Tied ridging Opening furrow at 30 DAS after every two weeks Compartmental bunding, Ridges and furrows Compartmental bunding Bedding system Compartmental bunding Compartmental bunding Ridges and furrows Furrow at 3 m interval Dead furrow at 3 m interval Contour cultivation

Akola Bellary

Kovilpatti Sholapur Bangalore Anantapur


yields of different crops especially during drought years. The suitable in situ moisture conservation practices for different crops at different dryland Centres of India are mentioned in table 23.

Researchable Issues
The potential ITKs on in situ water conservation reviewed by Mishra, et. al. (2002) are presented in table 24. The specific researchable issues pertaining to different ITKs adopted in different rainfed regions of India are presented in table 25. A systematic scientific study may change the Indigenous Technical Knowledge to Modern Technical Knowledge (MTK). The research results will benefit both farming community as well as the extension agencies i.e. the Government or non-Government organizations in up scaling the technology.

ITKs on Soil Moisture Conservation

In the context of agriculture, indigenous technical knowledge (ITK) is defined as the traditional knowledge that farmers have gained through inheritance from their ancestors. It is a farmers derived science and represents their creativity, innovations and skills. This knowledge pertains to various cultural norms, social roles or geographical conditions. This knowledge and farming practices have their own scientific importance as they have stood the test of time and have proved to be efficacious to the individual farmers. In India, since time immemorial these indigenous techniques are in practice for conserving natural resources (Agarwal and Narain, 1999) and maintaining soil productivity on sustainable basis for greater crop yields. It is the time to indicate that some of these ITKs need modifications in different farming situations across the country. The present farming situations warrants the consideration of the ITKs in formulating projects with detail analysis of the missing links in research. Rainwater conservation begins from seedbed preparation. Although farmers practice many indigenous technologies in soil and rainwater conservation, the documentation and refinement of these technologies are the major thrust areas in research for greater crop productivity that ultimately improves the economic conditions of the farming community. Some of the simple ITKs documented on in situ soil moisture conservation adopted in different parts of India are presented in table 24.

Up-scaling of ITKs
Prevailing ITKs should invariably be given priority. All the projects on resource conservation and management should focus on the viable and appropriate ITKs relating to soil and water conservation. Exposure visit and farmer-to-farmer interaction results in refinement and greater adoption of these technologies. The stakeholders such as farmers, NGOs, extension officials, scientists, administrators, policy makers and peoples representatives may popularize the ITKs through different programmes for improving soil and crop productivity on sustainable basis. There is also a need for scientist-farmer interaction for largescale adoption of the ITKs. The ITKs on in situ soil and moisture conservation are not up scaled and are attributed to the constraints in adoption and unawareness of the effectiveness of such practices in different agroecological settings. The present documentation process has definite bearing on the future course of action in framing new projects.

Table 24: Some simple ITKs on in situ soil moisture conservation followed in India
Indigenous in situ soil moisture conservation measures Deep ploughing in summer for harvesting early shower in situ Pre monsoon harrowing (blade harrow) for breaking soil surface crust for capturing early showers Short term fallowing during mid May and June to conserve early rains Across slope furrowing as a part of seeding operation in sorghum and castor crop rotation Shallow interculture in rabi sorghum to minimize soil cracking Regions of adoption/practice Black soil region of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu Red soil region of Andhra Pradesh Red soils of Anantapur District in Andhra Pradesh Red soils in Ranga Reddy District of Andhra Pradesh Deep black soil in Bellary, Karnataka


The documentation exercise should be in-built in extension and research especially in natural resource management. The suitable ITKs may be adopted and validated other Agro-ecological regions. The documented ITKs should be translated in all regional languages and published for the benefit of farming communities. Suitable modifications of the ITKs through onfarm research would help developing appropriate and acceptable technologies for different Agro-ecological environments.

2. Validation of appropriate indigenous technologies across diverse agro-ecological settings to qualify as modern technical knowledge through vigorous onfarm research/testing with farmers participation and involving NGOs. 3. Limited energy efficient farm mechanization for timely operations of in situ conservation measures at farm level. 4. Water and nutrient balance studies to quantify water use efficiency and validate hydrological and crop models. 5. Role of in situ moisture conservation through better understanding of Soil-Water-Nutrient-Plant relationships for greater crop and water productivity. 6. Creation of enabling environment through appropriate Government policies and subsidies to the farming communities adopting in situ rainwater conservation and better crop residue management that reduces land degradation and decreases the fertilizer and energy requirements. 7. Economics of different in situ conservation measures for selecting eco-friendly, economical advantageous and socially acceptable technologies.

This is a brief review of different in situ moisture conservation measures followed particularly in Indian semi-arid regions predominated with red and black soils. Many other location specific moisture conservation measures are followed in other parts of India and the world. However the principles of moisture conservation remain the same. In the context of in situ rainwater conservation and management the following emerging issues need to be addressed for sustaining the agricultural productive environment. 1. In situ rainwater management as influenced by the temporal climate shift scenario and popularization of weather advisories.


Table 25: Researchable issues in potential ITKs on in situ moisture conservation measures
Indigenous in situ water conservation measures Furrow opening in standing crops for rainwater conservation Wider row spacing in pearl millet for rainwater conservation and weed control Crop residue management for improving soil organic matter and water holding capacity Researchable issues 1. Modification of implement with different serrated blades and introducing additional tines 2. Effectiveness in conserving soil moisture 1. Plant geometry and population research in different rainfall situations 1. Quantification soil and water conservation and yield advantage 2. Better or improved implements for crop residue incorporation 3. Alternate ways of composting and application 1. Quantification of soil loss, improvement of soil quality and water availability 2. Use of alternative organic material to Sal leaves as mulch 1. Width of broad bed needs to be evaluated for different crops and rainfall situations 2. Identification of suitable low cost tractor/bullock drawn implement for layout of BBF 1. Quantification of rainwater conservation and water use efficiency (WUE) of the crops 2. Improvement in soil health and crop yield over years 1. Identification of appropriate tillage implements for soil and water conservation 2. Evaluation of root:shoot ratio and quantification of WUE of crops 1. Effect of bullock and tractor drawn Gurr on runoff reduction, soil water conservation and crop productivity 1. Growing of green manure crop and its management in soil health improvement improving soil health and crop productivity 2. Economic evaluation of the system by addressing issues of sustainability 1. Method and quantity of tank silt application in different soils 2. Improvement in soil water and fertility with tank silt application and its effect on crop productivity 3. Cost effect ivene ss of si lt applicat ion e special ly w it h Governments programme of tank desiltation.

Mulching in turmeric cultivation for rainwater conservation Broad bed and furrow practice for rainwater conservation and runoff disposal

Set-row cultivation for soil and rainwater conservation and improvement of soil properties Summer/pre monsoon tillage for harvesting early rainfall, weed control and initiate timely seeding

Formation of Gurr for rainwater and soil conservation Green manuring practice for water conservation and

Tank silt application to improve soil fertility and water holding capacity

Source: Mishra, et. al. (2002)



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Low Cost On-Farm Indigenous and Innovative Technologies of Rainwater Harvesting
R.K. Singh

India has been one of the few countries of the world which showed awareness of the need to conserve and care for the watershed resources of land, water, plants and animals in an integrated manner and the government has invested heavily on soil and water conservation (SWC) measures on watershed basis and many big projects are currently in operation. The results to date of government SWC programmes have been disappointing (Vaidyanathan, 1991). SWC measures installed under special programmes have rarely been maintained; on the contrary, there are many instances where farmers have destroyed these works soon after the departure of the implementing agency. Recent studies have shown, however that in many regions farmers lack of interest in SWC programmes has not been due to their lack of concern about erosion, but because the design of recommended technologies has not been suitable for their small farms (Kerr and Sanghi, 1992 and Reij, 1991). It is now becoming clear that

there are significant difference between farmers and scientists perceptions regarding soil erosion control (Chamber, 1991; Kerr and Sanghi, 1992). Many SWC interventions are not successful because they are not sufficiently rooted in the priorities and perceptions of local farmers (Gupta, 1991; Reij, 1991 and Fujisaka, 1989). In this context, it is also not out of place to mention that programme planners have time to time introduced number of SWC measures/ rainwater harvesting technologies which are not being tested in the specific areas under particular soil, slope, rainfall, socio-economic conditions and need of the people. Similarly, some of the most adoptable and effective technologies are not being given due importance and left aside because they are slightly costlier, though for such effective technologies farmers could easily be motivated for their reasonable contribution. Studies have revealed that over the generations, farmers themselves have developed numerous indigenous SWC methods specific

to particular soil, slope, rainfall and socio-economic conditions (Kerr, 1991). It has also been observed in the area that farmers prefer to pay part of the cost of these indigenous practices even in villages where recommended SWC practices are offered with heavy subsidies. Low cost indigenous technologies of rainwater harvesting have potential to increase the productivity of arable lands by enhancing crop yields and by reducing the risk of crop failure in arid and semi arid regions, where water shortage are common because of scanty of rainfall and its uneven distribution. In arid and semi arid regions, the occurrence and distribution of rainfall are not only uneven but also erratic, marked by prolong rainless days. The rainfall fails especially at the time when it is required most for agriculture during the year. Under these circumstances, the concept of low cost community oriented indigenous rainwater harvesting technologies both long term and short terms seem to be the only alternative by which water scarcity problem can be mitigated and agricultural production can be increased substantially. The solution therefore, lies is harvesting rainwater through capturing, storing and recycling it and later using it during prolong perched period.

2. Stone Bunds Stone bunds; are most commonly used indigenous practice in highly sloping lands of limited depth of soil for the purpose of increasing crop productivity in rainfed areas. Simple stone bunds of varying sizes are constructed across the slope. In such type of terraces bunds are formed gradually by allowing erosion on the upper parts of sloping fields and arresting the soil by creating vegetative/ stone barrier on field boundary. By adopting this practice, land with limited depth of soil can safely be put under cultivation without further degradation in sloping areas. In this case the cost of construction is reduced and the decrease in yield in the regular bench terracing is minimized. Downward movement of soil is induced by up and down slope cultivation during first 2-3 years. Presently, such terraces are known as Peurto Rican Terraces. 3. Stone wall terraces (SWT) In some of the highly sloping areas where soil depth is a limiting factor and also in the cultivable Valleys; stone wall terraces are very common particularly in those areas where stones are readily available in the area. Like stone bunds the stone wall barriers are also put across the slope for developing terraces on down hill slopes and particularly in valleys. Downward movement of soil is induced in similar fashion as stated above. Cross section of SWT is decided by the farmers taking into account the slope of the land, rainfall etc. This practice is also adopted in order to create additional cultivable lands by cutting the hill slopes and to concentrate the soil eroded from the adjoining lands at an appropriate site. 4. Rough Stone Slab Bunds It is found to be very effective, adoptable and low cost indigenous technology in moderately sloping (0-5%) arable lands where the small stone slabs are easily available at or near the site. In this system 30-45 cm high bunds of rough stone slabs (5-10 cm) thick and 45-60 cm long are put across the slope, uniformly all along the field boundaries. Stone slabs are thoroughly embedded in soil one after the other in dug out furrows of 15-30 cm depth. 5. Rough Stone Bunds In the absence of the slabs simple stone pieces


1. Earthen field bunds Very commonly found indigenous SWC technique where the farmers construct field bunds almost uniformly on field boundaries, which rarely correspond exactly to contour for minimizing soil erosion; demarcating field and ownership boundaries; producing fodder for animals and other items of economic importance (through suitable vegetative cover); protecting against trespassers and stray animals (through a combination of high bunds and thorny barriers); creating new fields or micro-environments (to reduce risk in rainfed agriculture); making field operations convenient, facilitating land partitioning for inheritance, etc. In order to make them more effective and in achieving the desired benefits of SWC to the extent of farmers expectations, these bunds may be constructed by keeping the required top height same throughout the bund with a provision of waste weir at suitable site.

of 10-20 cm thick, 45-60 cm long and of varying widths are also used. In due course of time the small gaps in between two slabs/ stones are being covered by naturally occurring grasses; also acting as filter strip. Some of the farmers prefer to have such bunds against smaller cross sectional earthen bunds because in this system only a narrow strip of land goes out of cultivation and maintenance is almost nil. 6. Vegetative Peripheral Bunds/ Barriers Peripheral or boundary bunds/ barriers of Agave sislana locally known as Ram bans/ Gul bans is a commonly used indigenous SWC technology in arid and semi-arid regions and the established bunds are found to be very effective. Barriers of Agave are also very commonly used technique in many of the areas to stabilize the periphery of fields situated on the banks of big nalla or rivers. 7. Smaller Cross-Sectional Earthen Bunds Covered with Flat Stones or Pieces of Stone Slabs In some of the hilly areas in moderately sloping lands; smaller cross-section earthen bunds of about 3045 cm height are constructed across the slope almost on contours for enhancing in-situ moisture conservation and also for checking soil erosion from arable lands. The top level is strictly maintained at uniform level throughout the bund length and the top is covered with flat stones or pieces of rough stone slabs to keep the bunds safe from raindrop impact and also from occasional damages caused by over topping. Sometimes all the three sides of the bund are covered/ pitched with stones. As per the requirements of the area, a provision for safe disposal of excess runoff is also kept. The farmers used to maintain these bunds very carefully. In some of the areas these bunds are also established for controlling/ stabilizing gullies. 8. Temporary Sediment Detention Dams (TSDD) On of the ways adopted in hilly areas of southern Rajasthan to concentrate eroded soil at appropriate location is the construction of temporary sediment detention dams. In such areas most of the badly eroded lands are found in deep and narrow valleys, where due to high concentration of runoff the rate of soil erosion is very high. Under these situations construction of TSDD is adopted by the farmers. Suitable locations are those where the possibilities of sediment trapping is

more. Initially a low height broad based losse rock dam is constructed. The base width is decided keeping in view the rainfall pattern and expected runoff. Over the years the height of these barriers is being increased and new patch of cultivable land is crated within the gullies/ eroded valleys. The height of the dam is increased till the nallah/ valley section reaches to the extent where the gradient remains stable. In some of the areas such bunds have 3-5m or more height. TSDD is also being act as a temporary drop structure. 9. Diversion Ditches Diersion ditches are small channels with bank on the down slope side having desired grade towards an outlet for safe disposal of runoff from upper reaches in the natural nallah, to prevent runoff from entering lands of lower reaches which are already protected by some kind of soil conservation measures and to separate arable lands from non-arable lands. It is also one of the commonly used indigenous SWC technology, in hilly terrain of southern and also in other parts of Rajasthan state where a good amount of cultivated land exists in the lower reaches. To protect these lands from the damages caused by runoff water and channeling along gradient towards nallah, such diversion drains are being constructed. The cross-section and type of ditches are mainly based on experiences. There are different types of drains considering amount of runoff and other factors. These are as follows: Excavated ditches with required gradient in the base. Excavated ditches supported by a suitable sized losses stone bund on down slope side. Required gradient is provided in the excavated ditch. Only loose stone bunds are installed and desired gradient is provided by scraping land after leaving 1530 cm berm in the base on upper side of slope. 10. Stone Wall for Nallah Bank Protection This practice is adopted in those conditions where bank erosion is a problem particularly in arable lands. this technique is primarily used only in those areas where stones are available at sites or very near to sites . suitable cross sectional wall of loose stone is constructed all along the bank or only at vulnerable sites. Erection of such protection wall is done starting from the bed of nallah keeping appropriate foundation .Height of such walls depends on the depth of flow of water in nallah. Some times these are also reinforsed

by planting suitable vegetative material such as Agave, Jatropha, Mahadi etc. 11. Dhora Pali Field bunding is one of the common practices of SWC locally known as Dhora pali bund of about 0.5 sq.m. or even of more crosss-section is constructed on field boundaries in arid zone . Some times waste weirs are also provided at suitable site. These areas are mainly put under kharif crops. In due course of time these bunds get stabilized by naturally occurring local grasses. Some times seed of Dhaman grass are also sown during rainy season for stabilization. Venkateswarlu (1991) also reported that existing SWC practices in arid Rajasthan include large peripheral bunds about 1 m height and 7075 cm wide at base .In some of the area these bunds are strengthened with munj grass / agave. 12. Kana Bandi (Mulching) In desert areas to keep the arable land productive, efforts are being made to protect the area from wind erosion. Kana bandi is done in the fields after kharif crops are harvested particularly in those fields, which are prone to erosion. The local material like sania, khinp, prunnings of ker, ber, khejri and phog and also local grasses such as sewan/munj are embedded in soil leaving about 30-40 cm length of the material vertically on the ground in line 2-5 m apart. This practice checks the soil erosion to a great extent. Some times kana bandi is done in square or rectangular manner (checker board fashion, 2 to 3 m2) particularly for stabilization of sand dunes after rainy season, the grass seeds are sown on the leeward side of the mulch. The grass grows and gradually replaces the mulch and control the movement of sand. During kharif this organic material is incorporated in the soil, thereby also in help increasing organic matter content. 13. Village Pond/ Talab A common rural rainwater harvesting technology through the semi-arid region of Rajasthan is the construction of pond/ nadis/ tank etc. Pond is constructed at suitable sites mainly for domestic use and also for recharge of groundwater. Suitable site for an economic viewpoint is selected by the villagers where the largest storage volume is obtained with the least amount of earth fill. Such conditions are generally found where the valley is narrow, side slopes are relatively steep and the slope of the valley floor will permit a large deep basin. Such sites tend to minimize the area of shallow 37

waters. Surface runoff is the major source of feeding the ponds/ talabs. Villagers also adopt some design criteria viz., determination of capacity, size and shape of embankments, provision of emergency spillways and provision for controlling seepage. 14. Talai - A Small Water Harvesting Structure Talai is an indigenous water harvesting technique in semi arid regions of India particularly for creating water point for cattle. In this system an earthen embankment of very low height may be of 1-2 m is made at suitable location in a nallah/ natural drainage line, where natural depression exists. The earth required in making embankment is also taken out from the existing depression for increasing storage capacity. Presently this system is advocated and recommended in name of SUNKEN PONDS particularly in NWDPRA projects. 15. Dry Stone Masonry Pond Dry stone masonry pond, between 1.5 and 2.5 m high, are constructed to collect and store water. In this type of structure the upstream and downstream walls are constructed 3-4 m apart by dry stone masonry after excavating a foundation of appropriate depth. The space in between these two walls is filled with locally available murrum or soil with proper compaction. The filling is done in layers of 20-30 cm. height along with wetting and compaction. The earth fill is kept 10-20 cm above the top of the wall to provide an extra provision for natural settling over a period of time. Proper compaction is one of the important considerations to check seepage through the embankment and to ensure the stability of the structure. The length of the head wall extension depends on the specific site conditions. The height of such structures is restricted up to 2.5 m to avoid overturning due to water pressure. The width of the wall at the bottom is kept 1.5 m and at the top it is only 0.5 - 0.6 m. The reduction in width is maintained uniformly from bottom to top in the inner edge of the wall. The upper portion of the wall (0.30 - 0.5 m high) is constructed with cement mortar to avoid damage to the walls by stray cattle or human activities. 16. Ponds (Nada) These large ponds are of two categories denoting both ownership and use. The nadas belonging to the Panchayat is for the specific purpose of proving drinking water for animals while the private ones which have been constructed on kabile kasth lands are used for irrigation.

These farm ponds are generally constructed by a group of farmers, whose land remain temporarily submerged and after monsoon, i.e. in rabi season crops are sown as tank bed cultivation, when the water has evaporated or percolated. Stored water is some times drained through some indigenously developed surplussing arrangements for sowing of rabi crops. 17. Nadi (Semi-arid/ Aravali Region) Nadi is a small traditional water harvesting structure constructed at appropriate site to harvest the runoff water of relatively impervious non arable uplands for the purpose of drinking water for animals and ground water recharge of open dug wells situated in the lower reaches. These are also constructed to store water in the monsoonal nallahs in the upper reaches for various purposes and primarily for recharge of groundwater. The depth of such nadis generally do not exceed 3 meters. These structure are constructed in two ways depending upon the available funds. In the first system both side of earthen embankment of appropriate width is supported by dry stone masonry walls. In the second system the upside wall is pakka or masonry using lime or cement mortar. Masonry wall and earth fill is done in arc shape having curvature in the raised by the locally available soil/ murmur. Layer wise wetting and compaction of soil is practiced. The width of earthen embankment and stone walls are decided by the villagers considering the size, topography and other conditions of the catchment areas. A properly designed waste weir of surplussing arrangement is also provided at suitable site. 18. Nadi (Arid Regions) In arid zone construction of Nadi is an age-old practice of water harvesting. These are small excavated or embankment village ponds, harvesting the meager precipitations to mitigate the scarcity of drinking water. These nadis hold water from two months to a full year after rains depending on the catchment characteristics, the amount of rainfall received, its intensity and distribution. Each village has one or more of such structures, depending on the demand of water and availability of suitable sites. Capacity of such nadis are reduced in due course of time due to sediment deposition. 19. Tanka Tanka, the most prevailing rainwater harvesting structure in the Indian desert, is a local term for the underground system. The traditional tanks are made

by digging a hole of 3.0 to 4.25 m diameter in the ground and plastering it with lime mortar to a thickness of about 6 mm followed by a cement plaster of 3 mm thick. The top is covered with ber thoms. The useful life of such structure is about 3 years. The catchments are made in variety of ways using locally available sealing materials like pond silt, murrum, coal ash, gravel, etc. Traditional tankas are temporary and are subjected to leakage. Moreover the catchment areas are not in accordance with the amount of rainfall received and runoff generated. The thorn cover does not prevent the water pollution and evaporation losses, capacity of such tankas are also not sufficient to fulfill the demands of a family for water throughout the year. The CAZRI has designed an improved tanka, of 21000 liters capacity, which gets filled up with annual rainfall of 125 mm. The water is sufficient for a family of 6 persons throughout the year for drinking. It has an useful life of 25 years as it is constructed using cement masonry. The catchment area needed for this capacity is 778 m2. 20. Khadin From a study of farmers water conservation practices it is evident that they are acutely conscious of the value of rainwater and try to use it to grow at least one good crop during the year. Khadin is one such system, which is extensively used in arid and semi-arid regions of Rajasthan. It is an indigenous water harvesting cum run off farming structure. Khadin system is site specific needing a large natural, high runoff potential catchment in proximity of plain valley land with deep soils. The ratio of khadin catchment area, depending on type of catchment is 1:12 to 1:15. These are constructed on low lying lands where crops are raised by conserving rainwater from the rocky catchments. Cultivation in khadin is done by rationing runoff water over low lying areas through construction of bund across the slope on the lower boundary line of khadin land. Cross-section of the bund depends upon the soil type, area of khadins and discharge form catchments. The water thus collected is allowed to percolate after which an assured post rainy season crop is grown. Sometimes crops are grown in kharif or rabi depending upon the rainfall and runoff received in the khadins. For areas that will always be dependent on rainwater, this water harvesting practice has great relevance. Now the SWC scientists/ engineers have also considered this indigenous techniques as an important and usefull water harvesting practice and

developed design criteria. Kolarkar et al. (1983) also reported that khadins or submergence tanks are the indigenous form of inundation farming in arid regions.


1. Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting Rooftop rainwater harvesting technique is applied mainly for the domestic purposes or groundwater recharging in the rural and urban areas. In this technique the rainwater of the roof is either collected in the underground tanks or diverted to the wells/ tube wells for groundwater recharging. Since the collected water is generally free from soil pollution, it can be used for drinking as well as domestic purposes. This technique is highly suitable for the low rainfall areas where number of runoff producing rainfall storms is limited and there is scarcity of drinking water. 2. Sub-soiling Subsoiling is a system of deep tillage by which the subsoil is loosened and disturbed but is not inverted or brought to the surface. The term sub-soiling has also been applied by some workers to any cultivation carried out in the soil below normal ploughing depth. Subsoiling is possible with the help of deep soil loosening equipment, viz., chisel plough and subsoiler. Subsoiling is a totally mechanized operation. At present, subsoilers available in the market can be operated with any tractor equipped with a hydraulic lift. On suitable soils, chiseling is applicable if restrictive soil layers are less than 45 cm deep, whereas subsoiling is applicable if restrictive soil layers are more than 45 cm deep (Fig. 6.6). Contour subsoiling is possible on upto 30% slope but is most satisfactory on slopes below 22-25% (Nag, et. al., 1989, Singh and Mahnot, 1995, Singh and Mahnot, 2004). 3. Chauka System In Rajasthan, Gram Vikas Navyuvak Mandal, Laporia (GVNML) has been very active in undertaking measures for improving the productivity of pasture and grazing lands significantly in their project area. All this is in keeping with the goal of GVNML, which is to support integrated rural development on a sustainable basis. Since its inception, GVNML has been active in organizing and mobilizing rural communities to carry out activities such as repair of tanks, plantation programmes, health, education, and pastureland development, and soil and water conservation. Among others, GVNML has now 39

been actively involved in developing village gauchar (common pasture lands), using ideas technical and socially oriented generated by the local people themselves. Importantly, this NGO has developed an innovative concept the Chauka system for reducing runoff and preventing soil erosion to augment in-situ moisture conservation, with gratifying success. 4. Double Wall Cement Masonry Structure This type of structure looks like an anicut. Both the upstream and downstream walls of the structure are constructed with cement masonry. The height of the structure and catchment area is usually restricted upto 2.5 - 3.0 m and 100-150 hectares, respectively. The base width of upstream and downstream walls is generally taken as 1.0 m and 0.8 m, respectively, whereas the top width of upstream and downstream walls is restricted to 0.60 m and 0.45 m, respectively. The width of walls may be increased depending on the site conditions and volume of water to be stored. For low-height structures (1.0 to 1.5 m) the base width of both the walls may be reduced by 20 cm. The width of the concrete bed is generally taken as 20 cm more than the base width of the masonry walls. The downstream wall or the falling side is tapered. The space in between these two walls is filled with locally available murrum or soil with proper compaction. The filling is done in layers of 20-30 cm height alongwith wetting and compaction. Proper compaction is an important consideration to ensure the stability of the structure. 5. Plastic Lined Farm Pond Plastic lined farm ponds are particularly suitable for those areas where large quantity of water is lost through seepage, especially where the soil is gravelly and porous. In earthen dams there is also a common problem of seepage through the embankment. Under such circumstances, to check the seepage from all such types of farm ponds/ earthen dams, plastic lining is a feasible solution. Polythene sheets of 200 micron may be used as lining material for seepage control in the ponds. The sheets are spread at the bottom and on the upstream side, upto the top width of the pond. An average 10 cm thick soil layer is also kept above the sheet to keep the sheet in proper place, to check external damage and to protect it from exposure to the sun. A permanent and most effective lining material is brick and cement masonry, but it is costlier than other lining materials.

6. Subsurface barriers Subsurface barriers are used to retain or arrest the seasonal subsurface flows and facilitate the abstraction of water through lined shallow wells, especially during periods of water scarcity. The objective is to place an impermeable barrier - either of clay or masonry across the river-bed, from the surface down to the bedrock or other solid impervious layer. A trench of the required width is dug across the flow direction of the ground water. The earthwork

involved may be carried out by manual labour since the excavation depths are generally not more than 3-6 m. Subsurface dams are generally constructed at the end of the dry season, when there is little water in the aquifer. There is usually some flow, however, and this must be pumped out during the construction work. After the construction of dam, the trench is refilled with the excavated material. It is important that the refill is properly compacted by mechanical means and watering.



Chambers, R. (1991). Farmers Practices, Professionals, and Participation. In Kerr, J.M. (ed.) Farmers practices and soil water conservation programmes. Summary proceedings of a workshop. 19-21 June. ICRISAT, Patancheru, India. Fujisaka, S. (1989). A method for Farmer-Participatory Research and Technology Transfer, Upland Soil Conservation in Philippines. Experimental Agriculture 25 : 423-433. Gupta, A. (1991). Reconceptualising development and diffusion of technologies for dry regions. In Prasad C. and P. Das (ed.) Extension strategies for rainfed agriculture. Indian Society of Extension Education, New Delhi. Kerr, J.M. (1991) Farmers Practices and Soil and Water Conservation Programmes : Summary proceedings of workshop. 19-21 June, 1991. ICRISAT, Patancheru, India. Kerr, John and Sanghi, N.K., (1992) Indigenous soil and water conservation in Indias semi-arid tropics. Gatekeepr Series 34, IIED, London, U.K. Kolarkar, A.S., Murthy, K.N.K. and Singh, N., (1983) Khadin A method for harvesting water. Journal of Arid Environment, 6:5966. Nag, K.N., Chandra, A., Mahnot, S.C., (1989) Mechanization Techniques for accelerating afforestation programme on denuded hillocks. Agricultural Mechanization in Asia, Africa and Latin America 20(3) : 78-80. Reij, C. (1991) Indigenous soil and water conservation in Africa. Gatekeeper Series No. 27, IIED, London, U.K. Singh and Mahnot, (2004) Mechanical Soil Working Techniques for Soil and Water Conservation on Moderately Sloping Wasteland, Small Farm Mechanization published by ISAE, Rajasthan, pp 98-101. Singh, P.K. and Mahnot, S.C. (1995) Feasibility and cost effectiveness of mechanical soil working techniques for soil and water conservation measures on moderately sloping wastelands. Ind. J. of Power and River Valley Development July-August : 106-109. Vaidyanathan, A. (1991) Integrated Watershed Development : Some major issues. Founders Day Lecture. Society for Promotion of Wasteland Development, New Delhi.


Integrating in-situ soil moisture conservation techniques and supplementary irrigation for the dry land farming-a modeling study from Tamil Nadu
K. Ramaswamy

Drylands in India constitute 68.4 per cent of the cropped area out of the total cultivated extent of 162.03 million hectares. In Tamil Nadu, 55.0 per cent of the cropped area is left under drylands which accounts for 3.1 million hectares. Due to the higher attention given to irrigated agriculture during green revolution, the care for rainfed agriculture has been considered to be minimum. To meet the growing demands for food, the scope for further addition to area under agriculture is possible only through the exploitation of drylands. Bringing the vast stretch of drylands under green cover particularly with hardy tree crops is the immediate need for the ecological restoration. Drought hardy crops especially perennial fruits with deep root systems are capable of surviving extreme radiation and temperatures and provides income security, nutritional and food security. Amla, Jamun, Ber, Karonda, Wood apple, etc., are the fruit crops suitable for drylands. At present, under dry land conditions, fruit orchards have been developed with crops that stand water stress. However, effective micro water harvesting practices and utilization of interspaces have not been 42

adopted. If, an effective water harvesting measure with suitable intercrop of medicinal plants or any other competitive crops is arrived at, the technology could be adopted by the farmers for obtaining additional remuneration. By taking considering of the above points in mind, a study has been undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of various in-situ micro water conservation techniques for various dryland fruit trees by developing and testing a suitable root zone water balance model for dryland crops.

Materials & Methods

Field trials were conducted with five fruit trees in different villages of Coimbatore district: Mango (Thondamuthur), Tamarind (Ajjanur), Sapota (Chettipalayam), Guava (Chettipalayam) and Amla ( Kethanur). Insitu soil moisture conservation treatments (micro catchments for trees) were imposed with randomized block design (RBD) which mainly consists of various types of microcatchments for trees viz, V- catchments, Semicircular bund compartmental bund, and a control plot without any treatment. Design sizes of microcatchments were

calculated based on FAO guidelines of water harvesting as given in the following equation (2.0).

Micro-Catchment size
Based upon the design procedure of FAO guidelines on water harvesting (Critchley and Siegert, 1991), the ratio of the microcatchment area to cultivated area is given by the following relationship. (2.0) Where, C= Total size of microcatchment (m2) CA = Area exploited by the root system (m2) CWR = Annual water requirement (mm) DR = Design rainfall (cm) RO = Runoff Co-efficient EF = Efficiency factor The values of each parameter in the above equation for all the fields were calculated. For Thondamuthur (Mango) field, the area exploited by the root system , CA was taken as 12.57 m2 , considering a radius of 2m. The annual crop water requirement was calculated based on the ET of the crop. ET crop (Mango) = ETo (Reference ET) where Kc- Crop coefficient = 4.24 mm/day Kc

AET = D.PET/(1-p) ASW.D, D < ( 1 - p ) ASW.D where, D = depth of root zone (cm) based on the crop, = Average moisture content per unit depth (mm/cm), AET = Actual evapotransporation, PET = Potential evapotransporation p = Soil moisture depletion factor, ASW = Maximum available soil water per unit depth Based on the assumptions listed above, the water balance in the effective root zone on the ith day of any month is given by: iD = i-1D AETi, i = 2, 3, . (2.2) where, i-1D is the soil moisture depth of i-1th day, and AETi is the actual evapotranspiration of ith day. For continuous days, i+1D = iD + Ri+1 + Ii+1 Pi+1 AETi+1 (2.3) Ri+1 represents the infiltrated volume of rain water on i+1th day, Ii+1 represents the supplemental irrigation applications on i+1th day, and Pi+1 is the excess water percolated out of the root zone on i+1th day. where, Pi = Ri + Ii (FC i-1D), if Ri + Ii (FC i-1D) P = 0, otherwise. (2.4) Here the rainfall was assumed to have the values of infiltrated volume found out from the infiltration rates for the given rainfall time. As the present model was to compute the root zone water balance in bunded field plots under dryland conditions, the infiltrated volume of rain Ri in the equation (2.4) adopted under the following conditions is as follows: Condition I: Intensity < Average infiltration rate of soil
Ri = R1 = Basic infiltration rate of soil if SMC > FC (i) (ii) Ri = R2 = Average infiltration rate of soil if FC =SMC= PWP and Ri = R3 = Maximum infiltration rate of soil if SMC < PWP (iii) (2.5)

Based upon the design rainfall at 50% probability as 615 mm with ET crop as 4.24 mm/day RO = 0.8, EF = 0.65, the microcatchment size was arrived as 36m2 including the planted area. The bunding was done in the staggered arrangement. Similarly, all other selected crops, the design sizes of catchments were arrived. Soil moisture content was periodically monitored month-wise at 15 and 45 cm depth and statistically analyzed to understand effectiveness of various conservation treatments. Yield data was monitored after one year of imposing treatments.

Development of a root zone water balance model

Based upon the results of experiments conducted world wide, the model proposed by the Doorenbos & Kassam (1979) was adopted for finding the root zone water balance on daily basis by taking into account of actual Evapotranspiration of the crop. Scarcity moisture days were worked out below 45cm root zone depth. AET = PET, D (1-p) ASW.D (2.1) 43

where, SMC = Soil Moisture Content, FC = Field Capacity, and PWP = Permanent Wilting Point of the soil. The infiltration time was taken as the duration of the storm and the infiltrated volume of rain water R was calculated as the product of the duration of the storm and the basic, average or maximum infiltration rate based on the existing soil moisture conditions (i), (ii) or (iii) of equation (2.5).

Condition II: Intensity > Average infiltration rate of soil The water balance in this situation was given by: iD = CIi-1 - AETi, i = 2,3,. (2.6)

Model predicted Vs field observed soil moisture data in different treatments

where, CIi-1 = cumulative infiltration on the i-1th day, given by modified Kostiakovs (Kostiakov-Lewis type) equation: CI = Btep + q (2.7) where, te = sum of duration of rainfall and average time of infiltration of ponding water after rainfall ceases, B, p and q are constants. In the above equation 2.7, the time te is considered as follows: te = Duration of rainfall + average time of infiltration of ponding water after rainfall ceases The average time of infiltration of ponding water after rainfall ceases in the above equation was calculated by quantifying the volume of water ponded to the height of the bunds provided for the field plot or the micro catchment of the treated plot divided by the average infiltration rate.

Fig. 1. Soil Moisture in Control

Results & Discussion

The prediction behaviour of the model output and field observations in respect of soil moisture was depicted in the figures 1 to 4 for the selected mango field under study. From these figures, the following inferences could be drawn: During the study period, the trend of the soil moisture content predicted from the model for different months was similar as that of the observed values both under control and treatmental plots. The soil moisture contents in the treatmental plots were always higher than the control plot both in the predicted and observed values .This might be due to the fact that the effective runoff control was created by the micro-catchments, thereby more opportunity for higher infiltration volume and hence better in-situ moisture conservation. There was a close agreement between the predicted and the observed values as seen from the figures and also from the results of the non-parametric Chisquare statistical test, showing there was no significan variation between the model and the observed data.

Fig.2. Soil Moisture in V-Catchment

Fig. 3. Soil Moisture in Crescent bund

Fig.4. 44

Soil Moisture in Compartmental bunding

Runoff The runoff was obtained as output on the days when the rainfall intensity exceeded the average infiltration rate of the soil. The runoff was predicted from the model for the Thondamuthur field on two dates and the predicted runoff volumes for the 45cm and the entire depth of the root zone were the same. Then those predicted values were compared with the observed field values of runoff as given in table 1. Scarcity Moisture Days Computation Table 1: Runoff volumes for Thondamuthur (Mango) field
Treatment Control V Catchments Crescent bunds Compartmental bunds Scattered trenches Predicted runoff (m3) Observed runoff (m3) 14.30 11.21 11.29 11.30 13.19 12.35 11.13 11.21 11.12 11.56

in the Thondamuthur field, for both 45cm and the entire Fig.5. Sandy Clay loam (Thondamuthur)

Fig.6. Sandy loam (Chettipalayam) root zone depth, the control had more number of scarcity soil moisture days than the micro-catchments like V-catchments, crescent bunds and compartmental bunds irrespective of the depth considered in the root zone. This might be due to the fact that the bunded microcatchments were able to conserve more moisture than the other treatments. The supplemental watering given for successful growth of the crop was also accounted and the total depth of water utilized including effective rainfall was incorporated.

Scarcity moisture days were defined as those days having soil moisture below permanent wilting point at 45cm depth applied to normal field crops. From the root zone soil moisture balance computation, the soil moisture content below permanent point for two different locations at 45 cm depth in various treatments are given below ( Table.2) The percentage of scarcity moisture days of two locations (Thondamuthur and Chettipalayem field) is Table 2: Scarcity moisture days in different moisture conservation treatments (days)

Some experiments in farmers field

The sites selected for the research study were located at Thondamuthur and Chettipalayam, in CoimTreatments Thondamuthr Chettipalayam Sandy clay loam (days) Sandy loam (days) batore district of Tamil Nadu, India. Thondamuthur lies to the western part of Coimbatore near to the Western Control 54 100 Ghats. It has a sandy clay loam soil type. The area V- catchments 32 76 has a mean monthly minimum temperature of 21oC Crescent bund 33 83 and a maximum of 31oC. The mean annual rainfall is Compartmental bund 33 83 628.15mm (Appendix I). The water table was very deep (70-90m) (Ground Water Status Report, 1994). Here, a farmer field with dryland Mango plantation was selected for the study. The root zone depth of the Mango shown in the following Fig.5 and 6. crop was 120cm. The area of the field was 2.2 hectares, bunded from all sides. The crop grown here was Out of the total operational period of 150 days 11 years old. The field was left dry and it depended on 45

Table 3:
S. No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Location of the village Kembanur (Thondamuthur block) Ajjanur (Coimbatore west) Chettipalayam Chettipalayam Kethanur (Palladam block)

Location of field trials

Dryland fruit crop Mango Tamarind Sapota Guava Amla Area (ha) 2.8 2.2 1.8 1.0 2.0 Age of the tree ( years) 11 7 4 4 4

Soil type Alfisol Vertisol Alfisol Alfisol Alfisol

rainfall for water. In-situ moisture conservation treatments with microcatchments given in the field were V-catchments, semi-circular bunds, compartmental bunds, scattered trenches and one as a control plot under a State Land Use Board (SLUB) Scheme on maximizing land and water use efficiency in dryland horticultural systems operating at the Department of Soil and Water Conservation Engineering, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. There was a problem of moisture inadequacy; periodical plant withering and no intercrops were able to be grown in between the large amount of interspace available for intercrops. Any attempt to improve the moisture status in the field through microcatchment techniques will likely yield a possibility of taking intercrops like pulses/medicinal plants thereby enhancing the income per unit area. Effects of moisture status with root zone water balance modeling will give the possibility or otherwise of this idea. Medicinal inter crops attempted in all five locations were Senna - Cassia angustifolia, Periwinkle - Catheranthus roseus, Thulsi - Ocimum sanctum, Keelanelli-Phyllanthus amara Another field at Chettipalayam was also selected which lies to the eastern part of Coimbatore. It had a sandy loam soil, with medium depth of 0.7 to 1.2m. The area had a mean monthly minimum temperature of 25oC and maximum of 34.5oC. The mean annual rainfall of the region is 450.12mm. The area lies in the dryland region and the crops are mainly rainfed. A farmer field with dryland Guava plantation was selected for the study. The root zone depth of the crop was 100cm. The field was having an areal extent of one hectare, bunded from all sides. In this region, the water table was very deep in the range of 90-100m falling in the hard rock terrain (Ground Water Status Report, 1994). The Guava plantation was 4 years old, initially provided with drip irrigation facility for one year for establishment and left with 46

rainfed condition thereafter. The crop was in withering condition, when the moisture conservation treatments were established. Then it showed improvements in its growth after the receipt of monsoon rains (NovemberDecember) during the year. This experimental facility has also been utilized for the present field investigation with reference to testing the root zone water balance model. This field was also laid with the same moisture conservation treatments under the SLUB Scheme operating in the Department of Soil and Water Conservation Engineering.

Crop Performance and Economics with Inter Crops

Yield and growth attributes were monitored and final analysis was summarized in terms of water use efficiencies and benefits cost ratio.

Integration of Supplemental irrigation

In order to take soil moisture dryness below wilting point percent moisture at the end of monsoon periods and summer period, a series of dug out ponds were constructed in low lying points of each field and net working of water flow from one to the other has been done along with supplemental pitcher irrigation. This exercise has been done in 350 ha area under participatory Action Research with private and public lands under Technology development scheme of DoLR, GOI. A series of dug out ponds with size varying from 10 m3 to 25 m3 of 6 nos. were constructed with a low cost soil- cement or soil lime mixture stabilization and compaction technique for seepage control and to use stored water for supplemental irrigation for Amla, Rosewood and Mahagony plants. As the water applied per month is 32m3, the total water storage capacity required for 400 plants per ha is estimated to be 200m3. In this, seepage, evaporation and other losses amounting

Table 4: Intercrop Yield Increases with Treatments

Intercrops Senna Economic parts Leaf (t/ha) Seed(kg/ha) Root (t/ha) Stem (t/ha) Leaf (t/ha) Leaf (t/ha) Stem (t/ha) Max. yield 3.1 105.0 2.3 3.1 3.3 9.5 16.3 Control 2.0 81.0 1.1 2.1 1.7 5.5 8.1

Periwinkle Thulsi

Table 5: Benefit-Cost Ratio

Crops combination (Thulsi /Perwinkle) Anola Guava Sapota Tamarind Mango B-C ratio 4.4 2.3 1.9 1.1 1.1 5.7 3.4 2.7 1.9 1.3

Table 6: Cost of Micro catchments

S.No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Treatment V-ditches Semicircular bund Compartmental bund Scattered trench Basin listing Broad bed furrow Vegetative barrier Coirpith compost Cost/ha 6000 4000 4500 3000 3000 3000 3000 3000 (Rs)

to 60% of the total storage for 2 months was accounted. Hence, filling of the dug- out ponds once in two months during summer months is sufficient to cater the water needs of the plant. This Water application during first two years of establishment given below. Table 7:
Water application / plant/ week Water applied / month /ha ( 400 plants) Water application / plant / 8 months in a year

During monsoon/rainy periods the dug-out ponds serve as water harvesting / collection structures. In this experiment, three filling with transported tank water was applied in the dug-out ponds and there was a filling with rainy water for one time. The dug-out ponds

Water Application during first two years of establishment

= 20 lit. = 32 m3 640 lit/ annum = 256 m3 = 1.57 m2 = 40.76 cm = 43 cm = 83.76 cm

Water was not applied for 4 months monsoon period Water application / ha for 8 months Area of water application at each plant Annual depth of application Effective rainfall Total depth of water utilized


are so arranged in such away that the surplus water from one pond will go to other through interlinked channels. The cost of dug-out pond with low cost lining works out to Rs.80 per m3. The expenditure of water storage dugout tank per ha is Rs.16, 000/. Total water storage for 400 plants per ha worked out as 62.5 to 100m2 depending upon the location specific factors, by assuming reasonable 2 m depth. These pits are located in moderate to low lying points of the area as for as possible. Experience of these dug-out ponds with various locations reveal that water lost for 30-45 days only depending up on the type of soil and its stabilization with compaction at bottom and cementing material plastering on sides. The performance under black-cotton soil with soil-cement lining is extremely poor which was done in one of the nearby locations of the project area. The soil lime mixture was working well with clay soils.

of the dry periods. Number of supplemental watering could be reduced depending up on the soil conditions.(by 50-65%). This results in reduction of recurring cost to about 50% in conventional watering. Quick growth and better viguor of plants have been observed without any mortality of plants. This would facilitate a few low tier crops like water melons, gourds could be grown for initial periods which would meet part of (50-75%) maintenance system (water cost) at least for a 2-3years. The labour cost of watering works out to Rs 5000/= per ha per annum excluding the transport cost from source.This transport cost of water works out upto Rs 8000/- @ Rs 40/m3 for entire summer period excluding in situ rain water utilization.

Modern Plastic Lining Technology

The modern technologies like plastic lining with different thickness depending upon depth of water storage could be adopted for controlling seepage and percolation losses and to store water atleast for 90-100 days for supplemtal irrigation. An observational study conducted in three locations and the following standardization on conservative side which leads to adoptation in a National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP) in nine focus districts of Tamil Nadu state. Maximum no. of supplemental irrigations : 2 to 3 Capacity of the pond : 2500 m3 (25 lakh Lit )

Pitcher Irrigation
The plastic pot pitchers with a hole and 70 cm length 6mm HDPE pipe with a micro pin hole outlet has been used for this technique by marking locations near the plant and making 50 cm deep pit with a diameter of 45cm.Initial observations on two soils with Periyanaikanpalayam and Somayampalayam series were taken and the data obtained is as follows. The water filled once in each pot having a capacity of 18 lit lost for 30-36 hours. The cost of pitchers at the rate of 400 Nos/ha including laying cost workout

Table 8: Soil moisture status under Pitcher irrigation

Soil type Periyanaikan Palayam Somaiyampalayam Field capacity (%) 24.2 6.6 Wilting point (%) 14.5 3.1 Available moisture (%) 9.7 3.5

Table 9: Soil moisture depletion (50 %) under manual and Pitcher irrigation (days from watering)
Soil type Periyanakayan palayam Somayampalayam Manual 10 7 Pitcher 15 11

Rs.10, 000/-. The following advantages have been noticed in this approach. Better soil moisture regime without stress for most 48

Cost of storage @ Rs.100 per 1000 Lit : Rs.2.5 lakhs Cost of portable sprinkler system : Rs.0.5 lakhs Total cost : Rs.3.0 lakhs Plastic lining (LDPE) 250 micron (<2m depth)

500 micron (> 2m depth)

Summary & Conclusion

The design and laying of micro catchments according to land slope, soil type and crop water require-

consistent in all multi location trials laid at five different locations. The model predicted soil moisture relatively better during dry times compared to moist periods prevailing as soon as the receipt of the rainfall. This might be due to the moisture redistribution process in the soil after the receipt of the infiltrated rain water, which was not considered in the model. The moisture conservation and establishment of plants in dry lands is crucial for which additional watering mechanisms like pitcher irrigation combined with a net work of dug-out ponds provided its worthiness when these techniques are tried on with micro catchments like V-Shaped bunds or Crescent bunds around trees or compartmental bunding on field plot boundaries. Though the integration of these three techniques cost

Table 11: Average size of catchments and irrigated area of farm ponds under Coimbatore conditions
Catchments area (ha) 5 5 Irrigated area (ha) 1 2-2.5 Technology Clay lining of the pond + surface irrigation of stored water Plastic lining of pond + portable sprinkler irrigation


ments would meet the proposed moisture status along with enhancement in yield attributes. The root zone soil moisture budget analysis showed that there is an inevitable need of supplemental watering which could be done by proper size of dug-out ponds located at the technically feasible points. The results obtained are almost

about Rs 35,000 / per ha, this enables productive and remunerative results with high value horticulture and forestry plantations. There is a potential scope to introduce the above dryland horticulture based model integrating in- situ soil moisture conservation techniques and supplementary irrigation in many semi-arid regions.


Critchley, K.N., and C.N.Siegert .1991. FAO guidelines on water harvesting, FAO, Rome, Italy. Doorenbos , J. and A.H.Kassam, 1979. Yield response to water. Irrg. And Drainage paper No:33, FAO, Rome , Italy. Ramaswamy, K and Thangaraj, T. 2002. Water harvesting Technologies for Dryland Horticulture Technology Bulletin, Horticulture College & Research Institute, Periyakulam, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.


Conservation of Rainwater and Sustenance of Productivity Through Improved Land Management and Cropping System in a Vertisol of Central India
K.M. Hati, A.K. Misra, K.G. Mandal, A.K. Tripathi, A. Subba Rao, R.K. Singh, S.P. Wani, P. Singh and P. Pathak

For sustainable crop production system under rainfed condition, the conservation of rainwater and its efficient recycling are imperative. The rainwater can be conserved either in-situ i.e. in the soil itself or ex-situ in natural or man made structures wherefrom it can be used for supplemental irrigation. In-situ rainwater conservation can be carried out either though tillage or landform management (Singh et al., 2000). Among the various landform management practices like raised and sunken bed, ridges and furrow etc. developed for Vertisols, broad-bed and furrow (BBF) system is very promising in controlling surface runoff, reducing the soil loss through erosion and increasing infiltration (Pathak et al. 1985; Singh et al. 1999). The BBF landform management system reduces the velocity of runoff water and thus increases opportunity time for water to infiltrate and reduces sediment losses. Further, during the period of heavy rainfall the furrows allow excess water to drain safely from the plots and thus avoid water congestion to the crop (Kampen, 1982). There is an urgent need to manage the water resources of Vertisols of Central India to control soil erosion and to improve use efficiency of 50

the rainfall for sustaining crop production. This is possible through adoption of improved land management practices, which will decrease runoff and soil erosion and concomitantly improve crop yield in deep Vertisols. Stagnation of productivity of soybean based production systems due to erratic distribution of monsoonal rain and incidence of new insect-pests and diseases is leading to under-utilization of land, water, nutrient and climatic resources. Under this situation the crop diversification in the rainy season can be a viable option for stabilizing and enhancing productivity of the system. In winter season, it has been found that chickpea performs better than high water and nutrient requiring wheat crop. In addition, harvesting of run off water in storage pond and its efficient utilization through supplemental irrigation to the rainy season crop in case of early withdrawal of monsoon and pre-sowing irrigation to the winter crop holds the promise for increasing the total system productivity and stability. In fact, insufficient attention on rain water harvesting and its recycling hampers efficient utilization of nutrients by crops. In order to ensure a pay-off from nutrients, all round augmentation of water resource with watershed as a unit of development is imperative. In

this back drop, an experiment was conducted with the following objectives, (i) to assess the effect of landform treatments on loss of rain water through runoff and loss of soil through erosion, (ii) to study soil water dynamics, and (iii) to evaluate the productivity of five soybean and maize based sole and intercropping systems in a vertisol.

Materials and methods

A field experiment was conducted for four years from 2003-04 to 2006-07 on broad bed and furrow (BBF) and flat on grade (FOG) land treatments with five different cropping systems viz. Soybean- chickpea, maize- chickpea, soybean/ maize intercropping chickpea, soybean/ pigeon pea intercropping and maize/ pigeon pea intercropping and two irrigation levels on a micro-watershed at the experimental farm of Indian Institute of Soil Science, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (23018 N, 77024 E, 485m above mean sea level). Soil of the experimental site was deep heavy clay (Typic Haplustert). The climate of the experimental site was hot subhumid type with a mean annual rainfall of 1130 mm and potential evapo-transpiration of 1400 mm. The BBF landform was prepared with the help of a tractor drawn BBF former along the key lines drawn based on a topographic survey. The width of the broad bed was 1.0m with 0.5m wide furrows on either side of the bed. In the first year (2003-04) pigeonpea monocrop was taken in lieu of maize/pigeon pea intercropping. In rainy season crops were grown rainfed while in winter season chickpea was grown with two irrigation levels, (i) one pre-sowing (PS) irrigation to chickpea (I1) and (ii) one PS + one irrigation to chickpea at flowering stage (I2). The irrigation was provided from the water harvesting pond of the watershed. Recommended doses of NPK fertilizer were applied to each crop and farmyard manure (FYM) @ 5 t ha-1 was applied once in a year to the rainy season crop. The N:P:K doses for soybean, maize, pigeonpea and chickpea were 30:26:25, 120:26:33, 30:26:33, 30:26:33 kg ha-1, respectively. Crops were harvested manually at their physiological maturity and grain yield was recorded from net plot harvest. Runoff from each landform treatment was measured with automatic runoff recorder (Thalimedes) installed on a H-flume constructed at the lowest contour point. The height of the water passing through the Hflume was continuously recorded by a float operated shaft encoder with digital data logger which was later interpreted in terms of runoff volume associated with each 51

rainfall event (Pathak, 1999). Automatic pumping sediment sampler fabricated at International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad, India was used to monitor the temporal changes in sediment losses from each runoff events. The samplers collected runoff water with suspended sediments passing through the H-flume and stored in plastic collection bottles at 20 minutes interval. The sediment was flocculated by adding 10 N HCl. Then these were dried in oven to estimate the suspended particle content. The sediment concentration obtained from each bottle was used for the calculation of total sediment losses associated with each runoff events. Soil water content up to a depth of 90 cm at 15 cm interval was determined thermo-gravimetrically at regular interval during the crop growth period in 2003 and 2004. The water content of individual soil depth determined on weight basis was multiplied with corresponding bulk density and depth of the soil layer to obtain the profile water storage. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was carried out using split plot design (Gomez and Gomez, 1984) for comparing means of main and interaction effect using least significant difference with 5% significant level.


Seasonal Rainfall, Runoff, and Soil Loss The amount of rainfall received during the four years of experimentation was highly variable. Total rainfall received during the rainy season of 2003 between June to October was 1058 mm, which was slightly higher than the long-term average rainfall of 1005 mm for this season, while in 2006, the rainfall received during the rainy season was 1513 mm, which was 50% higher than the average rainfall. During the rainy season of 2004 and 2005 seasonal rainfall was lower than the long-term average rainfall. In 2004, the distribution of rainfall was also not uniform during the season. In the month of June, rainfall was only 8.5% whereas, July and August received 83% and September and October received very less rain. Thus the performance of soybean crop was adversely affected because of the soil moisture deficit during the pod development stage of the crop. Moreover, the soybean crop was heavily infested by the insect-pests and yield reduced drastically. In 2005, the onset of monsoon was very late; the month of June received only 26.7 mm i.e. 2.8% of the seasonal total rainfall and most of the rain was received in the month of July (55.7%) whereas the share of August was only 18.4% of the seasonal total in the year.

Runoff and soil losses from the field area under broad-bed and furrow (BBF) and flat on grade (FOG) landform treatments were monitored during the kharif seasons. In all the every year, seasonal runoff from the BBF plot was less than that from the FOG (Table 1). This might be attributed to the reduced speed of runoff from BBF plot due to uniform slope, which have resulted in higher opportunity time for water to infiltrate in BBF than FOG treatment. The runoff was 15.4-33.2% and 20.357.7% of seasonal rainfall from BBF and FOG landform treatments. The run off under both BBF and FOG was much higher during the rainy season of 2006 because of unusually high rainfall. The soil losses through runoff from BBF and FOG were higher in high rainfall years; the extent of soil loss was to the tune of 1956 and 2837 kg ha-1 from BBF and FOG, respectively in 2003 and 3503 and 6365 kg ha-1 in the corresponding treatments in 2006. However, the soil losses were relatively less, 657 and 1466 kg ha-1 from BBF and FOG, respectively in 2004. BBF landform treatment reduced soil loss to a greater extent (31 to 55%) than its reduction in runoff volume (24 to 32%) as compared with that of FOG over the years. This can be ascribed to lower concentration of sediments in runoff water coming from the BBF than from FOG as velocity of flow of the runoff water was generally lower in BBF. Pathak et al. (1985) and Srivastava and Jangwad (1988) have also shown that runoff and soil loss were remarkably reduced in BBF land surface management treatment in a long-term watershed study in Vertisol.

period was considerably higher in the sole pigeon pea and soybean/pigeon pea intercropping treatment compared to sole soybean, sole maize and soybean/maize intercropping treatments (Table 2). Depletion of moisture was maximum (60.4 mm) from the sole pigeon pea treatment on BBF. Similar results were recorded under both BBF and FOG landform treatments. This might be due to higher extraction of moisture by pigeon pea, which was approaching maximum vegetative stage during that period, compared to the other two crops, which were near maturity at that time. In 2004 water storage in the profile decreased slightly during the first week after sowing and thereafter it increased in all the plots in the month of July with the increase in rainfall. Up to the middle of August, soil water contents remained near field capacity. During this period, treatment effects on water storage were not clear and it followed the rainfall distribution pattern. Among the two land surface management treatments, BBF often retained slightly higher water in the profile than the FOG treatment. This might be due to higher infiltration and better retention of water in BBF than FOG treatment. Singh et al. (1999) also reported higher water storage in BBF during rainy season in soybean-chickpea rotation on a Vertic Inceptisols. After withdrawal of monsoon, from second week of September in 2004, monitoring of profile water at weekly interval was carried out to study the moisture extraction pattern by different cropping systems during this drying period. Like the earlier year the depletion of water during this period was considerably higher in soybean/pigeonpea and maize/pigeonpea intercropping systems compared with sole maize, sole soybean and soybean/maize intercropping systems in both BBF and FOG land management treatments (Table 3). This was due to higher extraction of water from the profile by pigeonpea crop which was near full vegetative stage during that period, while the other two crops viz. maize and soybean were near maturity at that time. Besides this, the deep root system of pigeonpea extracted more water from deeper soil layers than the other crops.

Soil Water Dynamics and Moisture Extraction by Crops

Water storage in the soil profile up to 90 cm depth during rainy season of 2003 and 2004 was determined gravimetrically throughout the crop growth period. The data revealed that the water storage during 2003 ranged between the field capacity and permanent wilting point (PWP) in all plots. This was because of uniform distribution of rainfall in the rainy season. Even in later phase of crop growth moisture storage in the root zone remained higher than the PWP moisture storage. The average moisture storage in the later part of crop growth (after 64 DAS) was higher in BBF than FOG treatment, but this was not conspicuous in the early growth period. After the withdrawal of monsoon a continuous monitoring of soil moisture extraction was made for two weeks to study the moisture depletion pattern during a drying cycle. The results showed that the depletion of soil moisture during the two weeks drying 52

Yield of Rainy Season Crops

The grain yield of soybean in sole soybean treatment varied due to differential rainfall amount and its distribution during the years of experimentation. In 2004, the grain yield of soybean was typically low in both broad bed and furrow (BBF) and flat on grade (FOG) land treatments because of less rainfall. However, results

revealed that the grain yield of soybean in sole soybean, soybean/maize intercropping and soybean/pigeon pea intercropping systems under BBF was greater than that under FOG for every year of the experimentation. On an average over four years, BBF registered 12.7-18.0% greater grain yield of soybean than FOG under sole soybean. The soybean yield in sole soybean and soybean/ pigeon pea intercropping was similar, but it reduced in soybean/ maize intercropping. This was mainly due to competition between the crops for light and nutrients in soybean-maize cropping system. But soybean/pigeonpea intercropping the yield of soybean was not affected, as pigeonpea was a slow growing crop compared to maize and soybean and its growth peaked up after harvest of soybean and maize. Thus competition between the intercrops was less. Similar trend was observed in total biomass production of crops for sole and intercropping systems under BBF and FOG land treatments. Grain yield of maize in sole maize treatment under BBF was 11.8-16.0% greater than the same treatment under FOG land configuration. In soybean/maize and maize/pigeon pea intercropping systems, grain yield of maize was also greater in BBF than FOG. Similar trend was observed in total biomass production of maize for different sole and intercropping systems. In 2003-04, though maize population in soybean/maize intercropping was similar to the sole maize, maize yield was reduced in intercropping by 203 and 244 kg ha-1 in BBF and FOG, respectively. For other years, maize yield in soybean/ maize intercropping was lower than the sole maize because of reduced plant population, almost half of the sole maize population. In maize/ pigeonpea intercropping, maize population was imilar to the sole maize, as pigeonpea was intercropped with maize as in the additive series; thus maize yield was not reduced. This trend was observed in every year since 2004-05. Soybean equivalent yield (SEY) of rainy season crops was higher in BBF than FOG (Table 4). Higher yield of crops in BBF might be ascribed to higher retention of moisture in the grain filling stage, less water congestion, better aeration in the rooting zone. Selvaraju et al. (1999) and Wani et al. (2003) also reported a higher crop yield under BBF land treatment in Vertisols. In 2003-04, SEY of systems were in the order: soybean/pigeon pea intercropping > sole pigeonpea > sole soybean > soybean/maize intercropping > sole maize both in the BBF and FOG. In the year 2004-05, the order was: maize/pigeon pea intercropping > soybean/ pigeonpea intercropping > sole maize > soybean/ 53

maize intercropping > sole soybean, while in 2005-06 and 2006-07, SEY showed the following order maize/ pigeon pea intercropping > soybean/ pigeon pea intercropping > sole maize = soybean/maize intercropping > sole soybean.

Grain Yield and Water Use Efficiency of Chickpea

In the winter season chickpea was grown in three cropping systems where pigeonpea was not included and with two irrigation levels. The grain yield of chickpea was greater in BBF than FOG in all the four years of experimentation (Table 5). In both the land configuration, yield variation of chickpea was not significant among three cropping systems where it was grown. Thus, the residual effect of previous crops on the performance of chickpea was not significant. However, irrigation treatments showed significant variation in the performance of chickpea. The grain yield of chickpea in I2 (one presowing + one post-sowing irrigation) was significantly greater than I1 (pre-sowing irrigation) in both the land configuration. Water use efficiency (WUE) was estimated as grain yield divided by seasonal evapotranspiration (ET). Seasonal ET was estimated by water balance method, assuming water loss through runoff and deep drainage during the crop-growing season as negligible. WUE of chickpea was more under BBF than FOG (Table 6). In the year 2003-04, WUE in BBF was significantly higher in I1 than I2 irrigation treatment but in FOG the difference among the irrigation levels was not significant. Residual effect of the previous crop has not shown any significant effect on the WUE of chickpea in both BBF and FOG land configuration. In the years 2005-06 and 2006-07, WUE of chickpea was significantly higher in I2 than that in I1 irrigation treatment in BBF. This was probably due to higher increase in seed yield of chickpea compared to corresponding increase in ET with increase in irrigation amount in BBF; however, in FOG irrigation level has not shown any significantly effect on the WUE of chickpea in 2005-06.

Total System Productivity as Soybean Equivalent Yield (SEY)

Irrespective of irrigation to chickpea and cropping systems, results revealed that total system productivity (TSP) as soybean equivalent yield was greater in BBF than FOG; and TSP was higher in I2 (pre-sowing plus 1 post sowing irrigation) than I1 (pre-sowing irri-

gation). Among the 5 cropping systems, there was significant difference in the total productivity of systems (Table 7). Soybean-chickpea system was found to be the least productive except in the first year (2003-04). After 2003-04, system productivity was not favourable for the soybean-chickpea system, because of constantly lower yield of soybean over years, and at the same time maize yield was considerably higher. Consequently, the systems involving maize crop, either as sole or intercrop (as in maize-chickpea, soybean/ maize intercroppingchickpea and maize/ pigeonpea intercropping systems) gave higher productivity than other systems under both BBF and FOG land treatments. Even the TSP was higher in maize/ pigeonpea intercropping systems where there was no subsequent chickpea crop. In the event of non-availability of irrigation water to chickpea, maize/ pigeonpea intercropping is better system than sole soybean. Thus, these three cropping systems viz. maizechickpea, soybean/ maize intercropping-chickpea and maize/ pigeonpea intercropping i.e., diversification from

the sole soybean, hold the promise for increasing productivity in the on-station watershed.

The runoff and soil loss from broad-bed and furrow (BBF) are less than that from flat land treatment. Besides this, BBF also helps in safe drainage of excess rainfall and reduces chance of water congestion to the rainy season crops while it retains higher moisture during the later phase of crop growth after withdrawal of monsoon and produced higher crop yield than the traditional flat land sowing system. Farmers may adopt BBF land configuration for growing of crops like soybean, maize, pigeonpea and chickpea. The study provides an option for crop diversification from the present predominant soybean based cropping systems to cropping systems where maize is a component, either as sole or intercrop for this region. Water lost as surface run-off could be conserved in watershed ponds and used as supplemental or life-saving irrigation.


Gomez, K.A. and Gomez, A.A., 1984. Statistical Procedures for Agricultural Research. 2nd ed. Wiley Interscience. New York. Kampen, J., 1982. An approach to improved productivity on deep Vertisols. Information Bulletin No. 11, International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru, A.P., India. Pathak, P., 1999. Runoff and soil loss measurement. In: Wani, S.P., Singh, P., Pathak, P. (Eds.), Methods and Management of Data for Watershed Research, Technical Manual No. 5, International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru, A.P., India, pp. 15-40. Pathak, P., Miranda, S.M., El-Swaify, S.A., 1985. Improved rainfed farming for semi-arid tropics Implications for soil and water conservation. In: El-Swaify, S.A., Moldenhauer, W.C., Andrew, L. (Eds.), Soil Erosion and Conservation. Soil Conservation Society of America, pp. 338-354. Selvaraju, R., Subbian, P., Balasubramanian, A., Lal, R., 1999. Land configuration and soil nutrient management options for sustainable crop production on Alfisols and Vertisols of southern peninsular India. Soil Tillage Res. 52, 203-216. Singh, H.P., Venkateswarlu, B., Vittal, K.P.R., Ramachandran, K., 2000. Management of rainfed agro-ecosystem. In: Yadav, J.S.P., Singh, G.B. (Eds.), Natural Resource Management for Agricultural Production in India. International Conference on Managing Natural Resources for Sustainable Agricultural Production in the 21st Century, New Delhi, February 14-18, 2000, pp. 669-774. Singh, P., Algarswamy, G., Pathak. P., Wani, S.P., Hoogenboom., G., Viramani, S.M., 1999. Soybean- chickpea rotation on Vertic Inceptisols I. Effect of soil depth and landform on light interception, water balance and crop yields. Field Crops Res. 63, 211-224. Srivastava, K.L., Jangwad, L.S., 1988. Water balance and erosion rates of Vertisol watersheds under different management. Indian J. Dryland Agric. Res. Develop. 3, 137-144. Wani, S.P., Pathak, P., Jangawad, L.S., Eswaran, H., Singh, P., 2003. Improved management of Vertisols in the semi-arid tropics for increased productivity and soil carbon sequestration. Soil Use Manage. 19, 217-222. 54

Table 1: Seasonal rainfall, runoff, and soil loss from different land configuration, broad-bed and furrow (BBF) and flat on grade (FOG)
Year Rainfall (mm) BBF 2003 2004 2005 2006 1058.0 798.2 946.0 1513.0 163.0 (15.4%) 124.0 (15.5%) 177 (18.7%) 502 (33.2%) Runoff (mm) FOG 214.9 (20.3%) 183.3 (23.0%) 246 (26.1%) 873 (57.7%) BBF 1956.0 657.0 1402.0 3503.0 Soil loss (kg ha-1) FOG 2836.9 1466.0 3123.0 6365.0

Values within parentheses indicate the percent of seasonal rainfall

Table 2: Depletion of soil moisture during a drying cycle after the withdrawal of monsoon in 2003 as affected by land surface management treatment and cropping system
Cropping systems Moisture depletion from 0-90 cm depth (mm) BBF Sole soybean Soybean/maize intercropping Sole maize Sole pigeon pea Soybean/pigeon pea intercropping LSD (P=0.05) 40.8 37.7 33.3 60.4 51.2 11.3 FOG 42.4 35.6 35.0 57.3 55.8 10.5

Table 3: Depletion of soil moisture during a 28 days drying cycle after the withdrawal of monsoon in 2004 as affected by cropping system under BBF and FOG land treatment
Cropping systems Moisture depletion from 0-90 cm depth (mm) BBF Sole soybean Soybean/maize intercropping Sole maize Maize/pigeon pea intercropping Soybean/pigeon pea intercropping LSD (P=0.05) 62.3 59.0 55.6 70.3 74.5 6.2 FOG 59.3 56.0 52.6 76.6 71.5 7.5

Table 4: Soybean equivalent yield (SEY) of rainy season crops

Cropping system Soybean equivalent yield (SEY) BBF 2003-04 Sole soybean Sole maize Soybean/maize intercropping Soybean/ pigeon pea intercropping Maize/ pigeon pea intercropping* 1831b 1212c 1791b 2615a 1907b 2004-05 641e 2072c 1378d 2369b 3385a 2005-06 1527d 3163c 3244c 3532b 4513a 2006-07 1178d 2590c 2315c 3134b 3951a (kg ha-1) FOG 2003-04 1581b 1084c 1566b 2262a 1646b 2004-05 543e 1778c 1194d 2027b 2975a 2005-06 1337c 2726b 2791b 2912b 4112a 2006-07 1029e 2325c 2083d 2778b 3659a

*There was pigeonpea sole crop in the year 2003-04


Table 5:
Cropping system

Yield of chickpea as influenced by irrigation and previous crops

Grain yield of chickpea (kg/ha) BBF 2003-04 2004-05 1297b 1557a 1468a 1385a 1429a 2005-06 795b 1203a 1076a 969a 952a 2006-07 1087b 1500a 1326a 1254a 1301a FOG 2003-04 1259b 1588a 1340a 1453a 1478a 2004-05 1202b 1397a 1349a 1258a 1292a 2005-06 715b 980a 920a 797a 824a 2006-07 936b 1423a 1181a 1162a 1195a

Irrigation I1 I2 Cropping systems Soybean-chickpea Maize-chickpea Soybean/maize -chickpea

1893b 2116a 2040a 2062a 1913a

Table 6: WUE of chickpea as influenced by irrigation and previous crops

Cropping system WUE (kg ha-1 mm-1) BBF 2003-04 Irrigation I1 I2 Cropping systems Soybean-chickpea Maize-chickpea Soy/maize intercropping-chickpea 11.56a 11.63a 10.92a 8.64a 8.40a 8.66a 5.73a 5.41a 5.53a 7.32a 7.06a 7.24a 8.18a 8.88a 8.87a 8.44a 8.08a 8.40a 5.13a 4.52a 4.71a 7.15a 7.20a 7.06a 12.38a 10.37b 9.13a 8.00b 5.05b 6.06a 6.75b 7.66a 8.72a 8.58a 8.97a 7.65b 4.74a 4.83a 6.46b 7.81a 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 FOG 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Table 7: Total system productivity as soybean equivalent yield (SEY)

Cropping system Total system productivity as SEY BBF 2003-04 Irrigation to chickpea I1 I2 Cropping systems Soybean-chickpea Maize-chickpea Soybean/maize -chickpea Soybean/pigeonpea Maize/pigeonpea* 3530a 2931b 3385a 2615c 1907d 2109d 3457a 2807b 2369c 3385a 3019c 4507a 4564a 3532b 4513a 3044c 4354a 4145ab 3134c 3951b 2698a 2295b 2798a 2262b 1646c 1894c 3036a 2485b 2027c 2975a 2613c 3832a 3933a 2912b 4112a 2691c 3959a 3765b 2778c 3659b 2818b 2929a 2747b 2903a 3857b 4196a 3551b 3900a 2257b 2422a 2425b 2542a 3370b 3591a 3165b 3576a 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 (kg ha-1) FOG 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

*There was sole crop of pigeonpea in the year 2003-04


Implements for Water Harvesting and Insitu Moisture Conservation
D.Manohar Jesudas and K.Kathirvel

Introduction Land is a major important non-renewable natural resource. The availability of land area per person in Tamil Nadu is only about 60 per cent of the national average. Tamil Nadus population is about 7 per cent of the countrys population but the net sown area in Tamil Nadu is only 4 per cent of that for the country. The density of population in Tamil Nadu is 572 as against the national average of 221 per All these are pointers to indicate that the land resources should be utilized to the optimum extent possible. Since the available land area is limited and finite, the necessity to improve the productivity of the land and to increase the income of the farmer have become important. While considerable importance has been given to increase the productivity of the irrigated lands under green revolution, adequate attention has not been given to increase the productivity of the rainfed areas. In Tamil Nadu the rainfed / dryland is about 3.2 - 3.5 mHa. i.e. about 60 per cent of the sown area. The rainfed agriculture water / moisture is the limiting factor. Rainfall is the only source of water for these lands and hence it is

necessary to maximize its retention. Further the following are the problems in these lands. Inadequate soil moisture is the chief constraint in drylands, where the annual rainfall is 500 mm to 700 mm. It is not evenly distributed and highly variable and erratic. The soils are light / medium textured. Their water holding capacity are low. The lands are often rolling topography. Rainwater runs off quickly, carrying during among soil and fertilizers. Subsoil hard pan is formed due to continuous cultivation of crops using implements upto certain depths constantly and due to the precipitation of clay in the subsoil horizon. All put together lowered the infiltration and percolation rates, nutrients, movement and free air transport within the soil profile. It prevents the root proliferation and limits the volume of soil available for nutrients uptake resulting in depleted less fertile surface soil. Due to this, the contribution of subsoil fertility to crop growth is hampered. 57

The first step in land-use planning is to provide for the maximum retention of water / rain that falls on the land. This means as much percolation of rainfall as possible in soil where it falls, controlled removal of excess rainfall and protection of the soil. It is to be emphasized that conservation and optimization of the use of rain water so that it stays in the soil profile for long periods and is released slowly for the use of crops, become important steps for improved dryland farming. Such utilization of rainfall is accomplished through the correct cultural practices and certain engineering structures. Moisture conservation techniques at micro-level. a. vegetative barriers, b. forming ridges and furrows, c. broad bed and furrows, d. forming basins, e. the ridging / random tie ridges, f. forming ponds and. water spreading are advocated. Due to the labour scarcity and cost of labour, these practices are not being adopted and hence development and use of implements becomes necessary. In addition, the subsoil hard pan is to be removed. To over come these problems and to conserve soil moisture the following implements were developed and evaluation trials were conducted in problem soils and in different parts of dry farming areas The first step in land-use planning is to provide for the maximum retention of water / rain that falls on the land. This means as much percolation of rainfall as possible in soil where it falls, controlled removal of excess rainfall and protection of the soil. It is to be emphasized that conservation and optimization of the use of rain water so that it stays in the soil profile for long periods and is released slowly for the use of crops, become important steps for improved dryland farming. Such utilization of rainfall is accomplished through the correct cultural practices and certain engineering structures. The Department of Agriculture is recommending the following land shaping techniques for moisture conservation at micro-level. a. forming ridges and furrows, b. broad bed and furrows, c. forming basins, d. the ridging / random tie ridges, e. forming ponds and f. water spreading. But due to the labour scarcity and cost of labour, development and use of implements becomes necessary. In addition, the subsoil hard pan is to be removed. To over come these problems and to conserve soil moisture the following implements were developed at TNAU for using them in dry farming areas. WATER HARVESTING IMPLEMENTS 1. Chisel Plough Deep tillage using chisel plough is essential for improving the yield of crop especially under dry farming. Deep tillage shatters compacted sub soil layers and aids in

better infiltration and storage of rainwater in the crop root zone. The improved soil structure also results in better development of root system and the yield of crops and their drought tolerance is also improved. Deep tillage is not practiced in India due to the unsuitability of the existing deep tillage tools for operation with 35-45 hp tractors. The developed implement has a sturdy but light structure made of 3 mm thick hollow rectangular tubular mild steel sections. The frame has been designed based on computer analysis of the structure to ensure its strength. The implement is simple in construction and has only three components viz. frame, standard and share. The share has a lift angle of 20 degree, width of 25 mm and a length of 150 mm. The implement is protected by a shear pin which prevents damage from over loading. Salient Features of The Unit The implement could be used for deep tillage upto a depth of 40 cm for bursting of the sub-soil hard pan, improving the drainage and aerating the soil. Reduces the bulk density of soil (0.20 to 0.4 Mg / m3) Two fold increase in hydraulic conductivity of sub-soil Conserves around 30 to 40% more soil moisture Roots proliferation is improved by 40 to 45% Nutrient mobility especially N and K increased by 20 to 30% and 30 to 40% respectively Enhances the crop yield by 15 to 20% Residual effect can be realized for three seasons Easily operated by any 35 to 45 hp tractor 2. Influence of Deep Tillage on In-situ Moisture Conservation in Dry Farming The subsoil hard pan is formed due to the illuviation of clay to the sub soil horizon in red soil, due to the higher exchangeable sodium content of clay complex in black soil, and due to continuous cultivation of crops using heavy implements into certain depth constantly. All put together lowered the infiltration and percolation rates, nutrients movement and free air transport within the soil profile which effects crop growth and yield. An attempt was made to over come this problem by conducting experiments with different tillage implement combinations at different places. The result showed that there was significant differences between the treatments in plant height, leaf area , root length and yield. Chisel plough plus coirpith application showed its superiority over the other treatments. The in-situ moisture conservation was more in the chisel plough plus coirpith treatment. There was 50 per cent increase in the permeability of the soil due to the vertical storage of moisture. The moisture pattern in the case of Chisel plough + Disc Plough + Cultivator showed drastic improvement in soil moisture storage. The 58

root length in this treatment reached a maximum depth of 25 cm. In Chisel plough + Disc plough + Cultivator, 50 per cent yield increase was obtained, leaf area index increased by 44 per cent and root length increased by 13 per cent. Chisel plough played an important role in root growth and hence increased yield. 3. Basin Lister as an Attachment to Power Tiller Generally, yield levels are determined by the amount of precipitation above the basic minimum required to enable the crops to achieve maturity. It is therefore, important in dry land farming to have even a relatively small amount of water stored in soils prior to sowing of crops. Listing is the process of formation of alternate furrows and ridges on land to conserve soil and moisture. Hence a basin lister has been developed for use of power tillers in dry farming. The principle of operation of the equipment is that the basin listing is done by lifting the ridger through a cam and follower arrangement. The cam is mounted to the wheel axle and oscillates the U shaped follower frame hinged at the front of the power tiller chassis on both sides. The ridger tyne is pivoted near the hitch pin of the power tiller and provided with a slider in the transverse direction. The cylindrical slider accommodates itself inside the corresponding slot on each side of the follower frame. When the follower is lifted, the ridger tyne is also lifted along with it by allowing the slider to move longitudinally in the slot. A dead weight box is also attached to the cam follower frame and additional dead weights are added for perfect balancing and uniform penetration. A spiked wheel with castor action provided with support arms from the power tiller handle ensures uniform basin formation by controlling the depth of operation and also removes the drudgery of the operator. The unit is rear mounted and fitted to the hitch bracket assembly of the power tiller. The draft requirement is 75 kg which is within drawbar capacity of the power tiller. Salient Features By basin listing, increased moisture retention of 10 per cent is achieved Significant increase in yield of 10 per cent is observed in both main and inter crop The basins formed prior to the sowing of crop in dry farming at regular intervals conserve adequate soil moisture for the utilization of crop at its critical stages Net benefit by way of increased yield due to power tiller basin listing An area of 0.6 ha can be covered per day The cost of the unit is Rs. 5000.

4. Basinlister / Broadbed Former Cum Seeder Attachment to Cultivator The basin lister consists of three trenchers of width 30 cm, cams, cam shaft, cam follower, ground wheels and frame. The penetrating portion of the trencher bottoms are provided with a replaceable share point. Each trencher fitted with a cam follower gets lifted up by the cams at equal intervals. The cams are mounted on a common axle at 120 degree difference and supported by ground wheels. The power to rotate the cam is transmitted from one of the ground wheels. To reduce wheel slippage, spring tension has been provided. The basin lister unit is attached to the standard nine tyned cultivator. The seed box along with cup feed type seed metering mechanism is mounted on the cultivator frame and the seeds are dropped in between the basins. Seeds are sown in 4 rows at 45 cm apart. Power to operate the seed metering discs is taken from the ground wheel through a clutch. The seed to seed distance can be changed by changing the sprockets provided in the metering shaft. The operator can stop the dropping of the seeds by disengaging the clutch provided. The same implement can be used to form broad beds separated by furrows by removing he basin lister attachment from the cultivator. The unit consists of two sheet metal floats fixed on both sides of the cultivator tynes to form the broad beds separated by furrows at intervals of 180 cm. Salient Features The basins/ broad beds and furrows formed prior to the sowing of crop in dry farming at regular intervals conserve adequate soil moisture for the utilization of crop at its critical stages Increased moisture retention of 10 per cent is achieved Significant increase in yield is observed in both main and inter crop An area of 3.5 ha can be covered per day The cost of the unit is Rs. 15000 (without cultivator). 5. Tractor Drawn Channel Former In drylands irrigation channel former can be used for forming compartmental bunding at regular intervals for conserving rain water. This is done by human labour which consumes more time and cost. To over come this problem a tractor drawn channel former to form irrigation channels was developed. The main frame of size 22 cm x 65 cm is made of 5.0 cm x 2.5 cm M.S. channels. The channel forming portion consists of two inner blades of size 100 cm x 25 cm and two outer blades of size 130 cm x 25 cm. The front portion of the two inner blades are joint together such that they forms an angle of 30 in 59

between them. At the junction of these two inner blades a cultivator shovel is fixed to penetrate into the soil. The inner blades can be mounted 5 to 10 cm lower than the outer blades so that they forms a furrow at a lower depth than the surface of the bed for the flow of irrigation water. The two outer blades are placed one on each side of the inner blades and at an angle of 60 to the direction of the travel. The soil collected in 105 cm width is formed as bund of size 35 cm on both the sides of the irrigation furrow formed by the inner blades. The unit was evaluated for its performance in forming irrigation channels at 5 m intervals. When the tractor is operated at 3 to 4 km forward speed, the area covered varies from 1.2 ha to 1.5 ha/hr. The field efficiency varies from 70% to 80% depending on the condition of the soil and field size. Salient Features of The Unit Cost of the Unit : Rs.6,000/ Coverage : 9.0 ha/day of 8 hrs Cost of forming irrigation channel at 5 m interval by (i) channel former : Rs.150/ha (ii) manual labour : Rs.350/ha Saving in cost : Rs.200/ha Saving in time : 11 man days/ha. The necessity to improve the productivity of the land and to increase the income of the farmer have become important since the available land area is limited and finite. While considerable importance has been given to increase the productivity of the irrigated lands under green revolution, adequate attention has not been given to increase the productivity of the rainfed areas. The development of in -situ moisture conservation implements will help in a long way in increasing the productivity in rainfed agriculture. 6. Coir Pith Applicator Deep loosening of soil and placement of coir pith in the subsoil layers improves the root zone, which will not re compact during subsequent years. The unique property of coir pith to hold 7 to 8 times its weight of moisture helps to improve upon the moisture status of the root zone. The coir pith also acts as an amendment, which helps to build up a biologically active root zone comprising the subsurface layers. Hence, a coir pith mulching applicator was developed as an attachment to the tractor drawn chisel plough to place the coir pith at a depth of 15-25 cm below the ground level which ensures that the coir pith filled trenches are not disturbed by subsequent ploughing thereby preventing the dispersion and disintegration of coir pith. The cost of the unit is Rs.9,000. The salient features of the unit are: uniformity of application is 90%; higher moisture storage (41%) is observed in subsoil-

mulched plots as compared to the control; and yield of crop grown under subsoil-mulched plots are significantly higher. LAND LEVELLING IMPLEMENTS 1. Terracer Cum Leveller Land levelling is expected to bring permanent improvement in the value of land. Levelling work is carried out to modify the existing contours of land so as to achieve certain objectives desired for efficient agricultural production system. These objectives include (i) efficient application of irrigation water, (ii) improved surface drainage, (iii) minimum soil erosion (iv) increased conservation of rain water specially on dry lands and (v) provision of an adequate field size and even topography for efficient mechanization. The unit consists of 1.0 m wide curved mild steel blade with a steel cutting edge at the bottom. The unit is attached to the front of the power tiller with the help of a mounting plate. Two solid side support arms made of 25 x 12.5 mm mild steel flat holds the unit rigidly during the operation. The position of the blade with reference to the power tiller chassis can be varied by adjusting the screw provided between the mounting plate and the centre of the leveller. The lifting of the blade can be made by tail wheel adjustment of the rotary tiller while keeping the tilt angle constant. Two side guards are provided to avoid spilling of soil on both sides of the blade. Bottom skids made of 2 mm mild steel sheet are provided below the blade for maintaining uniform load. The width of the blade is 1000 mm with a height of 320 mm. The leveller unit was field evaluated for contour bunding and land levelling works and the salient features of the unit include Simple in design and construction Ease of operation and transport Increases the versatility of power tiller Efficient performance in land levelling with transportation efficiency of 86.6% and field performance index of 0.87. Cost of the unit is Rs.3,000/-. Cost of moving 1 m 3 of soil to 1 m distance is Rs.3.30. 2. Tractor Drawn Blade Terracer Blade terracer is an implement used for operations like earth levelling, bunding, filling pits, making wide drain and roads, back filling, etc. For application of scientific water management technique, levelling is being increasingly adopted along with the accelerated growth of farm mechanization. Blade terracer is commonly used for this urpose. The unit consists of a frame, blade, mould board, mould board frame, blade tilt, scarifier, side plates, 60

stabilizer kit and a pitch adjusting screw. Size of the terracer may be between 1.5 to 3.5 m, determined by the length of the blade and the length of extension blade. 3. Dozer Blade Commercially available tractor front mounted dozer blades and bulldozer with front mounted blades are used for heavy earth moving purposes. Conclusion The present situation of migration of labour to various scholastic jobs and thrust for more production to feed the increasing population makes dryland cultivation a

tiresome one. This situation necessitates the introduction of a suitable machines for dryland farming. In the dynamic and fast changing agricultural scenario of the country, particularly diversification in the cropping pattern and commercialization of agriculture more efficient and simple implement / equipment are required by the farmers. The potential of dry farming lands can be increased in the near future by adopting a suitable package of practices aimed at optimizing utilization of available moisture through improved soil and water management by utilizing the improved designs of moisture conservation implements.

References Anonymous. 1987. Annual Report. All India Coordinated Research Project on Farm Implements and Machinery, Coimbatore Centre, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. Anonymous. 1988. Annual Report of All India Coordinated Research Project on Farm Implements and Machinery, Coimbatore Centre, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. Channappa, T.C. 1994. In-situ moisture conservation in arid and semi arid tropics. Indian Journal of Soil Conservation, 22(1-2) : 26 - 41. Durairaj, C.D., K.Kathirvel, R.Karunanithi and K.R.Swaminathan. 1992. Development of a basin lister actuated by tractors hydraulic system.


Effect of in-situ moisture conservation practices on runoff, soil loss and yield performance of Cashew (Anacardium occidentale) in Goa
S. Manivannan

The State of Goa covers an area of 3702 sq. km and accounts for about one per cent of the total geographical area of the country. The slope gradients range from 5 to 20 percent and occasionally go up to 40 per cent. Majority of the soil series are coarse to medium textured and well - drained with poor water holding capacity. Plantation crops like cashew, mango, arecanut, coconut etc. are predominantly occupying the steep slopes of lower coastal ghats and central undulating uplands of Goa. Many of the hilly areas in Goa are practically denuded and are still being denuded. With the result of erosion a large quantity of the fertile soil is transported from the fields. Most of the hilly areas in Goa are under perennial horticultural crops with cashew as predominant crop, which is occupying an area of 54,858 ha (Anonymous, 2005). India is the second largest producer of raw cashew in the world but conquers the 1st place among the largest producing countries of cashew kernels and also in the maximum area covered that figures to be 7.70 lakh hectares currently. The country provides with around 55 % supply of cashew kernels 62

in the world. The Indian production of cashews contributes to around 4.6 lakhs tons per annum. The present level of productivity in Goa is only about 466 kg ha -1, which is very less as compared to national average (810 kg ha-1). Experience shows that the major factors for low productivity are loss of fertile soil due to erosion and inadequate moisture in root zones of trees due to excess runoff. Several workers have reported runoff, soil and nutrient losses under different agro-ecological situations in India (Rai and Singh, 1986; Kale et al. 1993). Runoff and soil losses increased with increase in land slope and varied with agronomic cover crops in North Konkan region (Kale, et al. 1993). Badhe and Magar (2004) reported that trapezoidal shaped staggered trenches were more effective in reducing surface runoff, soil and nutrient losses under hilly terrain in lateritic soils of Konkan region of Maharashtra. On gentle slopes, vegetative barriers in different forms can sufficiently reduce runoff and soil loss (Bhardwaj, 1994). Similarly, the surface runoff and soil loss was reduced by vegetative barriers in sloppy land (Subudhi and Senapati, 1996; Subudhi et al.,1998). However, studies on combination of mechanical measures with vegetative barriers for reducing soil

and water losses in cashew plantations are very limited. Hence, an attempt was made to evaluate the effect of different in-situ moisture conservation measures on runoff, soil loss reduction and impact on yield performance of cashew trees.

was recorded for three years period from 2005 to 2007. Economic viability of different conservation measures was also analyzed.


Runoff The mean runoff of six years revealed that minimum runoff of 320.6 mm was produced in plots with continuous contour trenches and vegetative barrier of S. scabra and G. maculata followed by 391.2 mm in staggered contour trenches with S. scabra and G. maculata and 426.1 mm in crescent shape trenches with S. scabra and G. maculata and 523.4 mm in S. scabra and G. maculata against the mean runoff of 595.3 mm produced in the control plot. Similar trends were reported (Badhe and Magar, 2004) while comparing the effect of various mechanical measures viz., ring terracing, platform terracing and staggered contour trenching under cashew plantations. Runoff per cent under continuous contour trenches with vegetative barrier of S. scabra + G. maculata reduced to 10.9 per cent of total rainfall from 20.3 per cent under control thus showing reduction of 46.3 per cent. Similarly, staggered contour trenches with S. scabra and G. maculata and crescent shape trenches with S. scabra and G. maculata showed a reduction of runoff by 35 and 29.0 per cent, respectively (Table 1). This reduction in runoff under different bioengineering measures was attributable to their effect, which reduces runoff velocity and increases infiltration opportunity time for water.

Materials and Methods

A time replicated trial was conducted at Research Farm of ICAR Research Complex for Goa, representing the undulating uplands and lateritic soils of Goa State for a period of six years (2001-02 to 2006-07). The area has a warm tropical climate with an average annual temperature of 26.4C and soil temperature regime is isohyperthermic. The Southwest monsoon yields a total annual precipitation of about 2892 mm from June to October from an average of 122 rainfall events. The soil of the experimental site was acidic (pH -5.4 to 5.7) having organic carbon content of 1.1 per cent, available N - 86 to 96 kg ha-1, P < 10 kg ha-1 and K 172 to 254 10 kg ha-1 . The mean slope of the experimental site was 14 % and gravel content of the soil varied from 48 to 58 %. The experimental area was divided into runoff plots (75 X 22 m) and the following treatments were imposed. T1 - Continuous Contour Trenching (CCT) + Vegetative Barrier [Stylosanthus scabra + Glyricidia maculata] T2 - Staggered Contour Trenching (SCT) + Vegetative Barrier [Stylosanthus scabra + Glyricidia maculata] T3 - Crescent Shaped Trenches (CST) +Vegetative Barrier [Stylosanthus scabra + Glyricidia maculata] T4 - Stylosanthus scabra + Glyricidia maculata alone as vegetative barrier T5 sures) Cashew (Goa 1) was planted at 6 m X 6 m spacing as a main crop during the year 2001. The runoff in each treatment was regularly measured for a period of five years (From 2002 to 2006) by a series of multi-slot devisors. The total runoff collected per day in all the runoff tanks in each experimental plot was thoroughly mixed and a one-liter runoff sample was taken for analysis and estimation of soil loss and nutrient loss. Soil and water conservation efficiency of different conservation measures was worked out by comparing the runoff and soil loss of treated and untreated plots. Yield of cashew 63 Control (without any conservation mea-

Soil and Nutrient Losses

The annual soil loss was monitored for five years period (2002-2006) and furnished in Table 2. More soil loss was recorded in all the treatments during the year 2002 and reduced in subsequent years. This may be due to the disturbance of topsoil by planting operations in initial year. As the soil stabilized in subsequent years, the soil losses were reduced. Overall, conservation practices reduced the soil loss by 3.1 to 6.5 t ha 1 per year. Continuous contour trenches with vegetative barrier of S. scabra + G. maculata showed significant reduction in average soil loss (1.8 t ha 1) followed by staggered contour trenches with S. scabra and G. maculate (2.7 t ha 1) and crescent shape trenches + S. scabra and G. maculata (2.9 t ha 1) as compared to the control plot, while a soil loss of 8.3 t ha 1 was recorded under the control plot.

Data on nutrient losses revealed that all the conservation measures reduced nutrient losses as compared to control plot. The mean values indicate that minimum nitrogen loss was 11.7 kg ha -1 in the treatment of continuous contour trenches with vegetative barrier of S. scabra + G. maculata followed by 15.8 kg ha-1 in the plot with staggered contour trenches and S. scabra + G. maculata while the maximum nitrogen loss (29.1 kg ha -1) was recorded in control plot. Similarly, potassium losses were minimum (17.9 kg ha-1) in the treatment of continuous contour trenches with S. scabra + G. maculata followed by 21.7 kg ha-1 in the treatment of staggered contour trenches with S. scabra + G. maculata as against the maximum potassium loss of 42.2 kg ha -1 recorded in control plot. Phosphorus loss varied from 0.1 to 0.2 kg ha-1 in all the treatments, which may be due to low availability of phosphorus in the experimental site as well as the nature of phosphorus which does not move in runoff as fast as other nutrients. The soil and nutrient loss data shows that the continuous contour trenches with vegetative barrier of S. scabra + G. maculata was the best conservation practice to reduce the soil and nutrient loss among all the conservation treatments. Soil, Water and Soil & Water Conservation Efficiencies Soil conservation efficiency, water conservation efficiency and soil and water conservation efficiency were worked out during each year and the values are given in Table 3. The mean values of water conservation efficiency of continuous contour trenches with S. scabra + G. maculata, staggered contour trenches with S. scabra + G. maculata and crescent shape trenches with S. scabra + G. maculata were 46.2, 35.2 and 29.4 percent, respectively. Maximum mean SCE of continuous contour trenches with S. scabra + G. maculata, was 79.6 per cent. By and large the highest soil and water conservation efficiency was observed in continuous contour trenches with S. scabra + G. maculata (62.9 per cent). Yield Performance of Cashew The cashew plants commended yielding from fourth year of plantation. Cashew yield was recorded from fourth to sixth years of plantation (2004-05, 200506 and 2006-07). Average nut yield per tree and total yield per hectare area were recorded and the effect of conservation measures on these parameters was analyzed. Cashew nut yield per tree and the total yield per 64

hectare obtained during the three years period under all the conservation measures are furnished in Table 4. All the in- situ moisture conservation measures significantly increased the nut yield per tree as well as total yield when compared to control plot. The data were statistically analyzed and the treatments were found significant. Maximum cashew nut yield of 6.80, 3.50 and 5.20 q ha-1 were recorded in treatment comprising of continuous contour trenches with S. scabra + G. maculata during fourth, fifth and sixth years, respectively. This was followed by 5.60 q ha-1 (fourth year), 2.80 q ha-1 (fifth year) and 3.90 q ha-1 (sixth year) in SCT with S. scabra + G. maculata treatment. The increased cashew nut yield of 3.2, 1.9, and 1.2 q ha-1, respectively were recorded during sixth year in the treatments of CCT, SCT and CST with vegetative barriers. Live barrier of S. scabra + G. maculata alone could increase the yield of 0.5 q ha-1 during sixth year. The lowest cashew nut yields of 3.0, 1.6 and 2.0 q ha-1 during fouth, fifth and sixth years, respectively was observed in control plot where no conservation measure was adapted. This showed that the soil and water conservation measures helped to reduce surface runoff, soil and nutrient losses and increased the yield of crop under lateritic hilly terrain of the region. Economic Feasibility of Conservation Measures Net present worth (NPW), Benefit-cost ratio (BCR) and Internal rate of return (IRR) were also worked out by accounting for the cost and benefits for a period of 10 years and are given in Table 5. Maximum NPW of Rs. 1, 64, 900 / ha was obtained under cashew cultivation with continuous contour trenches with S. scabra + G. maculata followed by Rs. 1,27,190 / ha under cashew cultivation with staggered contour trenches S. scabra + G. maculata. The lowest NPW (Rs. 43,410 / ha) was obtained from the cashew field cultivated without adapting any soil and water conservation measure. BCR was maximum (5.07) in continuous contour trenches with S. scabra + G. maculata followed by the treatment comprising of staggered contour trenches with S. scabra + G. maculata (4.64) and crescent shape trenches with S. scabra + G. maculata (4.46). Similarly, maximum IRR of 13 per cent was obtained in the treatment of continuous contour trenches followed by 12.5 per cent of IRR in the treatments comprising of staggered contour trenches with S. scabra + G. maculate. The least BCR (2.79) and IRR (10 per cent) were

obtained from the cashew field cultivated without soil and water conservation measure.

Results revealed that in-situ moisture conservation measures with vegetative barriers are effective in reducing the runoff, soil water and nutrient losses in new cashew plantations. Continuous contour trenches with vegetative barrier of S. scabra + G. maculata reduced runoff by 46 % over all the practices. This treatment led to the retention of 6500 kg of soil and 12 kg of N, 0.2 kg of P and 18 kg of K per ha. This practice would result

in commencing enough soil moisture that would continue to be available to plants for a period of 6 months after the cessation of the monsoon and increase the cashew yield to 2.5 times than conventional practices. BCR and IRR were higher under the continuous contour trenches with S. scabra and G. maculata (5.07 and 13 per cent, respectively). Hence, the continuous contour trenche with vegetative barriers was the best in-situ moisture conservation measures as compared to all other conservation measures for runoff and soil loss reduction and increase in cashew yield.


Anonymous. 2005. Estimation of area average yield and production of various crops in Goa State for the year 200405. Directorate of Agriculture, Government of Goa, Panaji. Badhe, V.T. and Magar, S.S. 2004. Influence of different conservation measures on runoff, soil and nutrient loss under cashewnut in lateritic soils of South Konkan region. Indian J. Soil. Cons., 32(2): 143-147. Bhardwaj, S.P. 1994. Vegetative barriers as an effective economic and eco-friendly measure of erosion control on agricultural lands. In: 8th ISCO Challenges and Opportunities, New Delhi, India: Pp. 204-205. Kale, S. R, Salvi, V. G, Varade, P.A. and Kadrekar, S. B., 1993. Effect of different per cent slopes and crops on runoff, soil and organic Carbon loss in latteritic soil of West Cost Konkan - Maharashtra, Annual Convention, Indian Society of Soil Science, Dehradun. Prasad, S.N., R.K. Singh, Shakir Ali and A.K. Parandiyal. 2005. Comparative performance of grass barriers on erosion and crop yields in medium black soils of Kota. Indian Journal of Soil Conservation, 33 (1): 58-61. Rai, R.N. and Singh, A. 1986. Effect of hill slopes on runoff, soil loss and nutrient loss and rice yield. Indian J. Soil Cons., 14 (2): 1-6. Subudhi, C.R. and P.C. Senapati. 1996. Runoff and soil loss under different vegetative measures in Kalahandi district of Orissa. Indian Journal of Soil Conservation, 24 (2):82-83. Subudhi, C.R., P.C.Pradhan and P.C. Senapati. 1998. Effect of vegetative barrier on soil erosion and yield of rice in Eastern Ghats. Indian Journal of Soil Conservation, 26 (2): 95-98.


Table 1:
Year CCT + VB 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Mean 8.3 12.8 9.1 13.0 11.4 10.9

Percentage of runoff to rainfall under different conservation measures

Runoff (mm) SCT + VB 9.5 15.4 10.3 16.4 14.6 13.2 CST + VB 9.2 17.4 12.2 17.2 15.9 14.4 VB alone 11.9 21.4 14.6 21.3 19.4 17.7 Control 16.3 23.2 16.1 24.0 21.7 20.3

Table 2: Annual soil loss as influenced by different bio-engineering measures

Year CCT + VB 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Mean 3.1 2.3 1.5 1.1 0.8 1.8 SCT + VB 4.3 3.4 2.7 1.7 1.5 2.7 Soil loss (t ha-1 yr -1) CST + VB 4.3 3.8 3 1.8 1.6 2.9 VB alone 8.5 6.9 4.2 3.4 3 5.2 Control 12.9 10.4 7.9 5.3 4.9 8.3

Table 3:

Water, soil and soil and water conservation efficiencies of different conservation measures

Treatment CCT + VB SCT + VB 41.9 33.6 36.2 31.6 32.9 35.2 66.7 67.3 65.8 67.9 69.4 67.4 54.3 50.5 51.0 49.8 51.1 51.3 CST + VB 43.3 25.1 24.0 28.2 26.6 29.4 66.7 63.5 62.0 66.0 67.3 65.1 55.0 44.3 43.0 47.1 47.0 47.3 VB alone 27.0 7.7 9.5 11.3 10.9 13.3 51.8 33.7 46.8 35.8 38.8 41.4 39.4 20.7 28.2 23.6 24.8 27.3 Water conservation efficiency (per cent)

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Mean 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Mean 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Mean

49.3 45.0 43.5 46.0 47.3 46.2 76.0 77.9 81.0 79.2 83.7 79.6 62.6 61.4 62.2 62.6 65.5 62.9

Soil and water conservation efficiency (per cent)

Soil and water conservation efficiency (per cent)


Table 4: Cashew yield under different conservation measures during the fourth, fifth and sixth year of plantation
Nut yield per tree (kg) Treatment CCT + VB SCT + VB CST + VB VB alone Control CV CD p (0.05) 2004-05 (IV th year) 2.5 2.0 1.8 1.3 1.1 15.6 0.51 2005-06 (Vth year) 1.2 1.0 0.9 0.7 0.6 17.1 0.28 2006-07 (VIth year) 1.9 1.4 1.2 0.9 0.7 15.9 0.37 Total yield (q ha-1) 2004-05 (IVth year) 6.8 5.6 4.9 3.5 3.0 15.2 1.36 2005-06 (Vth year) 3.5 2.8 2.4 2.0 1.6 16.4 0.76 2006-07 (VIth year) 5.2 3.9 3.2 2.5 2.0 15.0 0.96

Table 5: Net present worth, benefit cost ratio and internal rate of return of different conservation measures adopted for cashew crop
Conservation measures Continuous Contour Trench + S. scabra + G. maculata Staggered Contour Trench + S. scabra + G. maculata Crescent Shape Trench + S. scabra + G. maculata S. scabra + G. maculata alone Without conservation measures NPW (Rs. / ha.) 1,64,900 1,27,190 1,09,130 69,090 43,410 BCR 5.07 4.64 4.46 3.74 2.79 IRR (%) 13.0 12.5 11.0 10.0 10.0


Theme 2 Water Harvesting at Micro-Watershed Level-Continuation

Drought Mitigation through Floodwater Harvesting for the Artificial Recharge of Groundwater: Prudence vs Large Dams
Sayyed Ahang Kowsar

Iran was the land of floods, droughts and qanats until 1945, when the inappropriate technologies, cable tool and powerful pumps invaded our groundwater resources. The arrival of rotary drilling machines in the late 60s blew coup de grce to our aquifers (Kowsar, 1991; Mohammadnia and Kowsar, 2003). Not only the lowering of the watertable beneath the qanat galleries made more than 20,000 of them nonfunctional, but also caused saline water intrusion into freshwater aquifers and land subsidence in many plains a common place phenomenon. Kassas (1987) is of the opinion that the falling watertable in arid areas, where most water needs are supplied through underground resources, is a variation of drought. Therefore, we are doubly trapped in the agricultural and hydrological droughts of our own making, and the climatic drought that Nature has forced upon us. Judging our precipitation history from the studies of Vita-Finzi (1979) on the alluvium deposition in the Tehran area, we have over-exploited in less than 60 years most of the groundwater that Nature had bestowed upon us between 38,000 to 6,000 years before present 69

(BP)! Thus, depleting the very last resort, we have to face a precarious water shortage in the most severe drought in a living memory. It is inconceivable that our compatriots, especially the policy-makers, are unaware of our climatological history. About 90% of our country is semi-arid, arid and hyper arid. Recurrent and prolonged droughts in such environments are a rule rather than an exception. These periods are usually interrupted by flood-producing downpours that devastate the drought-stricken people, particularly nomad herders who inhabit the low-laying area surrounding water holes. With all these risks, the desert-dwellers have adapted themselves to the vagaries of the climate following the Genesis Strategy. The following historical account is the wake up call for the rulers of drought-prone countries. The gradual warming of the climate, which attained its optimum range about 8,000 years ago, and perhaps abundant precipitation, brought about the prerequisites for the formation of human societies. Matthews (1976) postulated that high precipitation from 8,000 to 5,000 years ago blessed the present

African Sahara and the Arabian desert, and provided the groundwork for the evolution of great civilizations in the Fertile Crescent, which extended from Palestine to the Persian Gulf (northern parts of present-day Saudi Arabia). Then, an 800-year drought (5,000-4,200 BP) transformed all this area into a desert, and forced the Semites to migrate to the Levant (present-day Syria). This droughty period affected the Sind Valley and obliterated the Harapan Civilization. This vast area, which was once covered with forests, is now so dry that rainfed farming is impossible over most of it; only a name remains from an outstanding civilization that peaked 5,300 year ago (Linton, 1955). Frequent droughty periods, which occurred from 2500 to 1600 BP, destroyed the North African agriculture and forests of Lebanon and Galilee (Matthews, 1976). Prolonged droughts cause famine, mass starvation, immigration, and finally, termination of the affected civilizations. Although the most obvious cause of famine is prolonged droughts, other natural phenomena and human-mediated disasters should not be forgotten. Freezing weather, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, outbreaks of plant and animal pests and diseases, epidemics, wars, and wrongful policies of governments and colonialists are also instrumental in the occurrence of famine. Keeping these exceptions in mind, the records of famine may be used to reconstruct previous droughts. The first authentic written record is based on the Stele of famine from 5,500 BP discovered on a tomb in the Nile that describes the lack of Nile flood for 7 years and the vast misfortune caused by the drought (Anon., 1973, p.58-59). The 7 good and 7 lean years during the time of Prophet Joseph, which probably occurred around 1675 BC, have been mentioned in the Bible and the Glorious Koran (the Chapter of Joseph, verses 43-49). Failure of Nile flood for 7 years (10641072) resulted in cannibalism in Egypt (Anon., 1973: 58; Anon., 1978). Droughts in India during the 917918, 1148-1159, 1344-1345, 1396-1407, 1630, 1661, 1669-1670, 1769-1770, 1783, 1790-1792, 1803-1804, 1837-1838, 1861, 1866, 1868-1870, 1874, 1876-1878, 1896-1897, 1899-1901 and 19431944 periods caused starvation of millions. Three to 10 million deaths occurred in the drought of 1769-1770 in Bengal, India, which, at the highest estimate, was onethird of the population. India would have suffered a major famine in 1966-67 were it not for the importation of 26 million tons of grain to that country by the U.S., Canada, 70

and Australia during 1965-1967. Two consecutive poor monsoons resulted in grain crops about 20% below average. China has suffered 1,828 famines from 108 BC to 1911 AD, of which the number of deaths for the 1876-1879, 1892-1894 and 1928-1929 periods were 9-13, 1, and 3 million, respectively. In the great drought of 1921-1922 grain production was less than one-half of an average crop for 2 consecutive years; between 1.25 and 5 million people starved in the former Soviet Union, particularly in the Ukraine and Volga region (Anon., 1973; Anon., 1978). Nicholson (1978) studied 5 centuries of climatic variations in the Sudano-Sahelian region by analyzing lake-level variations and stream regime changes. Reconstruction of past climates, particularly precipitation events, revealed that the famines of the 1681-1687, 1738-1756 and 1828-1839 periods were due to severe droughts. According to the travel account of Browne (Nicholson, 1978) in 1799, the now dry Bahr el-Ghazal valley of Chad was flooded at that time, since he had traveled the distance between Lake Chad to Borkou by canoe. The level of Lake Chad receded to its lowest in 500 years during the 1828-1839 period. The 1968-1973 drought resulted in 500,000 deaths in 8 African countries in 1973, from Mauritania in the west to Ethiopia in the east, where 200,000 starved (Anon., 1983; Anon., 1983). Again, about 1 million people starved during the 1984-1985 drought in Ethiopia (Johnson, 1990); the loss in cattle in the 1983-1984 drought numbered 1.5 million (Biswas et al., 1987). Persian historians and poets have reported the accounts of famines in Iran and parts of the Old World. Ferdowsi (940-1020) discussed the 7-year drought during the reigns of Kaykavoos and Pirooz, son of Yazdgerd, and the 4-year drought during the reign of Bahram-e-Goor (throned 421, died 438). Saadi (1209-1295) mentioned the drought during the time of Khalifa Omar-benAbdolaziz and also in Lebanon in 1245. The History of Sistan (Anon., no date) described the story of drought in 835 in Afghanistan and Sistan. Naser Khosrow (10031088) reported the droughts in Qazvin (1046), Mecca (1047-1048), and Isfahan (1052). Hamdollah Mostoufi (1329) and Abdollah Vassaf (died in 1330) reported the drought of Qazvin in 1217, and that of 1284-1286 in Fars, respectively; about 100,000 people starved in the Fars famine. Chardin (1643-1713) observed the 1669 Isfahan famine first hand. Fasaii (1895) reported the

famines of 1729, 1747, 1866-1867 and 1871 in some parts of Iran, and Khanshaqaqi (1974), told of the 1871 drought in Tehran when the British envoy extraordinary provided relief funds from India and personally distributed bread among the needy. The famines of 1866-1867 and 1871, and also the very high prices of food in 1878 reported by Fasaii were due to the recurrent droughts during the 1860-1880 period that Andreas and Stolze published their report on drought in Iran in 1885 (Reza et al., 1971). En masse migration of the rural population, abandonment of villages, and their eventual ruin are usually caused by droughts. The famine of 1869-1871 left many homesteads abandoned. The population of Qom, which was 25,382 in 1867, was reduced to 14,000 by 1874 (Lambton, 1953). Living conditions in Sistan, an extremely arid region in Iran, wholly depend on the precipitation on the Hirmand Watershed, our relationships with Afghanistan, and the general policy of the Iranian Government. The 1948 drought in Afghanistan resulted in heavy losses to cattle herders in the Sistan area (Lambton, 1953). Flooding of Hirmand in 1949 caused a few years of drought. Extensive reed beds and rangeland, which were usually grazed by the cattle and livestock, dried out. This misfortune intensified poverty. Breaching of levees and failure of irrigation systems due to flooding were the
Table 1:
Date 937 1037 1243 1244 1275 Mar. 31 Apr. 25 Oct. 24

main causes of this disaster. Construction of the Kohak Diversion Dam on the Hirmand during 1965-1966, which misfired and diverted the Iranian share of the flow towards Afghanistan, was another reason for the ruin of numerous farms in the Sistan region. Short-duration droughts, in which the rainfall is less than the mean annual precipitation, mainly cause livestock and cattle loss due to a relative lack of nutritious forage and subsequent diseases that befall them. Although these events do not cause famine and starvation, the financial loss to farmers and herders is enormous. The drought period that peaked in 1891 caused the loss of 50 million sheep in Australia (Arnon, 1972: 106). During the same period, the rainy 1870s in the American Great Plains was followed by a decade of drought (Dregne, 1977). Iran, India, and Russia experienced famine during the same decade. What would happen if this misfortune repeats itself? ... wherefore take example, you who are endowed with sight (The Glorious Koran, Chapter 59 [Emigration], verse 2), More recently, the livestock population of Algeria, which had risen to 8 million, was reduced to 2 million in 1945 owing to a few lean years (Arnon, 1972: 99). Wet years with abundant flood-producing rainfalls occur frequently in dry areas too. The Land of Iran has repeatedly experienced devastating flooding, a number of which from 937 to 1950 are reported in Table 1.

Some of the notable flooding events of Iran from 937 to 1950 (after Melville, 1984)
Locality Sari Zarang (Sistan) Sistan Sistan Yazd Remarks All buildings destroyed; inhabitants fled to foothills; local officials warned not to act oppressively Collapse of a bund (dyke or dam) north of the city; poor harvest the next year; city walls rebuilt by 1040-41 Huge area of Sistan and Hirmand delta affected; Zarang under water for three months; over 300 people died in province Further flooding washes away most of Sistans grain Catastrophic flood after 5 days [of] continuous heavy rain; water ruined the districts on the E. and S. side of town, spilled over the moat and destroyed part of citadel; lasted 36 hrs. Flight to high ground Most of the buildings were ruined Caused by early summer snowmelt; flooded qanats; flash flood destroys half town, the citadel and all the corn lands Heavy rainfall in upper reaches of Qara Aghach, causing floods in Shiraz and Shabankareh region of Fars. Karzin area inundated; Buyid bridge at Pul-i Arus broken by palm trees carried in spate Catastrophic flood after weeks of rain; river from hills south of the town broke through flood barrier; qanats from Muhrijird district destroyed; enormous damage to buildings in Yazd; at least 1000 tumans of personal property destroyed apart from loss of houses, gardens and cultivated lands etc. Great damage also at Taft. Miraculously, no lives lost. No relief was given but on the contrary great oppression was shown towards the victims Following violent hailstorms on hills to N.E. of the city, a torrent that damaged Gazdi Gah and the plains north of Herat

1371 1404 1442

May ? Spring ?

Tabriz Jajarm Karzin Shiraz Fars


Apr. 13

Yazd, Taft


Apr. 14



1558 1593 1594

Mar. 13 Summer Feb.

Qazvin Sarab Most of W. Iran and the towns on the edge of the Dasht-i kavir



1630 1636 Date 1668 1670 1710 1813 1832 1851


Shiraz Qum Locality Shiraz Qum Saveh Khuzistan Khuzistan Qazvin


Spring Apr. 10


Apr. ?

Kashan district


May 7


1868 1870


Khuzistan Mazinan (Khurasan)

1871 1871 1872

Aug. 31 May

Tabriz Damghan Asadabad

Flood ruined 2000 houses in the Darb-i Abhar quarter of Qazvin Flood after 48 hours [of] heavy rain, completed earthquake destruction Af ter t wo days of v iolent a nd de str uct ive N. w i nds over (Per sia n) Iraq, heav y rai n caused extensive f loo di ng of river s; Zaya ndeh-r ud over f lowed de stroying water mi l ls a nd bridge s; ir rigat ion ca nals fi l led up w it h debris; much destruction also of buildings and gardens in and around Qum; in Qazvin, the deluge burst at midnight; attempts to block the spate with planks and boards and doors of houses proved futile, but it was ultimately diverted by carpets, felts and other fabrics draped over large tree trunks, away from the areas containing the government buildings; one or two other quarters were however demolished. The flood also affected Kirman, and Yazd, where a torrent from Taft wiped out all buildings and cultivation, which reverted to desert. Few places in the whole country escaped the effects of this storm and the resultant flood. In the spring, plague broke out in Isfahan, causing heavy mortality and emigration to nearby towns until the autumn; cholera reported in Qazvin A great flood of the river Haraz destroyed Amul and surrounding villages killing thousands of people who were caught unawares. Area repopulated with imported Georgian captives. Landslides in the Namarustaq district created a small lake which later drained down to the sea Heavy snow and torrential rains cause heavy flood damage around Shiraz Sudden inundation of Qum river following rainfall in mountains; caused great loss of life and destruction of 1000 houses Remarks Disastrous flood destroyed a third of the town, and prompted its desertion by a number of the inhabitants; followed by an epidemic Two thousand houses and all the ancient buildings ruined Town ruined by a deluge Flooding of Karun after heavy rains Heavy floods carried away portions of the bridges at Shushtar and Dizful; the correct date may rather be 1837 Four quarters of the town were damaged with the loss of more than 3000 houses; Shah grants funds for construction of a barrier; heavy and prolonged rain reported from Tabriz in March and April D i s a st ro u s f l o o d i n g fo l l ow s t h re e c o n s e c u t i ve d ay s o f r a i n ; g a r d e n s o n W. side of Kashan completely flooded, qanats ruined and ditches filled up, walls collapse and damage to houses; runoff from river and foothills floods villages to the north of Kashan such as Nushabad, Aran and Bidgul, villagers abandon hope but floods cease before the whole district completely destroyed. Total cost of property, damage to houses and gardens, loss of cultivation from break down of water supply and incurred in repairing and cleaning the qanats estimated at 200,000 tumans A flash flood struck Tehran (heavy rain reported the previous week) and filled the city moat, overflowing to flood the low-lying sections, where 120 houses were destroyed, several people lost their lives Heavy floods in Khuzistan; possibly affecting Sush (Susa). This event should probably more correctly be dated 1870, as below A torrent from the Kuh-i Chagatai swept away most of Mazinan and other villages, such as Behnamabad, on the fringe of the kavir. Mazinan was rebuilt about half a mile N. of the ruined site and attracted settlers from the other villages thatg were affected Great damage caused in Tabriz; poem written to commemorate the event Flood following two days rain; apparently not damaging Flash flood burst through dam and inundated Asadabad to a level of two feet of water; much destruction of property and loss of life


Tank Systems for Water Harvesting
R. Sakthivadivel

Introduction Water harvesting and storage has been a key strategy against water scarcity in semi-arid regions of the tropics because of sporadic spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation. As opposed to many modern agricultural systems structured around large reservoirs and distribution systems, small tanks and cascades, predominantly supplied by surface run off have been used for centuries as water harvesting structures at micro- and mesocatchment levels The term water tanks is interpreted differently in different parts of the country. In south India, water tanks are usually called irrigation tanks. These are storage structures built on the ground (with out digging) from which water is let out by gravity flow through sluice out let and overflow spillway. In addition to these tanks, there exists in each village a number of dugout structures called ponds used for domestic and livestock purposes. In the north Indian context it appears that there is no difference between ponds and tanks and are used interchangeably for any small water holding structure. Both tanks and ponds are included under water tanks discussed here in. Water tanks have been in existence in India over centuries. They have not been constructed at any particular time 73

period but came into existence as a sequel to population pressure and demand for additional. Water storage to meet peoples livelihood needs. Because tanks were constructed over the land surface without digging, availability of suitable abutting sites to locate a tank played a major role in choosing a site for constructing a tank. The tanks of south India vary over a wide range in their command, catchments and water spread areas (ranging from a few hectares to hundreds of hectares). Their ratio among these three parameters also varies widely (Sakthivadivel, 2004). South Indian Tanks Tanks in south India are classified in a number of ways. They are classified as PWD tanks. Panchayat tanks and Ex-Zamin tanks. PWD tanks have command areas greater then 40ha. While Panchayat tanks have command areas lees than 40 ha. Ex-Zamin tanks are those managed by Zamindars which have now been transferred to either PWD or Panchayat depending on the size of the tanks. Tanks are also classified as rain fed tanks and system tanks. Rains fed tanks receive their water supply from their own catchments while system tanks receive runoff from its own catchment as well as supply diverted from

rivers/reservoirs through canals. Then comes the cascade of tanks; these are tanks big and small interconnected and located within a watershed. North Indian Tanks In the North Indian context also, there are big and small tanks. The big tanks which store water recharge the aquifer as well as retain sufficient soil moisture in the unsaturated thick layer of clay tank bed. When the water is emptied from the tank bed, then the tank bed itself is used for taking one winter crop with the soil moisture stored in the tank bed and occasionally supplemented by nearby well water. So, basically tanks are used as inundation tanks. There are also tanks basically meant for rearing fish. In the semi arid regions such as Kutch and Bhal regions in Gujarat, and in some dry areas of Rajasthan tanks are constructed with lined PVC sheets to prevent contamination with underlying saline water as well as to prevent deep percolation losses. These tanks are mainly used for drinking water supplies to humans and animals. Who Owns Water Tanks? Historically water tanks were common property of village community; they were owned, maintained and managed by the beneficiaries. The benefits accruing out of the tank and its water use including usufruct rights were enjoyed by the village community especially women, landless and poor. After the introduction of Ryotwari system by the British colonial regime in 1857, the Government took over the tanks and handed over to PWD and Panchayat for maintenance and management. It then started collecting tax from tank water users and controlling the usufructs from the tanks through Revenue Department. As a result, the villagers lost interest in tank maintenance; and what was once a multiple use tank has come to be known as irrigation tanks because irrigators pay tax for tank water use and they claim users rights over tanks. Recently with NGOs involvement in tank rejuvenation programme, tanks are again considered as common property resource of the village to provide equal access to all including those landless, women and poor and meant for multiple uses. Tank Performance In the recent past, tank irrigated area is on the decline; tank maintenance and management is abysmal; many tanks have degenerated and become defunct for various reasons. Some of the reasons for under performance are: Because of onslaught of private ground water development and Govt. emphasis on large and medium scale irrigation projects, investment on water tanks and Govts focus on 74

managing and maintaining these tanks have considerably been reduced. Population pressure coupled with diminishing land per capita has fueled encroachment of waterways and tank beds thereby exacerbating the degeneration of tanks. Physical rehabilitation of tank proper with de-silting of tank beds and repair to the bund is being attempted in a haphazard manner. The impact of such isolated work on tank performance is minimal. Change in tank hydrology due to erratic rainfall distribution and land use pattern changes in tank catchment, large scale ground water development, weakening of tank institutions and less profitability of tank based agriculture are some of the other major reasons for underperformance of tanks. Tank Irrigation There are 39202 irrigation tanks of varied size and capacity in the state of Tamil Nadu. Of this, 8903 tanks including 3627 system tanks are maintained by PWD presently known as Water Resources Department. The rest of the tanks are in charge of local Panchayat Union. The PWD and the Panchayat Union will look after the source and the tank proper. But the water distribution and water regulation are with the villagers especially the farmers who are the beneficiaries. Being small systems, almost every village may have at least one tank and the villagers who have cultivated with tank water claim some ownership. They have been operating and maintaining these systems through village committees. Due to the neglect on the part of Government and community at large, these tanks fell into the various cycle of Rehabilitation Poor maintenance Deterioration Rehabitation. During the late 1970s, the Government of Tamilnadu started to plan a comprehensive modernization of the PWD tanks with assistance from Economic Council and subsequently Panchayat tanks with external funding. The present approach adopted by both the Government and the funding agencies and their impact can be characterized as: (1) Top- down , inflexible and blue print approach with less involvement of local communities in planning, implementing and managing the system. (2) It is a piece meal approach focused on tank proper and not the tank system as a whole. The concept that the tank system is embedded in a watershed and as a result, the tank system needs to be considered in the context of

watershed, taking into account the impact of upstream and downstream effects has not permeated in the planning process. (3) Tank systems are locally managed systems by local communities. For efficient and effective sustainable management, involvement of local communities from the very beginning of rehabilitation process is imperative. Local institutions are to be created, strengthen, their capacities built and adequate empowerment of rights and responsibilities are to be bestowed upon. At present, the weakest link is between the people who are the real stakeholders of the tank and the government agency who implement the tank program. During the drought period, the ground water drinking wells gets recharged due to rehabilitation of tanks; provide adequate water and the most benefited of these augmented recharge are the poor and landless people; Otherwise, they need to walk long distances to get a pot of water or they have to pay through their noses to purchase drinking water. Rehabilitation of tanks and related improvements in the agriculture systems increases the intensity of agriculture, changes the crops and cropping pattern and increases the agricultural production and the livestock population. All these changes increase the demand for labour and by this the landless and the poor people are able to get more number of days of labour work both on- season and offseason. A number of studies carried out on rehabilitated tanks indicate that the wells in and around the tank get additionally recharged due to increased storage of tank water, stored over a longer period of time. When adequate and reliable supply of water is available, farmers go for crop diversification with high value crops. What was originally used for one crop, now two crops are grown. In this process, there are instances that more than what the recharged water will be pumped out especially during drought year. If the drought continues for more than one year, over extraction takes place; wells dry; 75 (7)


competitive drilling and well digging among farmers take place, wasting their hard earned money. Ground water is considered as private property and as such those who own lands can pump groundwater underneath their land to any extent without government control. Groundwater has to be treated as common property and necessary laws must be enacted to regulate and use the groundwater in conjunction with rainfall and tank surface water. Many farmers in the tank command area who own wells do not participate in the collective action of maintaining and managing the tanks thinking that they have wells which can be depended upon to supply water when there is no tank water. Of late with a deterioration of tank maintenance ground water level in the command is fast declining and shallow wells become dry. There is now a realization among well owning farmers that unless the tank and supply channels maintained properly and tank water is augmented their wells will not be able to supply adequate quantity of water. Deforestation, over grazing, soil erosion and siltation have a very great impact on the tank performance and supply of water to the tanks. The impact of siltation on supply channel is very great in that it effectively prevents the water from catchments entering into the tank; added to this is the human intervention in the supply channels such as encroachment, construction of roads and culverts resulting in drastic reduction in water supply to the tanks. One of the major causes of deforestation and overgrazing is increased soil erosion leading to siltation of tank beds causing degeneration of tank and reduced storage capacity. Deforestation has also impact on tank supply, the distribution of which is affected by deforestation thereby affecting agricultural operation in the tank command. The specific economic benefits that tank development provides in the long run are: increase in agricultural intensity and output; increased fish, milk and bio-mass production and rise in ground water levels.





One of the major social benefits that the tank rehabilitation can bestow on landless and women is to mitigate migration to other places (both seasonal and permanent). Women have to bear the brunt of most of migration. Other kinds of benefit that can accrue out of rehabilitation are to provide income earning avenues such as fishing rights, right to tank bed cultivation, right to use tank bed silt, right to make bricks and right to have community dug well in the tank bed and share that water among command area of farmers. The indirect impact is mainly the availability of drinking water throughout the year due to increased recharge from rehabilitated tanks and maintenance of groundwater levels.


Institutions for Tank Management There are different groups which undertake rehabilitation, maintenance and management of tank systems. In some tank systems hereditary leadership maintains and manages the tank system even today. There are tanks which are purely managed by women SHG during rehabilitation (Grama Vikas). Then there are groups formed by the representatives of all tank water users including the landless and women; they work satisfactorily in single caste and multi-caste villages. Some tanks are directly managed by Gram Sabha. There are tanks which are entrusted to certain people in the villages (called kaval maniam and neer maniam) for maintaining and managing the tank systems with clear water regulations evolved over time and regulated by village Panchayats. So there is no single model that one can say that it works in all places under all socio- cultural , economic and political settings. From successfully operating tanks we can infer that the tank management group must be broad based representing the interest of all users and the users must have faith and confidence in the group and they should feel that they are all treated fairly and equitably. Resource mobilization by the user group for tank maintenance and management. The various methods adopted for resource mobiliza tion by the tank user association are: Foreshore cultivation with fast growing tress inter cropped with fodder for livestock. Tank bed cultivation with pumpkin, watermelon, cucumber, napier- grass etc. Tank bed cultivation with coconut and tamarind 76

trees. Revenue occurred to tank users due to tank usu fructs such as trees, fish, silt, brick etc. Establishing community well in tank bed and selling water by TUA. Annual auctioning of village common land for pri vate use. Charging well owners extra for pumping seepage water from tank. Entrance and annual fees charged from members of TUA. Village common fund for tank use. Income generation through purchase of equipment and hiring it out to farmers. Allow farmers to pump dead storage in the tank and charge them. Governance Structure for Tanks at The State Level At the state level, the funding for maintenance and management for tanks is meager resulting in deferred maintenance and leading to rehabilitation with donor funds. Much of the funds provided for maintenance go for administrative expenses leaving very little money for physical maintenance. While implementing donor funded projects, the approach is bureaucratic, top down, no involvement of farmers in all activities of rehabilitation, no expertise is used in institution building exercise and no involvement of NGOs. The end result is that the project envisaged is not implemented properly leading to substandard and un-sustainable performance. At the district level there are system tank, PWD tank, and panchayat tanks. In a cascade of tanks, one may come across PWD tanks and Panchayat tanks lying one after the other. Under such situations, rehabilitating PWD tanks alone without attending to Panchayat tanks will delink the supply channels and the full benefits of rehabilitation may not be achieved. The tanks in a river basin irrespective of their size and type, should be handled by one agency at least for planning purposes and such agency must be tagged on to the Basin Authority so that the water in a basin context can be accounted for and the available water can be put to productive uses through integrated planning at the basin level. At Panchayat level too not much of coordination exists between Panchayat and TUAs. Further devolution of powers to Gram Sabha level is necessary to have an effective interaction between the lowest level Government bureaucracy and the TUAs. After a period of nearly three decades of implementing rehabilitation projects, the government agencies have realized the importance of involving user community

in tank maintenance and management. They are ready to transfer these functions without neither empowering the local community to make decisions nor to enjoy the usufructs of tanks. Recent studies by Anna University and others have indicated that farmers are capable of planning, constructing maintaining and managing the system in a more efficient and cost effective manners and capable of integrating indigenous knowledge with modern technological development to get the optimum output in a sustainable manners. The total involvement of farmers in all phases of rehabilitation process is necessary to make rehabilitation process successful and to get the benefits expected out of rehabilitation. Cost Effective Tank Rehabilitation To make tank rehabilitation cost effective four aspects are suggested: 1. Tank rehabilitation work must be planned and implemented by TUAs with support from NGO and the government agencies. Only20 to 25% of the sanctioned budget is utilized or works in the case of contractors implemented projects whereas nearly100%of the fund allocated to TUAs through GO goes to work in addition to farmers contribution raging from 10to 25%. 2. The second aspect is whether the tank proper, or tank with its catchment and command area, or integrated watershed treatment with rehabilitation of tank cascade should be taken up and which is cost effective? There is no clear cut answer available to this question. A few experiments carried out in the recent past point to the fact that tank cascade should be taken up for rehabilitation under the watershed development programme. The third aspect is to use machine and men in appropriate mix that will be cost effective for tank rehabilitation. The fourth aspect is de-silting of tanks as a component of rehabilitation. There are arguments for and against de-silting as a component of rehabilitation. A few impact studies carried out recently indicate the selective de-silting of tank improves tank performance. It increases the dead storage for domestic and livestock use, allows to rear fish and provides supplementary irrigation through pumping. 77



Concluding Remarks Tanks have been existence from time immemorial. Even today some of the tanks maintained and managed properly functions well and provides sustainable services. So, tank systems are sustainable if proper maintenance and management is bestowed upon them. Tanks are decentralized systems catering to the needs of local community have played a very important role in irrigation and in the local eco-system in areas with relatively low (annual rainfall of 1000mm or less) such as in most parts of Karnataka, Andra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Through the ages, Indian agriculture has been sustained by natural and man-made water bodies such as lakes, ponds and similar structures. It has been estimated that there are more than a million such structures and about 500,000 are used for irrigation. Many of them have fallen into disuse. Many of them have accumulated silt. Many required urgent repairs. The three important factors contributing to the under performance of tanks are : siltation and encroachment; ground water development; weak organizational structure and government interference. Although inscriptional and other evidence indicates that tanks continued to be constructed over a long historical period, the original plan seems to have certainly been a grand one, which considered a large network of interconnected chains of tanks, running all the way from Eastern Ghats down to the Bay of Bengal. It is difficult to imagine that tanks would have been constructed one by one and at some point would have formed perfectly connected systems. Only recently, modern irrigation experts have begun river basin as an appropriate unit for designing irrigation systems. This was an established practice in ancient times. The curvature of the tank bunds designed to be elliptical to give maximum strength to the embankment, the stone facing on the inner side of the bund to minimize the action of waves forces and the tank sluices of plug and rod type are outstanding example of the engineering ability of Indian builders. Closely related to the engineering design of the tanks is the social organizations necessary to maintain and manage the vast network in the tank systems which are important in order to comprehend the related social organization: (i) Each tank irrigates, usually, fields lying within one village or at most a few villages. Hence, each tank needs to be locally managed. (ii) Where tanks are interconnected, which is usually the case, integration of supra-local or supra-village localities must be possible in

order to maintain and manage the entire chain of tanks. The existing literature indicates that the social and political organizations of pre-British India were designed to meet this need. The historical material on irrigation organization and structures and some recent data on the local and supralocal organization of the pre-British Indian societies together underline the fact that the Indian civilization placed a great value on decentralization of resources and political power which automatically set a limit to the size of irrigation structures. Large scale systems such as modern dams would not have been compatible with the values and goals of the Indian civilization. The traditional irrigation technology of tanks, anaicuts etc were also ecologically the optimal solution for the natural conditions obtaining in certain parts of India. In this sense, traditional irrigation technology is certainly modern as well as sophisticated. The village institutions, which are reasonably functional even today, ought to be fully involved in any plan to improve irrigation management. In addition, resources which are essential for the healthy functioning of the institutions need to be restored to them. Resources must be appropriately allocated to them to enable them to

function effectively. In the absence of such resources, merely appealing or exhorting the village communities to under take voluntary action to maintain tanks will have no impact, as is evident from the non-functioning of various efforts under taken by the government to make beneficiary commitment to under take maintenance. The governments should make serious attempt to turn over the tank system to the village community with a proviso to enjoy by the community the benefits from usufruct of tank and tank water. Recent research has pointed out that the first effort of the government must be to restore all the old tanks which are gradually dying and disappearing due to urbanization. The result of disappearance is that there is no way of holding rain water and recharging ground water. Instead, during heavy rainfalls, entire residential areas become water logged since they are low lying. In order to be able to effectively rejuvenate and extend the tank system, the most basic requirement is a data base. Appropriate agencies must be created to generate reliable tank data and such data can be generated only by involving knowledgeable individuals from each village which has a tank.

References Sakthivadivel.R (2004) A Study on Tanks and Ponds: Consultancy Report submitted to NOVIB, Netherlands in Association with Dhan Foundation, Madurai.


Water Harvesting and Ground Water Recharge

The ubiquitous availability of ground water coupled with technological advancement in its extraction, institutional supports and deemed considered ownership of ground water as easement to land has led to quantum leap in the ground water development in our country during last five decades. Even though the ever increasing dependence on ground water has ensured countrys food security and fulfilled other socio economic needs its over exploitation at places has led to dwindling sustainability of this precious natural resource with emerging adverse environmental consequences. The serious manifestation of over exploitation of ground water resources is evident from the fact that over exploited and dark blocks in the country have increased from 250 in 1985 to 1089 in 2004 besides recording of steep decline in ground water levels in 300 districts over the years. Tamil Nadu is one of the highly water stress state with 142 over exploited blocks out of total 385 blocks. The consequent decline in ground water levels and associated environmental impacts are observed in major parts of the State. The state has 8 saline blocks in the coastal districts of Nagapattinam and Ramanathapuram and fresh water 79

aquifers are under persistent threat by ingress of saline water through upconing and sea water intrusion in parts of North Chennai, South Chennai, Puducherry and Tuticorin coast. The challenges faced to mitigate the impact of over exploitation of ground water need a sound ground water management policy on scientific considerations. The stand alone regulatory measures though may endorse some positive impact, but holistically, various measures to augment the available ground water resources with adequate level of peoples participation can only have positive impact on long term perspective in minimizing the adverse effects of ground water over exploitations.

Artificial Recharge Of Groundwater An Urgent Need

Natural replenishment of groundwater storage is slow and is unable to keep pace with the excessive exploitation of groundwater. With increasing urbanization, the land area for natural rainwater recharge is also shrinking and large unutilized runoff carries pollution to the water bodies. Artificial recharge to groundwater aims at augmentation of the groundwater

storage by modifying the natural movement of surface water, utilizing suitable civil construction techniques to increase the seepage rate exceeding that under natural conditions of replenishment. The rainfall occurrence in India is limited to about 3 months period, ranging from about 10 to 100 rainy days. In case of Tamil Nadu, the south west monsoon period of June to September as well as North East monsoon during October to December gives rainfall around 1000 mm . The very high rainfall during the year 2005 has recorded highest intensity of 47 cm in 2 days and recorded heavy discharge of precious fresh water to sea. The estimated quantum of 15 months water supply to Chennai was lost to sea. Such surplus run off has to be effectively harvested and put to beneficial use by creating adequate surface storage and recharge to ground water structures. The quantum of water that can be stored in the sub-surface depends on the aquifer conditions and prevailing water level. The rate of infiltration to sub-surface is slow and at many pockets, particularly when torrential rain occurs, the same has to be stored in surface and then allowed to percolate into the ground with proper structures. The natural recharge is restricted to rainy season only. The artificial recharge techniques aim at increasing the recharge period in the post-monsoon for about 3 months to provide additional recharge. This would result in providing sustainability to groundwater development and also check the sea-water ingress. In hilly areas like north eastern regions and Western Ghats, even though the rainfall is high, scarcity of water is felt in post-monsoon season. Due to steep gradients, a large quantity of water flows out to low lying areas as surface runoff. Springs are the major source of water in hilly areas which gets depleted after monsoon. There is a need to provide sustainability to these springs. Small surface storages above the spring level are effective in providing additional recharge and sustain the spring flow for a longer period. Central Ground Water Board, under Ministry of Water Resources, Govt. of India, has played a crucial role in initiating artificial recharge in the country and propagating the message to State Governments and public through mass awareness programmes, trainings, seminars and utilizing electronic media. For success of this programme the importance of scientific approach cannot be underrated. Necessary literature in the form of Manual, guides etc. on artificial recharge to groundwater 80

were issued which include detailed technical aspects of site selection for different types of artificial recharge structures, their suitability to various hydrogeological set ups and climatic conditions etc. Under Central Sector Scheme, financial assistance was rendered to State Government & Non Governmental Organizations to take up construction of artificial recharge structures to augment recharge to groundwater systems. The criteria for selection of sites for artificial recharge structures were as follows. (i) Need for artificial recharge structures, indicated by declining water level trends or need for improvement of water quality by way of dilution Scope for artificial recharge, indicated by available uncommitted surplus run off taking into consideration the capacity of existing structures and the ability of groundwater system to accept the recharge and Economic viability of the scheme



Advantages of Artificial Recharge

Artificial recharge is becoming increasingly necessary to ensure sustainable ground water supplies to satisfy the needs of a growing population. The benefits of artificial recharge can be both tangible and intangible. The important advantages of artificial recharge are; (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) Subsurface storage space is available free of cost and inundation is avoided Evaporation losses are negligible Quality improvement by infiltration through the permeable media Biological purity is very high It has no adverse social impacts such as displacement of population, loss of scarce agricultural land etc Temperature variations are minimum It is environment friendly, controls soil erosion and flood and provides sufficient soil moisture even during summer months Water stored underground is relatively immune to natural and man-made catastrophes It provides a natural distribution system between recharge and discharge points Results in energy saving due to reduction in suction and delivery head as a result of rise in water levels

(vi) (vii)

(viii) (ix) (x)

Implementation of Artificial Recharge Schemes

Successful implementation of artificial recharge schemes will essentially involve, (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) Assessment of source water, Planning of recharge structures, Finalisation of specific techniques and designs, Monitoring and impact assessment, Financial and economic evaluation and Operation and maintenance

Rain Water Harvesting Methods

The methodology of artificial recharge through utilizing surplus surface run-off depends mainly on the following factors (i) Hydrogeology of the area including nature and extent of the aquifer, soil cover, topography,
SURFACE PRACTICES 1 St - 2 Nd Order Streams Contour Bunding Gully Pluging Trenching 2nd-3rd Order Streams Cement Plugging Nala Bunding Plains Percolation Ponds Water Conservation Structures Weirs

depth to water level and chemical quality of ground water. (ii) Availability of source water, assessed in terms of non-committed surplus monsoon run-off. (iii )Area contributing run-off like area available, land use pattern etc. (iv) Hydrometeorological characters like rainfall pattern, its duration and intensity The implementation of the recharge schemes at point will have impact to limited extent in the radius of 100 to 750m only. The availability of suitable site for the larger size recharge structures is the main constrain reported in many areas. The micro-watershed level studies and recharge program is essential to make the effective change in the ground water regime in terms of quantity and quality of water. The artificial recharge practices can be grouped into two categories, namely , surface and sub-surface practices as listed in Table-1 . The rain water harvesting is the easiest way of improving our

SUB-SURFACE PRACTICES Dug Well Recharge Recharge Shaft/Trench Injection Well (i) Gravity Head (ii) Pressure Injection Water Conservation Structures Sub Surface Dykes Ground Water Dams

Table 1: Artificial Recharge Practices

RAIN WATER HARVSTING A. ROOF TOP I. Direct storage in surface (Sumps/Syntex tanks) Drinking Filtration Chlorination End use Domestic End use (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vii) (viii) (ix) (x) (xi) (xii)

II. Storage in sub- surface (aquifers) Recharge pit Recharge pit with bore hole Recharge pit with tube well Recharge trench Recharge trench with bore hole Recharge trench with tube well Existing Bore well with pre cast filters Existing Bore well with settling pit and filtering pit Existing Tube well with pre cast filters Existing Bore well with settling pit and filtering pit Existing dug well with pre cast filters Existing dug well with settling pit and filtering pit (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v)

B. OPEN SPACE I. Storage in sub-surface (aquifers) Temple Tanks Temple tanks with recharge shaft Percolation ponds Percolation ponds Percolation ponds with recharge shaft

Table 2: Rainwater harvesting techniques


water resources which is having two types of approach namely, rooftop harvesting and open space methods as listed in Table-2

Impact Assessment of structures

The suitability of a particular structure depends on the local hydrogeological condition and the purpose for which the rain water harvesting is planned. Recharge to ground water is having many advantages and the open area in the country is very large in comparison to the built up area and hence the detailed studies and experiments are oriented in open space harvesting and recharge to ground water. In order to replicate a method with particular design and also to improve the design of various components of the structures the impact assessment of a structure is necessary. The assessment of impacts can generally be enumerated as follows: (i) Rise in ground water levels due to augmentation of ground water in shallow aquifers. In case where continuous decline of ground water was taking place, a check to this and/or the rate of decline subsequently reduces. The energy consumption for lifting water from abstraction structures also becomes progressively less. (ii) Ground water structures in the benefited zone of the structures gains sustainability and the wells provide water in lean months. This is reflected by either longer duration of pumping or increase in number of pumping days. (iii) The cropping pattern in the benefited zone may undergo marked changes due to increased availability of ground water. Further, in spite of having a monsoon failure, the cropped area remains the same. (iv) Green vegetation cover may increase in the zone of benefit and also along the periphery of the structures due to increase in soil moisture. (v) Quality of ground water may improve due to dilution. The observation wells established in the influence area of the artificial recharge structures constructed under CGWB fund were monitored on a regular basis to estimate the rise in water levels and to estimate the quantum of ground water recharge. However, as ground water extraction is taking place from the area together with its recharge, realistic assessment of the quantum of water recharged is considered difficult. Data pertaining to increase in the availability of water in the 82

existing wells and the increases in the area cropped were collected from the farmers and this data was used to quantify the benefits due to construction of the structure. The background information on hydrogeology and hydrological particulars of each site along with the impact assessment are given in succeeding sections.

Percolation Pond at CLRI, Adyar, Chennai, Chennai District

In order to harvest the available surplus runoff, two percolation ponds are constructed at CLRI campus. The percolation pond constructed at North of Store Block has a surface area of 400 sq.m., depth of 3 m and has a bund of 1.2 m high. The second percolation pond constructed in front of Museum Building is of rectangular with 40 m long, 10 m wide and 3 m deep with a bund 1.2 m high. 3 percolation pits of 3 m Dia and 3 m depth have been constructed in each percolation pond and filled with pebbles for facilitating recharge. These percolation ponds are provided with filtration units at the inlet points to ensure supply of silt-free water. The existing storm water drains in the campus are also been modified to divert the water into the percolation ponds. The total storage capacity of these percolation ponds is of 3850 Cu.m. The project was completed at a total cost of 7.6 Lakhs in June-July, 2002. The surplus water available for recharge was estimated as 12150 cu.m. The recharge pit with filter bed inside the percolation
Fig. 1: Recharge shaft with pebble bed

pond is shown in Fig-1 and the pond with full storage

Fig. 2: Pond after Post monsoon

of rain water collected from the open area in the CLRI campus with measuring rod is shown in Fig-2.

Impact Assessment
In order to study the impact of constructed percolation ponds on ground water regime, a piezometer was constructed inside the CLRI campus and DWLR was also installed. The impact can be either quantified in terms of rise in water level or reduction in the demand-

cu.m and the quantum harvested by the percolation ponds during Northeast monsoon has been computed as 11550 cu.m. the estimated evaporation losses is 937.50 cu.m and net ground water recharge is 10612.5 cu.m.

Vadipatti Tank Improvement, Virudunagar

The existing irrigation tank is having thick cover of black clay and the quality of ground water in this area is brackish. The DTW ranged down to 16.85 m b g l and Quality of water in the dug wells in the tank command area was non potable before the revitalization of the pond with recharge well. The recharge well in tank bed is shown in Fig. 4. The increase in water level in the downstream side of the tank due to recharge well is monitored from a net work of observation wells and the changes in water level are depicted in Fig-5. The improvement in water quality in the wells are also shown in Fig-6.

CGWB regular Schemes: Gangavalli block , Salem District ( 2006-2008)

Fig. 3: Impact of Percolation Pond at CLRI, Chennai

supply gap. The hydrographs (DWLR) showing the changes in water level are shown in Fig.3.

From The Hydrograph

It is seen that a year before construction of percolation ponds during 2001, the maximum water level was reached to about 10.7 m bgl (Aug.-Sept., 2001) and the minimum of 4.2 m bgl (Nov.-Dec., 2001). But after the construction of these percolation ponds in the CLRI campus, the ground water level is significantly raised and the maximum is of 7.8 and minimum of 2 m bgl within the campus. This shows that there has been rise in the water level in the order of 2-3 m during NE monsoon of 2002, after construction of percolation ponds. From the hydrograph, it is seen that the rainfall received during May 01 to Jan 02 is of the order of 1460.1 mm while during May 02 to Jan 03 it is of the order of 1220.9 mm. The depth to water level during Jan 01 and August 01 was 4.842 m bgl and 10.555 m bgl respectively, while water level during Dec 02 and Aug 02 was 3.0 m bgl and 7.40 m bgl. This shows that there has been rise in the water level in spite of lesser rainfall in the corresponding period, after construction of percolation ponds. The availability of water is estimated as 12150 83

The existing irrigation tank is having thick cover of silt and clay and the recharge to ground water is slow. Desilting of two tanks in Gangavalli block through PWD increased the net storage and hence recharge to ground water. Another 39 structures like check dam, percolation pond with recharge shaft/bore is constructed in scientifically selected sites to have improvement in regional ground water level in the watershed. Specific designs for recharging deeper fractures zones, which are

exploited by number of bore wells resulting in complete desaturation of fractures at faster rate than the natural

recharge, are devised and implemented. The impact of the structures in ground water regime is evaluated by monitoring the water levels in a network of existing irrigation wells and also the increase in crop productivity by sustained ground water resources is noticed. The monitoring of the total impact in the water shed with the recharge structures are made and analysed. The estimated increase in ground water storage varies from structure to structure depending on the water spread area, number of days of water storage and rate of infiltration. The run off generated from the catchment from the rainfall and local hydrogeological condition like depth to water level and thickness of aquifer and extraction pattern of ground water by dug wells and bore wells are playing important role in the water storage in structure. In fact, the recharge structures will be more effective if its water retention period is short and percolation rate is high. The number of fillings and its percolation is the controlling factor in many of the structures in which the rain fall run off is being collected. Only few rainfall days is seen with higher intensity of more than 20 mm to generate required run off to fill the water spread area and in the study area good rain fall occurs only in 10-20 days from which, the volume of water equal to 3 to 5 full storage of percolation ponds and check dams is estimated as potential addition to ground water storage. The check dams in major stream will surplus after full storage level and continuous flow in streams are limited to 30 days. The rate of infiltration is found to be low in many check dam sites and percolation ponds due to silt deposit with time. The experimental filter bed with recharge bore in check dam and percolation pond has shown good result and a small percolation pond with recharge bore ( Fig-7) has indicated the impact in more than 2 km down slope and the faster infiltration through fractures made it feasible for total recharge to 84

ground water from impounded water and obviously low

Fig. 7: Percolation pond with recharge bore , Nagiampatti, Gangavalli, Salem District.


The unit cost per cubic meter of additional ground water storage created is calculated from the estimated life of structure as 20 years and the present construction cost which is low for the percolation ponds with bore well and desilting of existing tanks which is around Rs 1.5 per cu.m. It is very high for the check dams in the order of Rs 10 to 15 / cu.m and will be uneconomical when flash floods in streams totally wash the structure or create bank erosion as noticed in Gangavalli in November 2007. The maintenance of the structures is very crucial for the continuous benefit and silting of recharge bore wells and vandalism on the structures by miscreants for vested interest are also to be tackled properly.

Recharge to Coastal aquifer

The Chennai coastal aquifer system is prone for sea water ingress and such quality threat needs proper recharge program. Tiruvanmiyur area is one such coastal aquifer system which is over exploited and the regulation on transporting water from this area has marginally reduced the stress but local increase in population and construction of more wells and bore wells resulted

ment with people participation Experience sharing in replication in similar recharge programmes The recommended recharge well designs by CGWB for implementation in Tamil Nadu is given in Fig. 9. The recommended dimensions of the recharge pit of 2x2x2 m at a safe distance from well may be made flexible to suit the area of water collection and rainfall intensity depending on land holding and its positions with local terrain condition (morphology). The larger collection pit for area with more catchment / land to be used for diverting surplus run off. Clayey soil will

Fig. 8.

in lowering of water table. A well planned battery of recharge tube wells is recommended for such case and the improved recharge well design is given in fig-8.

Dug well recharge

The simplest way of recharge to ground water is diverting the water from the catchment area to the existing dug well, which may be in use or abandoned. In order to ensure sustainable water resource management and assured irrigation facilities in the over exploited, critical and semi-critical areas, dug well recharge scheme under state sector is prepared by Ministry of water Resources, Govt. of India and being implemented. The scheme will be implemented in XI th plan period for 3 years at an estimated cost of 1798.71 crores in seven states including Tamil Nadu. The main objectives of the scheme are as follows. GW recharge through existing dug wells in agricul tural field Increase sustainability of wells during lean period Improve quality of groundwater especially in the fluoride affected area Over all improvement in water resource manage 85

have more run off than other area. The rate of likely collection of water depends on the field condition and about 20 to 40 % of the rainfall when it exceeds 10 mm is expected to generate over land flow. It is estimated that a rain fall of 50 mm will generate a flow of 80,000 liters in one acre of land with more sand and loam. It will be as high as 140,000 liters in case of clay covered area. The rapid sand filter proposed can convey 20,000 liters per hour and the time required will vary from 4 to 7 hours . The rise in water level will vary from 4 to 7 meters for 5m dia. well and in the absence of weathering, the dissipation will be minimum. The inflow of the water from well to aquifer depends on the nature of weathering. Thus dimensions of collection pit and filter media and well will control the inflow and rise in the water level of the well . Regulatory measures like silt trap, diversion channel for excess collection, protection to motor, parapet of well are essential.

can improve the quantum of water available for irrigation and also improve the water quality. The innovative techniques practiced in the country as well as in other parts of the globe needs proper evaluation and local site specific design has to be identified and implemented. The impounding of rain water in surface in check dams, percolation ponds, lakes and reservoirs over years has given us valuable information on the cost benefit and socio economic conditions. The studies at microwatershed level by number of agencies are to be properly documented and shared with the local community and all stake holders. The experience of CGWB in Gangavall block, Salem district has shown the effective recharge of ground water by providing bore wells with filter beds in the check dams and percolation ponds . The quality improvement in irrigation wells downstream side of the tank with recharge well at Virudunagar is the success story of increase in ground water recharge coupled with quality improvement. The dug well recharge scheme is implemented jointly by state and Central government in 7 states including 232 overexploited, critical and semi-critical blocks in Tamil Nadu by direct subsidy of Rs 4000 to Marginal and Small farmers and Rs 2000 to other farmers will increase the point recharge structures in each micro water shed and improve the ground water potential in large scale. The rain fed areas need supplementary irrigation from ground water to improve the crop productivity. The limited ground water potential in the dry lands can also be effectively harnessed and adopting the modern irrigation practices like sprinklers etc will save the crops from failure of rains in critical period of water needs. The artificial recharge structures by integrated scientific methods will improve the ground water system and even in poor ground water potential areas, the conjunctive use of surface and ground water will improve the soil moisture availability to the crops.

Though a major headway in governments initiatives has been made for broad identification of nationwide feasible recharge worthy areas vis a vis design consideration of ground water structures in diversified hydrogeological environments through experimental studies, efficacy of such technology needs to be replicated at grass root level for other areas on micro level considerations. The need for artificial recharge to ground water in Tamil Nadu is needless to be emphasized. The area suitable for recharge depends on the prevailing water level and water quality as well as local natural recharge conditions. The unfavorable situation is prevalent in high grounds of hard rock areas and deeper aquifers of coastal zone. The priority areas are the locations covered by black soil like Virudunagar, Coimbatore, Ramanathapuram districts and 142 over exploited blocks and 33 critical blocks spread over the state. The deeper aquifers in Cuddalore, Oratanadu aquifer in Tanjore and Pudukottai districts, Tiruvadanai aquifer in Ramanathapuram and Sivagangai districts and Udankudi aquifer in Tuticorin district needs major recharge tube well program to match the ongoing ground water development in these areas. There is also need to further step up the awareness activities and capacity building programme at grass root level with active peoples participation to promote rain water harvesting in the country. Modernization of tanks in brackish zone area like Vadipatti with recharge wells 86

The author expresses his sincere thanks to Shri B.M.Jha, Chairman, CGWB, Faridabad for his encouragement and permission to present this paper. The author is also grateful to Dr S.C.Dhiman, Member (ED&MM) and Shri A.R.Bhaisare, Regional Director (HQ) for their constant encouragement.


CGWB. 2007 : Hydrogeological condition of Neyveli basin, Tamil Nadu, Unpub. Report. CGWB. 1998 : Ground water exploration in Tamil nadu and U.T. of Pondicherry as on 31.03.1996, Unpub. report of CGWB. 255p. CGWB, 2007 : Manual on artificial recharge of ground water, CGWB Technical series, 198 P.


Potential of Water Harvesting as a Tool for Drought Mitigation
S. Mohan

Water is one of the most important natural resource and is vital for all living organism and major ecosystems, as well as human health, food production and economic development of a nation. Due to increasing human population, use of water for various purposes such as, domestic, industrial development, hydropower generation, agriculture, recreation and environmental services has increased considerably over time. Water table in various states of India has gone down due to recurrent droughts, deforestation and unsustainable utilization of water resources. Therefore, the availability of safe drinking water for rural as well as urban habitation has become a major issue and challenge to the government. In India, the per capita average annual freshwater availability has been reduced from 5177 cubic meters from 1951 to 1820 cubic meters in 2001 and it is estimated to further come down to 1341 cubic meters in 2025 and 1140 cubic meters in 2050 (Ministry of Water Resources, GOI, 2003). The main source of freshwater in India is the rainfall including the snowfall at the higher altitude in Himalayan region. During the 88

previous century, the Indian arid zone experienced agricultural drought in one part or the other during 33 to 46 years which suggests a drought once in three years to alternate year. Often drought persists continuously for 3 to 6 years as prolonged drought faced by this region during 190305, 1957-60 1966-71,1984-87 and 19972000. Such prolonged droughts put tremendous stress on natural resources arid lead to severe scarcity of food, fodder and water. Droughts impose a serious threat to agricultural production and off-farm economic activities in the affected region. In China, over 50 million tons of agricultural production was lost due to drought of 2000. The monetary losses in Iran during extensive 19992000 droughts were estimated at US$ 3500 million. In India, severe droughts affecting more than 40% of the countrys geographical area occurred 6 times since 1918 and during pre-Green revolution period, losses in food grain production due to drought used to be as high as 25% of total produce. In southwest Asia as a region, more than 100 million people get affected during extensive droughts.

The ability of the local communities and governments in developing countries and international relief agencies to deal with droughts is constrained by the absence of reliable data and tools, information networks and the professional and institutional capacities. The important shift is necessary in drought management policies in general a shift form contingent drought relief to drought preparedness. Water harvesting and conservation measures should be seen in this context of proactive drought management approach as a measure of risk control.

change from area to area. Meteorological Droughts are normally induced by natural causes. Several types of weather changes can alter the normal rainfall pattern in an area and cause drought. Water that evaporates from the ocean is brought inland by the wind to the regions where it is needed. Droughts can also occur when air currents do not flow their normal pattern or cycle and do not bring clouds to the area that requires rainfall.

Agricultural Drought
Agricultural drought mainly effects food production and farming. Agricultural drought and precipitation shortages bring soil water deficits, reduced ground water or reservoir levels, and so on. Deficient topsoil moisture at planting may stop germination, leading to low plant populations.

Drought is a long period with no rain or with less rainfall than normal for a given area. Drought usually originates from a deficiency of precipitation (rainfall) over an extended period of time, resulting in water shortage for some activity or group. It may last for a few months or in some cases many years. Also, drought is a normal, recurrent feature of climate, and not a rare or sudden event. It can lead to an acute shortage of water, which is caused by deficiency of surface and subsurface water. Drought is a recurring natural climatic event, which stems from the lack of precipitation over an extended period of time from a season to several years. It is considered to be the most complex, but least understood natural hazard, affecting more people than any other hazard (Hagman, 1984). Being normal feature of climate, its recurrence is inevitable. It occurs in all geographical regions, but its impacts and frequency are more pronounced in arid and semi-arid regions (e.g. Baluchistan and Sindh provinces in Pakistan; western and southern lowlands of Afghanistan; parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat states in India; large parts in Iran, China, Australia and sub-Saharan Africa). Drought extremity is frequently characterized according to the deficiency of rainfall. In India, a severe drought is defined as the condition in which more than 51 per cent of rainfall deficiency prevails in more than 20 per cent of the geographical area under study. Every drought is a meteorological drought, but definitions of various droughts are mainly centered around the demand and supply of water for different sectors. The following are the typical classification of droughts.

Hydrological Drought
Hydrological drought is associated with the effects of periods of precipitation shortages on water supply. Water in hydrologic storage systems such as reservoirs and rivers are often used for multiple purposes such as flood control, irrigation, recreation, navigation, hydropower, and wildlife habitat. Competition for water in these storage systems escalates during drought and conflicts between water users increase significantly.

Socioeconomic Drought
Socioeconomic drought occurs when the demand for an economic good exceeds supply as a result of a weather-related shortfall in water supply. The supply of many economic goods, such as water, forage, food grains, fish, and hydroelectric power, depends on weather. Due to variability of climate, water supply is sufficient in some years but not satisfactory to meet human and environmental needs in other years. The demand for economic goods is increasing as a result of increasing population. Supply may also increase because of improved production efficiency and technology. The major causes of agricultural droughts in the Indian and zone are its geographic location not favouring abundant monsoon rainfall, poor quality and excessive depth of groundwater limiting its use for irrigation, absence of perennial rivers and forests, poor water holding capacity of soils, arid huge drawl of limited groundwater resources. Because of lack of substantial irrigation facilities, the agriculture is mostly dependent on rainfall. The increased pressure of both human (400%) and livestock (127%) population during 89

Meteorological Drought
Meteorological drought is the amount of dryness and the duration of the dry period. Atmospheric conditions that result in deficiencies of precipitation

twentieth century has put tremendous pressure on land, and surface and groundwater resources. Therefore, the impact of drought is felt much more severely in the arid region compared to other parts of the country. As the water storage is dependent on the scanty and erratic rainfall, the duration of availability of water in surface water resources is reduced significantly in drought years. In drought affected areas, the groundwater table is declining @0.2 to 0.4 m/annum in almost threefourth of the region, consequently shallow wells dry up during droughts and deep wells become deeper. Also the quality of groundwater deteriorates and sometimes the concentration of undesirable substances such as fluoride and nitrate increase to harmful/toxic levels. Grazing herds of animals quickly remove the scanty grass cover that come up with meagre rainfall, thus aggravating the problems of soil erosion and desertification. Widespread crop failures lead to acute shortage of food and fodder. Both human and livestock suffer from malnutrition and consequently become victim of host of diseases. As most of the people of this region depend on agriculture and pastoralism, drought leads to decline in income and employment opportunities. Large-scale migration with livestock or in search of employment is a common feature during prolonged droughts. The effects of droughts may be categorized in terms of Economic, Environmental, or Social as listed below.

Loss of hydroelectric power Loss of navigability of rivers and canals.

Environmental Effects
Increased desertification Damage to animal species Reduction and degradation of fish and wildlife habitat Lack of feed and drinking water Disease Increased predation. Loss of wildlife in some areas and too many in others Increased stress to endangered species Damage to plant species Increased number and severity of fires Wind and water erosion of soils

Social Effects
Food shortages Loss of human life from food shortages, heat, sui cides, violence Mental and physical stress Water user conflicts Political conflicts Social unrest Public dissatisfaction with government regarding drought response Inequity in the distribution of drought relief Loss of cultural sites Reduced quality of life which leads to changes in lifestyle Increased poverty Population migrations

Economic Effects
Loss of national economic growth, slowing down of economic development Damage to crop quality, less food production Increase in food prices Increased importation of food (higher costs) Insect infestation Plant disease

Loss from dairy and livestock production Unavailability of water and feed for livestock which leads to high livestock mortality rates Range fires and Wild land fires Damage to fish habitat, loss from fishery production Income loss for farmers and others affected Unemployment from production declines Loss to recreational and tourism industry 90

1. Drought is a natural hazard, it has a slow onset, and it evolves over months or even years. It may affect a large region and causes little structural damage. Drought impacts are generally more severe on livestock than on human beings. The impacts of drought can be reduced through preparedness and mitigation. Some of the preparedness and mitigation measures are

1. Water Conservation and Vegetation Water conservation is the simplest and most useful measure. By preventing misuse of water and encourage recycling of water the problem can be tackled to a little extent. Some Water conservation measures are: Ensure that the overhead tank never over flows. Repair leaking taps immediately Try to make reuse of water for activities like watering fields and bathing animals. To minimize the suffering of human and livestock, relief measures are taken by the respective State Governments and NGOS on a large scale. These measures mainly aim at provision of drinking water, supply of food grains through Public DistributionSystem at subsidized rates, supply of food arid fodder for livestock, human and livestock healthcare, etc. Efforts to create direct and indirect wage employment through food for work barely sustain the living of the rural poor who suffer most due to drought. However, some longterm preventive measures need to be given increased attention for integrated development of drought-prone areas and to tackle the problem on permanent basis. Some of these direct measures are long-term forecast of monsoon, suitable lad use system, water harvesting, soil and water conservation, contingency crop planning, adoption arid improved technologies for dryland crops, efficient irrigation methods, enrichment of cereal straw as fodder, etc. In addition to these, human and livestock Population pressure needs to be reduced through education, alteration ways of employment generation arid disposal of unproductive livestock. As water is the scarce resource in the Indian arid zone, efficient irrigation technologies like sprinkler and drip system should be popularized which aim at minimizing production per unit of irrigation water. Adoption of improved agronomic practices like use of improved varieties, timely weed control, use of fertilizers along with farm yard manure, in-situ rainwater harvesting, etc. can give good yields even in below normal rainfall years. Cultivation of water intensive crops should be discouraged. Environmental improvements help to restore ecology in the region. Vegetation Cover helps the rain water to seep underground. This would increase the water 91

table and over the time precipitation is also increased due to the vegetation cover. Besides natural resources, livestock and permanent Vegetation Such as grasses and trees are strengths for survival of mankind in the arid regions. Management of grasslands with Lasiurus Sindicus, Cenchrus ciliaris arid Cenchrus setigerus and top feed specie such as Prosopis cineraria, Acacia sengal and Tecornella undulata need priority attention. Such a silvi-pasture system survives annual droughts and provides rich fodder. Quality of fodder particularly the wheat straw given to cattle during drought is usually very poor. The fodder quality can be improved through urea/ molasses treatment, thus improving animal health and productivity with very little investment. Management of common property resources such as grazing lands, dams, village ponds, etc. needs top priority by the people for themselves to combat drought in and regions. 2. Water Storage A long term defense against drought is construction of dams and reservoirs for artificial storage of water. This water is then supplied to the water supply source through these storage reservoirs. Water is stored n the reservoirs during the high rainfall time and then used during the lean rainfall period. Village Ponds and Tanks are also good strategies to combat effects of droughts. No one understands the value of single drop of water better than the desert dwellers. Rainwater harvesting is traditional way of life in arid regions. Various techniques of rainwater harvesting have been developed/refined by research workers. Improved designs of water harvesting structures have also been developed. These technologies should be popularized among the people of this region. Utilizing flash floods/ surplus rainwater for artificial recharge of groundwater to augment the dwindling water table is need of the hour. Integrated watershed management, which aims at utilizing the rainfall wherever it falls should be the unit for planning and implementation of the development programmes. The measures like afforestation, pasture development, livestock management, field crops, water Storage, etc. are undertaken in the watershed areas identified as suitable for Such measures. The capacity of these ponds and reservoirs will decrease due to the deposition of silt which is carried with the water that comes to the reservoirs. This gets settled at the bottom. Thus Periodic cleaning of these reservoirs is necessary as the capacity of these ponds, reservoirs etc will decrease by the deposition of silt which is carried it water at the

bottom. 3. Watershed Management The land area that sheds water into a particular river is called its watershed. The surface runoff from this area ultimately finds its way to the river. When watershed of the river is heavily forested, the surface runoff is less. Roots of the trees and littered leaves on the ground help in absorbing water. However in deforested areas, the run off from the watershed is considerable. Water here is not retained in the watershed and thus flows into its river and then to the sea. This leads to less groundwater replenishment and the wells also get dry during lean season. It is therefore important to grow more and more trees where ever possible or build embankments which will also help p to reduce soil erosion. The root cause of weak monsoon in India is related to the widespread, persistent atmospheric subsidence, which results from the general circulation of atmosphere. Better understanding and mathematical modeling of the monsoon phenomenon would be very helpful in early long-term forecast of monsoon to enable planners and arid farmers to plan accordingly. With the increased pressure oil land, marginal lands are being brought under cultivation, which is a disastrous trend. Concerted efforts have to be made to adopt Suitable land use systems keeping in consideration tile rainfall, soil type and need of the people. Growing of crops, fruits, trees and grasses various combinations minimize the risk of crop failure and provide stability to farm income. Suitable combinations of these components for different rainfall zones and soil types should be preferred over traditional crop cultivation alone. 4. Rainwater Harvesting Rainwater harvesting is the collection of rainwater. Rainwater thus collected can be stored for either direct use or can be recharged in to ground. In other words it implies catching rainwater for use at the place where it falls. Rainwater harvesting via roof top and ground catchments is an ancient technique of providing domestic water supply (Agarwal and Narain, 1997) and it is still used, especially in tropical islands and in semi-arid rural areas. It is a best option and preferred as an alternative source of domestic water supply where the ground water is inaccessible due to certain technological & environmental problem. State Governments in India have been encouraging the people to adopt the domestic rooftop water harvesting through 92

subsidized schemes. The water thus collected can meet the immediate domestic needs. Rainwater harvesting has assumed overriding significance all the more in view of the depleting ground water levels during the recent droughts in various parts of India (Ariyabandu, 2001). There are two methods to store rainwater namely Roof top water harvesting, and recharging ground water. In the Rooftop water harvesting, the rainwater is collected using house roof and stored it to in storage tank. Water from roof top rainwater harvesting can be directly used as drinking purpose. On the other hand, Recharging ground water through tube wells can be achieved by diverting the farm water towards the tube well through filter system. In rainy season all rainwater will go under the tube well. There are still many problems that occur in rain water harvesting need good technical solutions. Rainwater harvesting system for domestic purpose has been operated and managed well but for the irrigation projects, awareness and capacity building is necessary for most of the farmers. Demonstration, training on the irrigation methodology, as well as the market service should be carried out to help the rural households to get better profit from the Rainwater harvesting irrigation system.

Water Scarcity and Public Health Issues

Reclaimed water is an alternative water resource. Water reuse can be a tool in managing scarce water resources. Recycled water is being used as substitute for many traditional non potable uses and for sources that provide raw water for drinking water production (Table 1). Such use can help conserving drinking water by replacing it or the water taken from drinking water sources, and by enhancing sources such as reservoirs and groundwater. The improvements in treatment of wastewater have opened new possibilities to reuse treated wastewater. Hence, the indirect recycling of water used in many parts of the world has been largely practiced for many years. Although treated wastewater has been an important mean of replenishing river flows in many countries and the subsequent use of such water for a range of purposes (Fig.1) constitutes indirect reuse of wastewater, it is becoming increasingly attractive to use reclaimed or treated wastewater more directly. In addition, reclamation of wastewater is attractive in terms of sustainability since wastewater requires disposal if it is not to be reclaimed. Treated wastewater may be used as an alternative source of water for agricultural irrigation.

Agriculture represents up to 60 % of the global water demand while the requirements arising from increasing urbanization such as watering urban recreational landscapes and sports facilities, also creates a high demand. The treated wastewater can be efficiently utilized in agriculture, irrigation of green spaces, including those used for recreation in which individuals may come into contact with the ground. Concerns related to the reuse of treated wastewater are similar to the reuse of sludge, in particular the risks of contamination. Treatment plants are typically only equipped for biological treatment which does not eliminate the chemical substances in the waste water.

In urban environments, treated wastewater may also be used for fire-fighting purposes or street cleaning. In industry, the use of recycled or reclaimed water has extensively developed since the 1970s, for the dual purpose of decreasing the purchase of water and avoiding the discharge of treated wastewater under increasingly stringent emission regulations. This trend started with wash-water recycling but now incorporates the treatment of all types of process waters. Virtually, all industrial sectors are now recycling water, with examples in pulp and paper, oil refinery, etc. Consequently, together with overall shifts in the industrial sector, a 30 % reduction of industrial water consumption could be achieved in many developing countries.

Table 1: Water recycling and reuse definitions

Use Reclaimed water Reuse Recycling Potable substitution Non-potable reuse Indirect recycling or indirect potable reuse Direct potable reuse Definition Treated wastewater suitable for beneficial purposes such as irrigation Utilization of appropriately treated wastewater (reclaimed water) for some further beneficial purpose Reuse of treated wastewater Reuse of appropriately treated reclaimed water instead of potable water for non potable applications Use of reclaimed water for other than drinking water, for example, irrigation Use of reclaimed water for potable supplies after a period of storage in surface or a groundwater conversion of wastewater directly into drinking water without any intermediate storage

Figure 1. Different applications of reuse


Final Remarks
When entering the new millennium, India has put forward the overall goal of setting up a welloff society in the whole country. Thus the rain water harvesting approach has faced serious challenges to meet this goal. Can the rain water harvesting approach help the population in the rural mountainous area to raise their life to a standard conforming to this goal? For example, the current amount of water supply by the rain water harvesting system can only meet the demand of human basic need. Can the rain water harvesting system be enlarged to produce enough water for a much more comfortable life? Quality issue will be another

challenge. Some institutes have studied the water demand of rural household with low, medium and high standard and the possibility of meeting the demand with rainwater harvesting system. To meet the goal, it is of first importance to reduce the water consumption and at the same time to keep the necessary standard of a well off life. Water in the rainwater harvesting system is very limited it should be used in a conservational way. In the rural area, the dry ecosan toilet can be good solution to avoid using of any water for the toilet. For the production water use, one of the criteria for selection of crop should be the maximum output of unit production. Water from the rainwater harvesting system should be used to irrigate the high value crops.


Agarwal, A. and Narain, S.: Dying Wisdom: The Rise, fall an Potential of Indias Traditional Water Harvesting System. Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi (1997). Ariyabandu, R. D. S.: Varieties of water harvesting. In: Making Water Everybodys Business: Policy and Practice of Water Harvesting. Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi (2001). Sharma, P. C. and Sen., P. K.: Domestic roof (rain) water harvesting technology. In: Proceedings of Delhi Workshop on Roof Water Harvesting. Delhi (2001). Water Resources of India and World, Newsletter on Fresh Water Year, 2003. Ministry of Water R.


Impact of Cost Effective Water Harvesting Techniques on Artificial Groundwater Recharge Through Open Wells and Recharge from Natural Streams

The acute water scarcity of the Western Ghats region of Tamil Nadu coupled with soil erosion and siltation of reservoir makes not only the fertile soils of the cultivated land unproductive but also makes many people in eastern sides of hills consisting of tribal population to the poverty driven subsistence livelihood. Below poverty Line conditions, destabilisation of agricultural base and employment problems are noticed in general. The rainfall in the rain shadow parts of Western Ghats region varies from 600 to 800 mm. Though this rain is nearly adequate for drinking and agricultural production, due to the inadequate treatment and improper in for large parts of the area, even the drinking water is not available in foothills. Many towns, depending on river flow originate from hills. Though there are many Central and State government watershed development projects operating in this area, most of them are confined to drainage line treatment measures with limited application in the cultivated lands. Moreover, there is lack of adequate maintenance of development measures after the project is withdrawn. Given meager or nil participation of local 95

people, limited water availability in farmers holdings, the sustainable agricultural production measures with farming system perspective is an essential one. This is possible only by improving hydrological regime of the area for the enhanced agricultural production and income generation. Hence, a proper agricultural land use by growing horticulture / forest species with increased soil moisture retention storage and suggesting water harvesting measures for improved ground water regime is the main aim of this project funded by science of society division of DST ,GOI.Which may likely bring additional net revenue for the farmers. Three tribal villages have been selected and the holistic water harvesting (Terrain of village habitats, roads and cultivated fields) mechanisms are generated with the involvement of people from the planning to maintenance stage. The selected villages are: (i) (ii) (iii) Tholampalayam Neelampathi Mottiur

There are many wells in these villages having yields range from 0.5 to 2.0 Lps and the depth of water table is 20 to 30 m below ground level in bore wells and 8 12 m in open wells. The water stored lasts only for 6 or 7 months in a year with 1 to 2 hours daily supply with 5 Hp Pump sets. The aquifers present are mostly unconfined nature. Some wells were abandoned / dried. The people particularly tribal farmers often migrate from these areas to far off distance for about 4-5 months or remain idle, facing a lot of food crisis and poverty issues. Under these circumstance even if a well with common lands available is properly utilized, a part of revenue through herbal/ horticultural plants can be generated & maintained. To accomplish this, a comprehensive live water harvesting and conservative water use model in each selected village farm holdings with total involvement of people has been developed through this project.

(i) Quantification of Surface Runoff Quantifying maximum excess surface runoff at farm level from long-term data for monsoon seasons in three tribal villages located in Western Ghats of foot hills was carried out by curve number method after analysis the long term rainfall data of 27 years. Rainfall Data and Runoff Analysis Monthly rainfall data for 27 years from 1979 to 2005 was obtained from Avinasilingam Krishi vigyan Kendra, Vivekanandhapuram nearly 10 km away from the project area. Rainfall was analysised seasonwise viz., Northeast monsoon (Oct-Jan), Southwest monsoon (June-Sep), summer season (Feb-May) and annual rainfall for 27 (1979-2005) years and average monthly rainfall was calculated. The maximum (1466.68 mm) and minimum (588.40 mm) rainfall were received during the years 1979 and 1989 respectively. The average annul rainfall for 27 years data was 848.11 mm. During pre monsoon period the average rainfall received was 211.65 mm. It was 24.96 % of average annual rainfall. The average rainfall received during Northeast monsoon and Southwest monsoon was 440.52 mm and 195.94 mm. The percentage of rainfall received during


This project has been carried out in farmers field with their involvement in planning and implementation and with their contribution in terms of labour / cash to a level of 9 to 11 % of the cost of water harvesting mechanisms, using locally available materials & techniques.

Table 1: Runoff Estimation (January to December)

Month January February March April May June July August September October November December Rainfall (P) Well-1 20.71 19.24 39.20 82.82 70.38 23.16 20.96 37.74 114.08 210.47 173.30 39.04 0.54 0.74 0.63 14.32 9.00 0.27 0.50 0.46 31.08 149.76 115.15 7.74 Runoff (Q) (mm) Well-II 0.27 0.42 1.10 16.77 10.89 0.09 0.24 0.87 34.81 155.69 120.60 9.28 Well-1II 0.22 0.36 1.23 17.34 11.34 0.06 0.20 0.98 35.66 155.72 120.63 9.29

The tribal villages selected lie in the foothills or lower range of Western ghats in Coimbatore district.

Northeast monsoon and Southwest monsoon was 51.94 % and 23.1 % of average annual rainfall. Frequency analysis of 27 years annual rainfall was done by Weibulls. distribution. For 1, 2, 5, 10 and 27 years return period 96

the rainfall received was 588.40,818, 945,1100 and 1467 mm respectively. (ii) Collection mechanism (a) Design and execution of most efficient hydraulic sections with vegetated open channels and pipes for conveying the excess surface runoff and runoff from roof catchments safely into the wells located in farms/ villages outskirts using both scientific data and heuristic knowledge of local people. (b) Development of economical filter mechanism for screening sediments/ silts/ eroded materials entering into the open wells (abandoned/ partially used). (c) Evolving efficient and economical design methods of Recharge tube wells, injection wells and other runoff injection techniques into the bore wells wherever necessary. Proposed technologies are different from existing ones (a) Excess runoff collected from upstream area is channalised through an economical conveyance system to a filter bed which are connected to ground water wells. (b) Vegetative water ways and the minimum length of pipe conduits with the varying economical cross sections based upon the hydraulic design were employed in this study. (c) In this approach, channel erosion was less. The silt materials conveyed to the filters was also minimum. These techniques cost are effective (a) Moreover, costlier constructional materials meant for drinking water filters are being used in the already existing techniques whereas the locally available stone materials were used with proper filter bed design for meeting irrigation needs in this project. (iii) Field Monitoring of Soil Moisture / Groundwater Recharge and Quality Installing observation wells/ use of nearby wells in different directions of test wells and observation of water table data, retention period of water and Quality improvement (EC& pH of groundwater). Analyzing the zone of influence of recharge effect using tracer technique. 97

Monitoring soil moisture data and the effective zones of moisture distribution from the developed wells. Sediment deposition in collection stream / channels. Water table fluctuation specific yield approach to quantify the ground water recharge and recuperation studies have been taken up for assessing the performance of wells. Also period of availability of water in wells before and after imposing the treatment would be monitored. (iv) Analysis of Data and Allocation Strategy Analyzing the existing cropping systems and crop water requirements for matching with the maximum possible Ground water supplies including the recharge facility by suitably allocating the areas under different crops. Allocation area strategy arrived by scientific method shall be advocated to the tribal farmers for adoption.

Low-Cost Recharge Structures Implemented

(a) stone filters. Vegetated open channels with inverted

(b) Composite earthen and lined channels with an array of silt traps and with a separate collection storage filter bed. (c) systems. Telescopic pipe conduits and collection

(d) Recharge tube wells with sloped section casing pipes wrapped with coir fibre and gravel pack. (e) Recirculation arrangement of over flow water for wells located in low-lying tracts.

Field Work Done

Five open wells in Neelampathy and Motiyur were selected with tribal farmers. The water availability in three farmers wells are very less, not even meeting the crop water demands for a crop season of four months. Their lively Good condition is very pathetic and their income level is below poverty level. In order to enhance the annual water availability for a major period in a year, channeling the runoff water to this wells have been planned by arranging group discussion of local farmers along with the five beneficiaries. The locally available stones of different size were collected with participation of beneficiaries. Proper inlet and outlet pipes were placed

in position inside the filter bed so that the harvested rain water from the upstream fields of the well were collected, filtered and then pass into the wells.

cooperation by contributing approximately 10 % for this project. (v) One lady farmer was also very much cooperated in first phase itself, though she did not receive ay formal education.

People Participation
(i) Initially group meetings were arranged to understand the project by the local community with the help of Panchayat raj President and other local leaders. (ii) Baseline information was generated and thereby problems and felt needs with people were analyzed by group discussion which made them to give the willingness to participate in the programme. (iii) It has been shown the impact of such technology to these tribal community people for taking them to the nearby area where one recharge well is functioning effectively by arranging exposure visits. (iv) Finally many people were interested to have this technology to be implemented in their field by contributing their labour and rendering requisite

Base Line Information about Tribal Farmers

Farmer Name : Mrs.Rangammal (Neelampathi Village) Total area : 2ac Irrigated area :0.7 ac Fallow Open Well : 1.3 ac : 5 HP, discharge 30,000 lit/hr : 40 mm (01-15

Water Requirement per Irrigation days and 75-90 days) : 50 mm (16-75 days)

Table 2: Water availability in Mrs. Rangammal field

Sl.No 1 2 3 4 5 6 Crop Period 01-15 days 16-30 days 31-45 days 46-60 days 61-75 days 75-90 days Total Water Demand (m3) 113.3 141.6 141.6 141.6 141.6 113.3 793.0

Water demand and supply for Vegetables

Water Supply (m3) 112.5 112.5 105.0 105.0 105.0 52.5 592.5

Daily available pumping period (minutes) 45 45 30 30 30 15

Farmer Name Total area Irrigated area Fallow Open Well

: : : : :

Mr. Rangan (Neelampathi Village) 4 ac 2 ac 2 ac 5 HP, discharge 32,000 lit/hr

Table 3: Water availability in Mrs. Rangan field

Sl.No 1 2 3 4 5 6 Crop Period 1-15 days 16-30 days 31-45 days 46-60 days 61-75 days 75-90 days Total Water Availability (m3) 120 120 80 80 80 56 536


Table 4: Proposed and executed Crop Plan in field

Sl.NoFarmer Name 1. 2. Mrs.Rangammal Mr.Rangan Crop Banana with Drip System Vegetables Banana with Drip System Amla Vegetables / Fodder crops Area (ac) 0.25 0.45 0.25 1 0.75


Q = Well yield m / hr

Hydraulic Performance of Wells

Results and Discussion

Costlier constructional materials meant for drinking water filters are being used in the already existing techniques whereas the locally available stone materials was used with proper filter bed for meeting irrigation needs. Under these circumstances even if a well with common lands available is properly utilized, a part of revenue through less water consuming horticultural plants can be generated & maintained. Vegetative waterways with silt traps and the minimum length of pipe conduits with the varying economical cross sections based upon the hydraulic design were employed. In this approach, channel erosion was less. The silt material conveyed to the filters was also minimum. The existing long- term water harvesting technologies of ground water recharge particularly through tanks and ponds consume a huge quantum of evaporation loss during storage. As the harvested water is directly let into the aquifers, the transmission efficiency of water through fissures and cracks In a similar hydrogeological condition at Somayampalayam (nearby area), the single abandoned well recharge technique through this method resulted in more available water with a pumping duration of 1 hr per day by raising water table of 15 m in a deep well
Well 1 Well Yield (m3/hr) Well 2 Well Yield (m3/hr) 10.67 7 32.49 9 3.13 9.20 11.14 3.05 6.27 7.01 12.93 30.68 37.15 13.72 26.00 9 3.96 5.50 5.80 11.86 16.97 18.74 Control Well Well Yield (m3/hr)

Table 4: Experimentation in Observation wells

Farmers name Depth of Well Depth of Water (H) Depth of Water Pumped (h1) Depth of Water after Recuperated (h2) Total time of pumping (T) Radius of well Area of Well (A) Well Yield (Q) Calculated discharge Measured discharge Radius of influence Doraiswamy 18.29m 15.24m 6.2m 4.5m 2.9 hrs 2.4 m 18.27 sq.m 8.47 lit/ sec 7.1 lit/ sec 114 m

Table 5: Testing of Wells in farmers field

Sl.No. Particulars

Open Well Depth (m) 13.72

2 3 4 5

Area of the Well (m2) Depth of Water before Implementation (m) Depth of Water after Implementation 20th Oct 2006 (m) Depth of Water after Implementation 10th Nov 2006 (m)

7.07 3.67 9.14 10.06


of 60 m for eight months in a year. One hour extra pumping hour with enhanced water availability (5 HP pumpset) resulted in approximately additional irrigated area of 0.4 ha with conventional method of irrigation. If it is conjunctively operated with modern irrigation systems like drip, it will irrigate twice, thereby irrigated area will be doubled (0.8 ha additional area per farmer). In short, the technology package would be convergence of technologies on water harvesting.

Net increased income = Rs. 1.8 lakhs / acre = Rs. 4.5 lakhs / ha She has never seen such a huge financial benefit as related from her past agriculture profession.The net annual farm income before intervention project was only Rs. 25,000 to 30,000 /- from her entire field of 2 ha II. Mr. Rangan (Farmer) Gross Income Cost of chilly cultivation Net Income = Rs. 21,500 = Rs. 10,000 = Rs. 11,500

Benefits Derived From the DST Project on Water Harvesting and Ground Water Recharge (For the Tribal Community of Karamadai Block of Coimbatore District)
Out of ten wells selected for the detailed study on the water table fluctuation with reference to water harvesting and storing the excess runoff water in the aquifers, five wells were installed with water harvesting structures and low cost filter mechanisms. Owing to the enhanced ground water recharge due to water harvesting and letting the filtered runoff water directly into the open wells, the cropped area has been increased and thereby the net income of farmers have also been increased. Two specific cases of tribal farmers under the project and the success towards the improved income as a consequence of the result of the project is briefly given below: I. Mrs. Rangammal (Lady farmer) (i) Additional pumping duration with 5 HP in the existing well pumpset due to the water harvesting intervention = 1 hour (ii) Area under irrigation after the technological interventions = 0.8 ha Crop cultivated with Drip System = 0.4 ha (Tissue culture Grandnaine variety of banana) (iii) Yield of 1200 plants from 0.4 ha = 36000 kg. Gross Income @ Rs. 6.00 per kg. = 2,16,000 Cost of Cultivation including crop management and harvest @ Rs. 30 per plant = 36,000 (Net Income ) = Rs.1,80,000/-

Net income from 0.1 ha Banana = Rs. 45,000 Total Net Income = Rs. 56,500

Benefits for Mr.Rangan

1. Uncultivated dry area is brought under irrigation due to enhanced water availability in the wells. 2. 0.2 ha area was cultivated with chilies and 0.1 ha banana with drip irrigation brought under the cultivation. 3. Likely net income from additional area installed is Rs. 56,500/- from 0.3 ha. III. By seeing the successful results, the nearby farmers, they are voluntarily approaching to get the technology package and three farmers have already started doing similar water conservation and efficient utilization of well water. (Otherwise most wells are dried during summer season due to shallow depth and unconfined nature).

Natural recharge techniques

The study of water table in one year indicates the well yield is increased due to bio check dams artificial recharge through abandoned wells and existing irrigation wells. An earthen embankment with vegetation (Agare americana and notchi) across the natural streams and diversion of excess runoff through channel and further letting into the same stream downstream of the earthen barrier across the stream were constructed in series in two natural gullies. This could facilitate improving of water table last for 8 to 9 months when the earthen embankments have been properly located at hard strata. This is the most cost effective structure (Rs.5000/-) the

Mrs. Rangammal field 0.4 ha (1, 80,000 Rs.)


Table.8. Quantum of water recharged

S.No. 1. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Past 30 years (1975 to November 2005) After developmental work December 06 January 07 February 07 March 07 April 07 May 07 June 07 July 07 August 07 September 07 October 07 Month Depth of water in the well (m) Nil 22.50 20.90 19.20 17.30 15.20 14.60 15.20 10.50 7.50 5.00 10.00

cost of similar structure and dimensions costs out of to be Rs 50000 to 65000. The size of earthen embankments called bio check dam adopted across the gullies are given below: Bottom Width Top Width Height Slope =18m = 2.7m =3.5m =1:1.5

the stream, m Based up on the field investigation, the K value was estimated as 0.7m/day; Bw = 15 m, dc= 1.6, Bw/dc = 9.375 Now with respect to the x and y values the shape of the stream is given by Polubarinova-Kochina (1962) as follows

Recharge from streams

An assessment was made to quantity the recharge from the natural stream with benefits as these is considerable increase in water table in the open wells. Poulbarinora Kochinas (1962) inverse method was employed to quantify the rate of seepage from the perimeter of the stream (per unit length of the stream) when the aquifer is assumed to extend downward to a highly pervious stratum at infinity and also impervious lower boundary of the aquifer. The rate of seepage q per unit length of the stream extended downwards to a highly pervious stream at infinity through its perimeter is given by the equation q = K (Bw + 2dc) Where, q= K= Rate of seepage, m3/day Hydraulic conductivity, m/day (1)

Table 9: Stream boundary co ordinates as per equation
Y -dc2-y2 (Bw+2dc)/n cos-1(y/dc) 1.6 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.2 1.0 0 -0.556 -0.774 -0.932 -1.058 -1.248 X 0 2.059 2.927 3.605 4.186 5.188 0 1.503 2.153 2.673 3.128 3.940

Plotting the stream boundary in accordance with

the above equation with the x and y values as tabulated below When the lower boundary is impervious at infinity, then the rate of seepage q per unit length of the stream can be obtained by the following equation q = K (Bw 2dc) (3)

B w = Top width of the stream, m dc = Depth of water at the centre of 101 (4)

Then plotting the stream boundary in accordance with the above equation with the x and y values as tabulated below Table 10: Stream boundary Co-ordinate obtained when impervious layer is at lower boundary
Y 1.6 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.2 1.0 dc2 y2 0 0.556 0.774 0.932 1.058 1.248 (Bw 2dc)/ n cos-1 (y/dc) 0 1.334 1.898 2.337 2.714 3.364 x 0 1.890 2.672 3.269 3.772 4.612

estimated immediately after the three major rainfall events when filtered rainwater was let into the well by measuring depth of water in the well.

Depth of Water Table Rise in The Well

Water table data from the ground surface of the abandoned well prevent in the downstream of the area were observed and presented which showed cumulative recharge effect of all the above mentioned technological measures.

Salient Findings of The Project

Costlier constructional materials meant for drinking water filters are being used in the already existing techniques whereas the locally available stone materials were used with proper filter bed for meeting irrigation needs.
Observed co-

The above two methods could be used for the calculation of the seepage rate but the tabulated values with respect to the equ. (3) are more reliable compared to the equ. (1), so we consider the equ (3) was considered

Table 11: Calculation seepage rate value

SI. No. ordinates Co- ordinates obtained by eqn (2) x 1 0.16 2 3 4 5 6 0 1.503 2.153 2.673 3.128 3.940 y 0.16 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.2 1.0

Co-ordinate obtained when Impervious layer is at lower boundary (4) x 0 1.890 2.672 3.269 3.772 4.612 y 0.16 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.2 1.0

x 0 1.7 2.8 3.1 4.0 4.8

1.5 1.4 1.3 1.2 1.0

for the seepage rate calculations. The shape of stream as estimated by the co-ordinates when the impervious lower boundary (eqn.3) closely matches with the actual observations and hence, the equation 2 was used to quantify the recharge by the actual fields investigations of depth of water in the stream throughout the observation period of 11 months.

Vegetative waterways with silt traps and the minimum length of pipe conduits with the varying economical cross sections based upon the hydraulic design were employed. In this approach, channel erosion was less. The silt material conveyed to the filters was also minimum. The existing long- term water harvesting technologies of ground water recharge particularly through tanks and ponds consume a huge quantum of evaporation loss during storage. As the harvested water is directly let into the aquifers, the transmission efficiency of water through fissures and cracks in rocks for groundwater recharge will be maximum in the this technique due to the elimination of water movement through the vadose zone. In a similar hydrogeological condition at Somayampalayam (nearby area), the single abandoned well recharge technique through this method resulted in more available water with a pumping duration of 1 hr

Quantum of Harvested Rainwater Directly Fed into The Open Un-pumped Abandoned Well
During the study period, three times excess rain water harvested at the downstream of the area was let into the open dried well (two decades dried without any storage) through a filter bed(2x2x2m size)filled with stones and small pebbles. The quantity of water fed into the well were


per day by raising water table of 15 m in a deep well of 60 m for eight months in a year. One hour extra pumping hour with enhanced water availability (5 HP pump set) resulted in approximately additional irrigated area of 0.4 ha with conventional method of irrigation. If it is conjunctively operated with modern irrigation systems like drip, it would irrigate twice, thereby irrigated area would be doubled (0.8 ha additional area per farmer). In short, the technology package would be convergence of technologies on water harvesting and modern water saving irrigation techniques.

through effective water harvesting method with the efficient utilization of harvested water through micro irrigation techniques with appropriate crop selection with bring sustainability of natural resources namely soil and water and will likely improve the farm income Poulbarinova Kochinas (1962) inverse method was employed to quantify the rate of seepage from the perimeter of the stream (per unit length of the stream) when the aquifer is assumed to extend downward to a highly pervious stratum at infinity and also impervious lower boundary of the aquifer. The impervious lower boundary predicted the shape of the stream more accurately and hence, this boundary condition was used to quantify the groundwater recharge in the natural streams. Eleven months water table observations in an abandoned well in the area revealed that there was a substantial increase in groundwater status to a tune 22.5 m due to integrating effect micro cements and the recharge from natural stream with vegetated earthern embankments(bio-checkdams).

The well yield is increased due to artificial recharge through existing irrigation wells in the tribal areas. The comparison of water table data in nearby wells outside the study area indicated that the influence of recharge is limited to below 100 m. Individual farm well recharge


Bianchi, W.C and D.C.Muckel. 1970. Ground water Recharge Hydrology, Agricultural Research Service41-161, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington. Doorenbos, J. and A.H. Kassam. 1979. Yield response to water. Irrigation And Drainage paper No: 33,FAO, Rome, Italy. Polubarinova and Kochina , P.Y. Theory of ground water movement, 1962. Princeton University Press. Princeton, N.J.


Rain Water Harvesting , Recharging And Skimming Tecniques Suitable For Saline Ground Water Tracts Of South India
I. Muthuchamy and M. Raghu babu

In this paper, the research activities carried out on water harvesting, recharging in Aruppukottai centre and skimming activities carried out in the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in India are presented.

aquifer. Hence Improvements in this regard are needed. After studying the topography, soil type, rainfall pattern etc., a model Recharge Research Structure (Percolation pond) was developed at Regional Research Station, Aruppukottai under the Tamil nadu Agricultural University, coimbatore, India. Rain water harvesting and recharging system for Farmstead. Catchment Area A catchment area of 100 acres was delineated inside the farm after careful study of the topography, soil type, and rainfall pattern. The catchment is of good catchment category. The runoff generated in the catchment during rainfall drains towards northern direction of a stretch of 770m East West direction. The run off is collected by means of a trapezoidal earthen channel running to a length of 770m East West direction at the northern downstream side of the catchment. Conveyance Channel The conveyance earthen channel was designed below ground level on the down stream side of the catch-

Artificial Recharge Studies The government schemes for enhancing groundwater recharge from rainwater through measures like contour bunding, percolation tanks, check dams, are being carried out but more scientific evaluations are needed to estimate the effects. Similarly a large-scale programme of artificial recharge through existing dug wells has been initiated in Saurashtra region of Gujarat by a number of non-government organizations and about one lakh dug wells are recharged during every monsoon. Present technique of recharging through dug wells consists of diversion of runoff towards the well through a sediment trapping pit. It has the drawback that the recharge water carries suspended matter which clogs the well and the


ments in East West direction to a stretch of 770 m to collect all the run off produced during rainfall in the catchments area. The earthen conveyance channel was designed as Trapezoidal shape with the cross section of 1m bottom width, 2.64 m top width with 0.9m depth (below ground level) to catch and convey the rainwater to the Recharge pond (Percolation pond) at the Eastern end of the channel. A longitudinal slope of 0.5 in 1000 is maintained in the Trapezoidal earthen channel towards percolation pond in order to drain runoff into percolation pond. A spoil bank was made with the dugout soil on the down stream side of the Trapezoidal channel in order to control the runoff inside the channel during peak flood. The spoil bank was designed to have the dimensions of 1m bottom width, 0.5m top width with 1m height. Excavator (JCB) formed the earthwork excavation and spoil bank simultaneously. The JCB type excavator is suitable for formation of channel below ground level and to form spoil bank simultaneously.

Response Borewells (6 Nos. of Existing Borewell)

Six number of bore wells are there in the vicinity of the percolation pond to utilise the recharged ground water and monitored the watertable trends before and after installation of recharge structure. The rising trends of watertable from well bottom in few wells indicate the influence of recharge structure.

System Profile
The catchment area receives rainfall and generates runoff and this runoff goes towards the conveyance channel and the conveyance channel discharges the runoff to the recharge structure (Percolation pond) and the runoff water is finally impounded in the percolation pond and is allowed to recharge into ground water source. The excess water in the percolation pond goes out and joins to the existing jungle stream through the waste weir. During the travel of runoff water along the conveyance earthen channel it recharges the open well by means of recharge bed created near the open well along the conveyance channel.

Recharge Structure (Percolation Pond)

A Recharge structure (Percolation pond) was designed at the eastern end of the trapezoidal conveyance earthen channel to collect all the runoff produced in the catchment and conveyed through the channel. The recharge structure (Percolation pond) was designed to impound one third of peak runoff produced during the rainy season and throughout the year. The percolation pond can stagnate 3000m3 of rainwater at a time An earthen embankment of size 4.9 m bottom width, 1m top width with 5m height was designed and was formed with the chain type bulldozer for effective consolidation of the embankment for percolation pond. A waste weir was provided to drain excess water from the percolation pond and the excess water goes to the existing jungle stream inside the farm. Six numbers of bore wells are there in the vicinity of the percolation pond to utilise the recharged ground water. Chain type Bulldozer available in the Agricultural Engineering department, Govt. of Tamil Nadu was used for forming percolation pond. The total volume of soil removed was 3107m3 from the place for formation of Recharge structure (Percolation pond). The chain type dozer is suitable for formation of percolation pond. The total surface area of the pond is 3249m2. An amount of Rs. 59,063/was spent to establish the percolation pond.

Roof Water-Harvesting System for Farmstead

Roof Top Catchment Area The rooftop of Trainees hostel building of RRS was selected for the roof water catchment area.The RCC terraced top was already plastered with weathering tiles to prevent leakage and seepage of rainwater. Required very gentle slope was already provided towards outer sides of the wall (Super structure). Necessary rainwater drain outlets were provided. The roof top catchment area is 379m2.

Conveyance (Vertical and Horizontal PVC Pipeline)

The conveyance component of vertical and horizontal pipeline was selected with 110mm OD PVC pipeline with required L bends, T joints and couplings. The rainwater is collected from the rooftop through the rainwater outlet and conveyed vertically downwards along the PVC 110mm pipe fixed on the wall. The vertical conveyance pipes were joined to the horizontal conveyance pipe by means of T joints. The horizontal conveyance pipeline was placed 0.8m below the ground level in order to prevent mechanical damages to the pipeline. The conveyance PVC pipeline was designed


to run for 150m to reach a Filter cum Recharge bed near an existing bore well. The rainwater harvested could run through the conveyance pipe and reach the filter cum recharge bed.

type digging and earth moving machinery can be deployed to establish the Filter cum Recharge bed. System Profile The catchment area receives rainfall and generates runoff and this runoff goes towards the conveyance channel and the conveyance channel discharges the runoff to the percolation pond through the Filter cum Recharge bed established very near to the existing abandoned open well. Thus the Filter cum Recharge bed recharges the harvested rainwater into the groundwater resources, which will be realized in the abandoned open well. Conclusion The recharge effects on ground water resources was being monitored htrough the existing bore wells at the vicinity of the recharge structures for four years friom 2001- 2004.Due to thos the water level in the bore wells rised in the range of 0.6 to 3 m, the EC of the water decreased in the range of 0.5 to 1.5 ds/m and the PH decreased in the range of 1 to 2 in the wells in and around 3KM radius of RRS Research Farm, Arruppukottai, India. Skimming Induced seepage in coastal areas due to nonjudicious pumping gradually diminishes the productivity of agricultural lands. The salt water intrusion problems in coastal regions may occur both on a regional and local scale. The regional effects encompass large areas due to movement of the interface of fresh and saline ground water in an upward and/ or inland direction. The local small scale effects relate to gradual deterioration in ground water quality due to upconing or rise of relatively more saline ground water from deeper levels with in the domain of abstraction wells. Under such a situation, it is imperative not to disturb saline water but selectively skim the fresh water accumulated over the saline aquifer due to recharge from rainfall, irrigation and or canal seepage over the native saline ground water by conventional wells or modified forms of radial wells. Sustainability of fresh ground water under these hydrodynamic conditions is influenced by the interface between the fresh and saline water layers. For stabilization of interface, the management strategies are to be evolved with the present and future demand scenario.

Roof Top Catchment (Trainees Hostel)

A Filter cum Recharge bed of 320m3 capacity was designed and established below ground level adjacent to an existing bore well. The recharged rainwater could reach the groundwater resources through the Filter cum Recharge Bed. The Filter cum Recharge bed was established with the help of JCB type excavator. The JCB type excavator is most suitable for establishing filter cum Recharge bed below ground level.The recharge effect on groundwater resources is being monitored through two numbers of existing bore wells at the vicinity of the Filter cum Recharge bed.

System Profile
The Roof top catchment area receives rainfall and generates runoff and this runoff goes to the vertical conveyance PVC 110mm OD pipes and joins to the horizontal conveyance PVC pipeline of 110mm OD buried below ground level. The rainwater in the horizontal conveyance pipeline goes to the Filter cum Recharge bed created adjacent to the existing bore wells and percolates into the ground water resources to augment the bore wells.

Abandoned Open Well Recharge System for Farmstead

Abandoned Open Well An open well available in the RRS farm was utilized for recharging the open well through the wayside Filter cum Recharge bed attached with the conveyance earthern channel. The open well dimensions are 7.32m 10.78m 12m. Filter Cum Recharge Bed The conveyance Trapezoidal earthen channel was aligned in such a way that the channel was attached with a Filter cum Recharge bed established very near to the existing abandoned open well. The harvested rainwater can stagnate in the Filter cum Recharge bed during the travel in the conveyance earthen channel. The Filter cum Recharge bed was designed to have 112m3 of rainwater and established below ground level. The JCB


Skimming Structures
Various skimming well configurations such as single, multi-strainer, radial collector, compound and recirculation wells are possible to exploit the fresh water overlying the saline ground water. A single tube well/ filter point is commonly used in unconfined aquifers. While using these wells in saline ground water regions, well penetration is deep into the fresh water layer with a large gap between bottom of well and fresh- saline water interface. A multi-strainer well, which is relatively shallower penetration than a single well, can be used to harvest fresh water layers of restricted depth. In Andhra Pradesh, about 1.74 lakh ha coastal sandy soils are characterized by good quality water floating over saline ground water at shallow depths of 0.56.0m, which cannot be extracted by with conventional tube wells or deep wells. These soils occur in a 10 km wide and 972km long eastern coastal strip extended from Ichapuram in Srikakulam district to Tada in Nellore district. During summer months the water table in these soils fall up to 1.8 3.0 m, below ground level (bgl). The ground waterget recharged during the monsoon season and accumulates in the sandy soils. By middle of November the ground water rises up to 0.3 to 0.5 m bgl in most of the belts.

Improved Doruvu Technology

To overcome the situation, the skimming well technology popularly known as Improved Doruvu Technology was developed to skim the limited fresh water floating with out disturbing the hydro-dynamic conditions. With this system, sufficient water is expected to be made available to rabi and plantation crops and optimum usage of water through sprinkler and drip irrigation methods can be practiced. Depending on the watertable head above the collector pipes, the collectors are continuously charged with fresh water throughout their length and about 2 -15 lps of water flows into the sump under gravity. About 64 such skimming wells covering 141 ha cultivable area were installed in 17 villages of Guntur and Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh. Three Skimming wells were exclusively installed in Repalle Mandal of Guntur district for drinking water purpose. Under National Agricultural Technology Project, the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University introduced the skimming technology in Prataparamapuram and Vettangudi of Nagapatnam and Myladuthrai districts by installing 2 wells after detailed investigations on a pilot scale. Also few shallow depth multi-strainer wells were installed in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu coasts during the recent years for study purpose. For construction of Skimming well, a sump of 1.2- 1.8 m (4-6 dia) width and 4.5- 5.5 m depth is to be installed in the identified location. On either side of the sump, a trench is made and 100 mm (4 dia) corrugated PVC pipe (CPVC) with 5 rows of perforations is laid at a depth of 2.1 4.0 m over a lenth of 35-50m. At the designed depth holes are made to the sump and the CPVC pipe collector lines are laid at 0.1% slope, starting from the holes. 60 number Nylon mesh is used as pipe envelope material. In fine sandy soils 10 cm thick gravel packing around collector is also required. After installation of the collector lines, the trench has to be back filled. Depending on the water table head above the collector pipes, the collectors are continuously charged with fresh water throughout their length and about 2 -15 lps of water flows into the sump under gravity.

Doruvu Technology
The farmers in these areas dig conical pits called doruvus and harvest the recharged water for growing of vegetables, tobacco, paddy nurseries and flowers. Each Doruvu occupies an area of 160-200 m2 (4-5 cents) and will meet the irrigatio requirements of about 800m2 .Ten such doruvus are required to irrigate 1 ha.area, which occupy an area of 2000 m2 i.e., about 20% of the cultivable area. Performance of shallow wells in the sands is constrained with thin aquifer of fresh water, seasonal and limiting recharging rate and semiconfined/perched conditions due to clay base in bottom levels. Thus, scarcity of irrigation water at critical growth stages is the major impediment for obtaining optimal crop yields from rabi groundnut and other crops. Similar situation exist in coastal parts of Tamil Nadu and farmers tap good quality waters by Oothu. In Tamil Nadu, the coastal region is spread over an area 0f 0.74m ha. The coastal belt has a length of more than 700km, stretching from Pulicat lake in the north to Cape Comarine in the south.

Advantages of Skimming Well

(1) The up- coning of Saline ground water is avoided as the collectors harvest only the shallow depth fresh water available above the collectors.


(2) possible.

Over exploitation of ground water is not

(3) Wastage of water through evaporation from the excavated pits/doruvus is avoided. (4) Availability of more area for cultivation.

ginal farmers is constrained due to non availability of funds, laborious process of installation and small farm holding/ leasing of lands.

Community Skimming Wells

In order to minimize the installation cost as well as to provide opportunity to small and marginal farmers 3 skimming wellshave been installed in an area of 5 ha., covering individual holdings of thirteen farmers at Timmareddypalem. The use of skimmed water in these wells is on rotation basis. The farmers successfully operated the wells and produced high yields of groundnut as well as chillies during 2002-04.

(5) Facilitates the adoption of water saving, modern irrigation practices like drip and sprinkler and improves the water use efficiency in crop production.

Installation Cost
Depending on the size of sump and depth of the installation of collectors, the cost of system vary from 26,000 to 40,000/- (Annexure 1). Villages of Tamil Nadu. Also under rural drinking water Scheme(RDS), Skimming wells were installed in five different locations of Andhra Pradesh.

With skimming well, it is possible to irrigate 0.5 ha. daily with use of 6 8 sprinklers. Each skimming well can irrigate 2 ha. of I.D crop under sprinklers or 4 ha. of plantation area under drip system during rabi. Chillies, groundnut, pulses, colacasia, paddy nursery, flower plants, coconut nurseries and vegetables are some of the crops grown under these wells.So far more than 64 skimming wells covering 141 ha area were installed in 17 villages of Guntur and Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh and 2 wells covering 4 ha in 2.

Improvement in The Installation of Skimming Well

In the past, the manual installation of skimming well involving construction of sump and laying of stoneware pipe collector line was a process of 10 12 days. But now, with semi mechanization and use of Excavator besides easy installation materials such as Corrugated PVC pipe, the well is being constructed in 3-4 days.

Constraints in Popularization of Technology

Though the technology has been demonstrated at a number of sites, its adoption by the small and mar-


Theme 3 Enhancing Water Productivity in Rainfed Area

Crop Management Options to Enhance Water Productivity of Rainfed Areas
S.Natarajan, C.Sudhalakshmi, R.Jagadeeswaran and R.Venkitaswamy

Rainfed agriculture occupies 100 m ha out of 143 m ha of net sown area in India. It contributes 4045 per cent of the total food production and supports 60 per cent of cattle heads. Evergreen revolution crops such as rice and wheat still have 50 per cent and 19 per cent under rainfed conditions. Water productivity of rainfed crops can be improved by better crop management options. Suitable selection of crops and varieties is important to harness the available rainfall. In regions receiving 350 600 mm rainfall with an effective growing season of 20 weeks only single cropping and if more than 750 mm rainfall is received, double cropping is possible. Intercropping can be practiced to minimize the risk of single cropping system. Groundnut + sorghum in North Eastern zone, Groundnut + redgram in North Western zone, Cotton + redgram in Western zone, Cotton + blackgram in southern zone are some of the intercropping systems. Seeds can be hardened with KH2PO4, KCl, NaCl, CaSO4 to induce resistance to drought and adverse weather conditions. Proper time of seeding is an important factor in rainfed cultivation. Planting redgram after onset of south

west monsoon had recorded the highest mean seed yield as compared to the planting on second fortnight of July. Rainfall use efficiency could be increased with premonsoon sowing. Seed drill sowing is more useful in view of precision in the depth of sowing, uniformity in spacing and rapid coverage compared to common broadcast sowing. Surface configuration as tied ridges is used to trap runoff when rainfall exceeds infiltration in drought prone shallow alfisols. Ridges are advantageous in some nutrient deficient soils to concentrate the fertile top soil and to conserve water. Broad bed and furrow systems can be practiced for moisture conservation and for increasing crop yields in vertisols. Compartmental bunding produce higher grain yield of pearl millet compared to flat bed method of sowing in vertisols. Mulching is practiced to reduce soil evaporation and to conserve soil moisture. Residue mulch prevents direct impact of rain drop on soil aggregates, maintains porespace and high infiltration rate. Surface mulching with different organic mulches such as sorghum stubble, pearl millet straw, paddy straw, saw dust, groundnut shell and dust mulch


showed that mulching increased the soil moisture content by 3 %. In cotton, saw dust mulch of 2.5 cm thickness recorded higher moisture content and was on par with groundnut shell mulch and stubble mulch. Research data of the past 25 years in rice, maize, sorghum and pearlmillet revealed that grain yield response was higher for balanced nutrition with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers. Calcium nutrition in rainfed groundnut, gypsum for oilseeds, micronutrient mixture @ 12.5 kg ha-1, zinc enriched FYM and iron enriched FYM application proved to be beneficial in rainfed areas. Drilling or point placement method in the root zone and split application were found to result in higher N recovery (by 25 %) than surface application or basal incorporation. Foliar spray of 2 % DAP and 0.5 to 1 % KCl at flowering enhances the productivity of rainfed pulses and horticultural crops respectively. Application of Farm yard manure @ 12.5 t ha-1, addition of farm wastes or tree loppings viz., Leucaena, Glyricidia etc., or composted coir pith, pressmud / biocompost @ 5 t ha-1 in addition to the recommended dose of fertilizers was found to improve moisture retention and result in enhanced yields in pure cropping as well as rainfed inter-

cropping systems. Application of tank silt was found to improve soil fertility and result in increased yield in rainfed ragi and groundnut. Azospirillum, Rhizobium and VAM are the commonly recommended biofertilizers for better seed germination, enhanced seedling vigour and crop establishment. Temperature tolerant strain Az.t.II was developed specially for rainfed areas by TNAU which aid in fixation of atmospheric nitrogen even at 45oC. Legume based intercropping systems are recommended and Integrated farming system with rainfed crops, bund trees, goat, biogas unit resulted in effective recycling of farm resources and better remuneration. Combination of suitable techniques for weed control has a complementary effect. Application of glycel (1 %) followed by summer ploughing 15 days after during fallow period and application of Metalachlor 1.0 kg a.i /ha + one hand weeding on 40 DAS for kharif groundnut recorded maximum yield. Crop rotation plays an important role in the management of host specific weeds. Contingent crop planning has to be adopted in aberrant weather conditions. Mechanization can be practiced from sowing to harvest to prevent the drudgery of labour and improve the productivity of rainfed farming systems.


Opportunities for Enhancing Crop Water Productivity in Rainfed Areas: An Assessment for Rainfed Areas of India
Bharat R Sharma, K V Rao and KPR Vittal

Rainfed agriculture generates about 65-70% of the worlds staple foods, but it also produces most food for poor communities in developing and least favoured areas. Rainfed areas in South Asia and Africa, home to the worlds largest proportion of drought prone areas (about 44%), have extremely low yield levels. The distinct feature of the rainfed agriculture in developing countries is that both productivity improvement and expansion has been slower relative to irrigated agriculture (Rosegrant et al., 2002). But as Pretty and Hine (2001) suggest that there is a 100% yield increase potential in rainfed agriculture in developing countries, compared to only 10% for irrigated crops. This calls for increased efforts to upgrade rainfed systems globally and especially in developing countries where governments and communities are struggling to provide enough and affordable food (and nutrition) to the vast populations. India ranks first among the rainfed agricultural countries of the world in terms of both extent ( 86 M ha) and value of produce. Due to low land and labour

productivity poverty is concentrated in rainfed regions. Yield gap analysis, undertaken by the Comprehensive Assessment, for major rainfed crops found farmers yield being a factor of 2-4 times lower than achievable yields of over 4-5 t/ha (Falkenmark and Rockstrom, 2000). The large yield gap between the attainable and potential yield shows that a large potential of rainfed agriculture remains to be tapped (Molden, 2007). Besides several other factors related to agriculture sector as a whole, adverse meteorological conditions in long dry spells and droughts, unseasonal rains and extended moisture stress periods with no mechanisms for storing and conserving the surplus rain to tide over the scarcity/ deficit periods were the major cause for non-remunerative yields and the associated distress. As such productivity of water is very low in rainfed agriculture. Whereas in the arid zones (< 300 mm/ annum) absolute water scarcity constitutes the major limiting factor in agriculture, in the semi-arid and dry-sub humid tropical regions on the other hand, total seasonal rainfall is generally adequate to significantly improve agricultural productivity. Here managing extreme rainfall variability in time and space is the greatest


water challenge and the opportunity. Supplementary irrigation is a key strategy, so far underutilised, to unlock rainfed yield potentials and improving crop water productivity in rainfed areas. Objective of supplemental irrigation is not to provide stress-free conditions throughout the crop growth for maximum yields, but to provide just-in-time irrigation to tide over moisture scarcity at critical growth stages to produce optimum yields per unit of water. The existing evidence indicates that supplemental irrigation ranging from 50-200 mm/ season (500-2000 m3 / ha) is sufficient to mediate yield reducing dry spells in most years and rainfed systems, and thereby stabilise and optimise yield levels. Since irrigation water productivity is much higher when used conjunctively with rainwater (supplemental), it is logical that under limited water resources priority in water allocation may be given to supplementary irrigation. Collecting small amounts using limited macro-catchments water harvesting, local springs, shallow groundwater table or most importantly the conventional water harvesting can achieve this. Rainfed areas in India are highly diverse and yield differences between irrigated and rainfed areas are more pronounced when the crop is grown under variety of agro-ecological regions compared to its concentration in few and similar districts. On-farm trials and evaluation reports of watershed projects (Joshi et al., 2004; Sastry et al., 2004) suggest that the effect of supplementary irrigation on rainfed crop yields is considerably higher Therefore an assessment was made under an IWMI-CRIDA study to identify opportunities at the national level for India for water harvesting and supplemental irrigation to overcome dry spells during mid/ terminal droughts so as to stabilize the production. The assessment presented in this study presents estimation of available (surplus) rainfall runoff during August (second fortnight)/ September required mainly to mitigate the terminal drought. The study identified the dominant rainfed districts for different crops (contributing upto 85% of total rainfed production), made an assessment of the surplus/ runoff available for water harvesting and supplementary irrigation in the identified districts, estimated the regional water use efficiency and effect of supplemental irrigation on increase in production of different crops and finally a preliminary estimate of the economics of water harvesting for supplemental irrigation in rainfed areas. For a national/ regional level planning on supplementary irrigation, one needs to make an assessment of the total and available surplus runoff and potential for its gainful

utilization. In the present study, both crop season-wise and annual water balance analyses were done for each of the selected crop cultivated in the identified districts. Whereas, annual water balance analysis assessed the surplus and/or deficit during the year to estimate the water availability and losses through evaporation; the seasonal crop water balance assessed changes in temporal availability of rainfall and plant water requirements. Water requirement satisfaction index was used for assessing the sufficiency of rainfall vis--vis the crop water requirements. The total surplus from a district is obtained by multiplication of seasonal surplus with the rainfed area under the given crop .Total surplus available from a cropped region is obtained by adding the surplus from individual dominant districts identified for each crop. An estimated amount of 11.5 M ha-m runoff is generated through 39 M ha of the prioritized rainfed area. Out of the surplus of 11.5 M ha-m, 4.1 M ha-m is generated by about 6.5 M ha of rainfed rice alone. Another 1.32 and 1.30 M ha-m of runoff is generated from soybeans (2.8 M ha) and chickpea (3.35 M ha), respectively. Total rainfed coarse cereals (10.7 M ha) generate about 2.1M ha-m of runoff. Based on the experiences from watershed management research and large-scale development efforts, practical harvesting of runoff is possible only when the harvestable amount is larger than 50 mm or greater than 10% of the seasonal rainfall (CRIDA, 2001). Therefore, surplus runoff generating areas/ districts were identified after deleting the districts with seasonal surplus of less than or equal to 50 mm of surplus and those districts generating runoff of less than 10% of seasonal rainfall. Table 1 shows the summary of surplus and deficit for various crops after deletion of districts, which generate less than the utilizable amount of runoff. This constitutes about 10.5 M ha of rainfed area which generates seasonal runoff of less than 50 mm (10.25 M ha) or less than 10% of the seasonal rainfall (0.25 M ha). Thus the total estimated runoff surplus for various rainfed crops is about 11.4 M ha-m (114.02 billion cubic meters, BCM) from about 28.6 M ha which could be considered for water harvesting. Among individual crops, rainfed rice contributes higher surplus followed by soybeans. Deficit of rainfall for meeting crop water requirements is also visible for crops like groundnut, cotton, chickpeas and pigeon pea. Based on this available surplus, irrigable area was estimated for single supplemental irrigation of 100 mm (including conveyance/ application and evapo-


Table 1: Potentially harvestable surplus runoff available for supplemental irrigation under different rainfed crops of India
Crop group Cereals Coarse cereals Crop Rice Finger millet Maize Pearl millet Sorghum Total (Coarse cereals) Fiber 7502 Cotton Castor Groundnut Linseed Oilseeds Sesame Soybeans Sunflower Total (Oilseeds) Chickpea Pulses Green gram Pigeon pea Total (Pulses) Grand total Rainfed crop area (000 ha) 6329 303 2443 1818 2938 2057393 3177 28 1663 590 1052 2843 98 6273 3006 458 1823 5288 28,568 Surplus (ha-m) 4121851 153852 771890 359991 771660 0 757575 14489 342673 306360 416638 1329251 11811 2421222 1304682 80135 659328 2044145 11,402,186 Deficit (ha-m) 0 0 0 0 0 8848 0 1646 0 0 0 0 1646 9166 0 238 9404 19898

ration losses) at reproductive stage of the crop both for normal and drought years. Runoff during drought years is assumed to be 50% of runoff surplus during normal rainfall years (based on authors estimates for selected districts and rainfed crops). However, farmers tend to use the water more prudently during drought years and save larger cropped areas. The potential irrigable area through supplementary irrigation for both scenarios is given in Table 2. Out of 114 billion cubic meters available as surplus about 28 billion cubic meters (19.4 %) is

needed for providing supplemental irrigation to irrigate an area of 25 million ha during normal monsoon year thus leaving about 86 M ha-m (80.6%) to meet river/ environmental flow and other requirements. During drought years also about 31 billion cubic meters is still available even after making provision for irrigating 20.6 million ha. Thus it can be seen that water harvesting and supplemental irrigation do not jeopardize the available flows in rivers even during drought years or cause significant downstream effects in the identified areas.

Table 2: Irrigable area (000 ha) through supplemental irrigation (@100 mm per irrigation) during normal and drought years under different rainfed crops
Crop group Cereals Crop Rice Finger millet Coarse cereals Maize Pearl millet Sorghum Total (Coarse cereals) Fiber Cotton Castor Groundnut Rainfed crop area 6329 303 2443 1818 2938 7502 3177 28 1663 Irrigable area during normal monsoon 6329 266 2251 1370 2628 6515 2656 25 1096 Irrigable area during drought season 6215 224 1684 837 1856 4601 1725 22 710



Sesame Soya beans Sunflower

1052 2843 98 5684

919 2843 59 4942 2925 1710 4634 25076

741 2667 30 4171 2560 1374 3934 20647

Total (Oilseeds) Chickpea Pulses Pigeon pea Total (Pulses) Grand total

3006 1823 4829 27520

Production projections were made for different crops in the respective rainfed districts using the information on regional rainwater use efficiency both for business as usual scenario (only application of supplementary irrigation) and under improved practices scenario (limited follow-up on recommended package of practices). Additional production (Table 3) was a product of irrigable area (Table 2), regional rainwater use efficiency and the amount of supplemental irrigation. The irrigable area through supplemental irrigation for different crops during drought season varies between 50-98% (98% for rice crop to 50% for sunflower growing districts) of the

irrigable area during normal season. Under improved management practices, an average of 50% increase in total production cutting across drought and normal seasons is realizable with supplemental irrigation from rainfed area of 27.5 M ha. Production enhancement in drought season in case of rice crop is high due to higher water application efficiency and due to sufficient surplus to bring almost entire rice cultivated area under supplemental irrigation. This would also indicate that large tracts of rainfed rice cultivated area are covered under high rainfall zones with sufficient surplus for rainwater harvesting. Significant production improvements can be

Table 3: Yield increases with supplemental irrigation (SI) in normal and drought seasons (based on WUE of improved technologies)
Crop group Crop Rainfed cropped Traditional production (000 tons) Irrigable area area (000 ha) Normal season Cereals Rice Finger millet Maize Pearl millet Sorghum Coarse cereals Fiber Total coarse cereals Cotton Castor Groundnut Sesame Soya beans Sunflower Oilseeds Pulses Total oilseeds Chickpea Pigeon pea Total Pulses Grand total 6329 303 2443 1818 2938 7502 3177 28 1663 1052 2843 98 5684 3006 1823 4829 27,520 7612 271 2996 1902 3131 8300 430 10 1182 365 2607 49 4214 2367 1350 3717 24,272 6329 266 2251 1370 2628 6515 2656 25 1096 919 2843 59 4942 2925 1710 4635 25,076 Drought season 6215 224 1684 837 1856 4601 1725 22 710 741 2667 30 4171 2560 1374 3934 20,647 Additional production (000 tons) Normal season 4141 124 1744 836 2439 5144 294 6 284 202 1429 12 1933 1061 282 1344 12,856 Drought season 4357 112 1408 555 1864 3939 206 6 203 176 1443 7 1834 1000 245 1244 11,581


realized in rice, sorghum, maize, cotton, sesame, soybeans and chickpeas. The success of Green Revolution in irrigated areas is one solid example built upon irrigation and improved technologies. Everyone of the stakeholder from supplier to farmer to market responded with equal enthusiasm. A second Green Revolution is not in the offing for long time for the reason that this needs to be staged on water scarcity/insufficiency zone.

millet in particular exhibit lower gross and net benefits even with SI and improved practices. This indicates the need for better varieties of these crops, which are more responsive to irrigation and nutrition.

In spite of the rainfed lands having the highest unexploited potential for growth, the risk of crop failures, low yields and the insecurity of livelihoods is high due to random behaviour of the rainfall. Rainfed agriculture is mainly and negatively influenced by intermittent dry spells during the cropping season and especially at critical growth stages coinciding with terminal growth stage. District level analysis for different rainfed crops in India showed that difference in the district average yields for rainfed crops among different rainfall zones was not very high indicating that total water availability may not be the major problem in different rainfall zones and for each crop there were few dominant districts which contributed most to the total rainfed crop production. The most potential strategy to realize the potential of rainfed agriculture in India (and elsewhere) appears to harvest small part of available surplus runoff and reutilize it for supplemental irrigation at different critical crop growth stages. The study identified about 27.5 M ha of potential rainfed area, which accounted for most of the rainfed production and generated sufficient runoff (114 BCM) for harvesting and reutilization. It was possible to raise the rainfed production by 50% over this entire area through application of one supplementary irrigation (28 BCM) and some follow up on the improved practices. Extensive area coverage rather than intensive irrigation need to be followed in regions with higher than 750 mm/ annum rainfall, since there is a larger possibility of alleviating the in-season drought spells and ensure second crop with limited water application. This component may be made an integral component of the ongoing and new development schemes in the identified rural districts. The proposed strategy is environmentally benign, equitable, poverty-targeted and financially attractive to realize the untapped potential of rainfed agriculture in India.

Economics of Water Harvesting and Supplemental Irrigation

Supplemental irrigation has substantive potential for increasing production from rainfed crops across different districts, yet its adoption on a large scale shall depend upon its economic worthiness. Numerous such structures have been built under varying agro-climatic conditions under state sponsored programs, by non-governmental organizations and with individual initiatives. The cost of provision of supplemental irrigation through construction of water harvesting structures varies a great deal between different states/ regions and locations between the same state (Samra, JS, 2007; personal communication). Hence a simple analysis based on the national average cost for rainwater harvesting structures (INR 18,500/ ha) was carried out for provision of supplemental irrigation to the rainfed crops. In the calculation of annualized cost, rate of interest as well as depreciation cost for the structures has been deducted. An assumption was made that rainwater harvested would be utilized for the existing crop and accordingly returns were considered for existing crop only. However, in actual practice the farmer makes much better use of the created water resource by planting high value crops and plantations and investments in livestock and aquaculture. The annualized cost for each crop and gross and net benefits with supplemental irrigation to each crop are shown under Table 8. It suggests that an estimated INR 50 billion annually is required to provide supplemental irrigation to around 28 M ha of rainfed cultivated land and half of that amount is required for rice and coarse cereals only. The data suggests that gross and net benefits are quite high for cotton, oilseeds, pulses and rice. However, the coarse cereal group in general and pearl



David, Molden (eds.).2007. Water for Food, Water for Life: A Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture. London: Earthscan, and Colombo: International Water Management Institute. Falkenmark, M., Rockstrom,J.1993. Curbing rural exodus from tropical drylands. Ambio 22(7): 427-437. Joshi, P.K.; A K Jha, SP Wani; Laxmi Joshi, RL Shiyani. 2005. Meta analysis to assess impact of watershed program and peoples action. Comprehensive Assessment Research Report 8, International Water Management Institute, Colombo. Oweiss, Theib.1997. Supplemental irrigation: A highly efficient water-use practice. Aleppo, Syria: International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas. Pretty, J, R. Hine. 2001. Reducing Food Poverty with Sustainable Agriculture: A Summary of New Evidence. Final report of the safe World Research Report. University of Essex, UK. Reij,C .1988.Impact des techniques de conservation des eaux et du sol sur les rendements agricoles:analyse succincte des donnees disponsibles pour le plateau central au Burkina faso. CEDRES/ AGRISK. Rockstrom ,J.; Falkenmark,M. 2000. Semi-arid crop production from a hydrological perspective- Gap between potential and actual yields. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 19(4): 319-346. Rosegrant, Mark; C.Ximing, S.Cline, N.Nakagawa.2002. The Role of Rainfed Agriculture in the Future of Global food Production. EPTD discussion Paper 90. International food Policy Research Institute, Washington D.C. ( ) Samra, J.S.2007. Personal communication. Role of watersheds and Minor Irrigation in Food and Livelihood Securities. Presentation made before the Planning Commission. Government of India. New Delhi. June 29,2007.


Improving Productivity in Dry Land Groundnut Farming LEISA Outcomes from South India
Arun Balamatti, J Diraviam and C S Kallimani

Groundnut is a major commercial crop in India. It was introduced in the country in the sixteenth century (Reddy, 1996). India is one of the largest producers of groundnut in the world. It was cultivated in 6.74 m ha with an annual production of 7.99 million tonnes in 2005-06 in the country (AgStat, 2006-07). The area under irrigation is very much limited (< 17%). Groundnut is a major livelihood crop, as it has higher market value compared to millets, serves as good source of fodder and comes well in marginalized lands if there is well distributed rainfall. Its nitrogen fixation ability helps in building soil fertility as well as requires lower quantity of nutrients as compared to other oilseed crops.

the most degraded ecosystem, the recurring droughts have had their heavy toll not only on depleting biomass, dwindling livestock population, and eroded soil fertility, but also on farmers attitude to farming in general. The routine production practices can be best explained as reflection of deep-rooted pessimism, lack of creativity and innovativeness resulting in inefficient use of natural resources and as a result, poor yields. A major challenge farmers facing in this area is the adoption of farming systems that both cope with periods of low rainfall, bearing in mind the fact that drought is a natural and recurring phenomenon, and capitalize on years of above rainfall. Farmer Field School (FFS): It is a unique extension tool based on discovery-based learning that has been popular in promoting IPM aspects to farmers, particularly for irrigated crops like rice, cotton, vegetables, etc. There have been little efforts in the past for using FFS apart from promoting IPM, like on integrated soil and nutrient management and conservation (FAO, 2000), livestock management (Groeneweg et al., 2006).

The Situation in Deccan Plateau

Groundnut is the only crop, which is grown by around 80 per cent of the dry land farmers, who depend on it as a major source of livelihood. With negligible presence of other crops and livelihood options, it is a classical case of putting all the eggs in one basket for the large majority of small and marginal farmers. In


About AME Foundation

AME Foundation, a development-oriented, nongovernment organization, is committed to improving the livelihoods of resource-poor farm families in dry land areas through promotion of ecological agriculture. AME has been involved in addressing productivity improvement in groundnut and livelihood of dry land farmers in Deccan Plateau covering the three states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu since 1994, with the initiation of a PTD process in Dharmapuri district with 60 farmers through a NGO, followed by Chittoor district of AP in 1996 and Raichur district in Karnataka during 1997 (Prasad et al., 1999).

Across the three states, the situation in Deccan Plateau is more or less similar. Various PRA tools were employed in the study area to identify the various problems in groundnut cultivation. Based on the analysis of the outcomes, the following issues were identified in groundnut farming system:

Poor or No Efforts in In-Situ Moisture Conservation

Though summer ploughing (Fall ploughing) is a well-known practice, most of the farmers are not practicing it for different reasons, Frequent tillage is not being practiced leading to crust formation, Sowing across the slope is another practice that is not being practiced by many farmers.

LEISA is the abbreviation of Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture. LEISA refers to viable small scale farming, which is a major part of rural livelihoods and thus contributes significantly to developing economies. LEISA is about finding technical and social options open to farmers who seek to improve productivity and income in an ecologically sound way. LEISA is about optimal use of local resources and natural processes and, if necessary, safe and efficient use of external inputs.

Poor Soil Fertility Management

Application of compost /FYM is irregular and inadequate. The available FYM is applied once in three years and the quantity varies between two to three tons per acre. Lack of knowledge in composting also led to non-application of compost. Also cutting of trees in bunds and non-cultivation of biomass trees led to reduced available manurial biomass.

Details about The Study

The present paper reports work done in the Deccan Plateau covering three states, viz., Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The details of the study area are given in Table 1.

Improper or Inadequate Agronomic Practices

(a) Time of sowing: In the areas where early or delayed onset of monsoon, erratic rainfall distriAndhra Pradesh Madanapalli Chittoor 934 mm 788 mm Timely onset, distribution good, with an average rainy days of 10 days per month Tamil Nadu Dharmapuri Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri 855 mm 706.6 mm Due to delay in onset of monsoon, sow ing was delayed by 15 to 20 days beyond season. Dry spell of about a month occur red during middle of the crop period. Red sandy loam

Table 1: Details of the study area

Particulars Area Unit Dstricts covered Normal annual Rainfall in the district Actual rainfall in 2007 season Rainfall distribution in 2007 season Karnataka Bellary Bellary, Chitradurga Bellary 623 mm Chitradurga 540 mm Bellary 393 mm Chitradurga 827 mm Chitradurga - Uneven distribution of rainfall affected the crop growth and yield. Bellary -Timely and even distribution occurred. Red sandy to gravely soil

Soil type

Red sandy loam

Baseline Information: Problems Identified in Groundnut Cultivation

bution and mid-season dry spells are common, the best practice would be to sow groundnut immediately after good showers in July. However, despite favourable conditions for sowing, many small and marginal farmers in 120

the watersheds are not able to sow in time. The major reasons are lack of bullock pairs and labourers during this peak season. It is believed that small and marginal farmers have to wait as long as 8-15 days for sowing before the other farmers in the village complete their sowing operations so that the bullock pair and the labourers are available. By this time, the soil moisture is lost and so the crop germination and subsequent crop stand gets affected at the very initial stage itself. (b) Seed rate: The farmers were using spreading type of groundnut earlier before shifting to the now prevalent bunch variety (TMV 2) in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The spreading type requires relatively less seed rate compared to bunch type. It appears that the farmers were used to this kind of sowing and hence instead of 40-50 kg of groundnut seeds per acre in the case of Karnataka, they are using only 27-30 kg, which means a yield compromise of 25 to 30 per cent at the time of sowing itself. Lack of knowledge regarding seed rate, dependency on money lenders and other external sources for seed material and hurried sowing practice to complete the sowing early so as to save on labour expenses are common reasons attributed to this gap. Also, the farmers start separating kernels from the pods well in advance in anticipation of normal onset of monsoon (mid July). (c) Spacing and plant population: Ideal spacing should be 30 x 10 cm (for bunch type). Farmers, though are able to maintain the row-to-row spacing, they fail to ensure uniform intra-plant spacing due to defective sowing methods. The ideal plant population, with 30 X 10 cm spacing, should be around 1,20,000 per acre but the farmers are not able to maintain this population. The number of plants per square meter should be 33, whereas the observed plant population ranges between 16 - 27 plants in most of the farmers fields. The gaps occur mostly due to the undue hurry in sowing, the women labour keep fetching seeds from the bag while on the move, when the bullocks walk faster when beaten etc.

Inter-culture operations: In a normal groundnut season an average of two intercultural operations are taken up to control weeds as well as for the purpose of earthing up. During dry spells, many farmers think that inter-cultivation will lead to moisture loss due to aeration. Intercultivation actually helps to conserve soil moisture by breaking the capillary pores and the dust acting as mulch. However, under dry soil condition, inter-cultivation will not serve the purpose of earthing up as the soil merely gets rolled up and does not move toward the plants. Poor earthing up leads to the flowers, particularly the second and third set, not getting converted into pegs and pods thus affecting the yield very significantly.

Pest and Diseases

Pest incidence in groundnut crop is less severe, however few pests like root grub, leaf miner, Spodoptera and red headed hairy caterpillar are becoming menace depending on the location. Peanut bud necrosis disease (PBND) and Sclerotium rots are the important diseases bothering groundnut crop. Also the incidence of the pests/diseases largely depends on the microclimate. For example, incidence of PBND, transmitted by thrips is severe under low moisture regime; it is also the same in the case of the pest, leaf miner.

Low Yields and Less Return

The average productivity of groundnut pod ranges from 200 to 400 kg/ac, where as the potential yield goes up to 500 - 700 kg/ac for those varieties cultivated by farmers. However in the case of improved varieties like VRI 2, the potential yield goes even higher than 700 kg/ac. The net return of small and marginal farmer is about Rs. 10000/- per annum, which is not sufficient to lead quality life. The summary of the baseline outcomes from the three states is given in Table 2. When the problems were analyzed, it was clearly evident that it was not one or two factors that led to reduced productivity in groundnut, but a whole range of factors acting in tandem that caused the situation. Hence, a few selected practices alone cannot help in tiding over the situation, but a combination of basic operations covering on-farm rainwater management, soil fertility up gradation, modified cropping practices and income generation (IG) activities are required for improving the productivity as well the livelihood of small and marginal farmers.

(d) Gap filling: Under good soil moisture condition, germination can be seen in 5-6 days. It is only after about 9 days that the gaps could be identified. By the time, the farmers would have either no seeds left or they think it is too late for gap filling with groundnut. Very recently farmers are coming forward to try the gap filling with other suitable crops. 121

Table 2: Summary of baseline outcomes on groundnut productivity

Particulars Moisture conservation Rainfall Soil fertility Karnataka Poor soil moisture conservation methods Uncertainty of rainfall Poor soil fertility Andhra Pradesh Poor soil moisture conservation methods Uncertainty of rainfall Low Soil fertility due to poor nutrient management practices Poor PBND, root grub, RHC, stem rot Poor quality of seed. No improved varieties 16 - 18 200 kg/ac Tamil Nadu Poor soil moisture conservation methods Uncertainty of rainfall Low FYM availability Low nutrient applied Poor Leaf miner, PBND, root grub, red hairy caterpillar, root rot No improved varieties 26 330 kg/ac

Biomass awareness Pest and disease

Poor PBND disease root grub, leaf miner, Spodoptera Poor quality of seed. No improved varieties 25 - 27 400 kg/ac

Seed quality Plant population per sq. m. Yield (average) kg/ac

The Capacity Building Process

The experiences gained by AME Foundation over the years on FFS (Vijayalakshmi et al., 2003), The curriculum covers all the aspects in groundspecifically the MToF programme helped in shaping the curriculum to suit dry land crops including ground- nut production from preparatory activities to post harTable 3: List of short studies and Long term experiments (LTEs) conducted in the FFS
Short studies 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Ploughing across slope Water holding capacity of soil Small section bunds Mulching Seed treatment with biologicals Pitfall trap/ Yellow sticky trap Anti transpirants spray Botanicals spraying Mushroom cultivation Deworming for livestock Azolla feeding experiment for cattle Nursery raising for biomass trees Long term experiments (LTEs) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Farmers practice Vs LEISA practices trial Varietal trial Methods of sowing Insitu soil moisture conservation trial Impact of green manure in dry land on groundnut production Strip cropping (Groundnut & Ragi or Bajra) Maintaining optimum plant density (seed rate) Nutrient management trial Composting methods

practices/combination of practices. The list of short and long-term experiments conducted in a typical dry land groundnut FFS is given in Table 3.

Table 4: Details of FFS events and farmers covered under FFS

Particulars Karnataka No. of FFS No. of Farmers Andhra Pradesh 89 1818 Tamil Nadu 50 834 23 564

nut (Balamatti and Hegde, 2007). Simple experiments laid out in the FFS class room sessions and in farmers fields helped farmers to understand complex concepts on natural resources management. In the participating farmers fields, experimental plots were laid out with the various long-term experiments, to study the best-suited

vest as well as on IG activities. The curriculum followed in one of the FFS is given in Appendix I. The details of FFS conducted on groundnut, farmers reached in the three working areas are given in Table 4.


The FFS Learnings

Farmers apart from learning about LEISA practices through discovery learning also learnt the practice of Agro Eco-System Analysis (AESA). This analysis helps farmers in making informed decisions. During each stage of the crop, farmers decide on various interventions to be taken up in the crop to ensure maximum output at minimum cost, without affecting the ecosystem. The farmers make observation in the field and prepare AESA charts during every session. These charts will be referred on a continuous basis till the harvest of the crop.

a combination of LEISA practices helped in getting improved productivity as compared to farmers practice. For example in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu there was an increased yield of 44%, 38%, respectively, while in Karnataka, it was up to 12% in the case of LEISA practices plot over farmers practice plot. The cost of cultivation was marginally higher in the case of LEISA plot in all the working areas due to the formation of rainwater conservation structures, use of Enriched FYM, biologicals for seed treatment, increased application of FYM. However, the net returns in the LEISA plot is appreciably higher than that of the farmers practice plot. The results in Tamil Nadu was clearly evident, as the investment in farmers practice plot did not lead to increase in net returns, due to prolonged dry spell in the middle of the season. While in the case of LEISA plot, the yield was better due to the adoption of improved practices in combination. Similarly in Karnataka, the reasons for reduced yield in farmers practice plot are reduced seed rate of 30 35 kg/ac, low soil fertility, incidence of diseases, particularly Sclerotium rot and PBND. In the case Andhra

LEISA Practices
AME Foundation has identified proven LEISA practices based on PTD experiences in all the three states. The various practices given as options for farmers to adopt are based on AMEF Guidelines 6 (AMEF, 2005). These practices when taken up in combination lead to better management of natural resources and hence improvement in productivity. The combination of such practices followed in each of the three areas is given in Table 5.

Table 5: Basket of options of LEISA practices for groundnut productivity improvement

Particulars 1. Rainwater management practices Karnataka Summer ploughing, Trench cum bunding, Bund strengthening, Intercultivation, Sowing across the slope, Dead furrow (Groundnut: red gram ratio 9:2) FYM, PSB, Neem cake, Fertilizers application, Gypsum application, Foliar spray (organic/vermiwash) Andhra Pradesh Deep summer ploughing, Ploughing across the slope, Bunding and bund repair, Dead furrow, Intercultivation Tamil Nadu Ploughing across slope, bunding, small section bunding

2. Soil fertility improvement practices

3. Crop specific production practices

Spacing (30x10cm), Seed rate (40kg/ac), Seed treatment with Trichoderma, Rhizobium, Gap filling, Inter & mixed crops, Border crop, Sequential crop

FYM application (4t/acre once in a year), Tank silt application, Balanced nutrient application, Use of biofertilizers, legumes inter/Border crops, Gypsum application, Compost application Use of good quality seeds (40 kg), Maintenance of optimum plant density, Use of improved varieties, Strip cropping, Diversified cropping system, introduction of minor millets, Border crop with cereals-3 rows

FYM 5 t/ acre, EFYM application @ 300 kg/ac, legumes as intercrops, Green manure, compost application, biomass production, Gypsum application Improved varieties, Seed treatment with biologicals, Nutrient management (fertilizer application based on soil test results) MN mixture, IPM

LEISA Practices Trial vs Farmers Practice Trial The overall results of the field trials are presented in Table 6, Fig. 1 - 2. The study results revealed that

Pradesh, the reduction in yield was due to improper agronomic practices like reduced plant population, absence of gypsum application and absence of soil fertility improvement measures in the farmers practice plot.


Table 6: Economic benefits in the three working areas (mean of all the FFS events)
Particulars LEISA plot 233 12 2774 6807 4066 Karnataka Farmer practice 209 2078 5219 3141 Andhra Pradesh LEISA plot 460 44 6280 9600 3320 Farmer practice 320 5545 6800 1225 Tamil Nadu LEISA plot 455 38 4420 10,237 5871 Farmer practice 330 4305 7,425 3120

Yield (kg/ac) Yield increase % Cost of cultivation (RS/ac) Gross returns (Rs/ac) Net returns (Rs/ac)

Results of Long-term Experiments

Apart from the overall comparison, few longterm experiments results are presented below to understand the importance of selected traits/practices in isolation in productivity improvement.

the new variety, VRI 2 for future use.

Strip Cropping
With a view to minimize the risk from mono cropping of groundnut, strip cropping, which not only assures food security but also, improve the soil health was tried on an experimental basis. This system also
K1375 28 31 10 4.1 K1271 29 35 10 4.9 Jl 24 23 18 13 3.6

Varietal Trials/ PTD in GroundnutMadanapalli (AP)

Particulars Plant population No. of Pods/plant PBND (%) Yield/ acre (q) VRI 2 30 38 6 5.8

Table 7: Varietal performance in farmers field in Madanapalli

In order to identify drought tolerant varieties, field trials were conducted in 15 villages with 4 varieties as LTEs in Farmer Field School. The four varieties were VRI 2, K1375, K 1271 and JL 24. The results revealed that among the four varieties tested, K1375 was able to tolerate drought up to 40 days. In the case of VRI 2, there was less incidence of PBND and it also recorded the maximum yield of 5.8 q per ac (Table 7, Fig. 3).

ensures fodder and income security to the farmers. In this trial, 105 farmers across working villages adopted Strip cropping. Some of the important outcomes from the trials were: strip cropping helped in getting 5 quintals of additional fodder therefore reducing the expenses towards purchased fodder. Purchase of food crops like Ragi, foxtail millet and Bajra were avoided, as these are essential food grains for the family. Farmers, observing the results, opined that apart from Ragi, other cereals could also be used for strip cropping, as the Ragi crop requires more moisture to germinate in the initial period. Finally, even though farmers got less income from strip cropping with cereals (Table 9), the new cropping system helped them to realize the importance of food, fodder and income security that strip cropping assures. Farmers tried strip crops such as Bajra, Ragi and foxtail millet with Groundnut crop.

Groundnut varietal trial in Bellary (Karnataka)

The continuous use of local seeds for the decades resulted in resurgence of pest and diseases and genetic erosion resulting in decreased yields of groundnut. After understanding this seven farmers took up varietal trials across the working villages. The maximum yield of 6.5 q/acre pods and 14.60 q/acre of fodder were observed in VRI 2 when compared to GPBD 4 and Local (TMV 2) (Table 8; Fig. 4). The incidence of PBND was also low in VRI 2 compared to the local variety. Farmers in that area accepted


Table 8: Varietal performance in farmers field in Bellary

Observations GPBD-4 Growth parameters at the time of harvest Plant height (cm) 17.60 No. of branches 6.10 Yield parameters at the time of harvest 9.00 Average no. of plants per m2 area Avg. No. of pods per plant 24.00 Wet Wt of pods (qtls/ acre) 16.00 Cost economics Main crop yield (q/acre) 4.75 Fodder yield (q/acre) 11.65 Cost of production (Rs./acre) 3625 Gross returns (Rs /acre) 12859 Net returns (Rs /acre) 9324 VRI-2 20.00 5.76 12.00 27.00 21.75 6.50 14.60 3625 17373 13748 Local (TMV-2) 20.00 5.76 14.00 24.00 19.00 6.00 13.00 3450 15958 12508 Germination % was poor in VRI-2 & GPBD-4, which were procured from KOF, Haveri. Remarks

Rs.2300/qt pod & Rs.166/qt fodder.

Table 9: Impact of strip cropping in farmers fields in Bellary

Parameters Practices adopted Cost of production (Rs./1.25 acre) Main crop pod yield (qt) Strip crop (Ragi) grain yield (qt) Strip crop (Bajra) grain yield (qt) Main crop fodder yield (qt) Strip crop (Ragi) fodder yield (qt) Strip crop (Bajra) fodder yield (qt) Gross returns (Rs./1.25 acre) SA/ICM practice Groundnut, Ragi and Bajra 4388 3.60 1.20 1.80 10.44 5.00 6.00 12878 Farmers practice Groundnut- Mono crop 4313 5.60 0.00 0.00 16.25 0.00 0.00 15577 Remarks Groundnut: Ragi: Bajra (8:4:3) 4 strip groundnut 3 strips ragi 4 strip & border Bajra.

Ragi @ Rs. 800/qt grain and Rs. 75/qt fodder. Bajra @ Rs.600/qt grain and Rs. 75/qt fodder. Groundnut Rs. 2300/qt pod & Rs.166/qt fodder.

Net Returns (Rs./1.25 acre)



Impact of Green Manure and Catch Crop on Productivity of Groundnut

Farmers in Bellary studied the impact of harvesting the pre monsoon showers on groundnut productivParameters Practices adopted T1 Fall ploughing, bio fertilizers & bio agents. Inter crop (red gram), Mixed crop (castor) Gypsum 3610

ity, by growing short duration green gram or a green manure crop sun hemp. In the case of green gram, the crop was harvested, while sun hemp was incorporated in the field. The results clearly demonstrated that maxi-

Table 10: Impact of green manure and catch crop on the productivity of groundnut
T2 Fall ploughing. T3 Fall ploughing. Bio fertilizers & bio Agents. Mixed crop (Castor). Gypsum 7030 Remarks In T1 Plot sun hemp was incorporated and inT3 plot Taken green gram as Catch crop and T2 control Rs. 4200 cost of cultivation of green gram.

Cost of production (Rs./acre) Main crop yield (q/acre)-Groundnut. Crop yield (q/acre)-Green gram. Intercrop/mixed crop yield (q/acre) Net Returns (Rs./acre)


6.30 Red gram, Castor. 12880

5.40 11420

5.80 2.40 Castor. 16770 Yet to harvest.


mum yield of groundnut was obtained when sun hemp was incorporated in the field prior to sowing of groundnut (Table 10). Growing of groundnut followed by green gram also gave higher yield as compared to groundnut alone. The details of the trial results are given below. Note: T1=Sowing groundnut after incorporation of sun hemp along with all SA practices. T2= Control T3= Sowing groundnut after green gram crop along with all SA practices in groundnut. The higher yields were due to the effective harvesting of the rainwater and its usage. The cultivation of catch crop also gave additional income. The last year experience impressed five farmers to adopt the technology during this Year 2007.

Informed decision making skills Active participation of women Improvement of communication, organization, managerial and leadership skills External agencies (input dealers) dependency reduced

In this study, the rainwater harvesting practices in combination with other LEISA practices gave better yield as compared to less interventions in farmers practice. Similarly, Chakravarti et al., (2005) studied the effect of mulches, type of planting on groundnut productivity. He observed higher productivity in groundnut plots, when mulched with paddy straw or water hyacinth and when planted in ridge method than flat bed method. One of the important philosophies behind FFS is Grow a healthy crop that can tolerate biotic and abiotic stresses (Pontius et al., 2000). The LEISA practices adopted help one-way or other, either directly or indirectly for harvesting the moisture required for crop growth. The principles lying behind the LEISA practices

Environmental and Social Benefits

Apart from economic benefits, environmental and social benefits were also achieved in this process. A summary of them is given in Table 11.

Table 11: Environmental benefits

Particular Pesticide spray to intercrops Crop diversity Farmers practice 2 Nos. Endosulfan + Quinalphos = Rs. 1230 Sorghum, Redgram, cowpea 2 3 crops Improved practice 1 No. NSKE =Rs. 490 Sorghum, Red gram, cow pea, Field bean, Castor, bajra 5 6 crops Seed treatment with PSB, Rhizobium, Trichoderma SSP 100 kg, Gypsum 200 kg In case of AP, reduced to nil application of fertilizers Relay crop (20%) with Horse gram Outcomes 60 % decrease More predator population (Ladybird beetle, Spider), Improvement in soil fertility, 25% area under crop rotation Less incidence of fungal diseases (Root and stem rot) Balanced application of nutrients

Use of bio-agents Chemical Fertilizes used Others

No Complex 50 Kg or DAP 50 kg/ac No relay crops

Social Benefits
Linkages for farmers (particularly women) with agricultural departments Collective activities (input mobilization, field work) Created common platform to share FFS learnings (adopted farmers, sharing meetings, sharing in SHG meetings, field days)

adopted on moisture conservation and utilization are summarized in Table 12. The impact of FFS in building the capacity of farmers as well as empowering them in LEISA practices particularly on rainwater management are clearly evident based on the results of the field trials. Earlier, FFS approach was employed successfully in Uganda for community based groundnut seed production (Obuo, 2004).


Table 12: Summary of the effect of LEISA practices on moisture conservation and utilization by groundnut crop.
Key operation Rain Water Management LEISA practices Deep summer ploughing Cultivation across the slope Compartmental bunding Dead furrow Trench cum bunding and bunding Expected output related to soil moisture conservation/ proper utilization Conservation of in-situ soil moisture

Inter cultivation Soil fertility improvement practices FYM 5 t/ acre and Compost application Tank silt application Green manuring

Conservation of the fertile top soil to hold maximum moisture and utilizing the moisture to raise bund plants for biomass enhancement Conservation of soil moisture and to reduce the moisture loss Increased water holding capacity of soil Utilization of soil moisture effectively of summer showers and enhanced soil organic matter to increase the water holding capacity of soil Ensured better root growth and to uptake moisture from greater depth; to withstand during drought. Utilization of soil moisture at various depths. Reduction of water evaporation from soil by acting as live mulch. Reduction of wind speed to avoid moisture evaporation from soil Varieties suitable to drought situation. Ensured drought tolerance of the crop during dry spell Ensured better root growth, nodulation to produce a healthy crop Contingency crop plan to avoid crop loss during severe drought situation Utilization of soil moisture effectively without wastage and competition Ensured bet ter crop growt h to w it hsta nd drought situation. Avoided hard pan of soil to enhance better aeration and moisture holding. Utilized residual soil moisture effectively

EFYM Legumes as intercrops Border crops Crop management practices Improved varieties Seed hardening Seed treatment with biologicals Strip cropping Maintenance of optimum plant density Balanced nutrient application and MN mixture Gypsum application Sequential crop

The systematic approach towards addressing the moisture conservation, soil fertility and crop management yielded the desired results. Although, the LEISA practices tried were mostly proven under experimental farms of mainstream agencies (Vittal et al., 2003), they were largely unknown among resource poor farmers of the Deccan Plateau. The group approach helped in cross learning among farmers. Apart from group farmers in the village, other farmers in the village also were targeted for disseminating the knowledge through farmers sharing on field days. Also FFS participants adopted members of their village for regular sharing of the LEISA

technologies. The collaborators field also was a demonstration plot for the village farmers to know about the improved practices. The FFS apart from addressing NRM, also dealt on other livelihood issues such as family health/nutrition through kitchen gardening, mushroom cultivation, increased intensity of pulse cultivation, IG activities such as animal husbandry, fodder cultivation, biologicals production. Hence, livelihood improvement of small and marginal groundnut farmers could be achieved through the above FFS programme.



AgStat 2006 07, AMEF 2005. Towards a Sustainable Dryland Farming An Operational strategy. AME Foundation Guidelines 6. FAO, 2000. Guidelines and reference material on integrated soil and nutrient management and conservation for farmer field schools, FOOD and AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION of the UNITED NATIONS, Land and Plant Nutrition Management Service, Land and Water Development Division, Rome, 2000 Balamatti, A and R. Hegde 2007. Our experiences with modified Farmer Field Schools in dryland areas. LEISA Magazine 23.4 December 2007. Chakravarti, A. K., Chakraborty, P. K. and Chakraborty, A. 2005. Study on the efficacy of some bio resources as mulch for soil moisture conservation and yield of rain fed groundnut ( Arachis hypogaea ). Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science, Volume 51, Number 3, June 2005 , pp. 247-252(6). Groeneweg, K., Buyu, G., Romney, D. and Minjauw, B. 2006. Livestock Farmer Field Schools Guidelines for Facilitation and Technical Manual. International Livestock Research Centre: Nairobi, Kenya. Obuo J.E. P. 2004. Community Based Groundnut Seed Production, and Dissemination for Sustainable Small Holder Agriculture in Teso Farming System. Final Technical Report. Serere Agricultural and Animal production Research Institute (SAARI), P.O. Soroti. pp 19. Pontius, J., Dilts, R. and Bartlett, A. 2000. From Farmer Field Schools To Community IPM, FAO Community IPM Programme Jakarta. Prasad, K.V.S., Suresh, C. and Lanting, M. 1999. A platform for groundnut mprovement, ILEIA Newsletter, September, 1999. Reddy, P.S. 1996. Groundnut. In 50 Years of Crop Science Research in India. R. Paroda and K. Chadha, eds. Pp. 318-329. New Delhi: ICAR. Vijayalakshmi, B, Ravi Kumar, G., Pattabiraman, S. and Daniel Anand Raj. 2003. Farmer Field Schools Experiences from Tamil Nadu. LEISA INDIA, vol 5, no. 1, March 2003, pp. 11 13. Vittal, K. P. R., Singh, H.P., Rao, K. V., Sharma, K.L., Victor, U. S., Chary, G. R., Sankar, G. R. M., Samra, J. S. and Singh, G. 2003. Guidelines on Drought Coping Plans for Rainfed Production Systems. All India Co-ordinated Research Project for Dryland Agriculture, Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Hyderabad 500 059. 39 pages.

Acknowledgements: The financial support of FAO is gratefully acknowledged. The authors are thankful to the AME Foundation Team members of the three Area Units for their contribution in making this FFS programme a success. We are also thankful to the participated farmers, NGOs and Govt officials without whose cooperation, this programme objectives could not have been achieved.


Water Productivity at Different Scales Under Canal, Tank and Well Irrigation Systems
K.Palanisami, T.Ramesh and S.Senthilvel

By and large, the term water productivity refers to the magnitude of output or benefit resulting from the input quantum of water as applied on a unit base. It is defined as crop production per unit amount of water used (Molden, 1997). In the domain of agriculture, it is expressed as the net consumptive use efficiency in terms of yield per unit depth of water consumed per unit area of cultivation. If the field water conveyance, application, storage and distribution efficiencies are accounted to depict the seepage, run-off and deep percolation losses (not consumed by plant; evapo-transpiration loss is included as an implicit component of field water balance) it would be termed as the gross irrigation water use efficiency. Agricultural water productivity can be expressed either as a physical productivity in terms of yield over unit quantity of water consumed (tonnes per of water or kg yield per kg water consumed) in accordance with the scale of reference that includes or excludes the losses of water or an economic productivity replacing the yield term by the gross or net present value of the

crop yield for the same water consumption (Rupees per unit volume of water). The magnitude and meaning of the term water productivity is often changes with its scale of reference. Isolated scales of reference in agricultural domain can be plant/crop scale, field scale, project/basin/command scale, state scale and the country scale. By the same token, the industrial domain, drinking water supply and other usage domains can hold their own scales of reference. An increase in production per unit of water diverted at one scale does not necessarily lead to an increase in productivity of water diverted at a larger scale. The classical irrigation efficiency decreases as the scale of the system increases (Seckler et al., 2003). The definition of water productivity is scale-dependent. Increasing water productivity is then the function of several components at different levels viz., plant, field, irrigation system and river-basin. An increase in production per unit of water diverted at one scale does not necessarily lead to an increase in productivity of water diverted at a larger scale. The classical irrigation efficiency decreases as the scale of the system increases (Seckler et al., 2003).


In India, the on-farm irrigation efficiency of most canal irrigation systems ranges from 30 to 40% (Navalawala, 1999; Singh, 2000) whereas, the irrigation efficiency at basin level is as high as 70 to 80% (Chaudhary, 1997). Basin water productivity takes into consideration beneficial depletion for multiple uses of water, including not only crop production but also uses by the non-agricultural sector, including the environment. Here, the problem lies in allocating the water among its multiple uses and users. Keeping this view, an investigation was undertaken to assess the water productivity at plant, field and distributory level under different irrigation systems.

age and distribution losses/efficiencies. Hence the total water diverted from storage accounting for these losses is taken as the consumptive usage. Technically, WP (f) = WP (p)/(), where () is the overall irrigation efficiency of the farm with gravitational irrigation system layout. In case of a micro-irrigation layout, the value of () will be more than 95 % and almost 100% if the design is perfect. Since the scale of reference expands, the unit may be chosen as tonnes per cm of water consumed (t/cm). . Conveyance Efficiency c = Wdf/Wds 100 ... (1) . = Wsr/Wdf Application Efficiency a 100 ... (2) . = Wsr/Wnr Storage Efficiency s 100 ... (3) . Distribution Efficiency d = (1-Y/d ) 100 ... (4) Wdf Water Use Efficiency WUE = ... (5) Where, Wds = Volume of water diverted from the irrigation source, in m3 or; the source may be a well, canal distributory outlet, tank sluice outlet etc. Wdf = Volume of water delivered on to the field, in m3 or ha. cm Wro Wdp or ha. cm = = Volume of run off, m3 or ha. cm Volume of deep percolation m3 (Y/A)/

Materials and Methods

In the present study, water productivity under different scale levels viz., plant, field and distributory level were studied in three different irrigation systems viz., canal, tank and well irrigation. In canal irrigation system, four river basin areas of Tamil Nadu viz., Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP), Lower Bhavani Project (LBP), Periyar Vaigai and Tampiraparani river basins were taken to work out the water productivity at different scale of references. Data were collected using field visits to the canal commands and also necessary information was collected from the project records. Wherever possible measurement were taken and verified. In the case of tank irrigation, Srivilliputhur Big tank in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu was taken for the study as the data on most of the parameters of water productivity calculations were available. Similarly, the water productivity under well irrigation system was studied at farmers fields of Coimbatore district where well irrigation is being predominantly practiced. Maize and banana were the major crops considered to workout the water productivity. Well irrigation system is having different field crops as well as allied enterprises whereas other systems are having predominantly rice crop only except Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP), where groundnut is the major crop. The detailed methodology used for this study is described as follows.

Wsr = Wdf (Wro + Wdp) = Volume of water stored in the effective root zone m3 or ha. cm Wnr = Volume of water needed in the 3 root zone, m or ha. cm = A d d = design depth of irrigation, cm = ASMP % A = Area irrigated

Field/Farm Scale
At a field scale, processes of interest are different: nutrient application, water conserving tillage practices, field bunding, puddling of paddy fields etc. Water enters the field domain by direct rainfall, subsurface flows and irrigation from a source of storage. Rainfall alone is considered in case of rain fed agriculture. A field or farm scale water productivity (WP (f)) is influenced by the inevitable irrigation conveyance, application, stor-

d = Average depth of water stored in root zone after irrigation, cm


Y = Average of the numerical deviations of individual depth of water stored at different locations in the farm/field from the average depth of water stored, cm . The overall field irrigation efficiency e = . . c a ... (6)

ing the apparent losses like run-off and / or deep percolation would be considered for recycling or conjunctive use with canal flows. Then, the water productivity will be based on the total volume of water diverted from the irrigation source or simply the storage duty (S). WP (c) = Y / S Where, Y = project yield, in tonnes and S = Storage duty, in If S is expressed in cm as S then, S = S/A So that WP(c) = Y / S ... (10) ... (9)

Project/Command Area Scale

In Tamil Nadu, three distinct kinds of command areas are in vogue viz., Canal (or Reservoir) command, Tank (system and non-system) command and Well (Groundwater) command. While the canal and tank commands mostly fall intact under a project operation, well commands occur in a scattered fashion. When water is distributed in an irrigation system at a major scale like this, the important processes include allocation, distribution, conflict resolution and drainage. Allocation and distribution of irrigation water are primarily for irrigation farmers besides meeting the non-agricultural demands lie domestic, industrial, livestock and fisheries use.

Tank Command Water Productivity WP (t)

Nearly 39,000 tanks exist in Tamil Nadu State as natural surface water harvesting structures since the olden king regimes for the purpose of irrigation and other water usage. Earlier the tank system had clearly defined channel network originating from the storage outlet point and in due course of time these channels have disappeared owing to encroachments and other formidable reasons. The tanks commonly come under a non-system (isolated or interconnected battery) with independent or combined catchments or a system tank arcade hooked along rivers or streams or canals, in which water at select points is diverted into the tank. Streams emanating from their own catchment basins during rains feed the non-system tanks and the water thus stored is utilized for irrigation and other purposes during the non-rainy season. In case of a battery of interconnected non-system tanks, water spilling from previous tank is diverted to the subsequent tank. System tanks are fed by flow diversion from natural river streams or from a project canal network as and when surplus flows occur. The gross volume of water depleted from the tank storage (Sd) or the equivalent depth (Sd) in cm, over the crop growth season forms the base (denominator) for productivity calculations. WP (t) = Y/Sd ... (11) where, Y = the overall tank command yield in tonnes Sd = depleted volume of water from tank storage, or Million cubic metres Sd = equivalent depth in cm of water depleted from tank storage

Canal Command / Project Water Productivity (WP(c))

The overall productivity of this scale of reference depends ultimately on the total quantum of water released from storage over the base period, the area covered and the project yield. The storage duty (S) includes the losses during conveyance, distribution and application over and above the field duty () in a canal network project. Field duty () is expressed as the seasonal water requirement for crop and related activities, in cm, at the tail most end area of the canal network. = CU/ ... (7) where, represents the farm/field efficiency. Then, the storage duty (S) = /(c), where (c) represents the overall conveyance efficiency of the canal network/project. The flow duty (D) in ha/cumec is devised in accordance with S and to cover the given command area (A) over the base period (B) of the project water supply, as, D = (864B) / , and S = A . / (c) ... (8) As the command area/project scale is expand-


Well Command Water Productivity WP (w)

Unlike the canal or tank commands, well commands are isolated and scattered and may also occur within a canal command or tank command. Absolute water productivity from an area fed by wells alone can be worked out if that area is away from a canal or tank command. But if the wells function within a canal or tank command, the conjunctive water productivity will be assessed on the premise that losses from canal or tank flows, contribute to groundwater recharge over a certain lag period i.e. loss is transformed into a gain. Recycling this gain of water as a conjunctive use of groundwater with surface waters will help increase the irrigation area thereby increasing the absolute productivity of the region. Water table fluctuations are periodically assessed to determine if the area comes under a dark zone or gray zone or a white zone for having exploited the groundwater potential and leading to a critical stage of minimum or controlled pumping with possibilities for introducing artificial recharge means and structures. Water table fluctuations, pumping hours, discharge variations, power of pumping unit, mode of conveyance and application, type of crop and method of irrigation would contribute for the fluctuations in productivity. The productivity can be improved if lined channels or pipelines are used for conveyance and micro-irrigation systems are used for application. WP (w) = Y/Wd Where, Wd = volume or equivalent depth in cm of water depleted from well storage by pumping = (Pump discharge * total duration of pumping over the crop growth season) / Area of cultivation All the above scales of reference shall be suitably formatted for input data, processing models and output units of productivity. The overall physical or economic productivity of a region shall then be worked out integrating the above scales. ... (12)

Tampiraparani river basins were worked out and presented in Table 1. In canal irrigation system, ground nut is a predominant crop in Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP), whereas in the other three river basins rice is the major crop. From the results, it is clearly understood that there was a considerable reduction in water productivity under field level (0.20 kg groundnut/ m3 of water in PAP, 0.40 kg rice / m3 in Lower Bhavani project (LBP), 0.24 kg rice / m3 in Vaigai and 0.27 kg rice / m3 in Tampiraparani river basin) as compared to individual plant/ crop level (0.39 kg groundnut/ m3 of water in PAP, 0.73 kg rice / m3 in LBP, 0.70 kg rice / m3 in Vaigai and 0.60 kg rice / m3 in Tampiraparani river basin) mainly due to losses through seepage, deep percolation and runoff in the canal irrigation systems. Among the four canal irrigation projects, Lower Bhavani project was recorded higher productivity at plant level (0.73 kg/m3) as well as at farm level (0.40 kg/m3) compared to other projects. At distributory level, conveyance losses caused reduction in water productivity which means that more quantity of water is being used for crop cultivation. So water productivity has a negative relationship with the scale of reference that is expansion of boundary of command area. In the case of tank irrigation, Srivilliputhur Big tank in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu, the results showed that there was a reduction in water productivity when the scale of reference has increased. The physical water productivity of rice was higher under individual plant level (0.47 kg / m3) followed by field level water productivity (0.30 kg / m3) and comparatively lower water productivity was recorded under tank system level. Similarly, the water productivity under well irrigation system was studied at farmers fields of Coimbatore district where well irrigation is being predominantly practiced. Maize and banana were the major crops considered to workout the water productivity. Well irrigation system is having different field crops as well as allied enterprises whereas other systems are having predominantly rice crop only except Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP), where groundnut is the major crop. So multiple water uses was studied in well irrigation system under different farm enterprises at farmers holdings in working out the water productivity. Farms with crops alone, crop + dairy and crop + fishery were analysed in this study. The results showed that the farm, which is having al-

Results and discussion

Water productivity under different scale levels viz., plant, field and distributory level were studied in three different irrigation systems viz., canal, tank and well irrigation. In canal irrigation system, four river basin areas of Tamil Nadu viz., Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP), Lower Bhavani Project (LBP), Periyar Vaigai and


lied enterprises along with crops registered higher water productivity over the farms with crops alone. Comparing the different combination of farm enterprises, crop + fishery system has resulted in higher water productivity (Rs.41.43/m3) followed by crop + dairy combination (Rs.11.27/m3) and the lower water productivity of Rs.9.64/m3 was observed with crops alone.

In sum, among the different irrigation systems, well system has comparatively higher water productivity both in physical and economic terms due to controlled irrigation application, comparatively higher crop yields and multiple crops/ enterprises combinations. Whereas in canal and tank system, mono cropping, uncontrolled irrigations, and scarcity of water during critical crop periods result in lower water productivity.


Chaudhary, T.N., 1997. Vision-2020. DWMR Perspective Plan. Directorate of Water Research, Patna, India, 73 p. Molden, D., 1997. Accounting for water use and productivity. SWIM Paper 1. International Irrigation Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Navalawala, B.N. 1999a. Improving management of irrigation resources. Yojana, January: 81-87. Seckler, D., D. Molden and R. Sakthivadivel. 2003. The Concept of Efficiency in Water Resources Management and Policy. In: Water Productivity in Agriculture: Limits and Opportunities for Improvement. (Eds) Kijne.J.W., R.Barker and D.Molden. CABI Publishing. UK. pp 37-53.


Table 1: Physical and economic water productivity under different irrigation systems with different scale of reference in Tamil Nadu
Scale of References Total water used (m3) Physical (kg) I. Canal system 1. Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP) Plant/crop level 0.013 Field level (0.4 ha) 3388.8 Distributory level 1335283.7 2. Lowe Bhavani Project (LBP) Plant/crop level 0.0180 Field level (0.4 ha) 5473.5 Distributory level 833824.4 3. Vaigai River Basin Plant/crop level 0.020 Field level (0.4 ha) 6931.25 Distributory level 2486534.4 4. Tampiraparani River Basin Plant/crop level 0.028 Field level (0.4 ha) 7909.4 Distributory level 37647968.0 II. Tank system Plant/crop level 0.0202 Field level (0.4 ha) 11608.1 System level 3099174 III. Well system Plant/crop level Maize 0.048 Banana 6.6 Field level Crops alone (0.9 ha) 12003.0 Crops + Dairy (1.0 ha) 10068.4 Crops + Fishery (1.20 ha) 16352.0 * Banana equivalent yield ** maize equivalent yield Output Economic (Rs.) Physical (kg/m3) Water Productivity Economic (Rs./m3)

0.0051 680 185661 0.0131 2200 213796 0.014 1650 396000 0.017 2100 3549038 0.0095 3160 821000

0.0312 4160 1135810 0.029 7000 621952 0.033 4390 1053600 0.068 7100 12066949.5 0.007125 2375 954750

0.39 0.20 0.14 0.73 0.40 0.26 0.70 0.24 0.16 0.60 0.27 0.09 0.49 0.27 0.26

2.40 1.23 0.85 1.61 1.28 0.75 1.65 0.63 0.42 2.43 0.90 0.30 0.35 0.20 0.30

0.050 8.5 15833.33* 32116.67** 72045.83*

0.21 59.70 115752 115752 678350

1.04 1.28 1.31 3.19 4.41

4.38 8.99 9.64 11.27 41.43


Integrated Farming System for Increasing Agricultural Water Productivity
C.Jayanthi, T.Ramesh and C.Vennila

At the dawn of new millennium, many challenges surmount agriculture to achieve sustainable food security with shrinking land resources. Now we have to produce an additional 50 million tonnes of food grains to meet the requirement of the prognosticated population of 1060 million by 2020AD. Because of declining per capita availability of land in India, there is hardly any scope for horizontal expansion of land for food production. Only vertical expansion is possible by integrating appropriate farming components requiring lesser space and time and ensuring periodic income to the farmer. On the other hand, modest increments in land productivity are also no longer sufficient to the resource poor farmers. Hence, efficient management and allocation of resources are important to alleviate the risk related to land sustainability. Moreover, proper understanding of interactions and linkages between the components help to improve food security, employment generation besides nutritional security. This concept which has got transformed into farming systems approach, envis-

ages the integration of agro-forestry, horticulture, dairy, sheep and goat rearing, fishery, poultry, pigeon, biogas, mushroom, sericulture and by product utilization with crops, with the primary goal of increasing the income and standard of living of small and marginal farmers. One of the ways to make farming a viable proposition is to bring diversification in agriculture. The preconditions for diversifications are water resources development and growing of crops which have better market opportunities. In addition to growing vegetable and fruit crops, livestock, pisiculture, bee keeping, poultry, rabbitary and floriculture can further provide boost to the overall improvement in the farming business. The great challenge for the coming decades will be the task of producing more profit per drop of water, particularly in countries with limited water resources. In addition, growing demand for water for industry and municipalities, combined with environmental problems results in less water for agriculture in the future. One of the approaches to meet the future water shortages will be increasing water productivity through multi uses of


water in a farm with the introduction of different agriculture production systems instead of crops alone in a farm. The concept of water productivity (WP) is offered by Molden,(1997) and Kijne et al. (2003) as a robust measure of the ability of agricultural systems to convert water into food. While it was used primarily to evaluate the function of irrigation systems as crop per drop - it seems useful to extend the concept to include other types of livelihood support, such as mixed cropping, pasture, livestock, fisheries or forests. Agricultural water productivity can be expressed either as a physical productivity in terms of yield over unit quantity of water consumed (tonnes per of water or kg yield per kg water consumed) in accordance with the scale of reference that includes or excludes the losses of water or an economic productivity replacing the yield term by the gross or net present value of the crop yield for the same water consumption (Rupees per unit volume of water). Producing more crops, dairy, fish and forest products per unit of agricultural water use holds a key to both food and environmental security. However, Molden et al (2003) stated the importance of working out water productivity within agriculture, water use by fisheries, forests, dairy and field crops and concluded that analyzing each water use independently often leads to false conclusions because of these interactions. An attempt was made to estimate the water productivity in integrated farming system through on-station and on-farm research at TNAU, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. On- station field investigation to estimate water productivity for rice based systems and the allied activities like poultry, pigeon, fish and mushroom linked in lowland integrated farming systems was carried out at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India. The components were selected bearing in mind their popularity and suitability to lowland situations of Tamil Nadu. For fishery, fingerlings belonging to six species were stocked at 400 numbers per 0.04 ha area of pounded water. Water level in all the ponds was maintained at 50 cm height initially at the time of release of fingerlings and subsequently raised to 60, 70, 80 and 90 cm at an interval of 30 days. From fourth month onwards, water level in the pond was maintained to 90 cm till the harvest of grown up fish to compensate the evaporation and seepage loss through pumped water every week. For poultry, twenty numbers of eighteen weeks old Bapkok chicks were sheltered in a shed. For

Pigeon, forty pairs of pigeon were sheltered near that second fishpond. Birds were allowed to go for open grazing in the fields in and around the system and not been supplemented with any other material. For mushroom, mushroom cultivation was carried out with a capacity of 2 kg day-1 allowing recycling of paddy straw from the component. Water requirement of the components was worked out and the productivity of components was converted to rice grain equivalents on the basis economics. Results revealed that cultivation of rice-green gram-maize and rice-sunhemp-maize cropping systems (conventional cropping systems) each in 0.50 hectare consumed 182 ha cm of water totally in a year. Whereas 201 ha cm of water was needed for rice-soybean-sunflower and rice-gingelly-maize cropping systems in 0.45 ha each involved in integrated farming systems. Poultry, pigeon, fish and mushroom components utilized 0.02, 0.04, 15.84 and 1.37 ha cm of water for their production in a year. Integration of cropping with pigeon + fish + mushroom utilized 218 ha cm as against 182 ha cm of water with conventional cropping system alone. Integration of poultry and pigeon required very little quantity of water and total water requirement in integration of improved cropping with fish + mushroom + poultry / pigeon was lesser than the water requirement of rice based cropping alone in one hectare land area. Results on system productivity (rice equivalent yield) as a whole revealed that integration of rice based cropping with pigeon + fish + mushroom produced 154.7 kg of rice per ha cm of water, while conventional cropping systems recorded 60.2 kg of rice per ha cm.(Table 1). Hence, integrating allied components with cropping results in effective water productivity in lowland systems ( Multiple uses of water was studied in different agriculture production system viz.crop alone, crop + dairy and crop + fishery at farmers holdings in western zone of Tamil Nadu, India. The results revealed that the farm, which was having allied enterprises along with crops registered higher water productivity over the farms with crops alone. Gross volume of water used in the farm was 12003, 10068.4 and 16352 m3 under crops alone, crops + dairy and crops + fishery respectively (Table 2). Farm with only crops have produced total physical output of 15833 kg banana equivalent yield whereas crops + dairy and crops + fishery farms produced total physical productivity of 32117 kg maize equivalent yield and 72046 kg banana equivalent yield respectively. Higher


profit of Rs.677550/- was obtained in fishery-integrated farm (1.20 ha) than dairy integrated farm (Rs.113425/in 1.00 ha) and farm with crops alone (Rs.115752/- in 0.90 ha). Water productivity in fish culturing have found comparatively higher (Rs.65.83m3), than dairy rearing (Rs.37.67/m3) and crop cultivation. While comparing the different combination of farm enterprises, crop + fishery system produced higher water productivity (Rs.41.43/ m3) followed by crop + dairy combination (Rs.11.27/ m3) and the lower water productivity of Rs.9.64/m3 was noticed where crops alone was raised (Table 3). Higher quantity of physical production and high market demands are the reasons for better economic water productivity

of fishery-integrated farm. Among the allied enterprises, fishery component could produce higher physical yield, better market price coupled with minimum water requirement, which in turn had resulted in higher water productivity per unit of water. Hence, water productivity under irrigated dryland ecosystem can be improvised by introducing fishery component along with field crops. From the results of the study, it could be concluded that integration of allied enterprises like fishery or dairy along with crop cultivation leads to increased economic water productivity of a farm and it should remain as one of the strategies for accomplishing the objective of more profit per drop in Coimbatore region of Tamil Nadu.


Jayanthi,C, A. Rangasamy and C. hinnusamy.2000.water budgeting in lowland intergrated farming systems.Madras Agric.J. 411-414 Kjine, J.W., Barker, R. and Molden, D. (eds.) 2003. Water Productivity in Agriculture. CABI, Wallingford Molden, D., 1997. Accounting for water use and productivity. SWIM Paper 1. International Irrigation Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Molden, D., H. Murray-Rust, R. Sakthivadivel and I. Makin, 2003. A water productivity framework for understanding and action. In: Water Productivity in Agriculture: Limits and Opportunities for improvement (eds). J.W.Kijne, R.Barker and D.Molden). CAB International. pp 1-18. Palanisami, K., T.Ramesh and S.Senthilvel. 2007. Water productivity at farm level under differential agricultural production systems. In: 3rd International Groundwater Conference. Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development Studies, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore 641 003. p 306.


Table 1: Water requirement (ha cm) of integrated

Component water requirement (ha cm) Farming system FS1: FS2: FS3: FS4: Cropping alone Crop + Poultry + Fish + ushroom Crop + Pigeon + Fish + Mushroom Crop) + Fish + Mushroom Crop 182 201 201 201 Poultry 0.02 0.04 Pigeon Fish 15.84 15.84 15.84 Mushroom 1.37 1.37 1.37 System requirement (ha cm) 182.00 (60.2) 218.23 (145.1) 218.25 (154.1) 218.21 (123.1)

(Figure in parentheses indicate rice grain equivalent yield kg ha cm 1) FS1 Rice sun hemp Rice greengram maize Rice maize soybean maize sunflower

Souce: Jayanthi et al. (2000) 0.50 ha 0.50 ha 0.45 ha 0.45 ha

FS2 to FS4 Rice gingelly

Table 2: Details of water used &yield of different farm enterprises at different farms
Farm type Crops alone Enterprises Banana-surface irrigated Banana-drip irrigated Leaf vegetable Total farm Rose- surface irrigated Rose- drip irrigated Maize Dairy Total farm Grapes-drip Banana -drip Fishery Total farm Area (ha) 0.60 0.20 0.10 0.90 0.40 0.40 0.20 1 No. 1.00 0.40 0.40 0.40 1.20 Water (m3) 8320.8 2823.2 859 12003 5444 3388.4 796.4 439.6 10068.4 1196 6699.2 8456.8 16352 Yield (kg) 10500 5000 500 15833* 306000 Nos. 340000 Nos. 800 3300 litres 32117** 2500 14400 26670 72046*

Crops + Dairy

Crops + Fishery

*Banana equivalent yield ** maize equivalent yield, Souce: Palanisami et al. (2007)

Table 3: Economics &water productivity of different farm enterprises at different farms

Farm type Crops alone Enterprises Banana-surface irrigated Banana-drip irrigated Leaf vegetable Total Crops + Dairy Rose-surface irrigated* Rose-drip irrigated* Maize Dairy Total Grapes-drip Banana -drip Fishery Total *Physical water productivity is in numbers. Souce: Palanisami et al. (2007) Area (ha) 0.60 0.20 0.10 0.90 0.40 0.40 0.20 1 No. 1.00 0.40 0.40 0.40 1.20 Income (Rs.) 126000 60000 4000 194000 76500 85000 4800 26400 192700 25000 172800 666750 842050 30000 35000 1500 12775 12000 65000 110000 Cost (Rs.) 52248 21000 1000 profit (Rs.) 73752 39000 3000 115752 46500 50000 3300 13625 113425 13000 107800 556750 677550 WP (kg/ m3) 1.77 1.26 0.58 1.31 56.2* 100.3* 1.00 7.75 litres 3.19 2.10 2.15 3.15 4.41 WP (Rs./ m3) 13.80 8.86 3.49 9.64 8.54 14.76 4.14 37.67 11.27 10.87 16.10 65.83 41.43

Crops + Fishery


Generation of Regional Water Harvesting Potential Scenarios using CLIMGEN Model
A. Sarangi, C.A. Madramootoo and K.R. Koundal

Spatio-temporal variability of precipitation amount at both regional and global scales is being observed due to climate change. Such variations in water resources in general and reduced water availability of some regions in particular will definitely jeopardize many human activities, because, water is the elixir of life. This necessitates a detailed investigation to ascertain such changes of precipitation and quantify the hydrological variability of surface water resources due to climate change at regional scales for its judicious allocation to different water demanding sectors in a sustainable manner. One of the first weather generators developed for rural water quality modelling purposes is called WGEN (Richardson and Wright, 1984). Numerous other weather generators have developed since then. CLIGEN, the weather generator incorporated within the WEPP (Water Erosion Prediction Project) model, is based on the weather generation methods used in WGEN (Nicks et al. 1990). CLIGEN, however, adds the capability of gener-

ating rainfall intensity and duration or breakpoint rainfall data necessary for the Green and Ampt infiltration model used in many of todays hydrologic and soil loss prediction models including WEPP. With an aim to study the trend of precipitation, Yu et al. (2006) analysed the long-term rainfall data (1904-2001) from 33 rain-gauges at different time scales (annual, seasonal and monthly rainfalls) in Taiwan. The statistical tests, such as cumulative deviations, Mann-Whitney-Pettitt statistics and the Kruskal-Wallis test, were employed to determine whether annual rainfall series exhibit any regular trend. Both tests identified the trend and the identified the change points in the data series. Basistha et al. (2007) prepared the normal annual rainfall maps for 44 raingauge stations in Uttarakhand state lying in Himalayan region of India based on the recorded data from the year 1901 to 1950 to study the spatial distribution of rainfall. A comparative analysis of interpolation techniques like Inverse Distance Weighted, Polynomial, Splines, Ordinary Kriging and Universal Kriging showed that the Universal Kriging with hole-effect model and natural logarithmic transfor-


mation with constant trend having Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) of 328.7 was found to be the best suitable method for interpolation of rainfall in this region. The validation of the predicted values with the observed data revealed that the variability of rainfall in plains exhibited minimal error as compared to the hilly terrains of Great Himalayas. The results indicated that the spatial variability models could not predict the variability of rainfall in hilly regions. Livada and Assimakopoulos (2007) used the Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI) to detect drought events in spatial and temporal basis over the Greek territory. The monthly precipitation data from 23 stations well spread over Greece and for a period of 51 years (1950 2000) was used and a classification of drought was performed, based on its intensity and duration of precipitation. The results indicate that, mild and moderate droughts reduce from north to south and from west to east on the 3- and 6-months time scale, while for the class of severe drought; the frequencies in the southern part of Greece were higher than in the other parts of the country. Shahid (2007) analysed the spatial and temporal characteristics of precipitation in the western part of Bangladesh for a periof from 1961 to 1999. A standardized precipitation index method was used to compute the severity of droughts from the rainfall data recorded in 12 rainfall gauge stations. An artificial neural network model was used to estimate the missing rainfall data and GIS was used to map the spatial extent of droughts with varying severities in multiple time scales. Analysis of rainfall was also carried to find the minimum rainfall during monsoon and dry months in different parts of the study area to avoid rainfall deficit. The study showed that the north and north-western parts of Bangladesh were most vulnerable to droughts. Keeping in view of the research work pertaining to analysis of rainfall data, the present study was carried out to investigate the changes in daily precipitation amounts using a long term daily rainfall data base of a rain gauge station in Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) farm, New Delhi, India. Daily rainfall data available at Water Technology Centre (WTC) observatory of IARI farm for a period from 1972 to 2007 (36 years) was acquired and converted to digital format for subsequent analysis using ClimGen model. Assessment of the spatio-temporal variability of precipitation would assist in quantification of the surface runoff and the harvestable runoff water for agriculture and allied activities.

Operation of The Climate Generation (ClimGen) Model

Weather generators have been developed in recent years to help reduce the time required to prepare weather input data sets. Weather generators are computer programs that use existing climatic records to produce a long series of synthetic daily climatic data. The statistical properties of the generated data are expected to be similar to those of the actual data for a station. Unlike historical weather data files which may be missing data due to equipment servicing or malfunction, generated weather input provides a complete data set and can be produced for any desired period of time, enhancing their use as input for continuous-in-time models. ClimGen model, which is a modified version of WGEN is developed by Gaylon S. Campbell of Washington State University, USA. ClimGen generates daily maximum and minimum temperature, and precipitation from either daily weather data, if available, or from monthly summaries. The model is written in C++ using Borland C++ builder and the technical support is provided by Dr. Roger Nelson, Biological Systems Engineering Department, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA (Stockle et al., 2003). A copy of the most recent version of ClimGen is available and may be downloaded from the ClimGen website. The website address is Those interested in using the model are encouraged to visit the site, download and test the model in their own setting, and provide feedback to the developers on its use. In this study, the ClimGen model ver. 4.04.15 is used for analysis of the rainfall data (Fig.1). ClimGen uses weather generation approaches that are similar to those applied in other popular weather generators. ClimGen is generally used to generate the key weather input variables needed for hydrologic and crop growth modelling. In this study, daily precipitation depths were generated and analysed using the ClimGen model. Generating precipitation data involves approaches that can assess the likelihood of both the occurrence of precipitation on a particular day as well as the amount. Rainfall intensity and duration within the rain event may also need to be generated for some applications. ClimGen models the daily precipitation occurrence using a two-state Markov chain model to generate the number and distribution of precipitation events. The probability of a wet day following a dry day and the prob-


ability of a dry day following a wet day is also estimated by ClimGen. These probabilities are calculated for each month of the year for the station being characterized by analyzing a stations historic long-term precipitation data provided by the model user. On days when precipitation is determined to occur, ClimGen assumes the cumulative probability of precipitation amount follows a Weibull distribution. The advantages of ClimGen over other weather generators are summarized as follows: ClimGen includes routines that allow it to automate the task of parameterizing historical weather data from new stations of interest. All that is required is sufficient historical observed data for a station formatted in a manner that can be read by the ClimGen software. The minimum data requirement for good precipitation generation is at least 25 years of real precipitation data. With one or more years of data, the parameterization will be achieved, but with any less than 25 years of real precipitation data, the generated precipitation should only be considered as estimates. Daily precipitation amounts are assumed to follow a Weibull distribution in the model, which is observed to be superior to other probability distributions of daily precipitation amount (Selker and Haith,1990). A spline-fitting approach is used in ClimGen. This is an improvement over the one-term Fourier series used by many of the other weather generators to model seasonal variations in climate data. Developers of the ClimGen model are available and were interested in supporting and enhancing ClimGen as a weather generation tool for use under a range of geographic locations and applications, including the Canadian setting.

Results and Discussions

Daily rainfall data of the WTC observatory for a period of 36 years available in form of rainfall charts and tabular formats were digitized and prepared in the Universal Environment Database (UED) format using the ExcelTM spreadsheet. Further, the ClimGen model was parameterized using the daily rainfall data of 30 years (1972-2001) and incorporating the location information (78.450 longitude and 27.360 latitude) of the observatory at WTC besides other input parameters. The parametrized model was further used to generate the daily rainfall data for a period for 42 years (2002-2043) (Fig. 2). The generated data for the period from the year 2002 to 2007 was compared with the recorded data of

the said period. The coefficient of determination (R2) of the fitted trend line for all the years ranged from 0.76 to 0.93. The validation results for the year 2007 is shown in the Fig.3. It is observed from Fig.3 that the ClimGen predicted rainfall depths for the year 2007 was in line with the observed daily rainfall depths and the model over predicted the total annual rainfall depth by a small margin of 25mm. The randomness, trend and periodicity of the daily rainfall data of the observed and predicted sets for the year 2007 were almost in line. Further, a non-parametric statistical test i.e. Mann-Kendall rank correlation test was carried out on the predicted data for the period from 2008 to 2043. The test showed that there was an increasing trend of precipitation amounts for the projected period. The annual monthly rainfall data of both the historical recorded set and the ClimGen generated set were plotted along with the trend line, which is shown in Fig 4. It was observed from the Fig. 4 that the annual rainfall depths exhibited an increasing trend of rainfall for the period from the year 2008 to 2043. Subsequently to understand the variability in the number of the rainy and non-rainy days in every year before and after the base year 2007, the rainy and non rainy days were calculated form the data set of 76 years and are shown in Fig. 5. It was observed from Fig. 5 that there was a significant variability in the rainy and nonrainy days during the 36 years period prior to 2007 with a range (R) of 57 days, where as the range was 25 days for the ClimGen generated data base of 36 years after the year 2007. The probability of a wet day followed by a dry day and consecutive wet day and dry day rainfall analysis carried out on the data sets revealed that the probability of dry day followed by a wet day was less for the period from the year 2008 to 2043. This result indicate that the water harvesting potential of the region will increase due to saturated soil conditions prevailing for an extended period as compared to the periods prior to 2007. However, to ascertain these findings, the evapotranspiration and rainfall data from other peripheral stations and the solar radiation along with the soil and land use information are also essential.

ClimGen model was successfully parameterized using the recorded daily precipitation data of WTC observatory and was subsequently used to generate the precipitation amount for extended 36 years period. Analysis of the data for both the periods before and after the year 2007 revealed significant information about the trend of precipitation corroborating the change of climate and its


impact on availability of water resources in future. The daily rainfall amounts were observed to be higher for the period from 2008 to 2043 as compared to very few higher events as observed from 1972 to 2007. These findings corroborated the GCM predictions of having high intense storms resulting in elevated daily rainfall amounts. There preliminary investigations carried out using the ClimGen model can be used to generate the

daily precipitation amount besides the probability of wet day and dry days to estimate the water harvesting potential of a region comprising of a network of rain gauge stations. Also, the meteorological and agricultural drought indices can be developed to advocate the farming community for judicious dry land farming to enhance agricultural production.


Basistha, A., Arya, D. S. and Goel, N. K. (2007) Spatial Distribution of Rainfall in Indian Himalayas A Case Study of Uttarakhand Region, Water Resource Management, DOI 10.1007/s11269-007-9228-2 Livada, I. and Assimakopoulos, V. D. (2007) Spatial and temporal analysis of drought in Greece using the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). Theoretical and Applied Climatology 89, 143 153. DOI 10.1007/s00704005-0227-z Narasimhan, B. and Srinivasan, R. (2005) Development and evaluation of Soil Moisture Deficit Index (SMDI) and Evapotranspiration Deficit Index (ETDI) for agricultural drought monitoring. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 133:69 88. Nicks, A.D., C.W. Richardson, and J.R. Williams. 1990. Evaluation of the EPIC model weather generator. In EPIC Erosion/Productivity Impact Calculator, 1. Model Documentation, USDA Technical Bulletin No. 1768, Eds. A.N. Sharpley and J.R. Williams. 105-124. Washington, DC, U.S.A. Richardson, C.W. and D.A. Wright. 1984. WGEN, A Model for Generating Daily Weather Variables, USDA ARS Bulletin No. ARS-8. Washington, DC, U.S.A.: Government Printing Office. Shahid, S (2007) Spatial and temporal characteristics of droughts in the western part of Bangladesh, Hydrological Processes 21, 0 0 DOI: 10.1002/hyp.6820. Stockle, C.O., M. Donatelli and R. Nelson. 2003. CropSyst, a cropping systems simulation model. Europ. J. Agronomy 18:289-307. Yu, P., Yang, T., and Kuo, C. (2006) Evaluating Long-Term Trends in Annual and Seasonal Precipitation in Taiwan, Water Resources Management 20: 1007 1023. DOI: 10.1007/s11269-006-9020-8.


Improving Water Productivity in Maize by Nutriseed Holder Technique under Micro Sprinkler and Drip Irrigation
K. Arulmozhiselvan and R. Vengatesan

Globally maize is the top ranking cereal in potential grain productivity. India ranks fifth in maize area (6.42 m ha), fourth in production (11.47 m t) and third in productivity with average yield of 1790 kg ha-1 among cereals (SAI, 2000). Fertilizer rates and placement of nutrients are important factors to be considered to produce maximum yield of maize. Particularly deep placement of nutrients might be beneficial to corn growth. The method of N, P and K placement has typically been found effective over broadcasting on the top of the soil, and it is also influenced by the amount of water used for irrigation (Howard et al., 2002). A fundamental approach is to reduce water use to grow maize by proper irrigation management. Recently drip irrigation methods are being tested to save water by eliminating continuous seepage and percolation, and reducing evaporation. Maize responses to N, P and K fertilizer applications are typically greatest in moist conditions (Nelson et al., 1992). Combining nutrients in a balanced proportion

has been found to enhance fertilizer use efficiency. Fertilizer tablets made out of dry granulation or compaction of urea individually with muriate of potash, zinc sulphate, DAP and ammonium chloride with ordinary tabletting machine, was found to reduce NH3 volatilization upto 44 per cent, relative to urea, and would be a feasible costeffective technology (Purakayastha and Katyal, 1998). Asha (2003) made a pioneering approach of deep placing NPK fertilizers just below the germinating seedling with an aid of tubular holder called Nutriseed Holder, which contained sprouted seeds on top and fertilizers at bottom. This study with 15N tracer demonstrated a 57.1 percent of fertilizer N recovery, which exceeded two folds of recovery noted for surface broadcast (26.1 %). Subsequently Deivanai (2005) experimented with Nutriseed holder having seed, enriched manure and fertilizers together, which gave 42-58 per cent increase in yield of rice grown in soil column, when compared to surface broadcast method, under submerged water regime. In spite clear evidences on improvement in efficiency, the deep placement methods have not been


fully tested under different moisture status particularly under upland condition. Hence, in the present study the design of Nutriseed Holder developed for rice (Asha, 2003 ; Deivanai, 2005) was further improved and studied with maize crop to understand the extent of utilization of nutrients under different water saving irrigation strategies viz., rainfed (simulated by micro sprinkler) and drip irrigation in comparison with conventional surface fertilizer broadcast method and surface irrigation.

Design of Nutriseed Holder

Deep placement of fertilizers was done with the aid of Nutriseed holders made with fertilizer, manure and seed pellets, wrapped in a square butter paper, as a roll (Fig 1). The fertilizer materials needed to supply full N and K and 90 per cent of P as per treatment, for a single maize plant was pressed to a pellet in the pelleting device. Urea, single super phosphate and Muriate of potash were used as nutrient sources. Then the pellet was placed in a small thin polyethylene bag (1 x 1.5 inch), and the mouth was sealed with flame as a water proof pack. The bottom of polyethylene pack was opened using a circular pin to a 5 mm diameter pore in open method, and to a 1 mm diameter pore in closed method. For preparing manure pellet, enriched vermicompost containing 10 per cent of P as per treatment was used. When both fertilizer and manure pellets were made ready, they were placed on a 6 6 cm perforated butter paper. Two maize seeds were put on top of roll and pressed with moist soil along with bioinoculants (Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria) and placed on top. Now the paper was rolled. The extending paper length was folded inside to protect seed from falling. The roll which contained fertilizer pellet at bottom, manure pellet in the middle and seed with soil and bio-inoculants is called as Nutriseed holder.

Materials and Methods

The experiment was conducted during November 2006 to March 2007 in the farm of Agricultural College and Research Institute, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. The experimental soil (Typic Haplustalf of Madukkur series) was sandy loam in texture, neutral in pH having low organic carbon (0.63 %). The hybrid maize parental line UMI 61 was grown as test crop. In split plot design, the three main and six sub-plot treatments were assigned in two replications. In Main plots, irrigation treatments viz., Surface irrigation, Micro sprinkler irrigation (simulated rainfed condition), and Drip irrigation were imposed. In the Sub plots the methods of fertilizer application tested were: Surface broadcast (100 % Recommended NPK), Nutriseed holder - Open method with 75% N, 100% PK (or) 100% NPK, Nutriseed holder - Closed method with 75% N, 100% PK (or) 100% NPK and Control. The chemical analysis of soil and plant samples and in situ physical measurements were carried out by adopting standard procedures. Based on grain yield, nutrient uptake and nutrient applied the nutrient use efficiency was computed in terms of Apparent Nutrient Recovery and Water Productivity.

Deep Placement
At the time of sowing Nutriseed holders were placed vertically down. For this purpose a 6 cm deep hole was made in soil using a 15 mm thick and 15 cm length stick. Implanting was done by slightly placing a Nutriseed holder in the hole and pressing on top of holder vertically down till the top seed portion coincided to the soil surface. When this was done the dissolution surface of fertilizer pellet would have been located at 5 cm depth from the surface.

Surface irrigation was done at weekly intervals up to tasseling stage and thereafter once in 10 days consuming 660 mm of water. Micro sprinkler irrigation was done with 4 sprinkler heads laid inside the plot. The water sprinkled inside the plot as rain droplets simulating rainfall. Each sprinkler delivered water at 70 litres hour-1. The amount of rainfall of 540 mm of North East monsoon was simulated by adjusting the duration of delivery of water by micro sprinkler. Drip irrigation was given by on-line emitters located near each plot at 10 emitters m-2. Each emitter had delivery rate of about 8 litres hour-1. By adjusting the duration of delivery the amount of water admitted was regulated. Altogether during the crop period 360 mm of water was admitted.

Results and Discussion

The yield, water use efficiency and soil physical conditions varied widely with respect to irrigation regimes and method of fertilizer application. Under surface irrigation, deep placement of Nutriseed holder with 100% NPK in open method resulted in 3786 kg ha-1 grain yield (Table 1) which was 55.9 per cent higher than the grain yield of surface broadcast (2429 kg ha-1). Under simulated rainfed condition with micro sprinkler,


placement of 100% NPK Nutriseed holder in open method recorded 3350 kg ha-1 grain yield, which was 50.8 per cent higher than the surface broadcast (2221 kg ha-1) similar trend was also noted for the Stover yield.

30.9 per cent for surface irrigation, and 17.4 percent for micro sprinkler (simulated rainfed) irrigation when compared to drip irrigation. While evaluating the relationship between soil moisture and crop growth Nandal and

Table 1: Stover and Grain Yield of maize under different irrigation regimes(kg ha-1)
Method of Application Surface Irrigation Micro Drip Mean Sprinkler Stover Yield 5493 5285 5085 5288 6665 6225 5642 6177 6831 6453 5801 6362 5937 5648 5178 5588 6242 5925 5387 5851 4917 4821 4640 4793 6014 5726 5289 SEd CD(P=0.05) 45.2 194.4** 74.6 159.0** 129.2 275.4* 87.2 236.7* Surface Micro Drip Mean Sprinkler Grain Yield 2221 2008 2219 3099 2557 3034 3350 2773 3303 2539 2134 2514 2827 2336 2779 1697 1598 1712 2622 2234 SEd CD(P=0.05) 15.3 65.7** 20.5 43.6** 35.5 75.6** 25.5 74.3**

M1 M2 M3 M4 M5 M6 Mean Irrigation Methods I at T T at I

2429 3447 3786 2868 3173 1840 2924

M 2, M 3 M1 Surface Broadcast Holder Open Method at 75 & 100 % N


Agarwal (1989) reported that water deficit had the direct effect on yield reduction. The use of micro sprinkler to simulate rainfall and establish rainfed conditions have been successful in the present study. Under water saving situation micro sprinkler irrigation resulted in the considerable grain yield increase. By adjustment of irrigation duration the amount water was irrigated at the same frequency and quantity of rainfall that would occur during monsoon. However, micro sprinkler could not achieve grain yield as that of surface irrigation owing to crop water demand at various stages. Blad et al. (1980) have also successfully used micro sprinkler for maize cropping. In regions of water scarcity, drip irrigation has become the necessity. Besides water conservation, it enables slow and precise application of water at the rhizosphere region. In the present study water admitted for 12 weeks releasing about 360 mm of water has given on an average 2234 kg grain yield. Similar effort of growing maize with drip irrigation was attempted by Phene and Beale (1976). At all irrigation treatments yield enhancement was realized over the conventional surface irrigation with surface broadcast method of fertilizer application. Maize responding to fertilizer application to appreciable extent in a low fertile soil has been clearly evidenced.

M4, M5 Nutriseed Holder Closed Method at 75 & 100 % N M6 - Control Significance at 5% level (*) or 1% level (**) Over the conventional surface broadcast surface irrigation method Grain yield increased due to 100% NPK Nutriseed holder open method to the tune of 55.9 per cent under surface irrigation, 37.9 per cent under micro sprinkler and 14.2 per cent under drip irrigation. Over all, maize stover and grain yields were influenced to greater extent by irrigation treatments in the following order: surface > micro sprinkler > drip. The positive effect of irrigation was clearly spelt in the dry matter production and yield. This was possibly due to high water requirement. Maize requires water of about 650 mm for adequate growth under surface irrigation. In the present study conservative irrigation methods viz, micro sprinkler and drip were used efficiently to conserve irrigation water. Hence, according to applied water at 660, 540 and 360 mm under surface, micro sprinkler and drip irrigation respectively, the drymatter production and grain yield would have resulted proportionately, proving the best performance under surface irrigation. Grain yield increased to the tune of


Also the results indicated that there has been a scope to improve grain yield of maize to >50 per cent over the conventional surface broadcast method, by adopting deep placement using Nutriseed holder. The promising effect of Nutriseed holder would be attributed to the controlled release of fertilizers which were precisely placed below 5 cm depth, with the combination of P enriched manure. The fertilizer pellet positioned at bottom of Nutriseed holder would have allowed only downward movement of N, P and K nutrients, as the pellet was covered by polythene on top and at sides, having exposure area only at bottom. The higher nutrient availability and high nutrient uptake resulted under deep placement might have influenced dry matter production and yield. In the previous attempts with deep placement, Bhuiyan (1988), Dhane et al. (1995) and Bautista et al. (2000) reported significant increase in yield due to fertilizer N, P and K placement in the root zone. Deivanai (2005) reported a yield increase of 63.3 per cent with placement of plastic Nutriseed holder over surface broadcast in soil column study while growing direct seeded rice. The first work carried out on deep placement using Nutriseed holder resulted in the grain yield
Method of Application N Surface Irrigation M1 M2 M3 M4 M5 M6 Micro Sprinkler M1 M2 M3 M4 M5 M6 Drip M1 M2 M3 M4 M5 M6 24.00 53.23 45.70 40.59 35.48

increase to the tune of 81.8 per cent over surface broadcast (Asha and Arulmozhiselvan, 2006). With respect to 100% NPK Nutriseed holder open method, where the grain yield was highest, use efficiency was relatively high (Table 2) to the tune of 45.7, 41.0, 32.7 per cent for N, 28.2, 23.7, 20.0 per cent for P and 44.2, 36.2 and 27.8 per cent for K under surface, micro sprinkler and drip irrigation respectively. Water productivity (g grain / kg water) was high under drip irrigation (0.77g / kg) followed by micro sprinkler (0.62 g / kg). Low water productivity was noted for surface irrigation (0.57 g / kg). M1 Surface Broadcast M2, M3 Holder Open Method at 75 & 100 % N Nutriseed

M4, M5 Nutriseed Holder Closed Method at 75 & 100 % N M6 - Control In the case of water productivity, the highest yield achievement resulted in 100% NPK Nutriseed holder in open method was associated with low efficiency of 0.57g /kg water under surface irrigation, due to profuse irrigation. Water saving irrigations of drip and micro sprinkler achieved high productivity ranging 0.62 to 0.77g / kg water. Use of water under regulated release conditions
Water productivity K 13.20 52.00 44.20 30.93 30.40 g grain / kg water 0.37 0.52 0.57 0.44 0.48 0.28 0.41 0.57 0.62 0.47 0.52 0.31 0.56 0.71 0.77 0.59 0.65 0.44

Table 2: Nutrient and Water Use Efficiency

Nutrient Use efficiency [Apparent Nutrient Recovery] (%) P 14.99 33.98 28.19 26.52 21.98

22.81 49.19 40.96 38.72 32.74

12.96 29.31 23.74 21.48 18.46

9.60 41.33 36.20 24.00 24.60

21.26 39.11 32.74 29.73 24.00

12.19 23.59 19.97 17.07 15.22

10.20 31.73 27.80 16.80 18.80


reduces water loss, hence always efficient when compared to surface irrigation, as evidenced in the study. Compared to initial soil conditions, a compacting effect was noted with surface irrigation and drip irrigation at harvest stage (Table 3). Bulk density was 1.53 and 1.67 Mg m-3 under surface irrigation and 1.49 and 1.58 Mg m-3 under drip, when compared to normal bulk density of 1.42 and 1.48 Mg m-3 under micro sprinkler. Surface irrigation increased initial infiltration rate greatly. Hydraulic conductivity and steady infiltration decreased in soil in the order: micro sprinkler > drip > surface irrigation. At the end of experiment the physical parameters estimated in soil indicated a compaction effect at varying degrees for the irrigation treatments imposed. The measurement was done in the cropped line, in the space between plants. Surface irrigation showed the high bulk density in surface (1.53 Mg m-3) and sub surface (1.67 Mg m-3). When compared to micro sprinkler, rapid ponding of water and immediate drainage into soil column under surface irrigation might have broken down aggregates and carried the fine fraction of soil to lower depth leading to compaction. Volume reduction in the surface soil and addition of fine clay to the subsurface soil might have increased the bulk density to a considerable extent.

infiltration rate rapidly decreased to a steady state of 0.86 cm hr-1. This effect was also seen with the lowest hydraulic conductivity both in surface (1.95 cm hr-1) and subsurface (1.36 cm hr-1) layers. While simulating rainfall with micro sprinkler even though soil surface was wetted at faster rate, there was no ponding of water and quick down ward flow. In the case of drip irrigation, soil was wetted at a slow rate, only around the dripper and the resulting downward movement was also slow, hence compaction effect noted for drip irrigation was least. On the whole, based on physical properties estimated, the desirable physical conditions were good in the order: micro sprinkler > drip > surface irrigation.

The improved performance of deep placement was recorded with the newly designed Nutriseed holder under all irrigation regimes. At the time of sowing, placing fertilizer, enriched manure and seed in a single attempt with Nutriseed holder would minimize the labour cost. No further top dressing of nutrients is required as entire NPK dose is placed in the holder with commonly available straight fertilizers. Hence, no specialized technique is required to formulate a different form of fertilizer. In this study the suitability of Nutriseed holder under surface, micro sprinkler and drip irrigation for maize has been established. When this technology comes to field,

Table 3: Physical properties in post harvest soil in maize experiment

Treatment Mg m-3 0-15 cm soil depth 1.53 1.42 1.49 0.037* 0.043* 0.021* 15-30 cm soil depth 1.67 1.48 1.58 0.092* 0.064* 0.063* Initial rate 5.24 3.65 2.96 0.072* 0.114* 0.215* cm hr-1 Steady rate 0.86 1.23 0.97 0.056* 0.076* 0.097* 0-15 cm soil depth 1.95 2.86 2.08 0.059* 0.090* 0.122* cm hr-1 0-15 cm soil depth 1.36 2.27 1.87 0.175* 0.228* 0.179*

Surface Micro Sprinkler Drip Standard Error Surface Micro Sprinkler Drip

*Significant at 5% level Removal of fine fraction from the surface soil under surface irrigation might be the responsible factor of the very high initial infiltration rate (5.24 cm hr-1). However, due to clay accumulation in lower depth, the

fabrication of Nutriseed holders may be attempted with biodegradable plastic or with slow degradable polymerreinforced paper. Large-scale industrial manufacture of Nutriseed holders packed with fertilizer, manure and seed will reduce the cost.



Asha, V.S. 2003. Assessment of contribution of Azolla and deep placed fertilizers in direct seeded rice using 15N technique. M.Sc.(Ag.) Thesis, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. Asha, V.S. and K. Arulmozhiselvan. 2006. 15N Tracer technique for studying efficiency of deep placed fertilizer through Nutriseed holder in direct seeded rice. J. Nuclear Agric. Biol., 35 (1) : 1-14 Bautista, E.U., D.C. Suministrado and M. Koike. 2000. Mechanical deep placement of fertilizer in puddled soils. J. Japanese Soc. Agric. Machinery, 62(1) : 146-157 Bhuiyan, N.I. 1988. Effect of N source and application method on dry season irrigated rice. IRRN, 13(3) : 2829 Deivanai, M. 2005. Dynamics of deep placed fertilizer nutrients in soil column under controlled irrigation for direct seeded rice. M.Sc.(Ag.) Thesis, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. Dhane, S.S., R.R. Khadse and H. K. Pawar. 1995. Integrated effect of deeply placed urea and glyricidia on grain yield of transplanted rice. IRRN, 23(2): 12-21. Howard, Donald D., Michael E. Essington, and Joanne Logan. 2002. Long-term Broadcast and banded phosphorus fertilization of corn produced using two tillage Systems. Agron. J., 94 : 51-56 Nandal, D.P.S. and S.K. Agarwal. 1989. Response of winter maize to sowing dates irrigation and nitrogen levels in North West India. Indian J. Agric. Sci., 59 : 629-633 Nelson, W.L., W.I. Segars, S.R. Olsen, W. Wallingford, L.F. Welch. 1992. Developing systems for optimum corn yield. National Corn Handbook NCH -6 Phene, C.J. and O.W. Beale. 1976. High-frequency irrigation for water and nutrient management in humid regions. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 40 : 430-436 Purakayastha, T.J. and J.C. Katyal. 1998. In: Fertilizer use situation in India. Nutrient Cycling in Agro ecosystems, 51 : 107 SAI, 2000. Statistical Abstract of India (2000). Central Statistical Organization. Ministry of Statistical and Programme Implementation. Govt. of India, New Delhi. pp.17-32


Aerobic Rice for Mitigating Water Scarcity: Physiological Approaches
C.Vijayalakshmi, N.Sritharan and P.K.Selvaraj

Rice remains the most important staple food on the planet since it feeds roughly half the population on a daily basis. Approximately, 750 million of the worlds poorest people depend on it to survive. According to FAO, the global rice requirement in 2025 will be of the order of 800 million tonnes. The current production is less than 600 million tonnes. The additional 200 million tonnes needed will have to be produced by increasing productivity per hectare. Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, The Chairman, National Commission on Farmers, Government of India said that breeding for high yield and feeding for higher productivity should go together and it is important that the crop feeding practices do not lead to the pollution of the ground water as well as soil. Rice grows under a wide range of latitudes and altitudes and can become the anchor of food security in a world confronted with the challenge of climate change. The decline in soil health and water quality in rice-based systems is a major global issue. The situation is going to be aggravated in the event of possible global warming,

which would have a negative impact on yield and soil fertility. Development of technologies that support multiple uses of water, enhanced water use efficiency and diversification of intensive and upland rice production system is essential. In India rice is cultivated round the year in one or the other part of the country, in diverse ecologies spread over 44 million hectares with a production of around 90 million tonnes, representing the largest area and the second highest production in the world. Of the 44 million ha rice production area, 50 per cent is irrigated, 35 per cent is rainfed lowland, 12 per cent is upland and 3 per cent is flood prone or deep-water rice (http:// In India, during 2004-2005, 87.8 million tonnes of rice was produced from an area of 42.41 million ha with the productivity of 2.05 t ha-1. In Tamil Nadu, 3.2 million tonnes of rice was produced from 1.4 million ha with the productivity of 2.31 t ha-1 during the year 2003-2004. The area under rice production and productivity declined by 8.0 per cent and 9.9 per cent respectively during the year 2003 and 2004 when com-


pared to the previous year due to unpredicted drought during the crop period. It is estimated that demand for rice in 2010 AD will be 100 million tonnes and in 2025 AD, it will be 140 million tonnes (Singh, 2004). But, the increasing scarcity of fresh water threatens the sustainability of the irrigated rice ecosystem ( Tuong and Bouman , 2003). The future rice production will therefore, depend heavily on developing and adopting strategies and practices that will produce more rice with less and less water to feed the ever increasing population . The increase in water scarcity now made the researchers to look for various ways to decrease water use in rice production and increase the Water Use Efficiency ( WUE). One of the approaches that lead to a considerable amount of savings in water use by rice is aerobic cultivation, which combines the characteristics of both upland varieties with less water requirements and irrigated rice cultivars with high response to inputs (Bouman et al, 2002). The aerobic rice is defined as high yielding rice grown in non-puddled and non- flooded aerobic soil. Wang et al., 2002 stated that the aerobic cultivation entails the growing of rice in aerobic soil , with the external inputs such as supplementary irrigation and fertilizers and aiming at high yields. Bouman et al.,(2002) explained it as a new water saving technology to grow rice aerobically that is in non-puddled and nonflooded soil with irrigation. Improved understanding of the physiological and biochemical control of signaling process that regulates the adoption of rice to aerobic conditions will facilitates the development of successful aerobic cultivars that respond to the environments more like other upland species , which are one of the solutions for looming global water crisis. In India, so far no research work is carried out to study the physiological and biochemical responses of rice grown aerobically. In addition, a scientific evaluation on growth and yield potential of aerobic rice using micro-irrigation technology is very much required at present. In the light of these situations the present investigation was carried out.

micro sprinkler and drip irrigation were imposed and irrigation was based on the evapotranspiration. The surface irrigated plots were maintained to compare the water economy with micro irrigation techniques. Seeds were sown directly with the spacing of 20X10 cm. The experiment was laid out in Randomized Block Design with nine treatments and three replications. The crop management and protection measures were done at the appropriate time as per the recommendations. The physiological parameters viz., total chlorophyll content, chlorophyll fluorescence and membrane stability index (MSI) were determined at panicle initiation (PI) and flowering stages of the crop. At maturity, number of productive tillers, grain yield and harvest index (HI) were determined by following the standard methods. Water use efficiency (WUE) was computed based on the total quantity of water used in each treatment.

Results and Discussion

The photosynthetic pigment chlorophyll content at PI and flowering stages exhibited higher values under flooded irrigation treatments followed by drip and micro sprinkler irrigation (Table 1). Lafitte and Courtosis (2002) also reported a decline in chlorophyll content under micro irrigation. The decline in chlorophyll content is mainly because of increased chlorophyllase activity and thereby limited chlorophyll synthesis under water limited environment. The drip irrigation @ 200 % PE recorded an equal amount of this green pigment compared to surface irrigation T1. The SPAD value is a measure of greenness of the leaf. The treatments showed significant variation among the treatments. The data on the SPAD value recorded by drip irrigation @ 200 % PE is parallel to the surface irrigation. Another important parameter to asses the photosynthetic efficiency is the chlorophyll fluorescence which is measured in terms of Fv/Fm ratio., A declining pattern was observed in the case of Fv/Fm ratio under micro-irrigation treatments (Table 1). This decline may be due to photoinhibition which causes damage to a portion of PS II (Cao and Govindjee, 1990), and increase in energy dissipation in the chlorophyll pigment antennae system that is often observed in plants under water limited environment. Membrane stability index (MSI) is an important physiological trait for water stress tolerance. The data on MSI showed that the drip irrigation T9 had maintained a higher value on par with surface irrigation T1. The leakage of solutes from tissue can be used as a dynamic measure of the damage to membranes incurred by stress experiences. Mainte-

Materials and Methods

A field experiment was conducted at Agricultural Research Station, Bhavanisagar ( 11o 2 N and 76 o 57 E with 426.76 m above MSL), TNAU during 2007. The soil of the experiment site is sandy loam. The available soil nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium were 197, 19.1, 220 kg ha-1 respectively (Soil pH 7.2; EC 0.24 dSm-1). The rice cultivar PMK3 was chosen for this study. Different micro irrigation techniques viz.,


nance of membrane integrity and function under a given level of dehydration stress has been used as a measure of drought tolerance. All these physiological parameters that reflect the photosynthetic efficiency show that the drip irrigation @ 200% PE was able to maintain photosynthetic capacity equal to that of surface irrigation T1. In the present study number of productive tillers showed significant reduction under micro irrigation comparing to surface irrigation treatments. The grain yield reduced significantly under micro sprinkler treatments than drip irrigation (Table 2). This may be due to the amount of water supplied with sprinkler irrigation which is not sufficient to saturate the soil during reproductive stage resulting in reduced spikelet fertility, and finally the yield. Scientists have recorded 20 per cent yield reduction in direct seeded rice cultivars under sprinkler irrigation system. In the case of drip irrigation, decline in yield was observed, but the higher level of drip irrigation regime (200% PE) recorded better yield which is close to the yield of surface irrigation (one day after disappearance of ponded water) and superior to the sprinkler irrigation treatments. Drip irrigation treatment showed its performance equal to surface irrigation that saves water effectively.
Table 1:
Treat Ments*

budget showed higher water productivity under micro irrigation technology (Table 3). Even though, the water productivity was higher under micro sprinkler and drip irrigation treatments, the reduction in yield was more in micro sprinkler regimes than drip irrigation. Under the drip irrigation @ 200% PE , grain yield equal to that of surface irrigation ( one day after disappearance of ponded water). There are numerous reports of large irrigation water savings when changing from continuously flooded rice to saturated soil culture to alternate wetting and drying, but yields decrease as soil water content declines below saturation (Bouman et al., 2002). The present investigation confirms that the drip irrigation could be exploited for successful rice production under aerobic condition with high WUE. Aerobic rice could be targeted at water-short areas, where farmers do not have access to water to keep rice fields flooded for a substantial period of time anymore or water shortage encountered in tail end of large scale surface irrigation system. Plant physiologists and breeders have to respond to the challenge of breeding varieties and knowing the physiological mechanism that perform well under aerobic conditions.

Total Chlorophyll content, SPAD Value , MSI and Fv/ Fm ratio of PMK 3 at PI and flowering stages under aerobic condition
SPAD Value PI 32.88 27.85 27.20 27.15 27.78 30.43 30.65 31.63 32.25 31.19 0.088 0.186 Flowering ng 34.60 29.63 29.00 29.70 31.03 31.15 32.13 34.03 34.35 33.27 0.084 0.177 PI 76.26 71.51 67.87 60.80 65.35 67.17 65.15 70.09 74.34 72.05 0.187 0.397 MSI (%) Flowering g 79.69 75.95 70.90 64.44 66.96 69.39 71.10 77.57 80.30 75.35 0.228 0.485 PI 0.805 0.764 0.615 0.713 0.733 0.784 0.747 0.778 0.798 0.763 0.001 0.003 Fv/Fm ratio Flowering g 0.815 0.775 0.652 0.727 0.752 0.797 0.768 0.791 0.812 0.781 0.001 0.003

Total Chlorophyll content (mg g-1) PI Flowering g 2.402 2.311 1.823 1.723 1.811 1.942 2.124 2.294 2.385 2.11 0.010 0.022

T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 Mean SEd C.D (P=0.05)

2.124 1.985 1.715 1.589 1.602 1.867 1.875 2.122 2.195 1.98 0.009 0.019

Pressurized irrigation systems (sprinkler and drip) have the potential to increase irrigation water use efficiency by providing water to match crop requirements, reducing runoff and deep drainage losses, and generally keeping soil drier reducing soil evaporation and increasing the capacity to capture rainfall. The data on water

T1* Surface irrigation - 5 cm standing water, one day after disappearance of ponded water (DADPW) T5 Micro sprinkler irrigation 150 % PE T2 Surface irrigation - 5 cm standing water, three DADPW


T6 Micro sprinkler irrigation 200 % PE T3 Surface irrigation - 5 cm standing water, five DADPW T7 Drip irrigation 100 % PE

T4 Micro sprinkler irrigation 100 % Pan Evaporation Rate (PE) T8 Drip irrigation 150 % PE

T9 Drip irrigation 200 % PE

Table 2: Productive Tillers, TDMP, Grain Yield and HI of PMK 3 at different stages under aerobic condition
Treatments T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 Mean SEd C.D (P=0.05) Number of productive Tillers m-2 435 400 345 330 340 355 375 390 425 377 7.04 16.6 TDMP at maturity ( g m-2 ) 1022 883 795 833 851 894 900 945 1018 904.5 18.6 38.9 Grain yield (g m-2) 409 353 302 300 315 331 342 378 407 348.5 6.85 14.03 HI 0.40 0.40 0.38 0.36 0.37 0.37 0.38 0.40 0.40 0.38 0.002 0.005

Table 3. Water budget for PMK 3 under aerobic cultivation

Treatments T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 Grain yield (kg/ha) 4089 3530 3022 3000 3156 3310 3422 3778 4067 Total water used (mm) 1143 926 785 589 748 907 589 748 907 WUE (kg/ ha) 3.6 3.8 3.8 5.1 4.2 3.6 5.8 5.1 4.5


Bouman BAM, Xiaoguang Y, Huaqui W, Zhiming W, Junfang Z, Changgui W and Bin C. 2002. Aerobic rice (Han Dao): A new way growing rice in water short areas. p.175-181. In: proceedings of the 12th International Soil Conservation Organization Conference, May 26-31.Beijing, China. Tsinghua University Press. Lafitte HR and Courtois B. 2002. Interpreting cultivar x environment interactions for yield in upland rice: assigning value to drought adaptive traits. Crop Sci. 42:1409-1420 Tuong, T. P and Bouman, B.A.M. 2003. Rice production in water-scarce environments. In: Water productivity in agriculture: Limits and opportunities for improvement. Eds J.W. Kijne, R. Barker, D. Molden, CABI Publishing, UK, pp. 53 67. Cao J and Govindjee J. 1990. Chlorophyll a fluorescence transient as an indicator of active and inactive photosystem II in thylakoid membranes. Biochem. Biophys. Acta. 1015: 180-188.


Field view of Aerobic rice at Seedling stage

PMK 3 at Active tillering stage

PMK 3 at Maturity stage

Experimental Plot View

Micro irrigation

International Symposium on Water Harvesting: Bringing Green Revolution to Rainfed Areas. Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India, 23 -25 June 2008.

PMK 3 at Panicle Initiation stage


Theme 4 Policies, Institutions, and Socio-economic Aspects

Socio-Economic Issues in Watershed Development Programs
Madar Samad

Watershed development has been a popular approach to rural development over recent decades Projects and programs have been implemented across South Asia, Latin America and Africa. In India, watershed development programs have been implemented for over three decades under an assortment of central and state government schemes and nongovernmental programs. An important aim of these efforts, especially programs implemented under the Drought Prone Areas Program (DPAP), is to protect the population inhabiting fragile eco-systems from acute distress caused by recurring droughts (Hanumantha Rao, 2000). This was attempted by implementing programs designed to harmonize the use of water, soil, forest, and pasture resources in a way that conserves these resources while raising agricultural productivity, both by conserving moisture in the ground and increasing irrigation through tank and aquifer-based water harvesting. A watershed is also an area with administrative and property boundaries, lands that fall under different property regimes, and farmers whose

actions may affect each others interests. Boundaries defined by humans, however, normally do not match biophysical ones. The spatial nature of watershed relationships both bio-physical and socio-political, results in externalities and associated problems. Externalities are wide spread in watersheds due to two main reasons: hydrological linkages between upstream and downstream users of natural resources in the watershed and socio-economic linkages across property boundaries and common lands. Hydrological linkages have been well understood and have been the main areas of focus in watershed development programs Although, watershed development is relatively straightforward from a technical and bio-physical prospective it is extremely complicated from socio-economic view point Socioeconomic relationships among people in a watershed can complicate efforts to introduce seemingly straightforward technical improvements. Addressing the socio-economic externalities is the major challenge in watershed development programs. This paper outlines some of the key socio-economic factors


that should be considered in water shed development programs.

Baseline Socio-Economic Conditions

Literature suggests there are certain threads which run through most watershed development programs. These include the physical characteristics of the watershed and technical choices regarding resource development, the nature of property rights and the social structure and organization of the community (Farrington and Lobo, 1997). Increasingly watershed development efforts are targeted at the poorest societies in the most marginal areas. In India priority for is given to watersheds with an acute shortage of drinking water, there is a high incidence of poverty and low levels of human development, a preponderance of scheduled castes and tribes, a preponderance of wastelands and common lands and lower than average wages, willingness of the village community to the social infrastructure to enforce regulations, equitable distribution of benefits, gender equality and operation and maintenance of assets created, and positive history of womens agency and community action ( MoRD, 2006) These attributes have important implications for the forms of intervention, and the ability of communities to invest in land-based activities through participatory processes. Implicit in the participatory watershed approach is the idea that local level organizations usually regulate the use of natural resources effectively for subsistence in the communitys collective interest (Farrington and Lobo, 1997). Experiences also indicate the water shed development programs is high in locations where communities are well endowed with stock of social capital - features of social organization such as network, norms and trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit (Putman, . A key consideration in the promotion of participatory processes in watershed development is a good understanding of the social tensions that prevails within communities. In many instances rural communities are often dominated by local groups that use their powers for patronage rather than broad based equitable change Inadequate attention to community tensions can lead to further replication and legitimization of the hierarchies that exist between sub groups within a community (Carney and Farrington, 1996). There is clear evidence to suggest that watershed program are likely to succeed in communities where variations in the socio-economic status are small, especially with regard to the size and ownership of land. Experience indicates that watershed

programs have limited success in communities that traditionally had ineffective and inefficient institutions, suggesting that watershed development may not be appropriate for all communities.

Equity Issues
There is ample evidence to show that in many watershed development programs certain social groups have been consistently marginalized. Fernandez (1993) identifies four groups in particular who do not seem to benefit from watershed development; the landless, families in the upper levels of catchments, women and marginalized tribal groups. This is very apparent where development efforts focus on the rehabilitation of common pool resources. During the early stages, when CPR regimes are first introduced, the poor are affected most adversely. Their greater dependence on what were previously de facto open access resources, means that constraining access during the necessary period of environmental recuperation has a disproportionate impact on the poor. At the other end of the process, as the CPR regime matures, the increased value of the resource frequently attracts local (and not so local) commercial and political interests which also rarely benefit the poor. Where watershed development has the explicit objective of providing greater access for poorer groups, such a shift in power is bound to be contested by those who lose out. The sustainability of such efforts are therefore intricately linked to changes in local institutional and power structures. The impact of watershed development efforts on women is also a key issue. Pangare and Farrington (1998) note that many of the watershed development projects in India do not empower women as equal partners with men. They attribute three reasons for this: womens contribution to the rural economy unrecognized; women do have land titles and thereby are precluded from decision making bodies; womens needs are overlooked especially with regard to common property resources. Turton et al (1998) note that access restrictions imposed on common grazing areas encourage a shift to stall feeding systems. The main bulk of the work of collecting fodder for livestock is undertaken by women, who have to spend extra time cutting and carrying feeding materials. In India, in recent years concerted efforts have by many state agencies and NGOse to empower and involve


women in watershed development primarily through the establishment of self-help groups (Ratna Reddy, et at, 2004) . The recent report of the Technical Committee on Watershed Programs in India proposes several measures to empower women in watershed programs. The proposals include amongst others, the setting up of a separate Womens Watershed Council, reservation of 50% of the membership in the Village Watershed Committees to women; give women a primary role in the management of common property resources. Finally, evidence suggests that to ensure even a moderate degree of equity requires high levels of social organization and an ability to articulate their requirements among women and the poor, together with continuing vigilance to ensure that their rights are not overridden.

Human capital through capacity building activities; participation in new institutions and processes; Social capital through the formation of watershed committees, user groups and new or strengthened institutions; Financial capital through the establishment of credit groups, the establishment of a watershed development fund; Natural capital through increases in trees, livestock, irrigated area, more productive land; Physical capital through increase in irrigation facilities, soil and water conservation structures. There is a growing awareness of the links between different capital assets. Investments in physical capital such as bunds, check dams and the re-vegetation of common lands for instance are relatively easy to achieve. The returns to physical investments of this type however will rapidly decline if appropriate investments in social and human capital are not also made to develop sustainable and equitable institutions to manage these assets. Similarly the idea of sequencing is important. Some NGOs argue strongly that the local institutions which determine access to natural capital (e.g. common land) need to be regularized before watershed development activities are undertaken.

Upstream-Downstream Linkages
When a watershed project is introduced, often the bulk of the work is done in the upper reaches, while the benefits accrue primarily to those in the lower reaches. Many of the upstream development efforts are conservation based. They seek to restore and protect forest cover or promote subsistence oriented, low input, forest-friendly agricultural practices often based on indigenous cultivation methods in the upper catchments, and confine intensive and commercial oriented intensive agriculture to downstream areas (Walker, 2003). The object is to maintain sustainable water supply for downstream users. Yet, different individuals and households within a watershed have varying interests in the benefits of watershed development. People who use the upper watershed typically relatively poor people with little or no land, bear the brunt of the costs of watershed development, which mainly benefits wealthier farmers in the lower watershed. The differing demands for, and abilities to access, water is creating intensified and new linkages between various stakeholders, which are emerging as a major source of tension and conflict amongst various stakeholders and interest groups (Kerr et al 2000, Farrington et al. 1999, Deshingkar and Start 2003).

Economic Linkages
While physical linkages remain the basis for watershed management interventions, a strategy that also takes advantage of social, economic and institutional linkages between upstream and downstream provides the greatest opportunity for success (Doolette and Magarath, 1994). Upland areas have critical connections with national economies in three significant ways: Sources of Raw Materials. Despite difficult conditions, upland areas often possess a comparative advantage in the production of certain commodities. In much of the Asia region, timber and grazing represent the primary resources with potential in upland areas. Sources and Sinks for Labor. Upland areas in the region were historically, with some exceptions, notably Nepals Terai, relatively sparsely populated. Recent increases in population pressure in more favored downstream environments has resulted in increased mi-

Sustainable Rural Livelihoods and Watershed Development

Watershed development has implications for all five types of assets defined in the sustainable livelihood framework:


gration to the uplands.. Seasonal employment opportunities in lowland agriculture and urban areas are increasingly important contributors to upland income Markets for Downstream Production. Because of low incomes and high transport costs, upland areas have generally not been major markets for goods produced in lowland areas. Upland areas, however, where incomes have grown and infrastructural investments have reduced transport costs, do constitute significant markets. Cost Sharing and Cost Recovery: A corollary of the limited impact of upstream land-use changes on downstream damages is that there is limited justification for schemes to compensate upland farmers and communities for adopting conservation practices. Various subsidies and compensation schemes may be required to bridge the gap between adoption of a conservation measure and the realization of a sustainable net return. If so, such compensation should be seen as transitional and not as part of a policy of ongoing subsidy.

The situation is usually different in upper watersheds, in addition to being physically remote, are often politically remote as well. The attention of national policymakers is naturally drawn to the concerns of urban and more affluent lowland agricultural populations. To the extent that developments in upper watersheds are a major item on the national agenda, it is because of their impact, via the physical linkages related to movement of sediment and water, on the well-being of down- stream groups.

Common Pool Resources An Asset for the Poor

Common pool resources (CPRs) represent a form of natural and social capital that individuals and communities can draw on in pursuit of their livelihood strategies. Jodha (1986) concluded that CPRs make a key contribution to rural livelihoods and are critical for sustainable agricultural production in semi-arid areas They form a part of rural peoples strategies for adjusting to the harsh and stressful environment. The key question is the extent to which the poor retain access to CPRs after watershed development efforts have taken place. To take one example, a crucial element of many watershed projects has been restrictions on the use of common grazing areas during rehabilitation and thereafter to permit sustainable off-take. Adolph and Turton (1998) note that such controls in a watershed project in Andhra Pradesh had different impacts on households of different socio-economic status. Landowners were able to compensate for the loss of grazing, through the substitution of crop residues, the availability of which had increased due to improved irrigation facilities. Landless livestock owners on the otherhand were forced to sell their livestock raised similar concerns (Kerr et al., 1998). Kerr et al. (1998) report that the landless and nearly landless were the most likely to express dissatisfaction with watershed projects. Problems arise because projects seal off access to common property whilst revegetation is under way. Many landless people depend on these lands for their livelihoods, particularly for grazing sheep and goats. All projects try to offer employment as compensation. However, most complained that employment created under the project did not adequately compensate for loss of access to common lands or that employment opportunities diminished after the first few years of the project whilst the grazing bans were still in place.

Governance and Political Linkages

It is becoming increasingly apparent that links between watershed institutions and local political structures are essential for sustaining the new institutions. A central feature of watershed development is that institutional arrangements are characterized by externally organized user groups, overseen by village committees, district authorities and/or local traditional heads. In many cases however, the new regimes fail to build on existing management arrangements. Furthermore, where new regimes assume that common pool resources belong to the watershed community as a whole, they may threaten the traditional users of the resourceraising questions about the equity of the rehabilitation process (Turton et al, 1998a). The notion of political capital is critical because rights are claims and assets, These rights are politically defended, how people access these assets depends on their political capital. It is therefore critical to understand how rights are constituted at the local level and the dynamic interrelation between political capital, and the other assets (Baumann, 2000). Watershed associations have become a hunting ground for political parties, partly as a result of the considerable funds at their disposal noted the potential conflict arising as new leaders emerge in the villages and existing systems are challenged.


Concluding Remarks
Watershed development is essentially a community based development activity. Although hydrological linkages have been well understood and have been the main areas of focus in watershed development programs socioeconomic relationships among people in a watershed can complicate efforts to introduce seemingly straightforward technical improvements. Over the years

the watershed development programs have evolved from being purely technical interventions to programs involving the participation of the people at all stages and active involvement of non-governmental organizations. Socio-economic conditions of the people inhabiting the watersheds and their aspirations are central to planning any watershed treatments. This paper has highlighted some of the key socio-economic and institutional factors that merit consideration.


Baumann, Pari. 2000. Sustainable livelihoods and political capital: Arguments and evidence from decentralization and natural resource management in India, Working Paper 136 Overseas Development Institute, Carney, D. and Farrington, J. (1997) Institutional change in the natural resources sector. Rural Resources and Poverty Research Programme. Summary of Research 1993-1996. Overseas Development Institute, London. Deshingkar, P and D.Start. 2003 Seasonal Migration for Livelihoods, Coping, Accumulation and Exclusion. Working Paper No. 220. Overseas Development Institute, London Doolette, J.B. and McGrath, W.B. (1990). Watershed Development in Asia: Strategies and Technologies, World Bank Technical Paper 27, Washington: World Bank. Farrington, John and Crispino Lobo (1997). Scaling Up Participatory Watershed Development In India: Lessons From The Indo-German Watershed Development Program, Natural Resources Perspective, Number 17, Fernandez. A. P. 1993. The MYRADA experience: Alternate management systems for savings and credit of the rural poor. Bangalore: MYRADA. Hanumantha Rao, C.H. 2000. Watershed Development in India: Recent Experience and Emerging Issues, Economic and Political Weekly November 4, Jodha, N.S. 1986 Common property resources & the rural poor in dry regions of India. Economic & Political Weekly, No. 54:1169-1182. Ministry of Rural Development. 2006. Report of the Technical Committee on Watershed Programs in India Department of Land Resources, Ministry of Rural Development., Government of India Pangare, Vasudha and Farringtion, John. 1999 Strengthening the participation of women in watershed management in Farrington et al, Farrington, John; Cathryn Turton and A.J. James. 1999. Participatory Watershed Development ; Challenges for the Twenty-First Century, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, Ratna Reddy, V., M. Gopinath Reddy, S. Galab, John Soussan and Oliver Springate-Baginski. 2004. Participatory Watershed Development in India: Can it Sustain Rural Livelihoods? Development and Change , 35 (2): 297-326. Turton, Cathryn Michael Warner and Ben Groom 1998.a Scaling Up Participatory Watershed Development In India: A Review Of The Literature Agricultural Research & Extension Network Network Paper No. 86, ODI Turton, C., J. Coulter, Anil Shah, and J. Farrington. 1998b. Participatory watershed development in India: Impact of the new guidelines. London: Overseas Development Institute,. Walker, Andew (2003), Agricultural Trabsformation and Politics of Hydrology in Northern Thailand, Development and Change, 34(5) pp. 941-964.


Community Resource Management: Much needed strategy in Tank Irrigation system in India
M. Jegadeesan and K. Fujita

Tank irrigation is passing through defining moment in India today. Tank irrigation contributes significantly to agricultural production in India in general and particularly in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Tank irrigation system is one of a vast network of thousands of water bodies that constituted a distinctive landscape which was medieval in origin but still was the basis of livelihood in the dry southern plains (Mosse, 2003). Tank is a small reservoir constructed across the slope of the valley to catch and store water during rainy season. Water is controlled by sluices attached to the tank bank and it is delivered to paddy field by distributing channels. Tank is considered as a common property resource. The National Sample Survey Organization defines common property resources as the resources that are accessible to and collectively owned, managed by identifiable community and on which no individual has exclusive property rights (NSSO, 1999). The role of tank is not only providing irrigation water but also it provide biomass, fuel wood, fodder for livestock and other forms of economic livelihood sustenance of villagers (Chopra and Dasgupta, 2008). Tank irrigation get special signifi-

cance as it provides livelihood support to large number of marginal, small farmers and landless agricultural labours (Palanisami, 2000). This system then once well maintained by villagers, slowly disintegrated over the period of time due to various reasons like changes in land holding pattern, development of large scale irrigation project and ground water development and change in preference of livelihood strategies among villagers and so on (Sakthivadivel et al, 2004). However, based on the presupposition that local population has a greater interest in the sustainable use of resources than does the state or distant corporate manager; that local communities are more cognizant of the intricacies of local socio-ecological process and practices and they are more able to effectively manage those resources through local or traditional forms of access (Brosius, Tsing and Zerner, 1998; Li 2002). In recognition of this fact, government and Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) put their effort to motivate farmers to rebuild the institution which was destabilized. Even then things would not happen in the way one would have expected. In this connection, the main focus of this paper is to i) compare effectiveness of traditional irriga-


tional institution with government sponsored and NGOs sponsored one. ii) Analyze its functioning style and its efficiency of these institutions at tank system level. iii) Find out possible reason for disintegrating.

The study has been conducted in three tank villages in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu, India. These study villages has been selected purposefully as they represent different kind of irrigation institution. Considering availability of water is the main motivational factor to organize farmers themselves, care must be taken to identify study villages, which are receiving more or less same amount of rainfall. From the vicinity area, totally three villages were selected, tank village 1 represent traditional institution, tank village 2 represent institution promoted by government, and tank village 3, represent the institution promoted by NGO. The data has been collected through pre-tested, semi-structured interview schedule paying personal visit to the villages. Simple random sampling was employed

the selected study villages. The study villages Kadaneri, Kovalapuram and Menachipuram are located in Peraiyur taluk of Madurai districts. All the selected villages almost depend on agriculture and allied activities for their livelihood. The fate of agriculture is determined or influenced through rain fed tank irrigation system in the villages. The major crops cultivated are paddy, cotton and pulses. Mostly single season crop and rarely, farmers are going for second crop. In the last 10 years there was no intervention on these tanks to improve its performance. As a result, employment generated through tank irrigated agriculture is in terminal decline. In recognition of this, the government of Tamil Nadu, brought this villages under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) to provide supplementary non-farm employment to assist them (BDO, 2007). Out of three tanks, two tanks are managed by Public Works Department, and one is coming under Panchayat Union management regime. Source: Water resource atlas of Madurai district, and Field survey in 2007

Table 1: General characteristics of study tank villages

Characteristics Total population Command area (Ha) Management authority Type of Institution Basin Location Tank capacity (mcft) Source of water supply No. of sluices No. of supply channels Extent of encroachment (Ha) No. of wells in command area No. of castes in village Total No. of households Farming households Landless Agricultural labors Non farming households Major cropping pattern Tank intervention in last 10 years Tank performance (farmers perception) Tank village 1 2234 41.60 Public Works Dept. Traditional Vaipar 14.0 Rain fed 1 2 0.21 12 9 387 214 148 25 Paddy, pulses No Moderate Tank Village 2 520 62.26 Public Works Dept. Govt. sponsored Vaipar 17.66 Rain fed 2 2 Not available 18 5 133 67 43 23 Paddy, cotton, pulses No Poor Tank village 3 440 7.94 Panchayat Union NGO Sponsored Vaipar 9.20 Rain fed 1 2 Not available 1 2 110 53 42 15 Paddy Yes. By NGO (2006) Moderate

to identify sample respondents (farmers). The data were collected through personal interview; focus group interaction and discussing with opinion leaders. The study has been conducted during the year 2007.

Tank water institutions

The villagers generally have traditional, informal association other than village panchayat. These associations have a leader who is respected by villagers, some of them by virtue of their age and service rendered in the past and social status, wield considerable influence in village.

General Characteristic of The Study Villages

The table 1 presented general characteristics of


Traditional Irrigation Institution

Traditional irrigation institution may be referred to the evolution of principles for collective action of users, for broad spectrum of social responsibilities such as system maintenance, water sharing and conflict resolution (Coward, 1980; Vaidyanathan, 1985 and Janakarajan, 1993). Even today villagers have traditional institution in many villages to manage the tanks effectively as common property resources. Traditional system of water distribution was based on their beliefs, customs and the concept of equality. The water allocation ensured smooth sharing to all its members without any default. The performance of these tank irrigation systems depends on collective decision they made and keep. These institutions characterized by socio-cultural and contextual arrangement in order to provide services to village community. These institutions have rules and regulation in the form of ethics and norms as it is resultant of complex pattern of behavior of large no of people over protracted period of time (Basu, 2000).

NGO Sponsored Institution

Many NGOs in India are working with rural people in tank command area, promoting participatory management. They follow different methods to organize farmers and develop institution in the community level in order to provide collective action to tank system management. They employed locally known persons as negotiator to inspire people to participate in the institutions.

Field Observations
The research demonstrates some specific observation about the difference in strategy, notion, structure and functioning style among all three institutions in the study villages. Overall aim of all the stakeholders involved in this campaign was creating successful local, independent and self-organizing institution at community or village level. But notably, these groups varied tremendously in their values, attitudes and beliefs towards the cooperation and the best means to achieve their desired ends. All initiatives look for the active participation of rural people in working out a better livelihood access for themselves. New policies and schemes have been set in the place both by the government and NGOs to facilitate this process of involvement. Table 2 shows the nature and way of existence of institution in the villages. Institutional arrangement of management of tank resources is carefully constructed and designed to serve specific purpose are at the cross roads now. In all three types of institutions, irrespective of its functioning style, its efficiency and activeness are dramatically low. The most important ingredient for the institutional building is a sense of belonging, mutual trust and empathic cooperation. But unfortunately these ingredients are missing or not given due importance to create it. Trust building, sense of belonging and social affiliation towards institutions will come when the villagers perceived that their participation yield good livelihood base for them. Looking at closer view of these instituGovt. Sponsored Govt. official in charge of village By election Formal Villagers & Govt. Demand based Inactive NGOs sponsored Facilitator appointed by NGO By group opinion & rotational Semi formal Villager, NGO and Govt. Regular Relatively Active

Government Sponsored Institutions

Effective functioning of tank system is simply based on how its different components like physical, technical and institutional parameters are managed. In the earlier days, villagers considered tank as system. Over the period of time, when government took over these structures, it is failed to considered as system, consequently it is said to be managed by five different departments and acting as separate entity in different directions. After some period, government concentrates only on physical improvements of the tanks. But still they did not yield fruitful result as there are no institutional structures to maintenance. Thus institutional problems crop up and it was hasten by changing social structures, land holding pattern and demographic population pressure on the lands. After the 1980s when international donor agencies funded for tank modernization, they asked to form water user association at tank level. As a result, the government has shown interest to form institution at tank level as it was stipulated by donor agencies.
Criteria Responsibility of organizing villagers Selection of leaders Functioning style Financial support Work execution Activeness Traditional Villagers themselves Villagers Informal Collective contribution Regular Relatively Active

Table 2: Functioning structure of tank institutions


tions, it is important to distinguish between different kind of faith or involvement that people pay within their socio-economic and -cultural context such as bonding, bridging and linking with these institutions.

Generally bonding relationship is viewed as strong or thick, while bridging relation is weak or thin (Narayanan, 1999; Onyx and Bullen, 2000; Putnam, 2001; Woolcock, 2001). Thus, bonding relationship is existed in traditional institution, which refers that villagers have close relationship with this institution. These people tend to make close relationship as they have similar interest and common affiliation. Ann Dale and Jennie Sparkes (2007) argued that adhesiveness within this network is a sense of deep trust held among members, which is often highly relational, personalized and thus, has potential for conflict when their trust and commonalities break down. Once, the tank irrigation system has been considered as a sole livelihood provider. Almost entire village population depends on it. During the 1980-81, population depended on agriculture in the study villages was 92 percent. But in 2007, it is 67 percent. (Block statistics, 2007). Over the period of time, due to changes in government policy and education opens various avenues for villagers. This is aggravated still by frequently failed rainfall. Match box, fire work and cotton industries are coming to exist in nearby towns and they opened opportunity especially for youngsters. Regarding NGOs sponsored institutions, the They also offered relatively high salary than agriculture. core principle employed is Linking. They try to moSlowly, youngsters move out from the village to search bilize the farmers themselves and made link with govbetter opportunity. Consequently, farmers faced with ernment agencies and other financial institutions. The labour shortage as they could not able to attract labour- prime objective of this Linking is to get accustomed ers through competitive wages. Most farmers leased out to use government program for the benefit of common. their land or left fallow. They are also looking for non- It is also considered as opportunistic ties and viewed as agricultural employment in the vicinity of the villages the capacity provider for institution to lever resources, and meantime they receive remittance from their son or ideas and information from the formal institution (Wooldaughters who are moved out from villages. The govern- cock, 2001). NGOs showed interest to operate in village ment also announced programs like Sampoorna Grama only when favorable condition exist or assure to provide. Rozgar Yojana (SGRY), National Rural Employment When they find difficulty to operate, they withdraw from Guaranty Scheme (NREGS), Swarna Jayanthi Grama these villages and automatically from institution building Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) and Ananithu Grama Anna process. In our experience, in the study village, from Marumalarchi Thittam (AGAMT). Basic objectives of all 1992-2002, the NGO called ASSEFA (Association of these programs are to give supplementary wage employ- Sarva Seva Farm) came to create sound institutional and ment to rural labourers. Moreover, upper caste farmers regulatory framework as well as enabling environment who are enjoyed control over lower caste people, lost for peoples participation by providing loans. But after their control due to changes in social structure and land the initial involvement they exhibit, they failed to imbibe holding pattern. Hence, once reason for coming united, a sense of self-help and a sense of sustainable progress. common goal is broken, the traditional institutions dis- In the long run, villagers attained the mindset that they integration gets started. As our research shows, the role will do mentality. Once conducive environment disapof peoples participation in institution is much dimin- pearing, the NGO also slowly came out from the village. ished now but not entirely forgotten. 163

In the case of Government sponsored institution, the cohesive force could be termed as Bridging. This relationship characterized by more impersonal and villagers participation is merely perfunctory not intuitive. It is often viewed as weak and opportunistic tie that facilitate access to resources. Bridging occurs when someone from the government try to connect with local people through some agenda (Granovetter, 1973). Here, the trust among members are often thin and tend broke when the bridger from the government side left the village or once his agenda or program completes. This type of institutions tends to provide comprehensive solutions that have tried to exorcize the factors which hinder the progress and simply do not work as expected. It is often conceived as designed to provide comic relief but not constant relief. This system failed to understand the fact that villagers are divided into many groups, based on their caste, income status and land holding etc. To connect or bring them into one group as tank command areas farmers, connecting thread is diluted by communal force and widespread social disparity. Government sponsored institution is not concentrated on this aspect. They try to identify all the farmers as tank farmers. They have time limit to implement program and within these time limit, they could not able or not interested to address this problem.

There is an argument that NGOs looking for conducive climate to operate on in order to impress their funding agencies. It is easy for the NGOs to operate in new villages rather than operate one village for longer time. After ASSEFA withdraw, another NGO called DHAN foundation came to operate in this village. Considering that relatively small village with single community, the basic platform to launch its program was already initiated by earlier one. This NGO also did its level best to organize the farmers to form tank institution called Vayalagam. They showed substantial and positive improvement in tank performance surpassing initial hurdles. Even then priority between farmers and NGO is differing. This system also will not yield good result if they fail to understand in changes happened in the external environment. Bolding (1994) argued that any external involvement, no matter how well intentioned, can be perceived as meddling and even be feared. Hence, what they need to do is not bringing expert from outside, but an awakening of the expertise within the villagers.

farmers elect or select their president, secretary and treasurer. The NGO provide accountant staff to help the farmer to maintain their accounts.

Role Execution
Traditional tank water institution is existing here from the time immemorial. Then, these institutions have complete control over the common resources. The way they approach to the problems are perhaps most incisive and provide constructive contribution to its better performance. Rules and roles that operate, maintain and manage these systems are strongly shaped by caste hierarchy. These institutions took the responsibility of supply channel maintenance, de-silting tank bed (farmers are allowed to remove top fertile layer of silt for their manure need), strengthening of tank bund, maintaining of tank physical structure (sluice and surplus weir), water distribution, resolving dispute and conflict resolution. However, the present situation is that most of the functions are not executed as external environment explicitly changed. Farmers are not allowed to take silt from the tank as social forestry program implemented by the government. Due to this misplaced priority, regular de-siltation did by farmers are stopped. As a result, every year about 2 percent of tank capacity is lost due to silt accumulation. Supply channels and catchment area are also encroached and but these institution have no power to deal with them. Thus, at present in majority of the tank water institution have only limited responsibility that too not regularly (Janakarajan, 1993 and Palanisami, 2006). Table 2 delineated that the gap between perceived roles and performed roles is large and illuminating. In government sponsored institution, water user association was active only during tank rehabilitation program implemented in 1996-1998. After completion of this European Economic Community assisted program, officials responsible for water users association, failed to maintain its tempo of their members (Palanisami et al, 2007). Farmers also complained that they spent much money

Functioning Style of Institutions

Traditional irrigational institution is functioning as a two tier system. In the top level, there will be commanding position called Nattamai (informal village leader) usually occupied by upper caste people. In the lower level, there will be an executing position as irrigation worker called Neerkatti (water manager) Neerpachi (water distributor) and Thotti (field assistant) are employed. These all post usually hired from scheduled caste household on rotation basis. In government sponsored institution, they will organize water user association with membership of all the ayacut (tank command) farmers. They are expected to elect three positions like president, secretary and treasurer. Based on the number of villages included in association, they will select members also. Apart from this elected body, this system also employs irrigation workers from scheduled caste households. In case of NGO sponsored institution, the NGO appoint one person as negotiator to motivate farmer to join in irrigational institution. The member
Roles assumed Supply channel cleaning De-silting tank bed Strengthening tank bund Sluice and weir maintenance Outlet channel maintenance Water distribution Conflict resolution Traditional Occasionally No No Yes Yes Yes Yes

Table 3: Role execution of Institutions

Govt. Sponsored Occasionally No Yes Occasionally No No No NGO Sponsored Yes No No Yes Yes No No


on tank structures. The main problem is that its catchment and supply channel has been encroached upon, and nothing has been done about it. Farmers are also opined that they are motivated to participate in ongoing process but hardly vested with any power. These kinds of participation are often criticized as tokenist, giving participant with no power (Smith, 1998). It is assumed that people provided with option of passive participation. Certainly, farmers who are expected to participate in institutional building should provide with power to make decision and their priority and choices of investment. If it is not ensured, it is mere sophistry to say that it is participation and institutional success. Pearce and Stiefel (1980) concluded that the promotion of participatory institutional building may be regarded as no more than rhetoric unless communities have some degree of power over the services. Smith (1998) also argued that passive participation in the name of consultation is the weakest form of participation in decision making, is often said to be a mean of indoctrinating the public in the values and priorities of the planner to ensure that they obtain public endorsement of their decision, rather than understanding of local needs and priorities. As we discussed earlier, due to the government policy transfer of land holding is happened from upper caste to lower caste people. It is not simply considered as land transfer but also power transfer. Power sharing is not viewed in right way by upper caste people. They physically accept but are mentally and emotionally much reluctant and not ready to accept that lower caste farmers empowered through land. Upper caster people also leased or sold their lands to landless labourers and lower caste farmers. Villagers those who entirely depend on mercy or goodwill of large or upper caste farmers to get employment, became self-employed. In the mean time, the entry of more and more caste based political party into the village system damaged the village cohesiveness and consequently wipes off cooperative attitude within and between farmers and villages. This could be a possible reason for dismantling traditional institutions. Disintegration of joint family, promotion of education, development of cottage industry are hastened the process. As Agarwal (2001) rightly put if farmers have earning activities that are not reliant on common resources, their incentives to the collective management will be reduced. The degree of dependency on small scale irrigation will depend both on farmers capacity to exploit it and on what alternative livelihood options are available to them. Our observation confirmed that farmers are slowly los-

ing their ability to exploit potential benefit from tank irrigation system because of their weak institutional power. When compare to Government sponsored institution, traditional and NGO sponsored institution showed incremental increase in the delivery system. In these two organizations farmers strives continuously to subjugate impossibility and then try to succeed.

Role Execution of Irrigation Functionaries

An institution, irrespective of its nature or governance, is assisted by a group of irrigation workers called Neerkatties (water man) who are generally hired from scheduled caste house hold in rotation in the tank village. If a particular tank village does not have that particular schedule caste community, they employed Neerkatties from nearby villages. The discussion about Neerkattis becomes important, considering the service they render to tank institution. They are the specialist in water management, having rules to allocate water in the time of scarcity, on the basis of detailed knowledge of the needs of individual wetland fields, thus mitigating usual tension between head and tail-enders (Mosse, 2006) The Neerkatties are omnipresent who are work almost all the tank villages making their livelihood based on their services like sluice operation, irrigation to the field, protecting tank resources and so on. In the mean time, like any other institution, tank as an institution, has also changed a lot and profiles of these functionaries also changed. In many cases, our field experience showed that, such changes have played havoc with their lives, but still many are thriving by adopting themselves to the changes (Vasimalai, 2003). Among the study villages, two villages have Neerkatti community and one village did not have Neerkatti community. By custom, the Neerkatties are expected to execute some responsibilities (Table 3). It is clear from the table 3 that mere existence of Neerkatti family in the village is no guaranty for execution of expected work. During our interview with Neerkatties in the village, they accepted that they are not doing jobs what their father or grandfather as a Neerkatti did. They spelled out some the reasons for their hesitance.

In the past 10 years, because of the uncertainty and insufficient rainfall tank not received water enough to cater farmers need. Studies showed that only 2 years


Table 3: Role execution of Neerkatti

Assumed Roles Mobilize village farmer Watch and ward of tank asset Water management Farm management Arranging religious ceremony Sluice operation Moderator of dispute between farmers Common fund collector Announcer Directing Neerpatchi and Thotti Traditional Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Govt. Sponsored No No No No Yes No No No Yes No NGO Sponsored Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No

in the last 10 year tank received water its full capacity. As a result, most of the farmers ended with crop failure or left fallow. One Neerkatti needs to work for at least 30 acres of farmers field as water man to get justifiable income. When this falls down, he encountered with insufficient income and struggle to maintain family. Thus, he preferred to go out for other agricultural or non-agricultural jobs.

Usually after the crop harvest, the Neerkatties are entitled to have 12 kg of grain per acre. This type of payment is applicable only during normal tank season. When tank fails or partially performed they are not sure about their payment. Again some farmers, even if they are reaped good harvest are reluctant to come forward to pay their due to Neerkatties. This type of problems cropped up day by day. They have often involved in quarrel with Neerkatties about their work execution. These all dissipate the custom of payment to Neerkatti. Hence, they are reluctant to perform their duties as they perceived. Another reason would be as we discussed earlier that disintegration of caste based hierarchy and dismantling of institution. The majority of them were not able to produce enough income through agriculture and start doing or searching on wide array of off-farm activities to supplement the income gap. When they opted out non-agricultural opportunities, they could not fully concentrate on Neerkatti work as they did earlier.

use (Li, 1996). Traditional or institutional approach to common property received wide spread acceptance and resulted successful for quite a long period. It is proved that community can own, manage, sustain and enhance resources such as tank irrigation system (Berkes, 1989 and Ostrom, 1990). But present situation, tank irrigation system as an institution fail to deliver what it is capable of. Reasons are multifold and deep rooted as we discussed. The main flaw in todays approach to tank institution is its fragmented approach and the need is holistic approach. Tank irrigation system is involved physical structures, technical aspects and institutional factors. All the attempts made so far to modernize or rehabilitate the tank system fully concentrates only on physical improvements. That too was not as good as farmers expected. The institutional aspects completely ignored until international donor agencies is asked to do so. Even then reports showed that government spent 71 percent of money in physical improvement and 27 percent spent towards administrative purpose. Meager 2 percent was spent on institutional aspects and after maintenance (ADB, 2006). Importantly, the institutional factors and physical factors do not act in isolation; they are so complex and often interact with each other. Hence, it is recommended that due importance will be given to address institutional aspects. About 10 percent of the cost could be spent towards institutional and system maintenance. The farmers asserted that government induced participation is often purely exploitative. They administer some temporary palliatives to address much deep rooted problems. As a result things would not happen in the way one would have expected. The minor irrigation system is to be treated as one integral holistic unit comprising catchment, water spread, tank structures and tank command. As experience showed that most of the encroachment occurred in catchment and supply channel which is fall in some other village panchayat. So

The thinking of community was of lowest level of aggregation at which people organize for common efforts; i.e. a small, homogenous, harmonious and territorially bound unit (Kumar, 2005). Many researches showed that the rural or traditional communities are in harmony with local customs and demonstrate long established patterns of sustainable and equitable resource


the institution could not exhibit its power on this chronic problem. These institutions are provided with power to evict encroachment and safeguard its resources. In over view, true attempt could be made for revival of traditional irrigation institution with its original vibrant. The policy should underpinned by principles of sustainability and equity. Women are widely encouraged to participate in the institution. Like in the Pudhucherry, women and men from every agricultural household could become member in the institution. It is undeniably true that if we reestablish relationship between farmers and tank institution and reinvent its role as independent arbiter through radically different and inspiring, innovative approach will

strengthen the hopes of farmer who still evidently banking on the tank irrigation as their savior. A sustainable tank irrigated agriculture with all its uncertainties and complexities cannot be envisaged without all the actors being involved with real enthusiasm in all aspects of planning, execution and management process.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to our interviewees for their cooperation and also we sincerely thank JSPS, Japan and the Suntory Foundation for their financial assistance.


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Janakarajan, S. (1993) In search of Tanks: some hidden facts, Economic and Political Weekly, June 26, pp A53-A60. Kumar, C.(2005) Revisiting community in community based natural resource management, Community Development Journal, Vol. 40 No 3, July 2005 pp 275-285. Li, T.M. (1996) Images of community: Discourse and strategy in property relations, Development and Change, 27 (3), 501-528. Li, T.M. (2002) Engaging simplification: Community base natural resource management, market processes and state agendas in upland Southeast Asia, World Development,30 (2), 265-283. Mosse, David. (2003) The rule of water: Statecraft, ecology and collective action in South India, Oxford university press, Delhi. Mosse,David. (2006) Collective action, common property and social capital in South India: An Anthropological commentary, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Vol. 54, Issue 3, pp 695-724, April. Narayanan, D. (1999) Bonds and Bridges: social capital and poverty, World Bank, Washington, DC. NSSO. (1999) Common property resources in India, NSSO 54th round survey (Jan 98- June 98), Govt. of India. Onyx, J. and Bullen, P. (2000) Measuring social capital in five communities, The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 36 (1), 23-42. Ostrom, E.(1990) Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action, Cambridge university press, Cambridge, UK. Palanisami, K. (2000) Tank irrigation: Revival for prosperity, Asian Publication Services, New Delhi. Palanisami, K. (2006) Sustainable management of tank irrigation system in India, Journal of Developments in Sustainable Agriculture, 1:34-40. Palanisami, K.; M. Jegadeesan; K. Fujita and Y. Kono (2008) Impacts of tank modernization programs in Tamil Nadu state, India. Working paper series, CSEAS, Kyoto University Pearse, A. and Stiefel, M. (1980) Enquiry into participation. A Research approach (eds). United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Geneva. Putnam, R. (2001) Social capita measurement and consequences, ISUMA, 2 (1), 41-52. Sakthivadivel, R.; P. Gomathinayagam and Tushaar Shah (2004) Rejuvenating irrigation tanks through local institutions, Economic and Political Weekly, July 31, pp 3521-3526. Smith, B.C. (1998) Participation without power: subterfuge or development, Community Development Journal, Vol. 33 No. 3, July pp. 197-204. Vaidyanathan, A. (1985) Water control Institution and agriculture: A comparative perspective, Indian Economic Review, Vol. XX. No 1. Vasimalai, M. P. (2003) Neerkatties: The Rural water manager (eds. by Seenivasan. R), DHAN Foundation, Madurai, India. Woolcock, M. (2001) The place of social capital in understanding social and economic outcomes, ISUMA, 2 (1), 11-17.


Indigenous Knowledge use in Dry Lands
P. Balasubramaniam, R. Vijayaraghavan and J. Venkitapirabhu

Traditionally, a number of practices have been evolved by farmers to address the problem of risk. These traditional practices are relevant under the changing scenario in rain fed agriculture and also to impress upon the need for blending the traditional practices of risk management with modern practices at high production. The knowledge in todays parlance is called local knowledge/ traditional knowledge (or) indigenous knowledge. Indigenous knowledge may also be defined as the sum total of knowledge and practices which are based on peoples accumulated experience in dealing with situations and problems in various aspects of life and suck knowledge and practices are special to a particular culture. Indigenous knowledge is the knowledge of the people living in certain area, generated by their own and their ancestors experience and including knowledge originating from else where which has been internalized by the local people. Farmers have found ways of conserving soil and water, protecting crops and nutrient availability without the use of artificial inputs.

ladam block of Coimbatore district with a sample size of 120 farmers consisting 50 small farmers and 70 big farmers. The selection of farmers was at random in each village.

Findings and Discussion

The identified practices were classified to eight subheads. Therefore 25 indigenous practices identified, and only 18 practices were adopted by majority of dry land farmers. Some of the indigenous practices viz., Summer ploughing, cowdung coating for cotton seeds, soaking sorghum in cow urine, Soaking bengal gram in water, Soaking Sorghum in common salt, cattle penning sorghum raised as mixed crop with lab-lab and crop ploughing were adopted for conservation of soil moisture and to mitigate drought. The advantages and constraints of each indigenous practice were analyzed and suitable strategies formulated to enhance dry land productivity.

Advantages of Indigenous Practices

When the farmers continuously practicing indigenous knowledge, it will be also relevant to enquire why they do so. In other words, what are the advantages of such practices as perceived by farmers. Understanding the rational of such practices from farmers point of

The study was conducted in five villages of Pal-


view, may also help researchers to look into the valid factors while they research to farmers need and help extension workers to select appropriate technologies based on few criteria.
1. Summer ploughing (SF : Small Farmers, BF : Big Farmers). Sl.No. 1. 2. 3. 4. Advantages Conservation of moisture during drought period Eradication of weeds Control of soil erosion Reduction in no. of ploughings at the time of sowing

The tables shows the advantages of indigenous practices related to moisture conservation and water harvesting

SF (n=44) 100 100 86.36 72.72

BF (n=66) 98.48 100 100 87.87

Total 90.83 91.66 86.66 75

Z value 1.007 NS NS 2.63 ** 1.93NS

Majority of the farmers (75-92 percent) had gone for summer ploughing because it conserves moisture, eradicates needs, consolidates soil erosion and minimizes the number of ploughings at the time of sowing. Percentage of farmers who had convinced about soil erosion control were more among big farmers than among small farmers.
2. Cowdung coating for cotton seeds Sl.No. 1. 2. 3. 4. Advantages Pest reduction No cost Easy dibbling of seeds owing to fuzz removal Good germination SF (n=45) (%) 86.66 93.33 100 95.55 BF (n=64) (%) 100 85.93 100 92.18 85.83 88.33 90.83 85 2.03** 1.29 NS NS 0.74 NS Total Z value

** - Significant at 1% level.

Majority and 100 percent of small and big farmers expressed that due to cowdung coating for cotton seeds, the easy dibbling of seeds to remove fuzz, good germination, no cost and pest-reduction were the advantages.
3. Soaking sorghum in cow urine Sl.No. 1. 2. 3. Advantages No cost Drought tolerance Easy establishment of seeds with minimum showers SF (n=39) (%) 92.30 100 61.53 BF (n=48) (%) 83.33 100 85.41 63.33 72.50 54.16 1.30 NS NS 2.56** Total Z value

** - Significant at 1% level.

In the study sample, 87 farmers used to soak sorghum seeds in cow urine before sowing. About 72 percent had been using the practice, because of drought tolerance. About half of them were of the opinion that the seeds tended to germinate with minimum rain and big farmers attributing this reason numbered more than small farmers. Two-thirds of farmers considered this technology as no cost practice.
4. Soaking Bengal gram in water Sl.No. 1. 2. Advantages No cost Establishment of seeds with minimum shower SF (n=49) (%) 15.15 100 BF (n=42) (%) 35.17 100 Total (%) 18.33 72.50 2.20* NS Z value

** - Significant at 5% level.

As found with the previous practice, 87 farmers had resorted to the practice of soaking bengal gram in water before sowing. The motivating factors appeared to be no cost (18 percent) and with standing water stress (72 percent).
5. Soaking Sorghum in common salt Sl.No. 1. 2. Advantages Less cost Good germination even under adverse condition SF (n=41) (%) 31.70 85.36 BF (n=56) (%) 17.85 94.64 Total (%) 19.16 73.33 1.5 NS 1.47NS Z value


The indigenous practice of soaking sorghum in common salt had attracted 97 farmers out of 120 sample farmers. Majority of farmers (73 percent) opined that this practice recorded higher percentage germination even under adverse condition. About one fifth were of the view that no expenditure was involved. 6. Cotton treated with Red soil
Sl.No. 1. 2. Advantages Easy dibbling of seeds owing to fuzz removal Good germination

Three fourths of 120 farmers used to have crop ploughing practice and all of them had done so because of weed eradication. About 20 percent farmers hold that labour cost for weeding was considerably reduced compared to big farmers, small farmers were more conscious of cost factor.
SF (n=4) (%) 100 BF (n=15) (%) 01.11 3.83 Total (%) 9.16 9.16 5.31** 3.32** Z value

** - Significant at 1% level. A considerably less number of 22 farmers out of 120 had treated cotton seeds with red soil. Of them, there were 18 big farmers. Half of big farmers stated that this practice facilitate easy dibbling of seeds and however no small farmers were conscious of this reason. All the four small farmers referred to the factor of good germination. 7. Cattle Penning

Constraints in Adopting Indigenous Practices

Farmers who had used indigenous practices were asked for not only advantages but also for constraints if any, normally no farmer would prefer a practice whether it is indigenous (or) modern unless the practice gives more benefit them its constraints. Knowing the advantages of a practice answers as to why farmers evince keen interest on such practice. At the same time, understanding the constraints will be useful to justify the modification of the practice if needed.

Of the 120 farmers, 96 families comprising 38 small and 58 big farmers practiced cattle penning and all of them appeared to have fully understand the imporiuem of soil fertility owing to organic manure. Constraints of indigenous practices (SF : * - Significant at 5% level. Small Farmers, BF : Big Farmers). 8. Sorghum Raised as Mixed Crop with Lab-Lab
Sl.No. 1. 2. Advantages Additional yield Nitrogen fixation SF (n=39) (%) 79.48 100 BF (n=63) (%) 95.23 15.87 75.83 40.83 2.24* 1.827** Total Z value

** - Significant at 1% level. Majority of farmers 102 out of 120 raised sorghum mixed with lab-lab. About three-fourths of them mentioned about additional yield owning to mixed cropping and about 41 percent cited nitrogen fixation by leguminous lab-lab. Big and small farmers however differed among themselves in this advantage wise responses. 9. Crop Ploughing
Sl.No. Advantages 1. 2. Saving of labour charge Weeds eradication SF (n=30) (%) 48.64 100

Of 110 farmers, 12.5 percent however felt that summer ploughing costed much to them and all of them happened to be big farmers. No small farmer had thought of this practice as costly affair. Regarding the practice of cow dung coating for cottong. It had invited many constraints as shown in this table. Of the 108 farmers, about half of them had felt that it would be difficult to follow the practice durBF (n=45) (%) 28.28 100 Total (%) 25.83 62.50 2.71** NS Z value

** - Significant at 1% level.


Sl.No. 1. 2.

Advantages Summer ploughing SF (n=44) BF (n=66) high cost Cowdung coating for cotton seeds SF (n=45) BF (n=64) time consuming practice Difficult to follow this practice during rainy season It cannot be utilized along storage

SF (n=30) (%) 33.33 82.22 25.64 12.19 100 51.28 76.31 46.15 66.66 86.66

BF (n=45) (%) 22.75 50 23.43 46.87 45.83 23.8 88.88 60.34 22.41 4.76 28.88 46.66

Total (%) 12.5 39.16 43.33 25 26.66 8.33 4.16 16.16 45.83 15 17.5 27.5 39.16

Z value 4.4** 1.77NS 7.55** 7.51** 2.01* 3.6** 2.3* 1.5NS 0.746NS 3.84** 4.91** 3.45** 4.12**

3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Soaking sorghum in cow urine SF (n=45) BF (n=48) crop growth was not uniform Soaking bengal gram in water SF (n=45) BF (n=42) crop growth not satisfactory Soaking sorghum in common salt SF (n=41) BF (n=56) patches in the crop coverage Cotton treated with red soil SF (n=4) BF (n=18) it cannot be utilized for long storage Cattle penning SF (n=28) BF (n=58) it is difficult to have cattle penning in time High cost Sorghum raised as a mixed crop with lab-lab SF (n=39) BF (n=63) damage to main crop Crop ploughing SF (n=30) BF (n=45) damage to main crop owing to bullock trampling Complete removal of weeds was not possible

8. 9.

ing rainy season and also treated seeds had taken more time for drying before sowing. about 40 percent farmers considered it to be a time consuming practice. According to about 50 percent of 64 big farmers, they treated cotton seeds had to be sown the earliest as it would not last long storage. Of the 87 farmers who had soaked sorghum in cow urine, one-forth of them opined that crop growth was not uniform. Those who had given such opinion were mostly big farmers. Of the 87 farmers who had soaked bengal gram in water, a few of them (8 percent) were of the opinion that crop growth was not satisfactory and all of them were big farmers. Of the 97 farmers who had soaked sorghum in common salt solution, 4 percent of them had observed patches in the crop standing. Those giving such view were all small farmers. There were 21 farmers who had treated cotton seeds with red soil. About 16 percent of them had experienced that they could not store the treated seeds for long before sowing. Cattle penning was one of the popular indig-

enous practices for 96 farmers of whom about half of them found it difficult to have goats penning in time. About 21 percent farmers understood that it was possible to have goat penning only during fallow season and 15 percent remarked about the practice to be costly. In raising a mixed crop of sorghum with lab-lab. Of the 102 farmers. About 10 percent were of the view that the harvest operation of early matured crop had somewhat affected the other crops in maturity stage. This opinion was more prevalent among the small farmers as compared to big farmers. The crop ploughing practice was reported to have two constraints. About 28 percent of the 75 adopters informed that the damage to main crop owing to bullock trampling during crop ploughing was unavoidable. It was also the view of about 40 percent farmers that complete removal of weeds was not possible. As shown in the table, both small and big farmers differed in their opinion.

The interest in traditional knowledge is gaining considerable momentum, more so, incase of rainfed agriculture where the modern technologies alone is being considered in adequate to overcome the problem. There


is undoubtedly a need to initiate systematic efforts for collecting the traditional practices from different areas. The collection and documentation of the practices is not only the requirement. There is also a need to address the

scientific rationale of each practice, which practice have spread over in larger area, any indigenous practices that has disappeared from the scene and which are the indigenous practices are comparable with modern practices.


Principles and Policy Perspective of Rain Water Harvesting
P.G.Lavanya and R.K.Haroon

Introduction Water supports all forms of life on this mother earth. The importance of water for the existence of human society cannot be overemphasized. Today, the importance of water has been recognised the world over, and greater emphasis is being laid on its economic use and better management. Providing water in the right quantity and quality has been the constant endeavour of all civilizations through the ages. No other natural resource has had such an overwhelming influence on human history. It plays a vital role in agricultural and industrial development and sustaining human life. Rainfall is the only source of water. Rain water harvesting is the deliberate collection of rain water within a catchment and use for the purpose of drinking, irrigation etc. Rainwater storage is generally done in man made tanks, lined pits and small dams or in the sandy beds of seasonal rivers. In several areas of the country including Delhi, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, groundwater levels are dangerously low. There is an urgent need to address the issue of water

management in a sustainable manner. In view of this, rainwater harvesting has become almost like an exhortation - the most sought out refuge to fight this crisis. In fact, the UN during its General Assembly in December 2003 proclaimed the years between 2005 to 2015 as the international decade for Water for Life. The per capita availability of water is 1820 m3 which is above the water stress condition threshold value of 1700 m3. However the percapita availability varies from 18417 m3 in Brahamaputra to 380 m3 in some east flowing rivers in Tamil Nadu showing that many basins in the country are already critically starved of water. Due to indiscriminate pumping of groundwater, the water table has already gone down abnormally and if we do not wake up even now then our future generations may have to face severe crises of water. The rain as important source of water and if we can harvest rain water, the scarcity of water can be eliminated altogether. Therefore, it is our bound en duty to conserve the rainwater in the form of rainwater harvesting. Summer comes to Tamil Nadu every year. Along


with it comes water crisis as well, ponds and taps dry up, women begin to walk the village streets and city roads with pots and pitchers looking for a water-point. Water is becoming a cause for social conflicts. The protests, demonstrations, road-blockades, riots, city-dwellers against farmers, villages against towns, towns against cities, citizens against the government, people against people. Increasingly, these (usually local) conflicts are taking on the general shape of a bitter war for water. For some time now, the extensive adoption of rainwater harvesting and the revival of traditional water management systems that have gone into decline have been urged by many. In most of the places the duration of rainfall is spread over only for a few months i.e. June to September / October to December in a year. Hence there is a dire need for conserving the rainwater, which occurs in short spells with high intensity, so as to utilize the same during the dry period. If it is not done, the water will flow rapidly and go waste as run off into the sea, apart from creating water scarcity during non-monsoon period

purposes i) storing in container/ tank above / below ground for ready use (storage) ii) Charging into the soil for later utilization (groundwater recharge). The question of either storage or recharging of ground water depends mainly on the rainfall pattern of the region, apart from the permeability of the soil. The water collected during the monsoon has to be stored for usage throughout the year, which means huge volumes of storage containers are necessary. Hence, it is feasible to use the rainwater for recharging the groundwater aquifers rather than storage. Generally runoff from the paved surfaces only, is used for storage since it is relatively free from bacterial and other contamination. The major part of the rainwater flowing as runoff will be wasted, if not conserved properly.

Methods of Artificial Recharge

Various methods of artificial recharge can be broadly classified into two viz: a) Surface technique and b) the Sub-surface technique. Surface technique group: Contour bunds, Percolation Tanks, Irrigation Tanks and Individual Well recharge. Sub-surface technique group: Subsurface dykes, Recharge tube wells, Recharging Trenches, Injection Wells. In Tamil Nadu ancient people stored rainwater in public places separately one for drinking purpose and another for bathing, and other domestic purposes and called them as Ooranies. They also formed percolation tanks or ponds, for the purpose of recharging irrigation or domestic wells. They periodically cleaned the waterways so as to get clean water throughout the year. There are instances in the history that people constructed crude rubble bunds across river courses either for diversion of water or for augmenting the ground water.

Demand and Supply Gap

Today, one billion people in the world that is, one sixth of humanity - have inadequate access to clean drinking water. Unless governments and communities begin to effectively tackle this problem, the number of people without clean and sufficient water will rise to 2.5 billion in the next 25 years that is, nearly one person in three. It is disquieting to know that most of these water-deprived people are and will likely be, in our country. Water requirement in the country is closely related to the population. A population of around 1.6 billion by 2050 would considerably increase the demand for drinking water, food production, non-food agricultural activities, industrial use, energy production, etc. This is likely to put the water availability under enormous stress. Further, the objectives set for improvement in the quality of life and preservation of ecology and environment would result in further increase of the projected per person use of water per year. This increased need for water stands in stark contrast to the fundamental truth that water resources are limited and annual replenishments are almost constant over a long time span.

Rain water harvesting is essential because: Surface water is inadequate to meet our demand and we have to depend on ground water. Due to rapid urbanization, infiltration of rain water into the sub-soil has decreased drastically and recharging of ground water has diminished. It will provide supplement water for houses, institution and industries. It will enable to recharge groundwater and prevent water salinity ingress in

Conservation of Rain Water- for What Purpose

Broadly the rainwater can be harvested for two


coastal aquifers. Need To overcome the inadequacy of surface water to meet our demands. To arrest decline in groundwater levels. To enhance availability of ground water at specific place and time and utilize rainwater for sustainable development. To increase infiltration of rainwater in the subsoil which has decreased drastically in urban areas due to paving of open area To improve ground water quality by dilution. To increase agriculture production To improve ecology of the area by increase in vegetation cover etc.

Nature of catchments and space for the storage, depend on the land use pattern. The RWH can be classified as: RWH in urban areas & RWH in rural areas. RWH IN URBAN AREAS Roof top Rain Water Harvesting- Storing of Roof Top Water in Tanks/Sumps, Recharge pit/ recharge shaft/bore, Recharge well, Recharge well with recharge shaft/bore and Recharge through open dug well Water harvesting can be taken up in large areas of urban, in public parks, in streets/street corners and in storm water drains RWH IN RURAL AREAS Tamil Nadus rural areas have already implemented rain water harvesting in the form of kulam, kuttai, eri, irrigation tanks, ooranies farm ponds and percolation ponds. RWH in rural areas can be, in general, larger than those in urban areas. RWH in rural areas have to be community based for economical reasons and for efficiency. The community has to be organised to go in for collective rainwater harvesting in any one of the forms as tanks, ponds, ooranies and percolation ponds

The cost of recharge to sub-surface reservoir is lower than surface reservoirs. The aquifer serves as a distribution system also. No land is wasted for storage purpose and no population displacement is involved. Groundwater is not directly exposed to evaporation and pollution. Storing water under ground is environment friendly. It increases the productivity of aquifer. It reduces flood hazards. Effects rise in ground water levels Mitigates effects of drought Reduces soil erosion. Improves moisture content of water in the soil.

RWH Structures Suitable in Rural Areas

(i) Surface storing (a) Irrigation tank- It is a reservoir to store water for irrigation constructed using the locally available materials. It is generally located at a place of natural depression. It may be as well along a stream or close to a river course. The major component of tank irrigation is catchments; water spread area and ayacut or command. Irrigation tanks can be classified based on the sources of water viz: - Rain fed tanks, System tanks and Chain tanks (b) Oorany - It is a pond constructed to store water at an identified suitable place by excavation. It is smaller than an irrigation tank and stored water may be used for drinking or bathing or religious purposes. (c) Farm Pond- It is small pond excavated at a suitable location of a farm to store water for irrigation. The capacity is decided on the basis of its requirement viz: - for life saving irrigation and for completely irrigating a crop of low water requirement.

Principles Rain Water Harvesting

Components of Rain Water Harvesting


(ii) Sub-surface Storing Percolation pond - It is a pond constructed at a suitable location to store water for artificial recharge of ground water. It has to be located at place where the infiltration rate is high. It is an effective way of artificially recharging the ground water. (iii) Retarding the flow (a) Check dam - It is small wall / brushwood dam constructed across a stream to retard and to detain the water in stream. It has to allow overflow of water during high rainfall periods and should be sufficiently strong enough to withstand the water pressure. (b) Contour bund- It is bund constructed along an identified contour line of suitable height to hold back the overland flow. It is effective method in conserve soil moisture in watershed for long duration. It will help to reduce the soil erosion otherwise taking place in the catchment. Spacing between two contour bunds depends on the slope of the area as the permeability of the soil. It is suitable on land with moderate slopes without involving terracing i.e. forest catchments and dry farming rural areas. (c) Gully plug- Gully Plugs are built using local stones, clay and bushes across small gullied and streams running down the hill slopes carrying drainage to tiny catchments during rainy season. Gully plug help in conservation of soil and moisture. The sites for gully plugs may be chosen whenever there is a local break in slop to permit accumulation of adequate water behind the bunds.

crore. Resources under NREGP, BRGF etc., are available for this purpose. Under the Bharat Nirman Anonymous (2008,b) repair, renovation and restoration of water bodies is being taken up which can expand irrigation capacity in a short period. The states will be assisted to take up such project provided they agree to hand over the water bodies to user groups after renovation so that future maintenance is assured.

Artificial Recharge Schemes with Central Assistance

Central Government has come forward for funding the construction of the artificial structures for augmenting ground water. A master plan for Tamil Nadu has been prepared by the State Ground and Surface Water Resources Data Centre for implementation of artificial recharge to ground water through check dams and other suitable structures at a cost of Rs.565 crore over a period of three years from 2008-09. Scheme for Rain Water Harvesting through Farm Ponds and Rejuvenation of Failed / Unused Wells Anonymous (2008,a) The ground water potential has been exploited to such an extent that special methods of rainwater harvesting and ground water recharge are warranted to save the well irrigated areas. Government have provided resilience to the drought affected agriculture by promoting rain water harvesting. They have sanctioned the construction of farm ponds and rejuvenation of failed / unused / abandoned wells. A total of 8833 farm ponds were constructed at a total cost of Rs. 2564.29 lakhs and 2093 wells have been rejuvenated at a cost of Rs.264.37 lakhs during 2003-04. This programme will be designed in such a way that the watershed will get the benefit of convergence of various watershed development and individual beneficiary oriented programmes. Rain Water Harvesting structures such as farm ponds, check dams and rejuvenation of abandoned wells are proposed to be taken up during 2005-06, with the NABARD assistance under Rural Infrastructure Development Funds so as to benefit 10,000 farmers. During 2007-08, so far upto Feb.2008, construction of 2532 rainwater harvesting structure have been completed at of Rs.1258 lakh. It is proposed to continue this programme with an outlay of Rs.1800 lakh.

The ground water can be recharged through watershed development using check dams, contour bunding etc., This not only increase availability of water, but also generally lead to more equitable distribution of it. The Eleventh Plan will strengthen the watershed development programme and also increase the flow of resources to these programmes by convergence of other schemes. Master Plan - The ground water level are declining in many parts of the country, artificial recharge of ground water with rainwater is an important strategy to arrest this trend. The Central Ground Water Board have already prepared a master plan to recharge 36 BCM of rainwater into the ground water at a cost of Rs.24,500


Tamil Nadu Irrigated Agriculture Modernisation, Water Bodies Restoration and Management Project (IAMWARM)
Tamil Nadu Irrigated Agriculture Modernisation Water Bodies Restoration and Management Project has been formulated with the objective of improving the irrigation service delivery and productivity of irrigated agriculture with effective Water Resources Management in a river basin/sub-basin frameworks in Tamil Nadu with the assistance of the World Bank. The Project will be implemented in an integrated manner with the participation of line Departments and other institutions. The project is proposed to be implemented in 63 sub basins excluding the areas already covered under Water Resources Consolidation Project and Cauvery basin. The Project cost is Rs.2547 crore. The components of the Project includes Improving Irrigation system performance at the bulk level, i.e., diversion, weirs, anicuts, supply channels, tank storages, tank bunds, spill weirs and sluices, main canals, branch canals, distributaries and minors and Strengthening water sources Management. In the first year 2007-08, 9 sub basins have been selected for implementation and 14 sub basins are to be implemented in the second year onwards. The Project is in the initial stage and bid documents are being finalized in respect of the 9 sub basins taken up for implementation during the year 2007-08. The anticipated expenditure for 2007-08 is Rs.127.34 crore and the proposed outlay for 2008-09 is Rs.578.23 crore.

area 381500 Ha for Xth plan have been identified in 23 districts and allocation of funds has been made accordingly.

NABARD Assisted Rain Water Harvesting Programme

In order to improve the moisture regime of the watersheds by harvesting rainwater, the rainwater harvesting programme for ground water recharge with the assistance of NABARD in 249 watersheds of 19 districts at a total outlay of Rs.4781.00 lakhs. Under this programme, the community works such as construction of percolation ponds and check dams are taken up with 100% grants. So far upto Feb 2008, construction of 3094 rain water harvesting structures have been completed at a cost of Rs.1566 lakhs.

Rehabilitation of tanks identified by MLAs

During the 2007-08, the Government of Tamil Nadu sanctioned rehabilitation of 365 non-system tanks at a cost of Rs.34.81 crore. All these tanks have been identified by the MLAs in 190 rural Assembly Constituencies. Some of these works have just commenced and major part will be implemented in 2008-09.

Command Area Development and Water Management Programme

Command Area Development and Water Management Programme is being implemented in the State with an aim to improve the water use efficiency in canal irrigated areas. At present, the programme is implemented in Cauvery Command, Tambirabarani River Basin Project, Gadana Ramanadhi Irrigation System, Nambiyar River Basin System, Patchaiyar River Basin System, and Manimuthar Irrigation System. This scheme is implemented with financial assistance from both Centre and State on 50:50 basis. During 2007-08, it is programmed to take up on farm development works in the above project areas at a total cost of Rs.5131.32 lakh. Pilot Project for Artificial Recharge Structures in existing percolation ponds of Coimbatore and Vellore Districts. (one each) As a pilot measure, artificial recharge structures like construction of recharge bore well / recharge shaft is proposed to be constructed in the water spread area of the percolation ponds existing in the Vellore and Coimbatore Districts (one each) at a cost of Rs.5 lakh.

Drought Prone Area Programme

This programme has been in implementation in parts of Tamil Nadu from 1972-73. Presently 80 notified blocks of 17 districts as drought prone areas. Over the years, the objectives of the programme and the mode of implementation have undergone modifications from infrastructure creation to rainwater harvesting and overall economic development through watershed activities. An area of 3.28 lakh ha is covered (since 1990)as against the 6.14 lakhs ha. at a cost of 180.08 crore.

National Watershed Development Programme for Rainfed areas (NWDPRA)

NWDPRA is implemented in 23 districts of Tamilnadu except Thanjavur, Nagappattinam, Tiruvarur and Kanyakumari. 763 units of watersheds (1unit=500Ha)


Depletion of ground water resources, on which millions of rural families depend for their drinking water needs as well as irrigation, continues unabated. This is made worse by the growing pollution and inefficient use of surface water. Our culture and tradition enjoins upon us to treat our rivers as sacred. Yet, over the past few decades, more rivers are getting more polluted at more places than ever before. Therefore, the situation is forcing us to recognize water security as an overriding national objective both as an inseparable aspect of food security but also in its own independent right. While we prepare for the challenge ahead, we should critically re-examine the administrative framework and the policies we have actually implemented during the last 55 years for the water resources development. The Millennium Development Goals National Environment Policy, 2004 Hariyali guidelines 2003 National water policy 2002 Watershed guidelines 1994 Delhi water amendment bill 2002 Kerala Government notification on rain water harvesting CGWB notifications on rainwater har vesting Andhra Pradesh water, land and trees act 2002 Government order on rainwater harvest ing in Kanpur Chennais groundwater regulation act Amendment to Chennai Metropolitan area groundwater act Tamil Nadu protection of tanks and evic tion of encroachment act 2007 Himachal Pradesh was the first one in the country to make installation of rooftop rainwater systems mandatory in all new constructions. Over the years, a number of states and cities have promulgated similar orders. According to the Tamil Nadu state governments directions, it is mandatory for every residential and com-

mercial property to harvest rainwater. The Bangalore Mahanagara Palike has also made rainwater harvesting mandatory in new buildings. It also ensures that the cost of implementing this does not exceed one per cent of the total cost of the construction, thus ensuring economic viability. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had also announced that new buildings constructed on plots measuring more than 1,000 square metres be equipped with rainwater harvesting facilities. The two factors, viz., use and re-use, are stressed upon in achieving water self-sufficiency. Since water is a state subject, many states in India have regulated policies for rainwater harvesting, such as the Karnataka government, has set up rainwater resources centres in 27 districts. The Delhi government is contemplating a legislation that will make it necessary for all builders to fix rainwater-harvesting systems in all new buildings, offices and apartment complexes in the city. The Delhi government is giving cash support of Rs 50,000 to each colony that goes in for installing rainwater harvesting projects, Even governments of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Tamil Nadu have already initiated follow-up measures. In Tamil Nadu, Kerala rainwater harvesting has been made compulsory. The Mumbai Municipal Corporation has made rainwater harvesting mandatory to properties with plot area over 1,000 sq. metres. This condition will also be made applicable to existing buildings in the near future. BMC will supply 90 lpcd instead of 135 lpcd to ensure RWH will supplement the gap.

The Millennium Development Goals

The Millennium Development Goals, agreed to by all 191 United Nations Member States at the Millennium Summit in 2000, set specific targets for reducing poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, focus on water and discrimination against women by 2015. The main targets is to half the number of people without access to safe drinking water. However, all the MDGs adopts on the availability of water in acceptable quality and adequate quantities to meet their target.

The National Environmental Policy 2004

The policy put forth the following strategies: a) promote integrated approach to management of river


basins b) promote efficient water techniques such as drip and sprinkler c) support practices of contour bunding and revival of traditional methods for enhancing ground water recharge and mandate water harvesting in all new constructions.

The National Water Policy 2002

The National water policy 2002, formulated by the GOI incorporates several from the 1987 policy, it recognizes the need for the policy places strong emphasis on non-conventional methods for utilization such as inter-basin transfers, artificial recharge, desalination of brackish or sea water, as well as traditional water conservation practices such as rainwater harvesting, etc to increase utilizable water resources. As in the 1987 policy, the new policy accords top priority to drinking water supply, followed by irrigation, hydropower, navigation and industrial and other uses. Indias National Water Policy emphasizes continued government control over water resources, ignoring plea by environmental groups to involve local communities in order to overcome looming shortages. According to Jain, who has served as vice chairman of the World Commission on Dams, the only solution is for Indias Water Resources Ministry to be dissolved and for the empowerment of local bodies to embark on a massive rainwater harvesting program. The biggest argument in favor of harvesting rainwater stems from the simple fact that India receives annual precipitation of rain and snow totalling 4,000 cubic km, while the annual potential flow in the rivers, including surface and groundwater, is 1,869 cubic km.

will be: - Harvesting every drop of rainwater for purposes of irrigation to create sustainable sources of income for the village community as well as for drinking water supplies, ensuring overall development of rural areas through the Gram Panchayats and employment generation, poverty alleviation, community empowerment and development of human and other economic resources of the rural areas. As the Watershed Development Programmes aim at holistic development of watershed areas, the convergence of all other non-land based programmes of Government of India, particularly those of the Ministry of Rural Development would enhance the ultimate output and lead to sustainable economic development of the village community. The ZP/DRDA, therefore, shall take all possible measures to ensure convergence of other programmes of the Ministry of Rural Development such as the Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY), the Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY), the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) and the Rural Drinking Water Supply Programme in the villages chosen for the implementation of the watershed development projects. It would also be worthwhile to converge programmes of similar nature of the other Ministries e.g. Health & Family Welfare, Education, Social Justice and Empowerment and Agriculture, as also of the State Governments, in these villages.

Tamil Nadu Ground Water Act 2003

Government of Tamilnadu is committed to ensure that potable drinking water is available to all habitations in next five years. In certain and semi arid and difficult terrain rain water harvesting may be the only techno-economically viable and sustainable solution. There is continuous over-exploitation of ground water in the recent years in Tamil Nadu which leads to alarming lowering of ground water level and deterioration of quality and many existing irrigation and drinking water wells have become dry. This is adversely affecting the small and marginal farmers who mostly depend upon the ground water sources for their livelihood. To safeguard the small and marginal farmers rights to use the limited Ground Water resources available and also to control and regulate the indiscriminate extraction of ground water, the Government has passed the Tamil Nadu Ground Water (Development & Management) Act 2003.

Hariyali Guidelines 2003

To involve village communities in the implementation of watershed projects under all the area development programmes namely, Integrated Wastelands Development Programme (IWDP), Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP) and Desert Development Programme (DDP), the Guidelines for Watershed Development were adopted w.e.f.1.4.1995, and subsequently revised in August 2001. To further simplify procedures and involve the Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) more meaningfully in planning, implementation and management of economic development activities in rural areas, these new Guidelines called Guidelines for Hariyali are being issued. The major objectives of projects under Hariyali


Tamil Nadu Protection of Tanks and Eviction of Encroachment Act 2007

It has become imperative to protect the water bodies from encroachments and disuse. the tanks and their components, if not protected and restored in area of cultivation and thereby food grains production, depletion of ground water and environmental degradation. In order to protect the tanks under the control of water Resources Department, an Act entitled Tamil Nadu Protection Act 2007 (TN Act:8 of 2007) was legislated. The Act and Rules have since come into force from 1.10.2007. As a first step for purposeful and effective implementation of this Act, action has been taken for creating awareness among the general public especially at village level about the provision of the Act and Rules and the need to keep the tank in original shape. In the last three months of the year 2007-08, boundary delineation works, eviction of encroachment and planting RCC poles along the boundaries have been completed in respect of 316 tanks.

Metrowater shall make a concerted effort to install rain water harvesting devices in all its buildings and other Government Buildings. Further, continuing its efforts to popularise rain water harvesting among the citizens, massive awareness campaigns to disseminate information on appropriate rainwater harvesting structured has been undertaken. CMWSSB has initiated a vigorous campaign along with TWAD Board, through training, free technical advise and community participation. A Rainwater Harvesting Information Centre has also been set up at the TWAD Board Head office, Chennai-5.

Institutions involved
The International Rainwater Catchments System Association (IRCSA) is the worlds recognised body on the subject, actively promoting the inclusion of rainwater harvesting in border water management strategy. Water harvesting has proved that it not only improves ecology, but also solves water shortage and results in better living standard.

Rain Water Harvesting and Recharging of Ground Water

Rainwater harvesting measures were first initiated during 1994 and are being continued. Many type designs have been developed for implementing these in independent houses and multi-storied buildings. Besides creating awareness, Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board in association with the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority has also initiated certain regulatory measures to conserve water. While building plan permissions are given, provisions for rainwater harvesting has been made mandatory.

We are, therefore, left with no alternative but to think radically, and come up with innovative and bold responses to the enormous challenge that India and the citizens are facing. What need is an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach. An approach that covers not only technological aspects but also social, economic, legal and environmental concerns. It is believed that the difference between mismanagement and efficient management of water resources is going to play a crucial role in our fight against poverty and in our endeavor to ensure an orderly all-round development of our society. The balance between the water requirement and water availability can be struck only if utmost efficiency is introduced in all types of use of water. The policy should also recognize that the community is the rightful custodian of water. Exclusive control by the government machinery, and the resultant mindset among the people that water management is the exclusive responsibility of the government, cannot help us to make the paradigm shift that to participative, essentially local management of water resources. Both the Centre and the State governments should, therefore, actively seek the involvement of the community at all levels from decision-making to monitoring the implementation

Initiatives of Metrowater in Promoting Rainwater Harvesting

Considering the importance of Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) in conserving ground water, the Board has taken the initiative to constitute a fully dedicated Rainwater Harvesting Cell. The Cell is currently headed by the Executive Director assisted by the Senior Hydrogeologist of CMWSSB as Convenor together with other supporting staff. The main objective of the Cell is to create awareness and to offer technical assistance free of cost to the residents to select and implement suitable cost-effective methods of Rain Water Harvesting in their premises voluntarily. Installation of Rain Water Harvesting structures in public places (as models).


of decisions. Wherever feasible, public-private partnerships should be encouraged in such a manner that we can attract private investment in the development and management of water resources. There is also need, through policy measures, to promote the conjunctive use of ground and surface water. Lay special emphasis on localized, decentralized harnessing of water resources, which is most costeffective and which also lends itself to better community participation. Former Prime Minister Vajpayee, said that Nations catchword should be: Catch the catchment. Wherever necessary, our farmers and rural communities should be encouraged to bund every field and bind every rivulet. This will prevent soil erosion and silting of the reservoirs. There is a suggestion that every village should earmark five percent of its area for creation of community water bodies, much like the community grazing grounds that still exist in many villages. It is a powerful idea whose time has come. Against a very large potential for drip and sprinkler irrigation, only a very small fraction has so far been realized. The subsidy scheme for such micro-irrigation systems has not been working too well, mainly due to corruption in its administration. We need to put in place alternative fiscal measures to significantly reduce the price of micro-irrigation systems to the farmer without direct, case-by-case subsidy. There is a need to make an inventory of best practices, and launch a country-wide program for their replication throughout the country. Some of these models involve economic incentives for conservation and pollution abatements. Some other models may involve mutual exchange of rights over water and other resources.

In the ultimate analysis, effective solutions do not lie exclusively in good policies. What is of paramount importance is peoples attitude and habits. If we continue to treat, as we have been doing, water as a free or cheap resource that can be wasted, not even the best policies and technologies can help. As in the past, we need to regain the sense of the sacred in the way we relate to water and to our rich water resources. We have to recognise that just passing a law is not enough. It has to be supported with a massive campaign for public awareness and with hard policy actions, which provide incentives and disincentives for its effective implementation. In this case the incentives will have to come in the form of fiscal measures which support households to capture their rain, and the disincentives in the from of pricing of water and supportive urban taxation policies. Construction activity in and around the city is resulting in the drying up of water bodies and reclamation of these tanks for conversion into plots for houses. Free flow of storm run off into these tanks and water bodies must be ensured. The storm run off may be diverted into the nearest tanks or depression, which will create additional recharge. The situation calls for nothing short of a Nationwide peoples movement, with the active participation of the governments, the Panchayat Raj Institutions, NGOs, businesses, housing cooperatives and, last but not the least, each and every citizen. No single initiative is adequate to solve the problem of water. We necessarily have to follow diverse routes and a plurality of programmes to achieve our objective. But, amongst all of them, the one idea that stands out for its simplicity, efficacy and affordability is rain water harvesting.


Anonymous (2008,a). Policy Note of the Irrigation and Flood Control, Public Works Department, Government of Tamil Nadu (2008-2009) Anonymous (2008,b). Policy Note of the Rural Development Department, Government of Tamil Nadu (20082009).


Impact Of National Watershed Programme For Rainfed Agriculture - A Case Study In Tamil Nadu
A.Balakrishnan and T. Selvakumar

The watershed management and development include integrated approaches for sustainable agriculture by conserving land and water resources. The development of watershed is not achieved by individual but through the co-operative movement with support of Government NGO through National Watershed Development for Rainfed Agriculture (NWDPRA). In Tamil Nadu, 126 watershed areas have been identified and out of this 84 has been selected in seventeen districts for development of watersheds through Tamil Nadu agricultural University, Department of Agriculture and Department of Agricultural Engineering. Eight watershed areas have been identified in Dindigul district with the following objectives 1. Development of sapota orchards and annual morning in watershed areas through rainwater harvesting for permanent income 2. Recycling of farm waste and organic mulch to increase moisture conservation for increased groundnut yield

3. Selection of suitable drought resistant hardy plant species for life fence 4. Identification of suitable fodder mixture for mixed farming 5. Selection of suitable nursery technique for tree nursery 6. Identification of suitable soil and water conservation measure 7. To study organization, issues related to technology and socio economic in watershed project implementation 8. To study the perception and use of experiences of resource persons and farmers in selected watershed areas 9. To compare the existing socio economic issues with post implementations of the projects

Character of Watershed Area

Low and erratic rainfall regions


Prone to frequent drought Shallow soils, low organic matter Poor moisture holding capacity Uneven sloppy areas Poor illiterate farmers Poor socio economic conditions Lack of Agricultural technologies

has to be exposed to the farmers through field tour 5. Self help group for women and men has to be organized 6. Encourage peoples participation in village seminars, farmers field visit and local festivals

Impacts of NWDPRA
1. Participatory technology development merged with traditional and modern technology for overall crop productivity. 2. Through macro and micro harvesting of rainwater and soil conservation, the agro eco system has improved 3. lized 4. The integrated farming system concept had been established through SHG 5. Scope for development of dryland horticulture and agro forestry 6. The gap between the farmers and extension field functionaries were reduced through successful programme 7. The economic advantage B:C ratio 1.70 7.00 1.50 1.70 The ground water recharge had stabi-

Technologies Adopted
1. Soil Conservation on Macro Level Contour pits Contour stone wall Contour grazzy bunds Check Dam Farm ponds

2. Soil and Water Conservation on Micro Level Summer ploughing Ploughing across the slope Deep ploughing once in 3 years

Component Broad bed furrow system Social forestry Dryland Horticulture Seed hardening Drought resistant crops and varieties Intercropping and strip cropping Organic manuring Dryland Agriculture Contour bunding Combined soil conservation practices Water harvesting techniques Social tree nursery

3. Biological Method

1.68 1.80 3.40

Suggestions for Improvement

1. The need for watershed programme and their advantages to rural people has to be cleared 2. The farmers are in general illiterate and poor, hence the technologies should be indigenous and low cost technologies 3. Training should be given to young farmers and progressive farmers through PRA techniques and Audio Visual aids 4. Success stories of watershed programme

After the implementation of this project, 80% of watershed area received good amount of rainfall which in turn increase the ground water potential which directly helps for dryland horticulture and integrated farming system. Finally peoples participation in watershed area is important for its effectiveness. The soil and moisture conservation measures will be achieved only by the voluntary acceptance of implementation of watershed programme.


Finally Government and other N.G.O. should provide fund regularly particularly in event of rainfall failures so that the farmes of watershed areas will maintain their participation forever, in the developed watershed areas. The transfer of technologies for SHG for promoting sustainable agricultural income will be provided for establishing sapota, guava, mango and other tree seedlings. Each member of SHG in that region earned Rs.500 per month as income. Through rearing goats and country poultry birds they earned another Rs.500 per month. Through watershed development programme, awareness has been created to manage and utilize natural resources and processes to derive more benefits to the society. It involves changes which are slow and gradual and more fundamental. Capacity building of farmers which bring about a change in his attitude the because of successful watershed development programme. Farmers continuously learn experience and acquire practical skill and knowledge and new information form extension functionaries and through media and training. The welding of traditional and newly acquired skill is helpful for the viability of a farm in a newly developed watershed areas. The NWDPRA programme may not produce economic returns in some places but it include other benefits like improved soil health, improved groundwater storage, food security and reduced risk of climatic variations. The diversified farming in watershed areas generate diverse benefits and helps in reducing ecological degradation and improved farm management. Through the watershed management programme. Protecting soil

form soil erosion and degradation restore soil health and ensuring productive capacity for future young generation. Some of the progressive farmers in the watershed areas converted their farm holding into an integrated and diversified farming through his own experience combined with formal training and acquired skill and knowledge through NWDPRA. The exchange visits and views both from scientists extension functionaries and farmers reinforced the mindset to achieve something in nothing situation in the watershed areas. The programme has had a number of positive results with negative point also. The farmers are lacking in knowledge but the role of facilitators subside the problems. Being better informed would helps the farmers who visualize the reasons behind the programme and its activities and would allow them to understand their own role. The participatory approaches are needed to motivate the farmers to involve in the programme. Village and agricultural life eco system and social custom has taken a new turn due to this programme. The NWDPRA changes in cropping, farming system, yield, income, socio economic condition, environmental effect, in a under developed society. Finally through watershed management, agriculture has been inseparable from social, cultural and economic performance of the respective society. Through watershed management, which depends on strong social structure, which permit an improved management of individual or shared local resources, mutual learning improved technology sharing towards achieving a common goal.


Holistic Watershed Development A Practical Approach for Creating an Enabling Environment to Promote Water Harvesting
M.R.Rajagopalan and S.Gunasekaran

Gandhigram Trust with its six decades of experience in rural development activities has taken up a holistic watershed development project in Dindigul district from 2004 2007. This project was sanctioned under Rastriya Sam Vikas Yojana (RSVY) of Union Planning Commission, New Delhi. This programme comprises of Hariyali based soil and water conservation works and holistic development interventions of the project area viz., Education, Income Generation, Rural Health Care, Agriculture & Animal Husbandry, Water & Sanitation and Medicinal Plants Cultivation. The Physical target of the Project was to treat 2369 hectares of land area with a financial out lay of Rs.2.29 crores. This project is implemented in thirty hamlets of four village Panchayats from 2004 -2007.

46%of which received through northeast monsoon. The soil texture is predominantly loamy with Irugur and palavidudhi series having granular and loose structures with a low water holding capacity of 0.20%The project area is selected between Gandhigram and Kodairoad , foothill of Sirumalai and sempatti, it is more or less a rain shadow area. More than 60% of the project area is in rain fed condition and in the wet land also the farmers cultivated low water intensive crops. The total population of the project area is 16937 belong to 4186 households, more than 50% of them are landless labour .The main problems identified in the project area are water level depletion due to scanty rainfall and excessive use of water which leads to reduction in farm operations and diminishing livelihoods and ultimately leading to migration for employment. Gandhigrams Intervention in the project area mainly consists of mass awareness, involving people in planning, execution and monitoring, facilitation of group action & conflict resolution, capacity building including social auditing & transparency.

Project Area
The project area is characterized by hot semi arid eco region with an average annual rainfall of 825.95mm,


Water Harvesting


During the project period the Gandhigram Trust has constructed 35 check dams, 9 percolation ponds, 48 farm ponds, 10 retaining walls and renovated 12 tanks come under the category of Common Property Management (CPM). As private property Management (PPM), ploughing and bunding was carried out in 595 hectares. Some 623 hectares of land area have been covered by afforestation, Horticulture development and medicinal plants. The structures created are of good quality and cost effective. Locally available resources were mobilized. With a combination of farmers technical knowledge and experience and with external advice, entire area was treated starting at the ridge. Recharge of ground water is a major effect of land treatment. Increasing ground water level and consequent increase in irrigated area through wells and bore wells was reported in several studies on impact assessment. Productivity of land increased substantial wage incomes during lean season. This has tremendous impact on migration.

fatality. In order to overcome these Lacuna in the rural side this project focused on better health care through establishing better health awareness and care in villages using western and Indian system of medicines. This project addressed all the Health problems through general health camp, eye camp, Dental camp and awareness on anemia, diabetics, personal hygiene, health camp for combating of vector borne diseases and nutrition. II. Water & Sanitation Carce availability of water had strong social and economic effects on the poor. Even the limited quantity of available water is not properly used. The main problems identified in the project area are water scarcity, open air defecation, poor maintenance of water supply system and poor hygienic conditions to overcome these problems. The following intervention strategies were adopted, Rehabilitation of existing water supply system, Roof top rain water harvesting structures in schools, water test, awareness building , setting right hand pump repairs , exposure visit and training Impact of the Programme villages lages 13 villages Clean environment Mass cleaning in Reduced open Air defecation in 4 vilEquitable potable water distribution in 7

Community Organization
The trust has been able to involve the people at various stages of the project. The process of ensuring participation of the people is really a time consuming one. It requires a great deal of efforts on the part of the project holders. They need to establish rapport with the people, organize participatory appraisal, prioritize the problems in consultation with the people, consult them on possible solutions, mobilize people support and ensure participation of people in implementing various activities designed under the project. Implementation of project is not a one-short of affair. It is a continuous journey with the people. The Trust has mostly succeeded in undertaking the experiment of traveling with the people.

Improved personal Hygiene in schools & Balwadi centres 10 villages water Awareness on nitrate content in drinking caution board set up in 2 villages.

III. Education School going children in rural areas are deprived of private tuitions a facility available for children in Urban areas. Keeping this in view, 25 additional coaching centres were started in the project area. This provided joyful learning environment among the children. Educated unemployed women have been provided opportunity as the teachers in these centres on a nominal stipend payment. The additional coaching teachers were given training on innovative teaching methods and each centre was provided with teaching aids. The students were given opportunity to have exposure and field class

Holistic Development Programme

I. Rural Health Care Today in spite of advanced technology available in the field of medicine, the fruits of them have not reached the rural masses. They are still deprived of basic amenities in Health care, lack of awareness on proper nutrition, personal Hygiene and sanitation resulting in Health problems, reduced life expectancy and ultimately


to historical places. They were also given science awareness training and participated in a awareness rally and quiz programme. IV. Agriculture & Animal Husbandry Agriculture is a major activity in the country. The age old practice has endowed the farmers with a unique wisdom on the subject. Right from sowing to harvesting and preservation / storage, traditional agriculture practices in the country still have a sound foot hold. It is also important to stress that different agro climatic zones have their specific product which has a strong bearing on ecosystem and health of human kind. In addition indiscriminate use of inorganic inputs has eroded the soil health and wealth. In turn farmers are burdened with indebtedness. To overcome these problems this project focused on organic cultivation of crops and its dissemination to farmers to have long term sustainability by organizing Veterinary camp Farmers Forum, Farmers Field School, Exposure visit, Farmers Mela, and Publication Outcomes Awareness on the impact of chemical fertilizer has increased among the farmers. Farmers slightly moved towards the organic farming creased The health of the animals in the watershed area is good. V. Medicinal Plants The medicinal plants are in demand in modern medicine and the Industry is showing special interest in synthesizing natural substances. About 8000 plants Average income of the family has in-

species are used in various systems of medicine in India, out of which 800 species are presently used in the drug formulations. Most of the edicinal plants extensively used in traditional systems of medicines are obtained from wild sources leading to the problems of dwindling of population of numerous plants and insufficient quantity for manufacturing genuine medicine. In these circumstances commercial cultivation of medicinal plants has gained importance. Commercial cultivation and processing of medicinal plants by thorough understanding and location specific strategies. In this regard, this project addressed medicinal plants promotion through cultivation & processing by means of medicinal tree plantation, medicinal plants cultivation in common land and medicinal plants based enterprise. VI. Income Generation Programme The word SHG has brought a renaissance all over the country. It has promoted cooperative action, built confidence and avoided indebtedness. With SHGs running petty shops to cinema theatres, Gandhigrams intervention has given a fillip to the same cause in the project area. So far 75 groups have been formed which constitute 58 women groups and 17 men groups total members in the 58 women groups is 870 out of which 345 members belong to SC category, Of the 255 members in men group, 90 members belong to SC category. The SHGs were given training on various skills, market facilitation training , capacity building training on agro based industries, accounts training and training on utilization of seed money.


Theme 5 Role of Research, Extension and Education

Natures Own Water Harvesting Groundwater Recharge in Some Different Environments
Gunnar Jacks

Groundwater is by far the largest fresh water source on the globe. However, it is not the absolute amount that matters but rather the renewal rate that is what determines the amount we can use. In Sweden we have a renewal rate of about 30 years in our eskers, glacial gravel and sand formations that supply many of our middle-sized towns. Globally the turnover rate is about 300 years and the groundwater in the Tertiary strata on the Kerala coast has been found the have ages of 20-30 000 years. While the turnover rate increases exponentially with depth, this is only one of the factors that influence the rate of groundwater renewal. The topography, the gradients for flow and the sedimentology, presence of aquicludes and aquitards are other factors of utmost importance. The turnover rate has not only an implication for the amount of use but it is also of utmost important in case of pollution. Polluting groundwater will very easily be almost for ever. The heterogeneity of aquifers is an-

other factor that turns out to prolong the period of pollution. While most of the flow occurs as preferential flow in more permeable sections of the aquifers the pollutant diffuses into less permeable portions. After the end of the pollution the diffusion will be reversed and contribute to prolonged pollution of the bulk groundwater flow. Assessment of groundwater recharge and turnover rate is thus a key issue in hydrogeologic investigations. It can be done in quite a number of ways. use of chloride as a tracer studies of groundwater level oscillations use of added radioisotopes like tritium use of natural stable isotopes like 18O in water use of pollutants like fluorocarbons dating with radioisotopes like 14C and 36Cl with a very good water budget and geometry of the aquifer The most commonly used method is probably


the use of chloride as a tracer. It tends to give the best results in semi-arid areas where the deposition of chloride is increased several-fold by evapotranspiration (Allison & Hughes, 1983). A few examples of the different methods will be cited below illustrating the enormous spread in groundwater recharge and turnover rates.

It seems that the use of salt is rather a matter of taste than need, the latter being only about 2-3 g NaCl per person and day.

Groundwater Oscillations and Tritium Addition

There is an excellent comparison done with these two methods done by Rangarajan & Athavale (2000) and Raju (1998). The two articles report groundwater recharge for the whole of India on the basis of a large number of individual observations. The groundwater oscillation method gives 130 mm (Raju, 1998) and 148 mm (Rangarajan & Athavale, 2000). The results thus differ by a little more than 10 % which is really impressing and convincing of very good assessments.

Use of Chloride as Tracer Sahel

Quite a number of assessments have been done in the Sahel region south of Sahara in Africa motivated by an often precarious water situation (Bromley et al, 1997; Edmunds & Gaye, 1997). The situation is similar to that in the Thar desert in Rajasthan. The rainfall in Timbuktu is 225 mm with large inter-annual differences. The chloride in rainwater in the region is 0.5 mg/l (Bromley et al., 1997). In view of the sparse vegetation the dry deposition can be neglected. The recharge has been assessed to 3-4 mm/year by studying the accumulation in groundwater as compared to that in the precipitation (Jacks & Traor, 2000). Similar results were obtained by looking at soil moisture. The groundwater recharge turned out to be concentrated to low points in the terrain. Crusts formed on the slopes of the sand-dunes created a runoff-runon regime (Gaze et al., 1997). The crust formation forms a special pattern of vegetation where the rainfall is more abundant, the so called tiger bush vegetation, strips of vegetation along the slopes collecting and using the runoff water (Issa et al., 1999). The sparse vegetation was considered to use 15 mm for its evapotranspiration (Nizinski et al., 1994) while the rest of the rainfall was lost in evaporation.

Use of Stable Isotopes

The isotopic ratios of D and 18O in precipitation varies over the year depending on fractionation during evaporation from sea water. This can be traced in a soil profile and by analyzing the isotopic ratios in soil water and assessing the amount of soil moisture the amount of recharge can be assessed for a year. The fractionation of the oxygen isotopes in the precipitation varies over the year being less in summer time. This can be traced in the soil water as kind of a sinus curve (Fig. 3).

Groundwater Turnover in The Kerala Coastal Plain

Tahe Kerala coast is underlain by Quaternary and Tertiary sediments on the top ofthe Precambrian basement. The thickness of the Tertiary is up to 300 m in the section near Alapuscha. In the Tertiary sediments three aquifers can be distinguished, The Warkala, the Quilon and the Vaikom aquifers. C dating of 10 groundwater samples from the Tertiary aquifers indicate that recharge occurred from 23 000 to 33 000 years before present, during a period of low seawater level. During the period of recharge the sea water level ranged from below about 80 m to close to 120 m below the present level. Thus there was a good gradient for flow and recharge. Much of the Tertiary groundwater has a Na-HCO3 compostion which indicates flushing out of former saline water. There is a gradient along the Kerala coast from Ca-HCO3 via Na-HCO3 to a brackish water from south to north. The recharge seemed to have been interrupted by an arid period as per the paleoclimatology.

Noyil basin, Coimbatore district, S. India

In areas more vegetated, it is necessary to assess the dry deposition. This can be done by knowing the content of chloride in the air and applying a deposition factor. Deposition factor can be found in the literature (Gustafsson & Franzn, 2000). Alternately the deposition can be assessed by some kind of net which is exposed to the wind and washed at periods. Another complication in a rather densely populated area is the addition of chloride from the use of common salt by the population. The latter can be fairly well assessed as the use of salt is astonishingly uniform around the world, irrespective of climate and region, amounting to about 10 g NaCl per person and day (Intersalt Group, 1988).


Water Budgets
With a good water budget it is possible to assess groundwater recharge and turnover. The Salalah Plain aquifer in southern Oman is vulnerable to sea water intrusion and this has warranted detailed investigation into the groundwater turnover (Shammas & Jacks, 2007). The main recharge comes from the mountains behind the plain which receives 230-450 mm rainfall per year. A thorough study shows that the major portion of this is fog collection on the mountain forest (Hildebrandt et al., 2007). This fact has forced authorities to initiate forest plantation and decimation of a large browsing popula-

tion of camels. Further artificial recharge of treated sewage water has been introduced. Still the aquifer has a negative water budget and further actions are needed to safeguard it (Shammas, 2007).

Water Harvesting and Groundwater Quality

The mode of groundwater recharge can affect the water quality. In semi-arid climates, a rapid onset of rainfall after the dry season may cause flushing of nitrate into the groundwater (Tredoux & du Plessis, 1992; Edmunds & Gaye, 1997; Jacks & Traor, 2000). Water harvesting may be useful not only to increase groundwater recharge but also to affect the water quality. While fluoride removal is possible by using filters or chemical treatment it has generally not been successful in India due to problems in exchange of filters or maintenance of larger plants for the chemical treatment. Water harvesting has on the other hand been proven to be a cheap and reliable method for lowering fluoride concentrations (Reddy & Raj, 1997; Jacks et al., 2005). Similarly arsenic remediation should be possible in the case of reducing groundwater containing iron accompanied by arsenic. By introducing aerated recharge water, iron could be precipitated in situ co-precipitating the arsenic. In Bangladesh this is generally not feasible as there is a clay cover on the top of the aquifers. Then some kind of well recharge is needed.

Fig. 3.d 18-O in s soil profile under Nordic conditions (after Saxena, 1987). The higher levels of d18-O represents summertime with less fractionation in the precipitation.

Assessment of groundwater recharge is useful in stating the safe extraction level. The previous examples show that the recharge and turnover rates can vary by many orders of magnitude. This is useful also when considering efforts to increase the recharge. Pollution of the groundwater can be more or less extended depending on the turnover rate. Over-pumping of the Kerala Tertiary aquifers may not give a very early warning signal, but once a sea water intrusion occurs it may be almost everlasting. On the other hand aquifers in the peninsular India in hard rock areas react fast both to over-pumping and to increased recharge for instance as an effect of water harvesting.

Fig. 4. Seawater level in the Arabian Sea and recharge period as per 14C-dating of groundwater from the Tertiary aquifers in The Kerala Coastal Plain.



Allison, G. B. & Hughes, M. W. 1983. Use of natural tracers as indicators of soil-water movement in a temparate semi-arid region. Journal of Hydrology 60:157-173. Bromley, J., Edmunds, W. M., Fellman, E., Brouwer, J. Gaze, S. R., Sudlow, J. & Taupin, J-D. (1997). Estimation of rainfall input and direct recharge to the deep unsaturated zone of southern Niger using the chloride profile method. Journal of Hydrology 188-189:139-154. Edmunds, W. M. & Gaye, C. B. 1997. Naturally high nitrate concentrations in groundwaters from the Sahel. Journal of Environmental Quality 26:1231-1239. Gaze, S. R., Simmonds, L. P., Brouwer, J. & Bouma, J. 1997. Measurement of surface redistribution of rainfall and modelling its effect on water balance calculations for a millet field on sandy soil in Niger. Journal of Hydrology 188-189:267-284. Gustafsson, M. E. R. & Franzn, L. G. (2000) Inland transport of aerosols in southern Sweden. Atmospheric Environment 34(2): 313-325. Hildebrandt, A., Al Aufi, M., Ameerjeed, M., Shammas, M. & Eltahir, E. A. B. (20079 Ecohyrology of a seasonal cloud forest in Dhofar. Water Resources Research 43(10). Intersalt Cooperative Study Group (1988) Intersalt, an international study of electrolyte excretion and blood pressure. Results from 24 hour urinary sodium and potassium excretion. Br. Med. J. 287: 319-328. Issa, O. M., Coute, A., Valentin, C., Trichet, J. & Dfarge, C. 1999. Morphology and microstructure of microbiotic crusts on a tiger bush sequence (Niger, Sahel). Catena 37:175-196. Jacks, G. & Traor, M. (2000) Mechanisms and rates of recharge at Tombouctou, Republic of Mali. Journal of African Earth Sciences 30: 41-42. Jacks, G., Bhattacharya, P., Chaudhary, V. & Singh, K. P. (2005) Controls on the genesis of some high-fluoride grondwaters in India. Applied Geochemistry 20: 221-228. Nizinski, J., Morand, D. & Fournier, C. 1994. Actual evapotranspiration of a thorn scrub with Acacia tortilis and Balanites aegyptiaca (North Senegal). Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 72: 93-111. Raju, K. C. B. (1998) Importance of recharging depleted aquifers. State of the art of artificial recharge in India. J. Geol. Survey Soc. India 51(4): 429-454. Rangarajan, R. & Athavale, R. N. (2000) annual replenishable ground water potential of India based on injected tritium stidies. J. Hydrol. 234(1-2): 38-53. Reddy, T. N. & Raj, P. (1997) Hydrogeological conditions and optimum well discharges in granitic terrain in parts of Nalgonda district, Andhra Pradesh, India. J. Geol. Soc India 49: 61-74. Saxena, R. K. (1987) Oxygen-18 fractionation in nature and estimation of groundwater recharge. Ph D. thesis. Dept. of Phys. Geography, Uppsala University, Sweden. 152 pp. Shammas M & Jacks G (2007) Seawater intrusion in the Salalah plain aquifer, Oman. Environ. Geol. 53(3): 575-587. Shammas, M. (2007) Sustainable management of the Salalah coastal aquifer, Oman using an integrated approach. Ph D thesis, Royal Inst. of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. Tredoux, G. & du Plessis, H. M. 1992. Situation appraisal of nitrate in groundwater in South Africa. Water Supply 10:7-16.


WATER HARVESTING -A Look at the Past and Vision for the Future

Water harvesting is not a new technique to the Indian sub-continent. Like in many other fields, India is one of the pioneer in the water harvesting technologies also. The practices and policies adopted varies from region to region within the Indian sub-continent, owing to the specific topography and socio- cultural aspects. By keeping the essence of this knowledge, the water harvesting technology has seen many phases of development from traditional water harvesting to the artificial recharge of acquifiers. Due to the increased pressure on the available water in the recent years and the necessity to harness the major portion of annual rainfall which just concentrates in 100 hours, has forced us to update the technologies and policies adopted again and again. Rain captured from 1 to 2% of Indias land can provide as much as 100 lpcd for the entire population of India

water conservation structures were existing during the Indus valley settlement (3000- 1500 B.C). The kautilyas Arthashastra gives detailed account of the irrigation and water conservation structures built during the period of Mauryan Empire. Different types of taxes were collected from the cultivators depending upon the nature of irrigation. The rate of tax was 25% of the produce in respect of water drawn from natural sources like rivers, tanks and springs. For water drawn from storages built by King, the tax structure varied according to the method of drawing water. It was 20% of the produce for water drawn manually, 25% for water drawn by bullocks and 33% for that diverted through channels. Tax exemptions were given for building/improving irrigation facilities. The period of tax exemption was 5 years for new tanks, 4 years for renovating old tanks and 3 years for cleaning the works over-grown with weeds. Apart from the tax collection and tax holiday for new construction, severe punishments were also given for violating the water laws. This includes from debarring from community to death sentences.

Policies Adopted In India for Traditional Water Harvesting

Archeological evidences reveals that several rain


During the Chola dynasties, south India witnessed construction large number of water construction structures like tanks and Eris.(tanks) The great event during their period was the construction of Grand Anicut across river Cauvery. About one-third of the irrigated area of Tamil Nadu is watered by Eris (tanks) . Till the British rule, these Eris were maintained by local communities. About 4-5 percent of gross produce of each village was allocated to maintain eris and other irrigation structures. Assignments of revenue free lands, called manyams were made to support the maintenance and management of eris. These allocations ensured eris upkeep through regular desilting and maintenance of sluices, inlets and irrigation channels. Throughout India, different traditional water conservation methods and policies were adopted to suit the local conditions. In Himachal Pradesh, a traditional system called Kuhls were constructed and maintained by the village community. Any person refusing to participate in construction and repair activities without any valid reason, would be denied water for that season. Since denial of water was a religious punishment, it ensured community participation and solidarity.

Mass Awareness and Involvement of NGOs

For taking the technology closer to the people, mass awareness programmes at grass roots levels needs to be undertaken by Govt. agencies with the active involvement of NGOs. In the urban areas, the services of the Resident Welfare Associations also may be utilised. By involving all the stake holders, this shall be made as a peoples movement.

Concession for Adopting Rainwater Harvesting

A good water conservation policy shall find a place to accommodate education, regulation, incentives and disincentives. The roof water harvesting regulations/ guidelines adopted so far provides for disincentives for non-compliance in the form of penalty, disconnection of water supply, electricity etc but has not given much emphasis for the incentives part. Incentives in the form of tax holiday or reduction of property taxes for compliance of roof water harvesting, subsidy for the materials used etc needs to be provided which will encourage the people.

Rain Water Harvesting and Policy Measures For Improvements

The awareness towards rainwater harvesting and the policies of the Union and state Govt. towards achieving this goal is a welcome one. However, certain issues are worth revisiting and reviewing for further improvement.

Periodical Maintenance and Effective Monitoring System

For the effective functioning of the rain water harvesting system, proper maintenance is needed which is lagging in the present scenario. Further, an effective monitoring mechanism also needs to be in place for assessing the impact of rain water harvesting both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Integrated Approach and Scientific Implementation

The roof-top rain water harvesting being adopted at present needs to be expanded and implemented in an integrated manner. The rain water harvesting schemes should be planned and executed on scientific principles taking in to consideration of the hydrological, hydrogeological and geophysical aspects. More attention needs to be given to the areas of potential acquifier system as these will have higher water retention capacity.

The facts mentioned above indicates that a proper rain water harvesting policy shall accommodate both disincentive for non-compliance and incentive for compliance. Apart from that Scientific implementation, proper maintenance and monitoring mechanism and participation of all stakeholders will no doubt increase the efficiency of this most sought after system.


Water Resource Management and Sustainability of Drinking Water Sources TWAD Experience
T. P. Natesan

Water as a resource is indivisible; rainfall, rivers, ponds, lakes and groundwater are all part of one system, the larger ecological System. Growth process and the expansion of economic activities inevitably lead to increasing demands of water for the diverse purposes: domestic, industrial, agricultural, hydropower, thermal power, navigation, recreation, etc., Water scarcity is not a general phenomenon but a regionally, locally and seasonally specific problem. It is imperative that water as a scarce and precious national and natural resources should be planned, developed, conserved and managed on environmentally sound basis keeping in view the socio- economic aspects and needs at sub national and local levels.

The International decade for Action 2005-2015, Water for Life aims to provide access to water which is also fundamental for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, such as alleviating poverty, hunger and malnutrition, reducing child mortality, increasing gender equality, providing more opportunity for education and ensuring the environmental sustainability.(source www.

Global Water Resources

The total water resource of the planet Earth is estimated to be 1400 million cubic kilometer. According to the report of Global Environment Outlook (Geo-2000 of UNEP), the global fresh water consumption has risen six fold from 1900 to 1995 which is more than twice the rate of population growth. One third of the worlds population is already living in countries with moderate to high water stress, where the water consumption is more than 10 percent of the renewable fresh water supply.

General Status
Water is essential for life. Yet many millions of people around the world face water shortages and a daily struggle to secure safe water for their basic needs.


The overview of water availability shows disparities across the continents and in particular the pressure faced in Asia, which supports more than half of the worlds population with only 36 percent of global water resources (Source 97% of the Worlds utilisable fresh water exists in Groundwater Aquifers and nearly 80 % of the Worlds Rural Population depends on Groundwater for Safe Water Supplies. Over pumping of groundwater by the Worlds farmers, industries, etc., exceeds the natural replenishment by at least 160 Billion Cubic Meters a year. Global water situation will get worse over next 30 years if major improvements in the way water is allocated and used, are not introduced. Share of worlds population undergoing moderate or high water stress could rise to two- thirds by 2025.

Tamilnadu Geology
Tamilnadu is predominantly a shield area with 73% of the area covered under hard crystalline formations while the remaining 27% comprises of unconsolidated sedimentary formations. As far as ground water resource is concerned scarcity is the major problem in hard rock environment while salinity is the problem in sedimentary areas.

Tamil Nadu is a state with limited water resources and the rainfall in the state is seasonal. The annual average rainfall in the state is 977 mm. Approximately 33 % of this is from the southwest monsoon and 48 % from the northeast monsoon.
Season Winter rains Summer rains Southwest monsoon Northeast monsoon Month Jan Feb May Jun Sept Oct - Dec 977 Average rainfall mm 47 138 322 470 Percentage 4.82 % 14.12 % 32.96 % 48.10 %

Indian Water Resources

India, which has 16% of the worlds population, has roughly only 4 % of the worlds water resources and 2.45 % of the worlds land area. The distribution of the water resources within the country is highly uneven over time and space. Water Resources of India presents two contrasting Scenario - One harmful plenty in form of devastating floods in few regions and the other acute scarcity of water resulting in severe drought conditions in some other regions. The National Commission for Integrated Water resource Development Plan (IWRS, 1999) reviewed the grouping of the river basin divisions made by Central Water Commission and divided the country into 24 river basins. Estimate of water resources has been made basin wise since the river basin are the natural hydrologic units. The total water potential of India is computed as 1953 cubic kilometer of which only 1086 cubic kilometer can be utilised (690 KM3 of Surface water and 396 km3 of groundwater) of this quantity 600 km3 has already been put into use. Taking into consideration of the population as in 1991 census, only 7 out of the 24 river basins are above the water stress zone. Expecting the population to be doubled by 2050, all the basins except Brahmaputra will come under the water stress zone and most of the basins will become water scarce by middle of the current century. (IWRS, 1999)

The annual rainfall distribution is as follows: The rainfall pattern recorded for the past 30 years i.e. from 1971 to 2003 is highly varying and shows a deficit rainfall from the year 1985 onwards (except for the years 1993,1996 and 1997 where the annual rainfall is slightly above normal). The rainfall pattern over space and time as indicated below , clearly portrays a cycle of good monsoon for a period of 3 to 4 years followed by the successive drought / deficit cycle during the next years which warrants advance planning and preventive action that should be taken during the years of excessive rains to tackle the calamity conditions in the years to follow.

Surface Water Potential

The total surface water potential of the river basins of Tamilnadu is assessed as 24160 MCM (853 TMC). The details of the break up of the potential is as under: 39000 tanks with a storage capacity 347 TMC 79 reservoirs with a storage capacity 243 TMC Contribution from the other States 261 TMC


Other Storages 2 TMC The average Run off (surplus flow) to the sea from the 17 Basins of Tamilnadu State is computed as 177.12 TMC.

Board studies the coverage of watersupply under three categories namely Fully covered the entire population has access to safe assured drinking water of the prescribed service through out the year Partially covered - includes all the other habitations with service level upto 40 lpcd Not Covered Habitations having no safe and perennial sources (no potable supply) The details are presented in the Table:
Category of Habitations Fully Covered Partially Covered Not Covered Total 1992 Resurvey 20375 44829 1427 66631 1997 Resurvey 37155 29476 66631 2001 Resurvey 35727 36777 9283 81787

Groundwater Potential
The Estimation Committee constituted for the evaluation of Ground Water potential has assessed that the utilisable ground water potential in the State to be in the order of 734 TMC(20763 MCM) and the net draft is 622 TMC(17226 MCM) thereby leaving a balance of only 112 TMC(3303 MCM). The committee further reported that out of total 385 blocks of Tamilnadu State, 138 blocks as over exploited, 37 blocks as critical, 105 blocks as semi critical, 97 blocks as safe and 8 blocks as saline It is seen that about 45% area of the State has already been categorised as over exploited and critical where the grounds water potential has already been utilised more than the natural renewal limits.

Sectoral Water Demand and Gap

Agriculture is a major sector of the States economy. Besides meeting the growing demand for food, it is the sector from which the majority of the people earn their livelihood. Of the net area sown (5580786 hectares) only 46% of the area is under irrigation. The rest of the area depends only on rainfall. Productive land is being continually lost on the urban periphery due to urban development and industrialisation. Because of the rapid urbanisation and high settlement densities, the choice of expanding the irrigated area is reducing rapidly. The next but important constraint is WATER. Water availability is a pre - requisite for food security and water now is becoming a scarce commodity. The other sectors like industries, hydro - power, domestic, livestock and environment need increasing share of water. The demand from the various sectors as assessed by the Institute of Water Studies, Government of Tamilnadu is presented in the table below.
S.No Sectors Drinking Water sector Corporation Municipalities Town Panchayat Rural Irrigation Sector Industries Power Live stock Total demand Annual water demand in TMC 13.80 TMC 9.60 TMC 10.00 TMC 18.00 TMC

Rural water supply in India is the largest supply chain of its kind in the World and significant progress is achieved with the sustained efforts of the Central and State Governments. Adequate drinking water (i.e. 40 litres per capita per day) has been made available to about 90 % of the habitations in the Country. This significant coverage is not without any environmental crisis. Heavy dependence on groundwater for drinking water supply as well as irrigation coupled with ineffective conjunctive use of water resources and the neglect of traditional practices and systems including rainwater harvesting have resulted in the depletion of water levels. The Tamilnadu State, like India, is facing three major challenges in water sector: Slippage of the Covered habitations Water quality problems and Sustainability of sources and systems

The status of rural habitations in Tamilnadu State is being reviewed and resurvey works to assess the status of water supply position in terms of coverage of water supply is being taken up by TWAD. TWAD

2 3 4 5

51.40 1766.00 54.90 4.20 18.30 1894.80


Supply and Demand Gap

The following table depicts the gap between the demand vs availability
Description Total Assessed water Resources Drinking water demand Irrigation demand Industries, Power, Live stock Total Demand Gap (Demand Availability) Supply/Demand in TMC 1587.00 TMC (853 +734) 51.40 TMC 1766 TMC 77.40 TMC 1894.80 TMC 307.80 TMC

Energisation of wells
Agriculture is the single largest consumer of water in the State consuming nearly 805% of the States water resources. The agriculture demand as of now is 1765 TMC (49978MCM) and it is likely to be at the same level at the present rate of overall irrigation efficiency. With improved efficiency it can be brought down to 1593TMC(45098MCM) in a phased manner and the State is striving to achieve higher efficiency. All along, the vagaries of the monsoons and the erratic flow of the water in the river systems were partially countered through sinking of wells. The number of wells shows a sharp rise from 16.7 lakh wells in 198081 to 18.3 lakh wells during 1999-2000. The number of energised wells which stood at 9.2 lakh in 1980-81 rose to 16.2 lakh wells in 1999-2000.l The predominance of the well irrigation in the State is seen from the shares of the three modes of irrigation in the total land area being irrigated. Availability of the free power to the farmers was also providing a helping hand to the increased adoption of well irrigation which now at present accounts for about 54 % of the to1991 Tamilnadu India 628.70 217.61 846.31 19.59 36.43 23.51 2002 Tamilnadu 34.92 27.48 62.40 -5.06 44.03 11.71 India 742.49 286.12 1028.61 18.10 31.48 21.54

The challenge is how best this gap could be bridged by reducing the demand or by efficient water management.

Population Explosion
Tamilnadu is the 6 th most populous State in India with a total population of 62.41 million as per census 2001.Tamilnadu is also one of the most urbanized State in India with 27.48 million people living in urban areas. The comparison of the population of the State and All India in rural and urban areas for the past two decades is presented in the Table.
Type Rural (million) Urban (million) Total Growth rate (Rural) Growth rate (urban) Growth rate (Total) Source: Census of India 1981, 1991, 2001

36.78 19.08 55.86 13.17 19.25 15.18

The decadal growth rate of the rural population of the State was 16.86 percent during 1961-71, which decreased to 12.78 percent during 1981-91. It is interesting to observe that the decadal growth rate of rural population was in negative i.e. 5 percent during 19912001.

tal irrigated area followed by the canal irrigation of 26% and tank irrigation of 20%

Irrigation Practices
In the face of shrinking water resources and ever increasing demand for larger food and agricultural production, intensification of agriculture is the main course of future growth of the agriculture. Crop diversification from low value to high value crops, from water loving to water saving crops, from single crop to multiple/ mixed crops and from crop alone to crop with crop- livestock-fish apiculture and from agriculture production to production with processing and value addition. There is an urgent need to arrest this decline

Populations and Drinking Water Demand Projection

The population projection has been made for the years 2011, 2021, 2031, 2041 and 2051 for both rural and urban population with 2001 population taken as the base year. The drinking water demand for the population for the projected years has been worked out and presented in the table below.


Population Projection in Lakhs Category Urban Rural Population Projection Drinking water Demand in MCM Urban Rural Drinking water demand Year 2011 308.1 362.6 670.7 1124.6 529.4 1654.0 2021 346.1 376.9 723.0 1263.3 550.3 1813.5 2031 387.0 391.4 778.4 1412.6 571.4 1984.0 2041 430.9 406.2 837.1 1572.8 593.1 2165.8 2051 487.3 421.3 908.6 1745.8 615.1 2360.9

trend, with focus on drought resistant and less water consuming crop. It is time to critically redesign alternative cropping pattern based on the agro climatic zone and this must be demonstrated in the farmers holding in order to effectively utilise the natural resources and also to stabilize the production and profitability.

in exploitation to provide protected water supply to the populace of the State. With ever increasing demand on water resources, the focus has been switched over to the conservation mechanism in unison with the exploitation activities by the various water user Organisations. TWAD Board in coordination with the Institute of Remote Sensing Anna University has taken up a project on Identification of Recharge Structures using Remote Sensing and GIS during 1999- 2001 and the Outcome of the project was the generation of Zonation maps Block wise for the entire State of Tamilnadu which has been made available to all the user departments for use in implementation. TWAD Board since 2001-2002 to 2007-2008 has implemented 3666 recharge structures spread over the various districts under various programme at a financial outlay of Rs.114.00 Crores. The detail of the recharge structures implemented by TWAD board is presented as under. The impact assessment of the recharge structures so far implemented monitored through select network of monitoring wells have indicated and appreciable rise in water levels from 1 m to 2.5 m in the vicinity of the structures that have been implemented by TWAD Board. Further impact assessment studies are underway.

Depletion of Water Resources

The deterioration in ground water levels can be attributed to a variety of reasons: the failure of monsoons, over-withdrawal of water and lack of rainwater harvesting. The average water levels of Tamilnadu as observed through the select network of observation wells established by TWAD Board indicate that the decline in water level is evident since 1999. The water level in 1999, stood at 13.5 metre, which has now depleted to 26.3m in the year 2003. ground water users; The cycle of aquifer depletion has a series of serious consequences for all Direct aquifer depletion effects (such as falling well yields) and indirect consequences such as excessive well drilling depths and cost of well drilling Drying up of most of the traditional large diameter irrigation wells early in the dry season, implying that the traditional irrigation infrastructure is essentially unproductive An Explosion of deep drilling to depths of 150 m to 300 m for agricultural irrigation and to lesser degree for industrial water supply. The task of obtaining acceptable service-level, security and sustainability for rural drinking water supply is this made all the more difficult.

Need for Ground Water Demand Management

The groundwater extraction has already attained varying degrees of intensity. The rate of drawal has far exceeded the capacity to recoup; and recharge. This is due to a large number of wells and depth and quantity of withdrawal by mechanical and electrical pump sets and the limitations of aquifer recharge due to adverse climatic conditions. Even though various initiatives for aquifer re-

Extent of Recharge Focus

TWAD Board since inception has played a role


charge measures are ongoing using various techniques, with out action on agriculture demand management sustainability of drinking water sources cannot be assured. In this context, it has been decided to explore a participatory approach to address this problem by mobilizing the local community to find ways in which ground water supply and demand can be balanced, through a combination of enhancing aquifer recharge and constraining consumptive usage in agricultural irrigation. The water Balance for the 135 Pilot Village Panchayat were Prepared by collection of field Data and the status of each Village Panchayat were evaluated (Habitation wise) based on the various parameters like Geology, Water level fluctuation, Drinking Water demand against availability, Categorization of Blocks as per Ground Water Estimation Committee.

for the multifaceted developmental activity, environmental degradation, water quality degradation and pollution. The situation has become complex and as such no water body is left without the man made pollution through letting out of the hazardous wastes being let off into the watercourses. Notwithstanding the numerous programmes implemented by the Government in the rural water supply sector, water scarcity remains a perennial problem. Since the water bodies are dependant on rain, the failure of successive monsoons has resulted in inadequate flows in the river courses. Surface water gets contaminated, particularly in areas close to the seacoast, through ingress of the saline underground water. The need of the hour is to take a holistic approach on Water Management with a coordinated effort by all the stakeholders and to involve the Village Community in conservation of water and Demand Management.

Though Government of Tamil Nadu (GoTN) has been attempting to provide access to safe water supply to the rural people of the State, full coverage in provision of water supply in terms of level of supply still remains elusive. The cause of the water crisis lies in over-exploitation of surface as well as sub surface waters


Brining Green Revolution to Rainfed Areas

Proceedings of the International Symposium Held on 23 to 25 June 2008 at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University


Dr. Arumugam Kandiah Visiting Professor, TNAU Dr. K. Ramaswamy Professor, TNAU Regional Programme Specialist, UNESCO and A. Sampathrajan Dean, Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute, TNAU

Volume II

Published Jointly by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, New Delhi Office, New Delhi July 2008

Copyright :

Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore

This book is a sole subject, to the condition that shall not be away of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publishers prior written consent, in any form of binding or cover, other than that, in which it is published, and without a similar condition including being imposed on the subsequent purchaser and without limiting the right under copyright, reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of, both the copyright owner, and the publisher of this book.

ISBN First Impression Published by Printed at

: : : :

978-81-89218-41-6 2011 UNESCO, New Delhi Bal Vikas Prakashan Pvt. Ltd.

With a global withdrawal rate of 600 700 km3/year, groundwater is the worlds most extracted raw material. Particularly in rural areas of developing countries, in arid and semi arid regions and in the inlands, groundwater is the most important source of drinking water. Irrigation systems in many parts of the world strongly depend on groundwater resources. Groundwater is also a reliable resource for industry. However, managerial control over groundwater resources development and protection is often lacking and that has led to uncontrolled aquifer exploitation and pollution. Intensive aquifer use affects springs, stream base-flow, groundwater table, piezometric level, groundwater storage, surface water - groundwater interface, wetlands and land subsidence. Groundwater vulnerability to the human impacts is therefore recognized as a serious worldwide social, economic and environmental problem. It has been estimated that about 80 countries, constituting 40% of the worlds population, are suffering from serious water shortages and that within 25 years two thirds of the worlds population will be living in water-stressed countries. Although long been seen as the only option to improve crop productivity and thus the quality of life of millions of people, development of irrigation is not always possible because of the inherent climatic constraints in the arid and semi-arid regions of the world. It is now a well understood fact that expansion of irrigation, although technically possible, is not always cost-effective or environmentally friendly. Thus development of rainfed agriculture is not only necessary to improve the food security but also is a necessary prerequisite for the sustainable development of the world. UNESCO is working to create the conditions for genuine dialogue based upon respect for shared values and the dignity of each civilization and culture. The world urgently requires global visions of sustainable development based upon observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which lie at the heart of UNESCOs mission and activities. UNESCO has a mandate to advance hydrological sciences and their application for improving water security. UNESCO is therefore uniquely placed to work with other concerned partners to popularize and better study water harvesting technologies. Through its International Hydrological Programme (IHP), and especially through its Water and Development Information for Arid and Semi-Arid Areas (GWADI) initiative, UNESCO remains committed to sharing its know-how, cooperating with others and building new partnerships. In its VIIth Phase, IHP is extensively working in the field of rainwater harvesting, not only to consolidate existing knowledge, but also to develop cheaper and more appropriate technologies for water harvesting. I am confident that this set of proceedings of the International Symposium on Water Harvesting - bringing green revolution to rainfed areas will serve as good reference to those who are genuinely committed to bring green revolution to rainfed areas. Parsuramen

Armoogum Parsuramen Director and UNESCO Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka

List of Poster Paper Contributors

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Anilkumar, A.S., Instructional Farm, College of Agriculture, Vellayani, Thiruvananthapuram, Pin : 695522 Balasubramanian.R, Department of Agronomy, Agricultural College & Research Institute, Madurai625 104 Baskar.K, Associate Professor (Soil Science) Assoicate Professor, Agricultural Research Station, Kovilpatti. Damodharan.T, Assoc. Professor(Agrl Extension), KVK,Needamangalam Dhayamalar.D, Scientist-B, Central Ground Water Board, Rajaji Bhavan, Besant Nagar, Chennai Ganesamurthy.K,Department of Millets, Tamilnadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore 3 Ganesaraja.V, Department of Agronomy, Agricultural College and Research Institute, Madurai,Tamil Nadu, India. Jansirani.P, Professor, Horticultural College and Research Institute, TNAU, Coimbatore-3. Jegadeesan.M ,Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Japan.

10. Nayak.N.C, Scientist C, Central Ground Water Board (SER), Ministry of Water Resources, Govt. of India 11. Nirmala Kumari.A, Professor, Department of Millets,Center for Plant Breeding and Genetics,Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore 641 003, India. 12. Paramaguru.P,Horticultural College & Research Institute, TNAU, Coimbatore 3 13. Paulpandi.V.K,Department of Agronomy Agricultural College and Research Institute,Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India 14. Porpavai.S, Soil and Water, Management Research Institute,Kattuthottam, Thanjavur. 15. Radhamani.S, Department of Agronomy,Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore-3, Tamil Nadu 16. Ragavan.T, Agricultural Research Station, Kovilpatti, Tamil Nadu. 17. Rajeswari. M , Associate Professor (SWC), Agricultural Research Station, Kovilpatti 18. Ravi.A, Scientist-B, Central Ground Water Board, SECR, Rajaji Bhavan, Besant Nagar, Chennai 19. Rawat.S.S,Indian Institute of Technology- Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India 20. Samanta.S.K ,Government of India, Central Ground Water Board, Ministry of Water Resources,North Eastern Region, Tarun Nagar, Bye Lane-1, Guwahati, Assam. 21. Shantha Sheela.M, *Assistant Professor,** Director of CARDS, TNAU, Coimbatore-3 22. Sivakumar.M , Scientist-C, Central Ground Water Board, SECR, Chennai 23. Subramanian.V, Professor& Head (Soil Science) and 2Associate Professor (Soil Science), Agricultural Research Station, Kovilpatti.3rincipal Scientist (Agricultural Statistics), CRIDA, Santoshnagar, Hyderabad. 24. Suresh.S, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Pechiparai 629 161 Tamil Nadu

List of Student Forum Contributors

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Amudha.K,Department Of Rice, Centre for Plant Breeding and Genetics,Tamil Nadu Agricultural University,Coimbatore641 003, Tamil Nadu. Anitta Fanish.S,Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore 641 003

Govindaraj.M, Centre for Plant Breeding and Genetics, 2Centre for Plant Molecular Biology,Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore-3, INDIA. Janapriya.S, Senior Research Fellow (SWCE),2. Professor(SWCE), 3.Director(WTC),Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore-3, INDIA. Maheshwara Babu.B, Research Scholars , Dept. of Soil and Water Conservation Engineering,Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute, TNAU, Coimbatore Manikandan.M, Senior Research Fellow, WTC, TNAU, Coimbatore, Neelakanth J.K.,PhD Scholars, Department of Soil & Water Conservation Engineering,Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore 641 003, India Prabhu.T,Department of Soil and Water Conservation,AEC&RI, TNAU, Coimbatore Prasad S.Kulkarni, Department of Soil & Water Conservation Engineering, Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute,Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore 641 003, India

10. Sahoo.D.C., Research Scholars,Department of soil and Water Conservation Engineering,Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute, TNAU. 11. Salunkhe.S.S,Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore 641 003, India; e-mail of corresponding author: 12. Senkuttuvan.P, Department of Geography, Presidency College, Chennai.Govt. Arts College, Karur 13. Silvas Jebakumar Prince.K, Department of Plant Molecular Biology & Biotechnology.Centre for Plant Molecular Biology,TNAU, Coimbatore. 14. Sudhalakshmi.C,Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry,TNAU,Coimbatore, Email : soilsudha@,K. 15. Thangaraja.K,PhD Scholar (Agrl. Extension), DAE &RS, TNAU, Coimbatore -3 16. Vijayakumar.G,Ph.D Scholar, Dept. of Soil and Water Conservation, TNAU, Coimbatore-3,

S.No. Chapter Name Page No.

Theme 1: Water Harvesting at the Farm Level 1. Effect of insitu moisture conservation methods and integrated nutrient management practices on the productivity of rainfed maize (Zea mays L.) in vertisols Sustainable Yield Index of rainfed Sorghum under different rainfall situation in Vertisols of South Tamil Nadu Modeling organic Carbon Status under Permanent Manurial Experiment in rainfed Vertisols of Semi-arid region of South Tamil Nadu Land configuration and rain water management for higher cotton productivity in rainfed deep vertisol Studies on the effect of insitu moisture conservation methods and integrated nutrient management practices on the productivity of sunflower (Helianthus annus L.) in rainfed vertisols Study on the insitu-moisture conservation practices over rain fed cotton in vertisols of southern region of Tamil Nadu Influence of Tillage, Land Treatment and Organic Residue Management on Soil Health and Yield of Cotton in A Vertisol Under Dry Farming Effect of In-Situ Moisture Conservation and Nitrogen Management In Dry Land Agroforestry Systems. Effect of Moisture Conservation and Watering on Growth of Tree Seedlings Under Drylands Land Management Practices for in-situ water harvesting in drylands.



2. 3.



4. 5.



6. 7.



8. 9. 10.


40-43 44-46

Theme 2: Water Harvesting at Micro-watershed Level 11. Harvesting of Surface Runoff for Ground Water Recharge - A Case Study of Koilmalai Watershed


Theme 3: Enhancing Water Productivity in Rainfed Areas 12. 13. 14. Irrigation scheduling in long pepper (Piper longum) under partial shade. Changes In Irrigation Management System Among Cauvery Old Delta Farmers Characterization of Sorghum Germplasm for Drought Tolerance

55-58 59-62 63-66

15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

Effect of Mulching, Irrigation and Growth Regulants on Growth and Yield of Curry Leaf In Winter Horticultural Technologies for Watershed Development Production Potential and Water Use Efficiency of Various Cropping Systems Inter row and Inter plant water harvesting systems on the productivity of rain fed pearl millet under vertisol of semi- arid region Effect of rainfall on changes in Soil Organic Carbon in Continuous manorial fields of rainfed black cotton soils of Sourth Tamil Nadu

67-69 70-76 77-78



Theme 4: Policies, Institutions, and Socio-economic Aspects

20. 21. 22. Choice of Genotypes in Fingermillet to Enhance Water Productivity in Rainfed Areas. Community Resource Management: Much needed strategy in Tank Irrigation System in India Rethinking the Strategic Approach including Adaptation of Rainwater Harvesting for Landscape Irrigation and Agricultural Use-A Review




Theme 5: Role of Research, Extension and Education

23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. Participatory Irrigation Management Need of an Hour


Augmentation Of Ground Water Resources By Rain Water Harvesting Case study from Chennai City, Tamil Nadu, India Plan for augmentation of Ground water Resources in Critical Cumbum Block, Theni district, Tamil Nadu Development of Natural springs for Sustainable Drinking Water Supply in Himalayan Region of India. Validation of Length of Growing Period Developed Through Models for Minimising the Climatic Risk under Dryland Identification of Promising Rice Hybrids for Aerobic Condition Based on Physiological Traits Aerobic Rice - A new tool for water scarcity management Standardization of Fertigation for Cucumber underPolyhouse using Soilless Media A Review of the Water Harvesting Programmes in Dryland Watersheds Impact Of Rainwater Harvesting On Water Budgeting And Irrigation Potential At Orchard And Eastern Farm In Tnau Campus Roof Top Rain Water Harvesting and its potential in TNAU campus Traditional Water Harvesting Systems In India





146-149 150-154 155-158 159-165

166-168 169-178 179-186

35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44.

Effect of Fertigation on Biochemical, Yield and Economics of Paprika (Capsicum Annuum Var.Longum) Water Harvesting for Agriculture in Drylands Of India The Emerging Water Crisis in India and Possible Solutions to Address through Water Harvesting Rainfall Probability Analysis For Efficient Water Harvesting And Crop Planning In Nilgiris Time Series Modeling of Groundwater Level of Western Noyyal River Basin of Tamil Nadu Geographical Information System for Evaluation of Groundwater Potential Zones in Marudaiyar Basin of Tamilnadu Engineering of photorespiration mechanism in crop plants for higher productivity in drought prone areas Water Efficient Rice Cultivation Strategy A Study on Adoption Behaviour of Dry Land Farmers Effect of Crop Geometry Cropping System in Bhendi Under Drip Fertigation

187-192 193-202





227-229 230-233 234-237 238-242

Theme 1 Water Harvesting at the Farm Level

Effect of Insitu Moisture Conservation Methods and Integrated Nutrient Management Practices on The Productivity of Rainfed Maize (Zea mays L.) in Vertisols
R. Balasubramanian, P. Senthilkumar, V. K. Paulpandi and V. Ganesaraja, Department of Agronomy, Agricultural College & Research Institute, Madurai-625 104

Maize (Zea mays L.) is one of the most important staple food crops and it ranks third after wheat and rice in the world scenario because of its production potential and adaptability to wide range of environments. The major constraint for low production of crops in rainfed situation is the inadequacy of soil moisture and poor fertility status of the soil. Research information available also shows sufficient evidence in favour of positive interaction between soil moisture and nutrient availability. Management of rainfed soils have to play a vital role to store maximum rain water in the profiles to supply moisture to meet the daily ET of the crop. In view of increased moisture holding capacity, vertisols offer scope for raising crops in kharif and rabi seasons in many states of India whereas in Tamil Nadu rainfed crop is raised only during North East monsoon season (rabi season).

Materials and Methods

Field experiments were conducted during rainfed season of 2001-02 and 2002-03 with maize cv. Co l at Regional Research Station, Aruppukottai, Tamil Nadu to study the effect of insitu moisture conservation methods, time of sowing and integrated nutrient management practices on the productivity of rainfed maize in vertisols. The experiments were laid out in Split Plot design replicated thrice. Pre monsoon sowing and monsoon sowing in flat bed, compartmental bunding and broad bed and furrow were assigned to main plots. INM practices like RDF @ 40:20:0 kg NPK ha-1 through inorganic fertilizers, 75% inorganic N + 25% N as FYM + Azophos, 50% inorganic N + 50% N as FYM + Azophos, FYM 12.5 tonnes ha-1 alone were assigned to sub plots. A common dose of 20 kg P2O5 ha-1 and all manures and fertilizers as per treatments were applied as basal. The biometric observations were recorded on plant

height, LAI, DMP, root length, total number of grains cob-1 and shelling percentage and grain and stover yield. The economics were worked out. Soil moisture content at 30-45 cm depth and RUE were also recorded for all treatments.

Results and Discussion

Various insitu moisture conservation methods had been practiced for conserving rain water to build up soil moisture for better growth and development of crops under rainfed condition as reported by Singh et al. (1990). The pre-monsoon sown crop received higher quantum of rainfall during growth stages than monsoon sown crop which reflected in soil moisture status. The increased availability of soil moisture promoted plant growth in pre-monsoon sown crop was reported by Senthivel (1996). The different land configuration of insitu moisture conservation methods tried in the present study revealed a substantial increase in plant height, LAI, root length and DMP under broad bed and furrow followed by compartmental bunding method (Table 1). The favourable moisture situation created in broad bed and furrow method might have helped to increase the uptake of nutrients by maize crop with increased root growth for obtaining increased plant height. The increased soil moisture level in broad bed and furrow and its favourable effect on growth characters of cereal crops was reported by Tumbare and Bhoite (2000). The increased leaf area index observed in broad bed and furrow method helped the crop to have more assimilating area available for appreciable quantum of source to sink. The favourable moisture status created in broad bed and furrow method might have increased the water and nutrients uptake by the crop for producing more LAI. This is in agreement with the findings of Patil et al. (1991). The greater influence of broad bed and furrow method in increasing DMP of maize was due to favourable moisture status in soil under broad bed and furrow method. The insitu moisture conservation methods such as broad bed and furrow and compartmental bunding influenced the development of more extensive root system. This might be due to proper air and water relationship maintained in broad bed and furrow method which helped the crop to develop a better root system (Wani et al., 1997). The premonsoon and monsoon sown crops greatly influenced the yield attributes (Table 2) based on the quantum of rainfall received during crop periods. The yield attributes namely total number of grains cob-1 and shelling percentage were influenced by the quantum of rainfall received particularly during flowering and maturity stages

of crop growth. In the first year, pre-monsoon sown crop received 284.0 mm and 76.0 mm of rainfall at flowering and maturity phases but the monsoon sown crop received rainfall of only 239.0 mm and 22.2 mm at flowering and maturity stages. The increased quantum of rainfall in the above critical stages helped to provide adequate soil moisture for pre-monsoon sown crop to increase the yield attributes over monsoon sown crop. Favourable yield characters associated with adequate moisture status in the soil might be due to better accumulation and translocation of assimilates coupled with favourable grain filling obtained in broad bed and furrow over flat bed method. This was confirmed by Baskaran et al. (2001). Regarding time of sowing, pre-monsoon sowing crop recorded 3.1 to 25.0 per cent increased grain yield over monsoon sown crop. This was mainly due to more rainy days, well distribution of rainfall and availability of required soil moisture throughout the cropping period compared to monsoon sown crop. However in 200203, the pre-monsoon sown crop recorded more or less similar grain yield of monsoon sown crop. Similar result was obtained by Senthivel (1996) who reported that the grain yield of maize in pre-monsoon and monsoon sown crops was due to variation in quantity and distribution of rainfall during different growth stages of crop growth. The increase of 43.3 to 43.4 per cent of stover yield was recorded under broad bed and furrow over flat bed method. Because of low rainfall received during cropping period of 2002-03 compared to 2001-02, the rainfall use efficiency was higher in 2002-03. The low RUE was reflected in comparatively poor growth and yield of maize. Regarding time of sowing, pre-monsoon sown crop recorded higher percentage of RUE over monsoon sown crop (Table 2). In case of insitu moisture conservation method of broad bed and furrow recorded higher percentage of RUE. This might be due to higher grain yield obtained in broad bed and furrow method. The promising INM practice of application of 75% N through inorganic fertilizers + 25% N through FYM + Azophos had significant influence on plant height, LAI, root length and DMP (Table 1). The reason might be due to better availability of moisture in the soil with the application of FYM which in turn enhanced the release of nutrients from the soil complex with help of increased activity of beneficial microorganisms. Azophos played a very significant role in improving soil fertility by fixing atmospheric nitrogen, both in association with plant roots and in a free living status, solubilized insoluble soil phosphates and produced plant growth substances in

soil. This resulted in more uptake of nutrients by maize crop for its normal metabolic activities. The improved soil moisture status and increased nutrients uptake were the base for quick crop growth which resulted to get taller plants, LAI and DMP which in turn increased yield attributes and grain yield of maize under above promising INM practice. The benefits of INM practice in improving LAI were observed by Dodamani (1997) and increased DMP by Kavitha and Swarajya Lakshmi (2002). The application of organic manure along with recommended dose of fertilizers helped maize crop to get increased growth and yield as pointed out by Nanjundappa et al. (2001). This is in agreement with present study. The yield attributing characters such as total number grains cob-1 and shelling percentage were increased due to INM practice of 75% N through inorganic fertilizers + 25% N through FYM + Azophos (Table 2). The combined effect of organic, inorganic and biofertilizer application on the yield attributes was reported by Nanjundappa et al. (2001). The favourable maintenance of soil moisture status and nutrients availability by incorporation of FYM in addition to biofertilizer and inorganic fertilizers application contributed in increasing plant height, LAI and DMP. The above appreciable increase in growth parameters was reflected in increasing yield attributing characters. This helped to retain more rain water in the soil to a greater possible extent and produced more grain yield of 47.0 to 47.1 per cent over organic manure application alone under favourable soil moisture status. This finding is in conformity with the results of Kavitha and Swarajya Lakshmi (2002). The yield increase achieved in the above promising INM practice was a

cumulative effect of increased growth parameters such as taller plants, LAI and DMP. Similarly, stover yield was also increased under this INM practice. Pre-monsoon sowing in broad bed and furrow method with application of promising INM practice registered more grain and stover yield of maize (Table 3). The favourable physiological functions carried out in plant system might have helped the crop for better uptake of water and nutrients under the above combined effect of pre-monsoon sowing in broad bed and furrow with application of promising INM practice. The combination of insitu moisture conservation methods with time of sowing and INM practice registered more grain and stover yield of sorghum as reported by Hebbi (2000). The improved agronomic practice of premonsoon sowing in broad bed and furrow combined with INM practice of application of 75% N through inorganic fertilizers + 25% N through FYM + Azophos resulted in producing maximum grain yield which in turn produced higher net return (Rs 7175 to 15031) and B:C ratio (1.76 to 2.60) (Table 3). The adoption of pre monsoon sowing in broad bed and furrow combined with application of 75% N through inorganic fertilizers + 25% N through FYM + Azophos registered higher grain yield of maize (3754 kg ha-1 and 2345 kg ha-1), net return (Rs.15031 and Rs.7175 ha-1) and B:C ratio (2.60 and 1.76) during 2001-02 and 2002-03, respectively. Hence, this combination can be practiced for getting higher productivity and economic returns.


Baskaran, R, Solaimalai, A., Joseph, M., Sudhakar, P. and S.E. Naina Mohammed. 2001. Land configuration measures for insitu water harvesting in rainfed sorghum. National seminar on Technology option for dryland Agriculture held at AC & RI, Madurai during Nov.20-22. Dodamani,S.V. 1997. INM in sunflower. M.Sc.(Ag.) Thesis, AC&RI., University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, Karnataka. Hebbi. 2000. Influence of insitu moisture conservation practices in sunhemp green manuring and levels of N on rabi sorghum. M.Sc.(Ag.) Thesis, University of Agric. Sci., Bangalore. Kavitha, P and G. Swarajya Lakshmi. 2002. Effect of different sources of nitrogen on yield and quality of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). J. Oilseeds Res. 19(2): 250-251. Nanjundappa,G., Shivaraj,B., Janarjuna,S. and S.Sridharan. 2001. Effect of organic and inorganic source of nutrients applied alone or in combination on growth and yield of sunflower. Helia, 24(34): 115-120. Patil,S.N., Mazumdar,G.K. and D.B.Pore. 1991. Effect of moisture conservation measures on growth and yield of sorghum-pigeonpea intercropping in watershed area. Indian J. Soil Conservation, 19(1-2): 6-11. Senthilvel, T. 1996. Studies on dry seeding and configuration and phosphorus management on the productivity of rainfed maize (Zea mays L.) in vertisols with residual effect of phosphorus on blackgram. Ph.D Thesis, Tamil Nadu Agrl. Uniuersity, Madurai.. Singh,R.P., Das,S.K., Bhaskar Rao,V.M. and M.Narayana Reddy. 1990. Towards sustainable dryland agricultural practices. Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture, Hyderabad. Tumbare,A.D. and S.V.Bhoite. 2000. Effect of moisture conservation techniques on growth and yield of pearlmilletgram sequence in watershed. Indian J. Dryland Agric. Res. & Dev., 15(2): 94-95. Wani,A.G., Tumbare., A.D., Bhale,T.M. and S.H. Shinde. 1997. Response of pearl millet to N and moisture conservation practices under rainfed conditions. Indian J. Dryalnd Agric. Res. & Dev., 12(2): 130-132.

Table 1. Effect of insitu moisture conservation methods, time of sowing and INM practices on growth characters of maize
Treatments Plant height at harvest (cm) 2002 M1 M2 M3 M4 M5 M6 SEd CD (0.05) INM practices S1 S2 S3 S4 SEd CD (0.05) 137.4 109.4 176.6 142.9 189.4 151.3 4.09 9.12 152.6 175.0 154.9 122.2 2.17 4.56 2003 97.6 96.7 124.3 123.0 131.6 130.3 2.45 5.47 117.5 134.9 119.6 93.7 1.30 2.75 LAI at 60 DAS Root length at harvest (cm) 2002 21.0 19.5 26.4 21.9 28.6 23.5 0.49 1.09 24.0 27.5 24.4 19.1 0.25 0.54 2003 17.0 16.6 18.9 18.5 22.9 22.5 0.31 0.85 19.7 22.7 20.0 15.7 0.21 0.42 Dry matter production at harvest (kg/ha) 2002 12785 10228 17048 13637 18331 14664 419.5 934.9 14639 16805 14788 11564 222.6 467.5 2003 8924 8834 11864 11745 12758 12629 255.2 568.6 11263 12930 11378 8931 135.9 285.4

2002 4.10 3.15 5.32 4.10 5.72 4.50 0.13 0.29 4.50 5.23 4.56 3.66 0.06 0.14

2003 2.76 2.72 3.57 3.53 3.90 3.80 0.06 0.15 3.37 3.92 3.42 2.64 0.03 0.07

Insitu moisture conservation methods with time of sowing

Table 2. Effect of insitu moisture conservation methods, time of sowing and INM practices on yield attributes and RUE and soil moisture content in maize
Treatments No. of grains/cob Shelling percentage RUE Soil moisture content at 30-45 cm depth at harvest 2003 11.1 16.6 18.9 18.5 22.9 22.5 0.31 0.85 19.7 22.7 20.0 15.7 0.21 0.42 2002 8.1 9.3 13.2 14.2 13.9 12.2 0.26 0.59 7.3 8.4 9.6 11.1 0.10 0.20 7.9 10.5 10.3 10.8 10.6 0.20 0.42 7.8 9.0 10.2 11.7 0.11 0.22 2003

2002 2003 2002 Insitu moisture conservation methods with time of sowing M1 212 M2 M3 M4 M5 M6 SEd CD (0.05) INM practices S1 S2 S3 S4 SEd CD (0.05) 240 275 243 195 3.57 7.51 183 194 186 149 2.10 4.41 72.4 73.3 72.5 70.0 0.11 0.24 149 172 279 222 303 240 6.74 15.03 71.3 146 193 166 208 205 3.96 8.83 60.7 69.8 72.7 70.8 74.1 72.2 0.21 0.48

2003 21.0 60.5 61.2 60.0 62.6 62.4 0.13 0.30 60.8 62.9 61.9 59.0 0.07 0.16

2002 17.0 19.5 26.4 21.9 28.6 23.5 0.49 1.09 24.0 27.5 24.4 19.1 0.25 0.54

Table 3. Effect of insitu moisture conservation methods, time of sowing and INM practices on grain yield, stover yield, net return and BC ratio
Treatments Grain yield (kg/ha) 2002 M1 M2 M3 M4 M5 M6 SEd CD (0.05) INM practices S1 S2 S3 S4 SEd CD (0.05) Treatment combination M1S1 M1S2 M1S3 M1S4 M2S1 M2S2 M2S3 M2S4 M3S1 M3S2 M3S3 M3S4 M4S1 M4S2 M4S3 M4S4 M5S1 M5S2 M5S3 M5S4 M6S1 M6S2 M6S3 M6S4 SEd CD (0.05) 2374 2758 2398 1874 1900 2206 1920 1501 3006 3491 3037 2374 2404 2792 2429 1899 3232 3754 3265 2553 2585 3003 2612 2042 84 180 1615 1875 1632 1275 1566 1817 1583 1236 2034 2373 2064 1614 1972 2301 2002 1565 2197 2553 2230 1735 2131 2478 2163 1682 53 113 4467 5248 4513 3350 3440 4041 3475 2580 5957 6998 6018 4467 4587 5388 4634 3440 6407 7525 6427 4805 4935 5794 4983 3702 176 382 2924 3435 2953 2193 2836 3331 2864 2127 3898 4579 3938 2924 3781 4441 3819 2836 4194 4924 4235 3146 4068 4776 4107 3051 115 245 6905 9131 6536 3660 3805 5517 3408 1230 10530 13426 10206 5399 6575 8830 6212 2293 11893 15031 11583 6453 7643 10092 7292 3111 1966 3379 1550 557 1650 3005 1234 426 4183 5913 3848 1454 3783 5647 3446 998 5130 7175 4813 2130 4703 6688 4379 1788 1.81 2.04 1.72 1.38 1.45 1.63 1.37 1.13 2.17 2.44 2.07 1.54 1.73 1.95 1.65 1.23 2.30 2.60 2.20 1.64 1.83 2.07 1.75 1.30 1.23 1.38 1.17 1.05 1.19 1.34 1.13 1.04 1.46 1.63 1.40 1.14 1.42 1.60 1.36 1.10 1.56 1.76 1.50 1.21 1.51 1.71 1.45 1.17 2583 3000 2610 2040 39 83 1919 2232 1945 1517 29 62 5167 5931 5219 4081 77 162 3616 4247 3652 2712 69 146 7891 10337 7540 3691 3569 5301 3211 1226 1.58 2.12 1.79 1.37 1.40 1.57 1.34 1.12 2351 1881 2977 2381 3201 2560 68 150 2003 1599 1550 2021 1960 2178 2113 54 120 Stover yield (kg/ha) 2002 4513 3609 6061 4813 6470 5175 150 330 2003 3876 2789 3834 3719 4124 4000 134 296 Net return (Rs/ha) 2002 3558 3490 3890 5978 11240 7035 2003 1863 3158 3850 3469 4812 4390 BC ratio 2002 1.74 1.40 2.06 1.64 2.19 1.74 2003 1.21 1.18 1.41 1.37 1.51 1.46 -

Insitu moisture conservation methods with time of sowing

Sustainable Yield Index of Rainfed Sorghum under different Rainfall Situation in Vertisols of South Tamil Nadu
K. Baskar1, V.Subramanian2 and G. Maruthi Sankar3, 1Associate Professor (Soil Science) and 4 Professor & Head (Soil Science), Agricultural Research Station, Kovilpatti. 3rincipal Scientist (Agricultural Statistics), CRIDA, Santoshnagar, Hyderabad 500059.

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) is an important cereal crop grown under rainfed conditions in several states of India. In Tamil Nadu, since the North-East monsoon occurs during October to January, this crop is grown during this period as rainfed crop. Among different input variables, effect of fertilizer is greatly influenced by soil moisture available at the time of sowing and during crop growth period, while the soil moisture content, retention and supply are directly influenced by amount and distribution of rainfall under rainfed conditions. Mathur (1997) studied long term effects of fertilizer on yield and soil fertility under cotton wheat rotation in arid soils of North West Rajasthan. Prihar and Gajri (1988) examined usefulness of fertilizer application to rainfed crops and described strategies for rationalizing the application in relation to seasonal water supply and available soil fertility. Precise information on sustainable treatments and optimum fertilizer requirement at varying soil test values and rainfall situations is lacking for rainfed crops. An attempt is made in this paper to assess the

effects of soil and fertilizer nutrients on sorghum yield in different rainfall situations using regression models and optimize fertilizer doses at varying soil test values for attaining sustainable yield in a semi-arid vertisols.

Materials and Methods

Fifteen trials on sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) were conducted in a fixed site during North-East monsoon season of 1982 to 2005 in a semi-arid vertic inceptisol at Agricultural Research Station, Kovilpatti. The research center is located at a latitude of 9.12 North, longitude of 77.53 East and altitude of 166.42 m above mean sea level. Nine fertilizer treatments of N through urea, farmyard manure (FYM) and crop residue in combination with single super phosphate (SSP) were tested in each season. The treatments were (i) Control; (ii) 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P/ha (SSP); (iii) 20 kg N (urea) + 10 kg P/ha (SSP); (iv) 20 kg N (crop residue)/ha; (v) 20 kg N (FYM)/ha; (vi) 20 kg N (crop residue) + 20 kg N (urea) + 10 kg P/ha (SSP); (vii) 20 kg N (FYM) + 20 kg N (urea) + 10 kg P/ha (SSP); (viii) 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P (SSP) + ZnSO4 @ 25 kg/ha; and (ix) FYM @ 5 t/ha.

The crop residue and FYM contained 0.53 and 0.50% N; 0.07 and 0.16% P; 0.80 and 0.43% K respectively on dry weight basis. The trials were conducted in a net plot size of 7.5 m x 3.6 m with row x plant spacing of 45 cm x 15 cm in a Randomized Block Design with 3 replications. Initial soil samples were collected in each plot from a depth of 0 30 cm and analyzed for alkaline permanganate N (Subbaiah and Asija, 1956), Olsens P (Olsen et al., 1954) and ammonium acetate K (Jackson, 1973). The site of the experiment is a Typic Chromustert with clay texture, pH of 8.2, Electrical conductivity of 0.5 dS/m, organic carbon of 4.3 g/kg, available soil N of 80 kg/ha, P of 10 kg/ha and K of 586 kg/ha. The soil depth varied from 110 to 150 cm with an infiltration rate of 0.9 cm/hr. The soil has 46.4 to 61.2% clay, 10.0 to 17.5% silt and 12.6 to 24.5% coarse sand. The bulk density varied from 1.23 to 1.32 kg/m3 with field capacity of 35% and permanent wilting point of 14%.

in 2 years, 250 500 mm from 21 rainy days in 10 years and 500 750 mm from 30 rainy days in 3 years. Under < 250 mm rainfall, sorghum had a duration of 104 (1995) to 122 days (1985) with a mean of 113 days and coefficient of variation of 11.3%. The duration ranged from 88 (1983) to 138 days (2005) with a mean of 112 days and variation of 14.8% in 250 500 mm compared to 103 (1987) to 114 days (1997) with a mean of 109 days and variation of 5.1% in 500 750 mm situation. A mean rainfall of 117.1 mm with variation of 24.9%, 361.6 mm with variation of 21.2% and 618.2 mm with variation of 4.5% occurred in <250, 250 500 and 500 750 mm situations respectively. The crop growing period, rainy days, crop seasonal rainfall, date of sowing and harvest in different years are given in Table 1.

Results and Discussion

Analysis of variance of soil nutrients and yield in different rainfall situations ANOVA indicated no significant difference between treatments for their effect on yield and soil nutrients in <250 mm rainfall, while the differences were significant for both yield and soil N, P and K in 250 500 mm and only yield, soil N and P in 500 750 mm rainfall situation (Table 2). The treatments gave a mean yield of 384 kg/ha with variation of 21.4%, 1063 kg/ha with variation of 20.1% and 854 kg/ha with variation of 19.8% in <250, 250 500 and 500 750 mm rainfall respectively. All the treatments gave
CGP 25 Feb 10 Jan RD 122 104 113 11.3 108 88 106 126 136 103 105 118 96 138 112 14.8 103 110 114 109 5.1 CRF 14 8 11 38.6 25 28 14 15 22 27 18 13 19 24 21 26.7 29 21 39 30 30.4 137.7 96.4 117.1 24.9 385.4 484.8 357.6 307.3 265.5 426.8 292.0 310.6 317.5 468.8 361.6 21.2 634.2 634.6 585.7 618.2 4.5

Rainfall and its distribution during crop growing period

The earliest date of sowing of sorghum was on 29th September (1995), while the latest was on 27th October (1984 and 1985). The earliest date of harvest of the crop was on 7th January (2004), while the latest was on 25th February (1986). Out of 15 years, crop seasonal rainfall was < 250 mm from 11 rainy days
Table 1. Date of sowing and harvest of sorghum and crop seasonal rainfall at Kovilpatti
Year Variety DOS Rainfall: < 250 mm 1985 K Tall 1995 K-8 Mean CV (%) Rainfall : 250500 mm 1982 CSH-6 1983 CSH-6 1984 CO-25 1986 K Tall 1991 K-8 1993 K-8 1999 K-8 2001 K-8 2003 K-8 2005 K-8 Mean CV (%) Rainfall : 500750 mm 1987 K Tall 1989 K Tall 1997 K-8 Mean CV (%) DOH 27 Oct 29 Sep

16 Oct 18 Oct 27 Oct 2 Oct 30 Sep 14 Oct 13 Oct 1 Oct 4 Oct 1 Oct

31 Jan 13 Jan 9 Feb 4 Feb 12 Feb 24 Jan 25 Jan 26 Jan 7 Jan 15 Feb

1 Oct 5 Oct 10 Oct

11 Jan 22 Jan 31 Jan


Table 2. Mean and variation of yield and soil nutrients in different rainfall situations
Variable T1 T2 T3 Rainfall : < 250 mm (1985 & 1995) Yield 250 488 448 (19.0) (21.0) (34.0) Soil N 112 125 124 (42.5) (11.9) (18.2) Soil P 8.7 9.1 8.6 (39.0) (28.0) (26.3) Soil K 323 367 338 (15.1) (27.4) (17.6) Rainfall : 250500 mm (1982, 1983, Yield 785 1195 965 (59.2) (45.7) (49.8) Soil N 95 112 100 (20.6) (16.6) (19.9) Soil P 8.3 10.0 9.1 (40.0) (14.6) (36.2) Soil K 456 485 482 (43.8) (29.9) (38.3) Rainfall : 500750 mm (1987, 1989 Yield 493 997 765 (40.6) (16.5) (28.6) Soil N 93 134 117 (10.9) (13.5) (5.6) Soil P 6.8 9.9 8.6 (18.4) (8.2) (14.1) Soil K 301 315 335 (13.2) (12.8) (20.7) T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 Mean LSD NS NS NS NS

354 290 317 (23.2) (2.9) (4.7) 123 99 123 (4.0) (15.1) (21.8) 9.7 10.6 10.0 (5.1) (7.4) (23.5) 349 360 402 (19.7) (27.7) (31.2) 1984, 1986, 1991, 1993, 879 923 1102 (60.9) (55.9) (69.3) 102 97 116 (19.4) (14.4) (17.3) 8.7 9.1 9.9 (26.7) (28.0) (24.1) 483 507 533 (35.2) (34.9) (31.3) & 1997) 870 756 944 (51.6) (31.7) (32.1) 106 100 118 (9.1) (14.4) (1.7) 8.6 8.7 9.5 (9.5) (10.8) (9.5) 313 332 319 (21.3) (16.3) (22.5)

394 480 (24.8) (40.6) 120 113 (3.0) (10.7) 10.5 9.8 (2.7) (8.0) 367 353 (27.6) (14.8) 1999, 2001, 2003 1246 1339 (52.2) (48.4) 117 115 (17.2) (21.3) 10.7 10.5 (22.6) (31.2) 512 496 (33.6) (33.7) 1072 (29.2) 107 (10.6) 9.1 (15.3) 311 (22.6) 1168 (16.4) 113 (1.0) 9.8 (11.0) 361 (4.3)

436 384 (36.9) (21.4) 97 115 (19.0) (18.2) 9.1 9.5 (3.1) (15.7) 366 358 (25.5) (7.4) & 2005) 1136 1063 (66.3) (20.1) 91 105 (11.8) (12.9) 9.4 9.5 (32.7) (14.1) 515 496 (33.5) (6.4) 619 (42.5) 102 (20.1) 7.7 (29.7) 363 (8.3) 854 (19.8) 110 (10.8) 8.7 (6.2) 328 (7.9)

190 12.1 1.2

28.5 292 20.6 0.9 NS

Values in parentheses are coefficient of variation (%) T1 : Control T2 : 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P/ha T4 : 20 kg N/ha (crop residue) T6 : 20 kg N (crop residue) + 20 kg N (urea) + 10 kg P/ ha T7 : 20 kg N (FYM) + 20 kg N (urea) + 10 kg P/ha T8 : 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P + ZnSO4 @ 25 kg/ha LSD: Least significant difference (p<0.05) T3 : 20 kg N (urea) + 10 kg P/ha T5 : 20 kg N/ha (FYM) T9 : FYM @ 5 t/ha a significantly higher yield but with a relatively higher variation in 250 500 mm, followed by 500 750 and <250 mm rainfall situation. The treatments gave a mean soil N of 115 kg/ ha with variation of 18.2% in <250 mm, followed by 110 kg/ha with variation of 10.8% in 500 750 mm and 105 kg/ha with variation of 12.9% in 250 500 mm rainfall. A mean soil P of 9.5 kg/ha was observed with variation of 15.7 and 14.1% in <250 and 250 500 mm respectively, compared to 8.7 kg/ha with variation of 6.2% in 500 750 mm rainfall. A mean soil K of 496

kg/ha with variation of 6.4% was observed in 250 500 mm, compared to 358 kg/ha with variation of 7.4% in <250 mm and 328 kg/ha with variation of 7.9% in 500 750 mm rainfall.

Superiority of Fertilizer Treatments in Different Rainfall Situations

The treatments were compared based on LSD criteria and superior treatments for yield and soil nutrients in 250 500 and 500 750 mm rainfall situations were identified (Table 3). Application of 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P + ZnSO4 @ 25 kg/ha gave significantly higher yield of 1339 kg/ha in 250 500 mm and 1168 kg/ha in 500 750 rainfall. However, 20 kg N (FYM) + 20 kg N (urea) + 10 kg P/ha in 250 500 mm and 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P/ha in 500 750 mm rainfall maintained significantly higher soil N of 117 and 134 kg/ha and soil P of 10.7 and 9.9 kg/ha respectively, while 20 kg N (crop residue) + 20 kg N (urea) + 10 kg P/ha maintained soil K of 533 kg/ha in 250 500 mm rainfall. It is observed that 20 kg N (FYM) + 20 kg N (urea) + 10 kg P/ha and 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P + ZnSO4 @ 25 kg/ha were superior in 250 500 mm, while 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P/ha and 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P +

Table 3. Superiority of fertilizer treatments for sorghum yield and soil nutrients at Kovilpatti
Superior treatment Yield T2 > T1, T3, T4, T5 250500 mm SN T1, T3, T5, T9 SP T1, T4 SK T1 Total 11 500750 mm Yield T1, T9 SN T1, T4, T5, T7, T8, T9 T1 SP T1, T3, T4, T5, T9 T1, T9 T1, T9 T1, T9 T1, T3, T4, T9 T1, T9 Total 13

T3 > T4 > T5 > T6 >

T7, T8 T1 T1, T2, T3, T4, T8 T1, T3, T4 T1

2 T1 1 14

T1, T4

T7 >

T1, T3, T4, T5 T1, T3, T4, T5, T6, T9 T1, T4, T5 19

T8 >

T1, T3, T4, T5, T9 T1, T3, T4, T5, T9 T1, T3, T4 T5, T9

T1, T4

T1, T9


3 3 2 7

T1, T4, T5, T9 T1, T4, T5


T1, T3, T5, T9 T1, T3, T4, T5, T9 T1


T9 > Total



T1, T2, T3, T4 15

7 66 14 9

T1, T3, T4, T5, T9 T1 23


1 46

T1 : Control,T2 : 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P/ha, T3 : 20 kg N (urea) + 10 kg P/ha T4 : 20 kg N/ha (crop residue),T5 : 20 kg N/ha (FYM), T6 : 20 kg N (crop residue) + 20 kg N (urea) + 10 kg P/ ha T7 : 20 kg N (FYM) + 20 kg N (urea) + 10 kg P/ha, T8 : 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P + ZnSO4 @ 25 kg/ha, T9 : FYM @ 5 t/ha ZnSO4 @ 25 kg/ha were superior in 500 750 mm rainfall in a maximum number of treatment comparisons. Prihar and Gajri (1988) recorded usefulness of fertilizer application to rainfed crops and described strategies for rationalizing the application in relation to seasonal water supply and available soil fertility. Application of 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P + ZnSO4 @ 25 kg/ha for yield and soil N; 20 kg N (FYM) + 20 kg N (urea) + 10 kg P/ha for soil P and 20 kg N (crop residue) + 20 kg N (urea) + 10 kg P/ha for soil K were superior in 250 500 mm rainfall. Similarly, 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P + ZnSO4 @ 25 kg/ha for yield and soil P; and 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P/ha for soil N were superior in 500 750 mm rainfall.

Correlation of yield with crop seasonal rainfall, soil and fertilizer nutrients
The sorghum yield had a significant positive correlation of 0.48 with soil N, 0.73 with soil P and 0.47 with soil K and 0.39 with fertilizer P in 500 750 mm, while it had a significant positive correlation of 0.23 with fertilizer P and negative correlation of 0.22 with soil N and 0.28 with soil K in 250 500 mm rainfall. In <250 mm, it had a significant positive correlation of 0.47 with soil K, 0.55 with fertilizer N and 0.65 with fertilizer P. Significant negative correlation of 0.52, 0.38 and 0.38 was found between yield and rainfall in <250, 250 500 and 500 750 mm rainfall respectively. Soil N and P had a significant correlation of 0.57 in <250 mm, 0.41 in 250 500 mm and 0.68 in 500 750 mm. Soil N had a significant correlation of 0.38 with soil K and 0.24 with organic N in 250 500 mm; and 0.38 with fertilizer N in 500 750 mm rainfall. Soil P had a significant correlation of 0.71 in 250 500 mm and 0.49 in 500 750 mm with soil K and 0.41 with fertilizer P in 500 750 mm rainfall. Soil nutrients had a significant correlation among themselves in 250 500 mm, compared to soil and fertilizer nutrients in 500 750 mm rainfall.


Table 4. Regression models of yield through soil and fertilizer nutrients in different rainfall situations
Rainfall (mm) < 250 Regression model Y = 613 9.95 (SN) + 173.05 * (SP) + 1.44 ** (SK) + 25.41 (FN) 0.08 (FN2) + 23.85 (FP) 0.35 (FP2) + 22.01 (ON) 0.85 (ON2) 4.26 (ZN) 0.20 (FN) (SN) 1.95 (FP) (SP) 0.08 (ON) (SN) Y = 2347 ** 20.16 ** (SN) + 87.09 ** (SP) 0.59 * (SK) + 29.55 * (FN) 0.14 (FN2) + 30.81 * (FP) 0.79 (FP2) + 21.18 (ON) 0.30 (ON2) 9.33 (ZN) 0.21 * (FN) (SN) 1.09 * (FP) (SP) 0.13 (ON) (SN) Y = 1719 + 32.99 * (SN) 241.23 * (SP) + 2.54 * (SK) + 39.85 * (FN) 0.19 (FN2) + 63.86 * (FP) 0.89 (FP2) + 26.34 (ON) 0.31 (ON2) 7.63 (ZN) 0.25 (FN) (SN) 1.52 (FP) (SP) 0.15 (ON) (SN) R2 0.91* 66 51.5 Fertilizer equation FN = 159 1.25 SN ON = 13 0.05 SN FP = 34 2.79 SP

250 500




FN = 106 0.75 SN ON = 35 0.22 SN FP = 20 0.69 SP

500 750




FN = 105 0.66 SN ON = 42 0.24 SN FP = 36 0.85 SP

* and ** indicate significance at p < 0.05 and p < 0.01 level respectively R2 : Coefficient of determination : Prediction error (kg/ha) : Sustainable yield indexY : Yield (kg/ha) SN : Soil N (kg/ha) SP: Soil P (kg/ha) SK : Soil K (kg/ha) FN : Fertilizer N (kg/ha) ON : Organic N (kg/ha) FP: Fertilizer P (kg/ha) ZN : Zinc sulphate (kg/ ha) Sustainable yield index of fertilizer treatments

Optimization of fertilizer doses at varying soil test values

Using fertilizer equations given in Table 4, optimum fertilizer doses were derived at varying soil test values for attaining sustainable sorghum yield in different rainfall situations. At a soil N of 110 kg/ha, fertilizer N of 22 kg/ha was optimum in <250 mm compared to 24 kg/ha in 250 500 mm and 32 kg/ha in 500 750 mm rainfall. At same soil N, organic N of 8, 11 and 16 kg/ha was optimum in the respective rainfall situations. Similarly, at a soil P of 11 kg/ha, fertilizer P of 3, 12 and 27 kg/ha was optimum in <250, 250 500 and 500 750 mm rainfall respectively. Fertilizer N was not required beyond soil N of 130 kg/ha in <250 mm, 150 kg/ha in 250 500 mm and 170 kg/ha in 500 750 mm rainfall. Fertilizer P was not required beyond soil P of 13 kg/ha in <250 mm, while 8 and 22 kg/ha was required at a soil P of 17 kg/ha in 250 500 and 500 750 mm rainfall situations respectively. Dalal and Mayer (1986) revealed long term trends in soil properties of nutrients when cereal crops were grown continuously over years in Southern Queensland. Based on soil N, the treatments had a sustainability of 35 75% at 115 135 kg/ha in <250 mm, 15 55% at 85 115 kg/ha in 250 500 mm and 35 75% at 95 115 kg/ha in 500 750 mm rainfall. Based on soil P, the treatments had a sustainability of 35 75% in <250 mm and 15 35% in 250 500 mm at 8 11 kg/ ha compared to 15 55% at 6.5 9.5 kg/ha in 500 750

Using mean yield of a treatment over years, maximum yield of 617 (1995), 2451 (1999) and 1342 kg/ha (1989) attained by 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P + ZnSO4 @ 25 kg/ha and prediction error of 66, 196 and 230 kg/ha based on regression model of yield under <250, 250 500 and 500 750 mm rainfall respectively, sustainable yield index of treatments was derived using (2). The index values are graphically plotted against soil N, P and K and variation of yield in Fig. It is observed that a mean yield of 384, 1063 and 854 kg/ha could be attained with a sustainable yield index of 51.5, 35.4 and 46.5% in <250, 500 750 and 250 500 mm rainfall respectively. The treatments had a sustainability of 35 75% for yield variation of 25% in <250 mm compared to 35 55% with yield variation of 50 75% in 250 500 mm and 35 75% for yield variation of 25 50% in 500 750 mm rainfall. Application of 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P/ha was efficient in <250 mm with sustainability of 68.4%, while 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P + ZnSO4 @ 25 kg/ha was efficient in 250 500 and 500 750 mm with sustainability of 46.6 and 69.9% respectively.

Fig. Sustainability of treatments at different soil test values and variation in sorghum yield.

mm rainfall. Based on soil K, the treatments had a sustainability of 15 55% at 450 550 kg/ha in 250 500 mm compared to 35 75% at 300 400 kg/ha in <250 and 500 750 mm rainfall.Similar result was observed by Prasad and Goswami (1992) Based on long term trials conducted for 15 years in a fixed site in a semi-arid vertic inceptisol at Kovilpatti, efficient fertilizer treatments which provided significantly higher sorghum yield and maintained maximum soil N, P and K were identified. Based on regression analysis of yield through soil and fertilizer nutrients, optimum fertilizer N and P were derived for varying soil test values in <250, 250 500 and 500 750 mm rainfall. Based on ANOVA, 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P + ZnSO4 @ 25 kg/

ha and 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P/ha were superior in 250 500 and 500 750 mm rainfall. Application of 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P/ha gave maximum sustainable yield index of 68.4% in <250 mm, while 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P + ZnSO4 @ 25 kg/ha gave maximum of 46.6% in 250 500 mm and 69.9% in 500 750 mm rainfall. Fertilizer N of 22 kg/ha and organic N of 8 kg/ha was optimum when rainfall was <250 mm compared to 24 and 11 kg/ha in 250 500 mm and 32 and 16 kg/ha in 500 750 mm at soil N of 110 kg/ha. Fertilizer P of 3, 12 and 27 kg/ha was optimum at a soil P of 11 kg/ha in the three respective rainfall situations. The study indicated that application of optimum fertilizer doses based on soil tests would provide sustainable sorghum yield in different rainfall situations in a semi-arid vertisols.


Dalal, R.C. and Mayer, R.J. (1986). Long term trends in fertility of soils under continuous cultivation and cereal cropping in Southern Queensland : In Overall changes in soil properties and trends in winter cereal yields. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 24 : 265 279. Mathur, G.M. (1997). Effects of long term application of fertilizers and manures on soil properties under cotton wheat rotation in North West Rajasthan. Journal of Indian Society of Soil Science, 42 (2) : 288 292. Prasad, R. and Goswami, N.N. (1992). Soil fertility restoration and management for sustainable agriculture in South Asia. Advances in Soil Science, 17 : 37 77. Prihar, S.S. and Gajri, P.R. (1988). Fertilization of dryland crops. Indian Journal of Dryland Agricultural Research and Development, 3 (1): 1 33.


Modeling Organic Carbon Status under Permanent Manurial Experiment in Rainfed Vertisols of Semi-arid Region of South Tamil Nadu
K.Baskar1,V.Subramanian2 and G.Maruthi Sankar3, 1Associate Professor (Soil Science) and 4 Professor & Head (Soil Science), Agricultural Research Station, Kovilpatti. 3rincipal Scientist (Agricultural Statistics), CRIDA, Santoshnagar, Hyderabad.

Soils are a major carbon pool and are estimated to contain 1220 to1550 Pg C in organic form and almost half in inorganic form. Amongst different soil orders Histosols contain maximum and Vertisols contain minimum carbon. In general, Inorganic C in soils is generally very stable but SOC is very reactive and a large quantity can be lost through changes in land use especially from ploughing and erosion. Most of the good lands in tropics are already under intensive cultivation leading to depletion of soil organic carbon (Datta et al. 2001). The present investigation is to know the modeling of changes in soil organic carbon through soil temperature, rainfall and evaporation under dryland vertisol tract of Tamil Nadu.

during 1995 to 2005. The study was conducted to assess the changes in soil organic carbon as influenced by different climatic variables over a period of time. The PME were conducted with a set of 9 fertilizer treatments viz., Control, 40 kg N + 20 kg P/ha (RDF), 20 kg N + 10 kg P/ha, 20 kg N/ha (Farm residue), 20 kg N/ha (FYM), 20 kg N (Farm residue) + 20 kg N (urea) + 10 ka P/ha, 20 kg N (FYM) + 20 kg N (urea) + 10 kg P/ha, 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P + 25 kg ZnSO4/ha and FYM @ 5 t/ha (farmers practice).

Results and Discussion

The soil organic carbon (%) was observed in each plot of the 9 fertilizer treatments under PME during the eleven year study. The organic carbon ranged from a minimum of 0.26% under control to a maximum of 0.62% under 20 kg N/ha (FYM) over years. The control had a minimum mean organic carbon of 0.34% with a coefficient of variation of 24%, while FYM @ 5 t/ ha (farmers practice) had a maximum mean of 0.48% with a lower variation of 17.3% over years. However,

Materials and Methods

Permanent Manurial experiment (PME) on pearl millet sorghum rotation was conducted at Agricultural Research Station, Kovilpatti under semi-arid vertisol

Fig.1. Performance of treatments for soil organic carbon under PME during 1995 to 2005 at Kovilpatti.

the treatment of 20 kg N (Farm residue) + 20 kg N (urea) + 10 kg P/ha had the lowest variation of 15.4% over years in the study. It is observed that the soil had a maximum organic carbon of 0.54% in 1995 and 1996 with a variation of 11.4 and 7.3% respectively, while it depleted to a minimum of 0.36% in 1999 and 2005 with a variation of 15.1% and 18.8% respectively over 9 treatments of fertilizer examined in the study. The

September to February were calibrated with the pooled data observed under PME during 1995 to 2005. The estimates of regression coefficients of soil temperature, rainfall and evaporation, along with coefficient of determination (R2) and sustainable index of treatments for organic carbon build-up in the soil are given in Table 1. The model of T4 was having a maximum and significant organic carbon predictability of 0.48, while T8 had minimum predictability of 0.39. However, T6 gave a minimum prediction error of 0.054%, while T4 and T9 had a maximum prediction error of 0.067% based on the models. The sustainable index of organic carbon was found to be maximum of 66.6% for T9, followed by T7 with 66.5%, T5 with 64.5% and T6 with 63.9%, and while control had a minimum sustainability of 44.8% based on the trials conducted under PME. * & ** indicate significance at 5 & 1% level. Values in parentheses are ranks assigned to treatments Based on the regression models, the soil temperature observed under 5 7.5, 10 15 and 20 30 cm depth at 7.28 AM was having a significant influence on soil organic carbon

Table 1. Regression models of organic carbon through soil temperature, rainfall and evaporationunder PME at Kovilpatti
Treatment T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 Regression model OC = 0.30 0.044 ** (ST1) + 0.081 ** (ST2) 0.038 ** (ST3) 0.002 (ST4) + 0.001 (ST5) + 0.005 (ST6) + 0.001 * (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.24 0.032 ** (ST1) + 0.063 ** (ST2) 0.029 ** (ST3) 0.003 (ST4) + 0.002 (ST5) + 0.005 (ST6) + 0.001 (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.30 0.036 ** (ST1) + 0.081 ** (ST2) 0.044 ** (ST3) 0.002 (ST4) + 0.002 (ST5) + 0.003 (ST6) + 0.001 (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.31 0.033 ** (ST1) + 0.083 ** (ST2) 0.048 ** (ST3) 0.003 (ST4) + 0.003 (ST5) + 0.004 (ST6) + 0.001 (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.39** 0.021 * (ST1) + 0.061 ** (ST2) 0.04 ** (ST3) 0.003 (ST4) + 0.004 (ST5) + 0.003 (ST6) + 0.001 (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.34** 0.023 ** (ST1) + 0.062 ** (ST2) 0.035 ** (ST3) 0.002 (ST4) + 0.002 (ST5) + 0.002 (ST6) + 0.001 (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.35** 0.032 ** (ST1) + 0.071 ** (ST2) 0.038 ** (ST3) 0.001 (ST4) + 0.001 (ST5) + 0.003 (ST6) + 0.001 (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.31* 0.029 ** (ST1) + 0.066 ** (ST2) 0.035 ** (ST3) 0.001 (ST4) + 0.001 (ST5) + 0.002 (ST6) + 0.001 (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.38* 0.033 ** (ST1) + 0.075 ** (ST2) 0.039 ** (ST3) 0.002 (ST4) + 0.003 (ST5) + 0.001 (ST6) + 0.001 (RF) + 0.001 (EV) R2 0.45** (4) 0.40** (8) 0.47** (2) 0.48** (1) 0.46** (3) 0.44** (6) 0.44** (5) 0.39** (9) 0.40** (7) 0.062 (6) 0.056 (2) 0.065 (7) 0.067 (9) 0.060 (5) 0.054 (1) 0.058 (3) 0.059 (4) 0.067 (8) 44.8 (9) 55.5 (7) 54.0 (8) 58.5 (5) 64.5 (3) 63.9 (4) 66.5 (2) 58.2 (6) 66.6 (1)

changes in soil organic carbon in different treatments during 1995 to 2005 under PME are also depicted in Fig.1. The Regression model of changes in organic carbon through climatic variables under PME was worked out. Treatment-wise regression models to predict changes in soil organic carbon through soil temperature observed at 7.28 PM and 2.20 PM in 5 7.5, 10 15 and 20 30 cm depth, rainfall and evaporation during

compared to the soil temperature observed at 2.20 PM. The soil temperature in 5 7.5 and 20 30 cm depth was found to have a significant negative influence, while the soil temperature in 10 15 cm depth had a significant positive influence on the soil organic carbon based on the models of all the 9 treatments examined in the study. The soil temperature observed in 5 7.5 cm at 2.20 PM had a negative influence, while the temperature in 10 15 and 20 30 cm had a positive influence on soil organic

carbon, but was not significant based on the models. A positive effect of rainfall and evaporation on soil carbon were observed under all fertilizer treatments, however, rainfall had a significant effect only under control (Lal et al. 2001).

Ranking and Selection of Superior Fertilizer Treatments for Sustainable Organic Carbon
Ranks were assigned to treatments for the performance based on soil organic carbon build-up or depletion in different years under PME during 1995 to 2005 (table 2) and rank sum l1 was derived. Ranks were also assigned to treatments for the mean organic carbon, coefficient of determination, prediction error and sustainable index based on regression models calibrated for the pooled data over years and rank sum (l2) was derived. Based on the pooled rank sum of l1 and l2, a superior fertilizer treatment was selected. A graphical plot of rank sums l1 and l2 derived for fertilizer treatments tested under PME is given in Fig.2. The study has clearly indicated that T9 was superior with a minimum rank sum of 22 and 17 under PME for soil organic carbon observed in individual years (l1) during 1995 to 2005,

Fig.2. Performance of treatments for soil organic carbon under PME during 1995 to 2005 at Kovilpatti.

and mean, coefficient of determination, prediction error and sustainable index (l2) over years at Kovilpatti under semi-arid vertisols. Based on a detailed regression and rank analysis of fertilizer treatments, the study has clearly indicated that T9 was superior with a minimum rank sum of 22 and 17 in PME for soil organic carbon observed in individual years (rank sum 1) during 1995 to 2005, and mean, coefficient of determination, prediction error and sustainable index (rank sum 2) over years in the study.

Table 2. Ranking of treatments for organic carbon status in individual years, mean, coefficient of determination, prediction error and sustainable index over years at Kovilpatti
Treatment 1 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 96 74 82 57 38 33 33 63 22 2 28 24 25 20 14 15 12 25 17 PME Rank sum 124 98 107 77 52 48 45 88 39 Rank 9 7 8 5 4 3 2 6 1


Datta, M., Bhattacharya, B.K. and Saikh (2001). J.Indian Soc.Soil Sci.49, 104. Lal,R., Kimble, J. and Follet ,R. (1998). In Management Of Carbon Sequestration in Soil (Lal,R., Kimble, J.M., Follet, R.E. & Stewart, B.A. eds.) CRC Boca Raton,pp 1-10. Aggarwal,R.K., Praveen-Kumar & Power, J.F. (1997). Soil Tillage Res.41, 43.


Land configuration and rain water management for higher cotton productivity in rainfed deep vertisol
Dr. V. Ganesaraja, Dr. S. Senthivel, Dr. V. K. Paulpandi, Dr. R. Balasubramanian and M. P. Kavitha Department of Agronomy, Agricultural College and Research Institute, Madurai India.

The Kovilpatti taluk of Thoothukudi district in Southern Tamil Nadu is one of the rain shadow areas where rainfall is erratic and undependable. The deep vertisol in these areas has the potential for holding maximum possible quantity of water received from rainfall for crop production. Sorghum, cotton and pulses are the important mandate crops under rainfed cultivation in the region besides having some area under chillies and other millets. Rainfed agriculture in this zone is facing many problems associated with the vagaries of monsoon especially during North East Monsoon season when the commencement of rains may be quite early or considerably delayed (Ganesaraja, et al., 2001). This condition of uncertainty warrants efficient use of rainwater which will pave the way for getting successful crop production.

Materials and Methods

Field experiments were conducted at Agricultural Research Station, Kovilpatti to study the effect of land configuration and rain water management on cotton productivity during North East Monsoon Season of 1999 and 2000. The experiments were laid out in split plot design with three replications. The cotton variety MCU 10 was sown as dry sowing after treating the seeds with 2 % KCl solution and cow dung slurry as per treatment. The seeds were sown at 45X 15 cm spacing. The recommended weed and fertilizer management practices were taken. The observed data on growth, yield attributing characters and cotton yield were statistically scrutinized. The soil moisture content at three different depths in 0-15, 1530 and 30-45 cm were taken.

Treatment Details Main plot:

farm wastes recorded improved growth characteristics and there by higher seed Land configurations Mulching cotton yield of 623 kg/ha and it was M1- Control S1-Control on par with dust mulching (610 kg/ha). M2- Compartmental bunding S2- Mulching with farm wastes This could be due to higher soil moisture M3- Ridges and furrows S3-Dust mulching content resulted in better growth and yield M4-Tied ridging Sub Plot Seed treatment attributes and thereby yield (Selvaraju et M5-Broadbed and furrows SS1-Seed treatment with cowdung slurry al.,1999).The different methods of seed SS2- Seed treatment with 2 % KCl treatments did not exhibit any significant Results and Discussion influence on seed cotton yield. Regarding the soil moisture content, compartmental bunding The mean of two years data revealed that recorded higher soil moisture content of 26, 43, 31.01 among the land configuration methods, Compartmental and 33.66% at 0-15, 15-30 and 30-45 cm respectively. bunding recorded higher plant height (89.1 cm), LAI The farm waste mulching recorded higher soil moisture (5.09) and dry matter production (4245 kg / ha). This content of 24.75, 26.12 and 27.18% at 0-15, 15-30 treatment recorded higher Boll weight (2.73 g) and seed and 30-45 cm respectively. The lower soil moisture cotton yield of 675 kg/ha and was closely followed by content of 20.01, 21.01 and 22.75 % were noticed with broad bed furrow system (672 kg/ha). Mulching with control.


1.Ganesaraja, V., M.Raveendran, A.Gurusamy, S.Subbiah, T.N.Balasubrmanian and Y.S. Ramakrishna. 2001. Climate probability estimates of Kovilpatti taluk of Southern Tamil Nadu. pp.14-15. 2..Selvaraju, R., P.Subbian, A.Balasubramanian and R.Lal.1999. Land configuration and soil nutrient management options for sustainable crop production on alfisols and vertisols of southern peninsular India. Soil and Tillage Research 52(3&4): 203-216.


Table 1. Effect of land management practices and mulching on growth characteristics and
Growth Characteristics at 120 DAS Treatment details Land configurations M1- Control M2- Compartmental bunding M3- Ridges and furrows M4-Tied ridging M5-Broadbed and furrows SEd CD(P=0.05) Mulching S1-Control S2- Mulching with farm wastes S3-Dust mulching SEd CD(P=0.05) Seed treatment SS1-Seed treatment with cowdung slurry SS2- Seed treatment with 2% KCl SEd CD (P=0.05) 85.9 86.3 0.03 0.06 4.61 4.67 0.003 0.006 3568 3724 6.58 13.44 2.60 2.61 0.004 0.008 605 609 NS 82.3 88.7 87.4 0.34 0.69 4.58 4.71 4.63 0.05 0.11 3425 3856 3658 42.99 88.06 2.54 2.69 2.59 0.011 0.023 588 623 610 13 27 83.1 89.1 85.6 86.0 86.9 0.44 0.90 3.65 5.09 4.67 4.85 4.95 0.66 0.14 3147 4245 3346 3548 3946 55.50 113.69 2.49 2.73 2.52 2.62 2.67 0.015 0.030 522 675 573 592 672 22 50 Plant Height (cm) Boll LAI DMP (kg / ha) Seed cotton weight (g) yield (kg / ha)

Table 2. Soil moisture content

Treatment details 0-15 cm Land configurations M1- Control M2- Compartmental bunding M3- Ridges and furrows M4-Tied ridging M5-Broadbed and furrows Mulching S1-Control S2- Mulching with farm wastes S3-Dust mulching Seed treatment SS1-Seed treatment with cowdung slurry SS2- Seed treatment with 2 % KCl 23.01 23.07 25.31 25.38 26.71 26.92 21.03 24.75 23.32 24.32 26.12 25.60 26.25 27.18 27.05 20.01 26.43 22.65 22.05 24.01 21.01 31.01 24.75 24.92 25.09 22.75 33.66 25.71 25.85 26.08 Soil moisture content (%) 15-30 cm 30-45 cm


Studies on The Effect of Insitu Moisture Conservation Methods and Integrated Nutrient Management Practices on The Productivity of Sunflower (Helianthus Annus L.) in Rainfed Vertisols
Dr.V.K.Paulpandi, Dr.V.Ganesaraja, Dr. R. Balasubramanian and M. P. Kavitha Department of Agronomy Agricultural College and Research Institute Madurai , India

India occupies a premier position in global scenario accounting for 19 per cent area and 9 per cent production which has undergone a dramatic change in recent years, wherein the oil seed sector becomes a net foreign exchange earner leading to yellow revolution. Among the oil seeds, sunflower gained importance due to its special features such as short duration, photoperiod insensitivity, drought evidence, and fast recovery for drought stress, adaptability to wide range of soil climatic conditions, lower seed rate and high seed multiplication ratio. The sunflower seeds have a high oil content (40 -50 per cent), which is a high quality cooking oil because of low saturated and high polyunsaturated fatty acids in lowering down the level of harmful serum cholesterol property (Giriraj,1988). The major constraint for lower productivity of crops in dry land is the inadequacy of the soil moisture and poor fertility status of the soil. The land configurations are site specific and lead to a yield advantage of about 20

+ 5 per cent over control at any given level of productivity (Venkateswarlu, 1987). Appropriate land configurations such as broad bed and furrow and compartmental bunding hold great promise for insitu conservation of soil, water and plant nutrients. The combination of organic waste like composted coirpith and chemical fertilizers plays a key role in modern dryland agriculture in increasing the productivity of crops and sustained management of soil fertility and inturn soil health.

Materials and Methods

The field experiments were conducted at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Regional Research Station (RRS), Aruppukottai, Tamil Nadu during North East monsoon season of 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 under rainfed condition. The soils of the experimental fields were medium deep, well drained, vertisol (Typic Chromusterts) with a pH of 8.5 in both the seasons. The soil was low in available N (192.5 and 171.5 kg ha-1), low in available P (7.32 and 9.0 kg ha-1) and high in

available K (358.7 and 300.0 kg ha-1) during 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 respectively. Sunflower variety Co 4, released by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University was selected for this study. The experiments were laidout in split plot design with three replications. Main plot consisted of three treatments viz,. M1Flat bed, M2- Compartmental bunding and M3- Broad bed furrow. The subplot consisted of eight treatments viz., S1 - Recommended dose of nutrients (RDN) @ 40:20:20 kg N, P2O5 and K2O ha-1 through inorganic fertilizers, S2 - 100% N through composted coirpith (CCP), S3 - Recommended dose of nutrients (RDN) as inorganic fertilizers + 0.2% boron foliar spray at ray floret stage and 10 days after first spray, S4 - 100% N through CCP + 0.2% boron foliar spray at ray floret stage and 10 days after first spray, S5 - 75% N through inorganic fertilizer + 25% N through CCP + Azophos (seed and soil application), S6 - 75% N through inorganic fertilizers + 25% N through CCP + Azophos (seed and soil application) + 0.2% boron foliar spray at ray floret stage and 10 days after first spray, S7 - 50% N through inorganic fertilizer + 50% N through CCP + Azophos (seed and soil application) and S8 - 50% N through inorganic + 50% N through CCP + Azophos (seed + soil application) + 0.2% boron foliar spray at ray floret stage and 10 days after first spray. Land management methods (insitu moisture conservation methods) were carried out in respective plots as per the treatment schedule. The plot size of 6.0 x 4.5 m was uniformly adopted for all insitu moisture conservation methods. The CCP was incorporated basally after forming land management methods but before levelling of the field. Coirpith was decomposed at RRS, Aruppukottai farm by adopting the methodology given by Nagarajan et al. (1987). Organic manure (CCP) to substitute 100 or 50 or 25 per cent nitrogen was worked out based on N content for individual application as per treatment schedule. Recommended dose of inorganic fertilizers such as 40 kg N as urea, 20 kg P as single super phosphate and 20 kg K as muriate of potash ha-1 were applied as basal manure. Calculated quantity of organic manure to substitute 100 or 50 or 25 per cent of recommended N along with inorganic source of fertilizers as per the treatment schedule was also applied as basal. All the treatments received a uniform dose of 20 kg P2O5 and 20 kg K20 ha-1 as basal through inorganic fertilizers. Azophos @ 2 kg ha-1 was mixed with 50 kg fine sand

and applied near the base of the sunflower plants at 30 DAS as per the treatment schedule. Solubor (Na2 B4 O7 5H2O + Na2 B10 O16. 10 H2O) was used as boron source. It contains 20 to 21 per cent boron. As per the treatment schedule 0.2 per cent boron was sprayed at ray floret stage and the second spray on 10 days after first spray. Observations on all the growth and yield attributes were taken. The capitulum of border plants on all the sides of the plot were harvested first and then net plots were harvested separately and dried. Threshing of the capitulum was done manually and seeds were separated, sun dried and the yield was recorded. Data on soil moisture content was estimated by gravimetric method at 25, 45, 65 DAS and at harvest in 0-15, 1530 and 30-45 cm depth during both the years of study.

Results and Discussion

Growth Attributes All the treatments exerted a distinct effect on growth attributes of sunflower (Table 1). Among insitu moisture conservation methods, sowing on broad bed and furrow (BBF) treatment (M3) recorded the higher plant height (156.1 cm), maximum LAI (4.27) and maximum DMP (5393 kg ha -1) at harvesting stage. (Table 1). The favourable moisture situation created in BBF might have increased more moisture and nutrient uptake by the sunflower crop with the help of increased root growth resulted in increased plant height as reported by Tumbare and Bhoite (2000). The BBF method of insitu moisture conservation could produce more DMP of 15 to 26 per cent increase over flat bed method. The reason for obtaining more DMP in BBF might be due to the availability of required moisture status. Among integrated nutrient management practices (INM), application of 75% N through inorganic + 25% N through CCP + Azophos + 0.2% boron spray (S6) recorded higher plant height (155.9 cm), maximum LAI (4.45) and maximum DMP (5962 kg ha-1 ) at harvesting stage. The reason might be due to better availability of moisture with the help of CCP application which retained more quantum of moisture in the soil. The above treatment combination of inorganic and organic source with biofertilizer had a greater effect in enhancing the release of nutrients from the soil complex with the help of increased activity of beneficial microorganisms resulted in more uptake of nutrients by sunflower crop for its normal metabolic activities.

Soil moisture Content Data on soil moisture content was estimated at 25, 45, 65 DAS and at harvest in 0-15, 15-30 and 3045 cm depth during both the years of study. In general, soil moisture content increased with increase in soil depth. Among insitu moisture conservation methods, at 45 cm soil depth, BBF method (M3) registered higher soil moisture content of 34.2, 23.1, 16.3 and 15.1 per cent at 25, 45, 65 DAS and at harvest. (Table 2) This might be attributed due to the better collection of rain water in the furrows and absorption of rain water in the broad bed and furrow with the help of horizontal movement of water from furrow to the inner layer of broad bed and furrow during dry spell period. This type of enrichment of moisture could help to maintain the soil moisture content for better crop growth and yield in BBF. (Anon, 1981). Regarding the nutrient management practices, 100 % N substitution (S2) registered higher soil moisture content of 34.5, 23.2, 16.3, 15.4 per cent at 25, 45, 65 DAS and at harvest. CCP applied at 100% N substitution recorded higher percentage of soil moisture content followed by INM practice of 50% N through inorganic + 50% N through CCP + Azophos. This might be due to higher moisture holding capacity of coirpith as reported by Ramaswami and Sree Ramulu (1983). The higher moisture retention capacity of coirpith might be due to its high carbonaceous nature (Mayalagu et al., 1983). Yield and economics: Regarding the yield parameters and seed yield, the BBF method (M3) resulted in higher head diameter (14.5 cm) , increased number of filled seeds head-1 (428), seed yield (983 kg ha-1) and stalk yield (3388 kg ha-1) . (Table 3). Favourable yield attributing characters obtained in BBF was due to unrestricted moisture status in the soil for better accumulation and

translocation of assimilates from stem and leaves to sunflower head coupled with required nutrient uptake by the crop. Among different INM practices tried, application of 75% N through inorganic + 25% N through CCP + Azophos + 0.2% boron spray (S6) registered higher head diameter (14.9 cm) , increased number of filled seeds head-1 (446) ,seed yield (1082 kg ha-1 ) and stalk yield ( 3493 kg ha-1). In the present study the inclusion of CCP in the promising INM of 75% N through inorganic + 25% N through CCP + Azophos + 0.2% boron spray combination helped to retain more rain water in the soil to a greater extent possible and produced more seed yield of 22.1 to 26.4 per cent over RDN as inorganic fertilizer application. This finding is in conformity with the results of Kavitha and Swarajya Lakshmi (2002). An interaction effect of broad bed and furrow combined with INM practice of 75% N through inorganic + 25% N through CCP + Azophos + 0.2% boron spray registered higher seed yield of 1193 kg ha-1. The favourable maintenance of soil moisture status and nutrient availability by the incorporation of CCP in addition to biofertilizers and inorganic fertilizers application contributed to the appreciable increase in growth parameters reflected in increasing yield attributing characters. (Sivamurugan, 1998). Higher net return (Rs.4827) and BCR (1.74) were obtained in BBF method (M3).The net returns and BCR were found higher under INM practices of 75% N through inorganic + 25% N through CCP + Azophos + 0.2% boron spray (S6) which recorded the net return of Rs 6312 and BCR of 1.87 . Profound influence of insitu moisture conservation methods for better crop growth and yield could result in improving the net returns and benefit cost ratio under BBF over compartmental bunding and flat bed methods. The results are in conformity with the findings of Senthivel (1996)



1.Anonymous. (1981). Annual Report of International crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. Patancheru, Hyderabad. 2.Giriraj, K., (1988). In: National Seminar on Strategies for Making India Self reliant in Vegetable Oils, September 5-9, 1998. Hyderabad. 3.Kavitha, P and Swarajya Lakshmi. G. 2002. J. Oilseeds Res. 19(2): 250-251. 4.Mayalagu, K., et al., (1983). In: Proc. of National seminar on utilization of organic wastes. Tamil Nadu Agrl. University, AC&RI., Madurai, 110-116 5.Nagarajan, R., et al., (1987). Coirwaste in Crop Production. Bulletin unpublished, Centre for Soil and Crop Management Studies, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore and Central Coir Research Institute, Coir Board, Kalavoor. 6.Ramaswami, P.P. and Sree Ramulu.U.S. (1983). In: Proc. National Seminar on utilisation of organic wastes. (Ed.) U.S.Sree Ramulu, March 24-25 Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. pp.101-103. 7.Senthivel, T. 1996. Studies on Dry seeding, Land configuration and phosphorus management on the productivity of rainfed maize in vertisol with residual effect of phosphorus on blackgram. Ph.D Thesis, TNAU, Coimbatore. 8.Sivamurugan. (1998). M.Sc.(Ag.) Thesis, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. 9.Tumbare,A.D. and S.V.Bhotie. (2000). Indian J. Dryland Agric. Res. & Dev., 15: 94-95. 10.Venkateswarlu, J. (1987). Adv. Soil Sci., 7: 165-221.


Table 1. Effect of insitu moisture conservation methods and INM practices on growth attributes of sunflower at harvesting stage (pooled data of two years)
Treatments Insitu moisture conservation methods M1 Flat bed M2 CB M3 BBF SEd CD (P=0.05) INM practices S1 100% RDN S2 CCP at 100% N S3 100% RDN + 0.2% B S4 CCP at 100% N + 0.2% B S5 75% N inorg. + 25% N CCP + Azophos S6 75% N inorg. + 25% N CCP + Azophos + 0.2% B S7 50% N inorg. + 50% N CCP + Azophos S8 50% N inorg. + 50% N CCP + Azophos + 0.2% B SEd CD (P=0.05) Plant height (cm) 139.3 149.7 156.1 3.2 9.0 147.0 135.0 148.1 135.7 154.6 155.9 151.0 152.1 3.2 6.4 Leaf Area Index 3.26 3.97 4.27 0.10 0.27 3.85 3.04 3.91 3.03 4.41 4.45 3.99 4.02 0.06 0.13 Dry matter production (kg ha -1) 4403 5051 5393 91 252 4805 3854 5261 4166 5400 5962 4852 5295 67 136

Table 2. Effect of insitu moisture conservation methods and INM practices on soil moisture content (%) at 45 cm depth of sunflower (pooled data of two years)
Treatments Insitu moisture conservation methods M1 Flat bed M2 CB M3 BBF SEd CD (P=0.05) INM practices S1 100% RDN S2 CCP at 100% N S3 100% RDN + 0.2% B S4 CCP at 100% N + 0.2% B S5 75% N inorg. + 25% N CCP + Azophos S6 75% N inorg. + 25% N CCP + Azophos + 0.2% B S7 50% N inorg. + 50% N CCP + Azophos S8 50% N inorg. + 50% N CCP + Azophos + 0.2% B SEd CD (P=0.05) 25 DAS 31.5 33.9 34.2 0.4 1.2 32.1 34.5 31.8 34.4 32.5 33.0 33.5 33.9 0.5 1.0 45 DAS 19.8 22.4 23.1 0.2 0.7 20.2 23.2 20.2 23.3 21.3 21.4 22.3 22.4 0.1 0.2 65 DAS 14.6 16.0 16.3 0.1 0.3 15.0 16.3 15.0 16.3 15.4 15.6 15.8 15.9 0.04 0.08 Harvest 13.8 14.9 15.1 0.1 0.3 13.9 15.4 13.8 15.3 14.4 14.3 14.9 15.1 0.05 0.10


Table 3. Effect of insitu moisture conservation methods and INM practices on yield attributes,yield and economics of sunflower (pooled data of two years)
Treatments Head Number diameter of filled (cm) seeds head1 11.2 282 13.6 413 14.5 428 0.2 5 0.6 14 12.9 10.9 13.5 11.4 14.5 14.9 13.2 13.6 0.1 0.2 369 265 418 297 391 446 382 429 3.0 6.0 Seed Stalk Net yield yield return kg ha-1 kg ha-1 (Rs ha-1) 772 2397 2850 922 3173 4163 983 3388 4827 17 76 46 211 856 685 948 752 974 1082 875 967 10 20 3122 2570 3155 2599 3451 3493 3182 3206 53 108 4473 822 5178 1197 5395 6312 3745 4454 Benefit cost ratio 1.43 1.58 1.74 1.71 1.11 1.77 1.14 1.79 1.87 1.52 1.58 -

M1 Flat bed M2 CB M3 BBF SEd CD (P=0.05) INM practices S1 100% RDN S2 CCP at 100% N S3 100% RDN + 0.2% B S4 CCP at 100% N + 0.2% B S5 75% N inorg. + 25% N CCP + Azophos S6 75% N inorg. + 25% N CCP + Azophos + 0.2% B S7 50% N inorg. + 50% N CCP + Azophos S8 50% N inorg. + 50% N CCP + Azophos + 0.2% B SEd CD (P=0.05)


Study on The Insitu- Moisture Conservation Practices Over Rain Fed Cotton in Vertisols of Southern Region of Tamil Nadu
T. Ragavan, N. S. Venkataraman, T. Saravanan and S. Somasundaram Agricultural Research Station, Kovilpatti, Tamil Nadu-628 501.

Dry farming is the practice of crop production entirely with rain water received during crop season or on conserved soil moisture in low rainfall areas. Insitu moisture conservation practices not only reduce the run-off, soil and nutrient losses but also improve soil physical properties, nutrient status and moisture content, there by improving and sustaining the crop yields. Adequate availability of conserved moisture through various in situ moisture conservation practices helps in improving the crop growth and productivity. Cotton is an important commercial crop grown under black cotton soils under semi arid region in Tamil Nadu. For upholding the productivity of rainfed crops sowing time is an important parameter under rainfed condition, where in crop growth is decided by the environment. Even under optimum conditions small variations in temperature influenced the growth and development of crops (Bishnoi, 2002). There is limited information on the effect of insitu moisture conservation practices under varied sowing windows under rainfed vertisol condition.

Hence an experiment was conducted to study the sowing time, land management and cultivars interaction under rainfed vertisol condition.

Materials and Methods

The Field experiment was conducted at Agricultural Research Station, Kovilpatti under rainfed vertisol condition for the two consecutive years from 2003 and 2004 at during North East Monsoon season. The study was aimed to determine the effect of in-situ moisture conservation practices under varied time for sowings with different cultivars on the yield components and yield of rainfed cotton. The soil of the experimental site was vertisol (Typic Chromusterts) with PH of 8.1. The soil is low in available N and P, high in K. The soil organic content of the soil was 0.37. The soil texture is clayey having the bulk density of 1.27 kg/m3 with field capacity of 35 per cent and permanent wilting point of 14 per cent. In the experiment, in situ moisture conservation practices viz., flat beds of size 8x5 m and the broad bed and furrows at 150 cm were formed with

bund former and tractor drawn broad bed and furrow former respectively. The different dates of sowing namely, pre monsoon (39th standard week), monsoon (41st standard week) and late monsoon (43rd standard week) period with cotton cultivars KC 2, SVPR 2 and K11 were tried. The sowing was taken by the hand dibbling method and the recommended fertilizers @ 40:20:0 kg NPK ha-1 was applied as basal with adequate soil moisture. The experiment was laid out in split-split plot design with three replications. The recommended package of management technologies were followed for the crop. The rain fed region of this tract experiences with annual rainfall of 721 mm and seasonal rainfall during North East Monsoon of 385 mm received in 27 rainy days. The rainfall during the crop growing season was 317.5 mm and 458.5 mm during NEM season of 2003 and 2004 respectively.

Effect of Moisture Conservation Practices The insitu-moisture conservation practices in rainfed vertisols exerted significant influence on the growth, yield attributes and kapas yield of cotton. In the pooled data, the kapas yield of cotton was increased significantly by 62.2 per cent with the formation of flat bed and further yield was doubled with broad bed and furrow compared with control (5.38 Q/ha). Insitumoisture conservation measures improved soil moisture in 0-15, 15-30 and 30-60 cm soil depths from sowing to till harvest, especially with broad bed and furrow system causing the difference in yield in the present study (Table 2). Patil and Sheelavantar (2000) observed that the increase of crop yields due to the formation of insitu moisture conservation practices viz, broad bed and furrow and flat bed over the control. The reason for increased yield was mainly due to the higher availability of moisture (Fig.1). Higher number of sympodial branches, boll numbers (10.4) and boll weight (3.89) were significantly higher with broad bed and furrow compared to flat bed system of moisture conservation. Higher yields with adoption of insitu moisture conservation measures are also reported by Velayudam et al (1997). Effect of Cultivars The performance of different cultivars under moisture conservation practices in rainfed vertisols showed that the cultivar KC 3 and SVPR 2 were performed significantly better than the K11. This might be due to the genetic potentiality of the cultivars tried under moisture conservation practices. More over, KC 2 and SVPR 2 were derivative from the Combodia type of cotton, and K11 is the derivative of Hirsutum type. The hirsutum type of cultivar is desi cotton type with prolified root system, highly resistant to drought and comparatively less yielder than the combodia type. However the moisture conservation practices with pre monsoon sowing favoured the better development of growth, yield attributes and kapas yield of cotton. From the experimental results it was concluded that the premonsoon sowing of combodia type of cotton cultivars with insitu moisture conservation practices of broad bed and furrow system under vertisol condition was found to give higher kapas yield of rainfed cotton.

Results and Discussion

Effect of Sowing Dates The cotton crop sown under different dates of sowing exerted significant variation in the growth, yield attributes and kapas yield of cotton (Table.1). The plant height, number of sympodial branches, bolls per plant and kapas yield of cotton was significantly higher at pre monsoon sown crop followed by monsoon sown. The late monsoon sown crop registered lesser values of these attributes. The boll weight was higher at premonsoon sown cotton and it was comparable with monsoon sown crop and significantly superior to the late sown. The higher yield attributes and kapas yield under premonsoon crop might be due to the crop utilized the entire rainfall of 336.5 and 458.5 mm during crop growth period respectively of 2003 and 2004 received during 39th std week to 8th std week. More over the premonsoon shower with subsequent rainfall favoured the better establishment, initial vigour of the crop and good growth development of the crop. Where as the monsoon and late monsoon sown crops utilized the rainfall of 271.7, 225 mm and 363.9, 267.7mm respectively of 2003 and 2004. The delayed sowing reduced the plant growth and yield attributes due to lesser biomass accumulation. This is in conformity with the findings of Raj Singh et al (2002).



1.Bishnoi, O .P, 2002 .Impact of meteorological variables on the growth and development of wheat varieties. J. of Agrometeorology.4(1):9-15. 2.Patil,S.L. and M.N. Sheelavantar.2000. Yield and yield components of rabi sorghum as influenced by insitu moisture conservation practices and integrated nutrient management in vertisols of semi-arid tropics of Indian. Indian J.of Agronomy, 45(1): 132-137. 3.Raj Singh,V.U.M.Rao and Diwan Singh.2002. Biomass partionting in Brassica as affected by sowing dates. J. of Agrometeorology.4(1):59-63. 4.Velayudham, K.,Rajendran.P and S.Krishnaswamy.1997. Field evaluation of insitu moisture conservation practice. Madras Agric.Journal, 84(2):80-82.


Table 1. Effect of in-situ moisture conservation practices under different time of sowing in rain fed vertisol condition.
Treatments Plant height (cm) 84.5 76.4 64.2 2.71 5.60 77.8 72.1 61.5 1.72 3.58 76.4 81.3 113.8 2.08 4.22 No. of sympodial branches 9.2 8.4 5.4 0.35 0.72 8.4 9.3 6.1 0.26 0.54 9.7 10.2 11.7 0.32 0.66 No. of bolls / plant 12.4 10.6 6.8 0.47 0.96 9.2 10.4 6.8 0.34 0.86 11.2 14.4 8.3 0.67 1.18 Boll weight (cm) 3.93 3.72 2.54 0.28 0.55 3.56 3.89 3.14 0.09 0.18 3.98 4.21 2.43 0.15 0.32 Kapas yield (kg/ha) 8.59 6.28 3.76 0.84 1.72 6.68 8.27 4.38 0.46 0.91 7.79 8.82 3.54 0.54 1.05

Premonsoon sown Monsoon sown Late monsoon sown SEd CD(0.05) Flat bed BBF Control SEd CD(0.05) KC 2 SVPR 2 K 11 SEd CD(0.05)

Table.2.Effect of insitu moisture conservation practices on the soil moisture content at different depths under rainfed vertisol condition.
Soil depth (cm) Growth stages Germination Vegetative Flowering Maturity Mean 0-15 Flat bed 29.7 29.4 23.24 15.05 24.35 BBF 32.98 35.04 30.46 17.12 28.9 15-30 Flat bed BBF 29.4 31.9 31.1 35.02 25.94 30.4 18.53 19.32 26.24 29.16 30-60 BBF 30.35 35.73 30.64 19.78 29.13

Flat bed 28.53 33.5 31.2 21.08 28.58

Fig. 1. Effect of insitu moisture conservation practices on the soil moisture content under rainfed vertisol condition.


Influence of Tillage, Land Treatment and Organic Residue Management on Soil Health and Yield of Cotton in a Vertisol under Dry Farming
S. Suresh and D. Jawahar* Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Pechiparai 629 161 Tamil Nadu

In southern Tamil Nadu more than 70% of the area is rainfed. The Kovilpatti region is a representative of typical dryland and cotton is grown in Vertisols. The climate of the region is semi-arid with uneven and erratic distribution of rainfall. The mean annual *AC&RI, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Killikulam rainfall is less 700 mm. Cotton area and productivity have been shrinking over years mainly due to soil degradation (Muthuvel et. al., 1989). Management practices for improving soil health are required for sustaining the cotton productivity of the region.

available Olsens- P 8.6 kg/ha and available N NH4OAc-K 423 kg/ha. The treatment details are as follows.

Treatment Details
Tr. No. Treatment Details Conventional Tillage (CT) T1 T2 CT+Broad Bed Furrow System (BBF) Reduced Tillage(RT)+BBF +Green Manure(GM) T3 RT+BBF +GM+ ZnSO4 T4 CT- Conventional tillage, RT- Reduced Tillage, BBF- Broad Bed Furrow and GM- Green Manure In CT - one disc ploughing and two tiller ploughing, RT - one disc ploughing and one tiller ploughing with application of pre-emergence herbicide viz., fluchloralin @ 3.3 l /ha. The BBF was made as 100 cm wide flat bed and 50 cm wide furrows. The green manure crop cowpea (C 152) was grown between two rows of cotton and incorporated at 35-40 days after sowing. The Recommended Dose of Fertilizer namely 40:20:0 kg/ha of N: P: K was applied as common dose

Materials and Methods

Field experiments were conducted during Rabi (October to February) season of 2001-2002 and 20032004 with the following treatments to assess the tillage requirement and land configuration in order to improve the soil health and productivity of cotton under dry farming in a Vertisol. The initial soil characteristics were pH-8.1, EC-0.8 dS/m, available KMnO4-N 121 kg/ha,

for all the treatments.The ZnSO4 was applied @ 25 kg/ha. The test crop Cotton variety KC2 was raised. The experiment was conducted in Randomized Block Design in10 farm holdings as the replications. The crop was protected from pest and diseases by adopting need based plant protection measures.

Yield of seed cotton The pooled analysis results revealed that the reduced tillage combined with BBF system and ZnSO4 @ 25 kg/ha along with cow pea green manure incorporation recorded the highest plant height (53.8 cm), number of branches/plant (11.6), number of bolls/plant (7.7), number of squares/plant (6.1) and seed cotton yield (754 kg/ha) (table 1). The favourable effect of green manure application on the improvement in the nutrients availability, physical properties and root establishment was reported by Anon, 2000. Further the soil is inherently deficient in DTPA-extractable zinc. The calcareous nature further induced more Zn deficiency in the soil. Therefore

extraneous application of zinc further enhanced the yield of cotton. The reduced tillage and the broad bed furrow system favoured moisture conservation by way of water harvesting and build up of the soil structure as stated by Muthuvel et. al. (1989).The incorporation of green manure increased the soil organic carbon content (0.58 per cent) to a marginal extent and the porosity of the soil (49.1 per cent) to a marginal extent. Residual Soil Characteristics Reduced tillage combined with BBF system and ZnSO4 @ 25 kg/ha along with cow pea green manure incorporation recorded highest residual soil KMnO4-N (140 kg/ha), highest residual soil Olsens- P (9.4 kg/ ha) and highest residual soil NNH4OAc- K (444 kg/ha) than other treatments. This highlighted the favourable influence of these treatments in sustaining the soil fertility status.

From the above study, it can be concluded that the reduced tillage of one disc followed by tiller ploughing combined with BBF system and application of recommended dose of fertilizers along with ZnSO4 @ 25 kg/ha and green manure incorporation recorded highest plant height, number of branches/plant, number of bolls/ plant and seed cotton yield. The above treatment sustained soil health and fertility and also recorded higher B:C ratio. Therefore the reduced tillage of one disc followed by tiller ploughing combined with BBF system and application of recommended dose of fertilizers along with ZnSO4 @ 25 kg/ha and green manure incorporation imperative for sustaining the soil health and yield of cotton under dry farming.
Table 1. Effect of treatments on the biometric

characteristics, yield of cotton and soil properties

Treat- ments Plant height (cm) 48.2 52.5 53.3 53.8 0.47 0.95 Branch/ Bolls/ plant plant Squares/ Seed KMnO4N Olsen-P NN plant cotton kg/ha NH4OAcyield K (kg/ha) 4.2 606 123 8.2 425 5.3 685 128 8.5 429 5.9 737 137 9.2 437 6.1 754 140 9.4 444 0.1 6.3 1.2 0.1 1.4 0.2 13 2.3 0.2 2.8 Org. C (%) 0.55 0.55 0.58 0.58 0.003 0.006 B:C ratio


9.5 6.3 11.5 11.6 0.2 0.4

5.9 6.9 7.3 7.7 0.1 0.2

1.32 1.47 1.50 1.48



Anonymous 2000 Annual Report of All India Coordinated Research Project, CRIDA, Hyderabad. Muthuvel, P., Pallikondaperumal, R.K, Sivasamy, R., Subramanian, V and Sree Ramulu, U.S. 1989. Soil fertility under continuous cropping of cotton- pearl millet in dryland vertisol. Madras Agric. J 76 (4): 189-191.


Effect of In-Situ Moisture Conservation and Nitrogen Management in Dry Land Agroforestry Systems
S. Radhamani and P. Subbian, Department of Agronomy Tamil Nadu Agricultural University

Rainfall is the major deciding factor for the success of crop production in dry lands. Even the rainfall is fairly high, it is often wasted as runoff, percolation and evaporation. It is necessary to maximize its retention in soil and consumed by the crops. The major focus should be to improve the surface infiltration and retention of soil moisture within the root zone. Present farming systems under dry lands are characterised by low and unpredictable yield due to inefficient use of rainfall, rare use of fertilizers, non inclusion of high yielding varieties and lack of improved soil conservation (Pathak and Laryea, 1995). Efficient resource management including insitu conservation of moisture, crop production technologies, nutrient management and alternate land use systems are the key issues to increase the productivity of the dryland areas. In drylands, agroforestry is an important option to enhance the productivity by utilizing the off-season rainfall and as an alternate land use system adopted to replace or modify the traditional land use (Singh and Osman, 1995). For providing stability and sustainability

to the farming system, combining perennial trees with seasonal crops would be more appropriate. A study was hence carried out to identify the efficiency of this system for the rainfed agro-ecosystem of Tamil Nadu.

Maerials and Methods

Field experiments were conducted at Research Farm, Department of Agronomy, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore during North East monsoon seasons of 1999 and 2000. The soil of the experimental site was vertisol having low available nitrogen (147 kg ha-1), medium available phosphorus (137 kg ha-1 ) and high available potassium (432 kg ha-1). The pH of the soil was 7.9 with an EC of 0.37 d Sm-1. Amount of rainfall received during the North East Monsoon seasons of the years 1999 and 2000 were 422.6 and 291.2 mm, respectively. The cropping systems studied were grain sorghum (CO 26) + cowpea (CO 4), fodder sorghum (CO 27) + cowpea (CO 4) and Cenchrus glaucus. The experiment was laid out in split plot design with three replications. The main plot treatments comprised of tree

species viz., Ailanthus excelsa(T1), Ceiba pen tandra (T2) and Emblica officinalis (T3) and moisture conservation practices viz., Tied ridges(M1) and Flat bed (M2). Sub plot treatments consisted of nutrient management practices viz:,100 per cent N through fertilizer(N1) and 50 per cent N through fertilizer + 50 per cent N through goat manure(N2). Tree seedlings were planted well in advance during the North East Monsoon of 1998 for establishment. Crops were grown as intercrops in between the tree seedlings during North East Monsoon seasons of 1999 and 2000. Tied ridges were formed at third week after germination of the seeds as per the treatments. Recommended fertilizer schedule of 40 : 20 kg N and P ha-1 was adopted. Goat manure was applied basally on equal N basis and incorporated as per the treatments assigned. Productivity in terms of grain and fodder yields were recorded and converted into sorghum fodder equivalent yield and expressed as tones per ha.

Crop and Soil Nutrient Studies The increased total nutrient uptake of the crops with E.officinalis might be attributed to less competition between the tree and crop component as compared to other tree species. Higher total nutrient uptake in sorghum + cowpea cropping systems was recorded with tied ridges than flat sowing during first year. The possible reason might be the availability of higher moisture during all the growth stages which in turn increased the uptake of nutrients by sorghum and cowpea. Shaikh et al. (1995) reported that total N and P uptake were higher with ridges and furrow sowing as compared to normal sowing in rainfed pearl millet. Bhan et al. (1998) also reported that ridging and furrowing increased the N uptake of rainfed sorghum. Non receipt of rainfall after the formation of tied ridges and also inadequate soil moisture at critical growth stages of the crop might have reduced the uptake of nutrients which in turn reduced total nutrient uptake during second year. The nutrient uptake was increased with application of 50 per cent N through fertilizer and 50 per cent N through goat manure. Higher nutrient uptake might be due to continuous and steady availability of nutrients due to chelation effect of organic acids released during decomposition of organic matter (Tomar et al., 1984). The addition of basal dose of N along with goat manure could have narrowed down the C:N ratio and increased the N availability as reported by Hofman et al. (1986). Higher P uptake might be due to availability of moisture and better root growth created by application of goat manure. Increased P uptake coupled with N uptake in sorghum plant was already reported by Roy and Wright (1974). Increased P uptake was attributed to the increased solubilisation of insoluble P fraction during humification and reduced P fixation in the soil particles due to the protective action of manure by releasing organic acids during the decomposition. Increased uptake of N and P might have helped to extract more K from the soil resulting in higher K uptake under the application of goat manure. Higher post harvest soil available nutrients with E.officinalis as compared to other tree species might be due to less removal of nutrients with this tree component. Inclusion of cowpea with sorghum recorded higher available N, P and K content of the soil which might be due to the legume which fixes atmospheric nitrogen in the soil. Improvement in the soil N and K status was observed with the combined application of


Soil Moisture Status Higher soil moisture content was recorded with E.officinalis than other tree species in all the cropping systems. This might be due to less competition among the plants and E.officinalis for moisture. Lower available soil moisture was recorded with C.pentandra which might have utilized more moisture for its growth and produced higher basal diameter with compact crown. Odhiambo et al. (1999) reported that 60 and 55 per cent of the root biomass of Gliricidia and Grevillea was within the top 30 cm of soil. Soil moisture content was higher under tied ridges than flatbed sowing during first year. Less runoff and more opportunity time for infiltration might have favoured the better infiltration of water into the deeper soil layers which in turn increased the soil moisture status under this treatment. During the second year, due to non receipt of adequate rainfall after the formation of tied ridges, not much variation between the moisture conservation practices was recorded. Kolekar et al. (1998) also reported that tied ridges recorded higher moisture content and increased the crop yield. Application of goat manure along with inorganic fertilizer conserved higher soil moisture throughout the crop period due to high water holding capacity of soil which caused increase in absorption and retention of rain water. This might have reduced the bulk density of soil and increased infiltration rate and hydraulic conductivity, and hence improving water holding capacity of the soil (Sugandaraj,1990).

organic and inorganic sources. The magnitude of loss of P was lowered with the application of goat manure to supply 50 per cent of the recommended N as compared to 100 per cent N through inorganic fertilizer alone. Less gain under inorganic source might be due to loss of N by volatilization. Productivity of The Cropping Systems The total drymatter production (DMP) and sorghum fodder equivalent yield of the grain sorghum + cowpea and fodder sorghum + cowpea systems were higher with E. officinalis with tied ridges and application of 50 per cent N through inorganic fertilizer and 50 per cent N through goat manure in both the years (Table 1). The tree species and moisture conservation practices had no significant influence on the total DMP and sorghum fodder equivalent yield of C. glaucus in both the years. Among the N management practices, application of 50 per cent N through inorganic fertilizer and 50 per cent N through goat manure recorded the highest total DMP and sorghum fodder equivalent yield of C. glaucus in both the years. Among the three systems tried, higher sorghum fodder equivalent yield was recorded with grain sorghum + cowpea as compared to fodder sorghum + cowpea and C. glaucus . This was due to higher market value for grain than the fodder. Due to adequate supply of moisture through rainfall sorghum fodder equivalent yield was higher during 1999. Crops grown with E. officinalis recorded higher sorghum fodder equivalent yield. The possible reason might be due to less competition posed by E. officinalis than other trees. Similarly higher sorghum fodder equivalent yield recorded under tied ridges and application of 50 per cent through inorganic N and 50 per cent N through goat manure which might be due to adequate moisture and nutrient supply. Arya

et al. (2000) also reported that higher sorghum grain equivalent yield was obtained with combined application of both organic and inorganic source of nutrients. Economic Analysis The highest net return (Rs.7385) and B:C ratio (2.18) were obtained under grain sorghum with cowpea intercropped under tied ridges with application of 50 per cent N through fertilizer and 50 per cent N through goat manure during the year 1999. Similar results were earlier reported by Balasubramanian et al. (1982) who reported that sorghum intercropped with two rows of cowpea under paired row system gave the highest net return. This was followed by fodder sorghum + cowpea, which produced higher net return (Rs.1554) and B : C ratio (1.40) with the above treatment. Whereas during the year 2000, due to inadequate rainfall and soil moisture during reproductive and maturity phases the grain yield was reduced in the grain sorghum + cowpea system which in turn reduced the net return and B: C ratio (Table 2). With less amount of rainfall the grass system produced higher yield and net return during the year 2000. From the above study it could be inferred that less competition posed by Emblica officinalis and improved moisture status of the soil under tied ridges along with combined application of organic manure and inorganic fertilizer under grain sorghum + cowpea system which utilized the resources in a better way and produced higher grain yield during first year, which in turn increased the gross return, net return and B: C ratio. Even with less rainfall, grass produced substantial yield and also due to less cost of cultivation the Cenchrus glaucus system recorded higher gross return, net return and B: C ratio during second year as compared to grain or fodder sorghum with cowpea as an intercrop.



1.Arya, R.L., K.P.Niranjan, A.Singh and J.B.Singh. 2000. Production potential and sustainability of food-fodder alley cropping system under rainfed conditions. Indian J. Agric. Sci., 70(2): 73-76. 2.Balasubramanian, A., K.V.Selvaraj, M.N.Prasad and O.Thangavelu. 1982. Intercropping studies in dryland sorghum. Sorghum Newsletter, 25: 45. 3.Bhan, S., S.K.Uttam and Radhey Shyam. 1998. Effect of moisture conservation practices and nitrogen levels on jowar (Sorghum bicolor L.) under rainfed condition. Bhartiya Krishi Anusandhan Partrika, 13(3/4) : 93-99. 4.Hofman, G., C.Ossemerct, G.Ide and M.Vanruymbeke. 1986. Nitrogen study from soil types with various organic matter treatments. Plant and Soil, 91(3) : 411-415. 5.Kolekar, P.T., N.K.Umrani and D.V.Indi. 1998. Effect of moisture conservation techniques and nitrogen on growth and yield of rainfed rabi sorghum. J. Maharashtra Agric. Univ., 23(1): 26-28. 6.Odhiambo,H.O., C.K.Ong, J.Wilson, J.D.Deans, J.Broadhead and C.Black. 1999. Tree crop interactions for below ground resources in drylands: Root structure and function. Ann. Arid Zone, 38 (3) : 221-237. 7.Pathak, P. and K.B.Laryea. 1995. Soil and water conservation in the Indian SAT; Principles and improved practices. In: Sustainable development of dryland agriculture in India. (Ed.) R.P.Singh, Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur, p. 83-92. 8.Roy, R.N. and B.C.Wright. 1974. Sorghum growth and nutrient uptake in relation to soil fertility and NPK uptake pattern by various plant parts. Agron. J., 66(1) : 5-10. 9.Shaikh, A.A., A.S.Jadhav and M.J.Wallamwar. 1995. Effects of planting methods, mulching and fertilizers on yield and uptake of rainfed millet. J.Maharashtra Agri. Univ., 20(1) : 146-147. 10.Singh, R.P. and M. Osman. 1995. Alternative land use systems for drylands. In: Sustainable development of dryland agriculture in India. (Ed.) R.P.Singh, Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur, p.375-398. 11.Sugandaraj, S. 1990. Evaluation of sorghum based cropping system and its nutrient requirement for rainfed vertisols. M.Sc (Ag.) Thesis, Tamil Nadu Agri. Univ., Coimbatore. 12.Tomar, N.K., S.S.Khanna and A.P.Gupta. 1984. Evaluation of rock phosphate superphosphate mixtures by incubation in orgnaic matter for efficient use in wheat. Fert. News, 29(5) : 37-38.


Table 1. Sorghum fodder equivalent yield (t ha-1) of the cropping systems

Treatment Sorghum + cowpea (grain) 1999 2000 27.3 9.7 24.3 10.1 27.3 11.4 1.76 0.53 27.8 10.4 24.8 10.4 1.40 NS 24.2 10.1 28.5 10.7 1.59 0.48 Sorghum + cowpea (fodder) 1999 2000 11.8 7.5 11.2 7.5 11.6 8.7 NS 0.40 12.1 7.9 10.9 7.9 0.75 NS 11.2 7.7 11.9 8.1 0.61 0.31 Cenchrus glaucus 1999 11.0 10.9 10.9 NS 10.9 10.9 NS 10.5 11.4 0.59 2000 9.1 9.1 9.1 NS 9.1 9.1 NS 8.7 9.5 0.26

T1 T2 T3 CD at 5% M1 M2 CD at 5% N1 N2 CD at 5%

39 Table 2. Economic analysis (Rs ha-1) of the cropping systems (1999 and 2000)
Treatment Sorghum + cowpea (grain) Net return T1M1N1 M1N2 M2N1 M2N2 T2M1N1 M1N2 M2N1 M2N2 T3M1N1 M1N2 M2N1 M2N2 4442 6900 3891 5778 3495 5593 2712 4110 4276 7385 4125 5253 B:C ratio 1.69 2.10 1.62 1.94 1.54 1.89 1.44 1.68 1.66 2.18 1.66 1.87 Sorghum + cowpea (fodder) Net return 904 1216 858 1152 529 1294 549 735 757 1554 456 1005 B:C ratio 1.22 1.31 1.22 1.31 1.13 1.33 1.14 1.20 1.18 1.40 1.12 1.27 1999 Cenchrus glaucus Net return 687 1163 933 1392 676 1160 870 1356 647 1156 864 1363 B:C ratio 1.18 1.32 1.27 1.41 1.18 1.32 1.25 1.40 1.17 1.32 1.25 1.40 Sorghum + cowpea (grain) Net return -2539 -2037 -2296 -1775 -2307 -1933 -2070 -1634 -1804 -1485 -1531 -1651 B:C ratio 0.61 0.67 0.63 0.70 0.64 0.69 0.67 0.73 0.72 0.76 0.75 0.73 2000 Sorghum + cowpea (fodder) Net return -1026 -694 -849 -473 -1037 -767 -829 -514 -540 -167 -329 -297 B:C ratio 0.75 0.82 0.78 0.87 0.75 0.80 0.79 0.86 0.87 0.96 0.92 0.92 Cenchrus glaucus Net return 759 1217 941 1448 744 1183 948 1406 721 1270 957 1411 B:C ratio 1.26 1.43 1.35 1.57 1.26 1.43 1.35 1.55 1.25 1.46 1.36 1.55

Effect of Moisture Conservation and Watering On Growth of Tree Seedlings under Drylands
S. Radhamani and P. Subbian , Department of Agronomy, TNAU, Coimbatore.

Agro forestry is a part of alternate land use system which encompasses all techniques that attempt to establish or maintain trees and agricultural production on the same piece of land. For providing stability and sustainability to the farming system, tree cum crop farming will be the most appropriate one. Deficiency of moisture and extremes of temperature in arid and semiarid condition adversely affect the early growth and establishment of trees. The percolated water during the rainy season is not used by the trees in their early establishment. Application of mulching material on the soil surface increases the moisture availability and growth of tree seedlings (Shukla, 1998). Coir pith, a waste from the coir industry, having less economic value and high water holding capacity, can be used as a mulching martial. Pitcher irrigation is a technique of growing plants using small amount of water with earthern pots buried in the soil. According to Chauhan et al (1999), the water loss was found negligible in pitcher method of irrigation. Hence, a study was carried out to evaluate

the practices to increase the moisture availability and for checking evaporation losses for efficient utilization of moisture for the establishment of tree seedlings under dry land.

Materials and Methods

Field experiments were conducted at Department of Agronomy, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore during 1999 and 2000 to evaluate techniques suitable for the establishment and growth of tree seedlings under drylands. The soil of the experimental site was vertisol having low available nitrogen (147 kg ha-1), medium available phosphorus (137 kg ha 1 ) and high available potassium (432 kg ha-1). The pH of the soil was 7.9 with an EC of 0.37 d Sm 1. The experiment was laid out in split plot design with nine replications. The main plot treatments consisted of tree species viz., Ailanthus excelsa (T1), Ceiba pentandra (T2) and Emblica officinalis (T3) and sub plot treatments consisted of mulching viz., mulching with coir pith (M1) and without mulching (M2) and watering methods

viz., pitcher irrigation (P1) and control (P2). One year old tree seedlings were planted during the North East Monsoon season of 1998. The total rainfall received during 1999 and 2000 were 536.4 and 557.7mm, respectively. Among the total rainfall, 54.3 and 20.0 mm of rainfall was received during summer 1999 and 2000, respectively. During the Summer, weeding was done around the trees and the treatments were imposed. Pitcher pots having 5 lit capacity were installed as per the treatments, 15 cm from the base of the seedlings in the first year of establishment during Summer. Coir pith was applied 50 cm diameter around the trees at the rate of 5 kg as per the treatments assigned. The pitcher pots were filled after draining the entire water once in a week. A common watering was done to all the seedlings once in 15 days in order to maintain the population. Soil moisture content was estimated gravimetrically and soil temperature was recorded at 15 and 30cm depth before filling the pots.

Reduction in soil temperature through the application of coir pith was also reported by Singh and Prasad (1993), who recorded 0.5oC to 6oC reduction in soil temperature in coir pith mulching. With regard to watering, pitcher irrigation recorded lesser soil temperature than control. Growth of Tree Seedlings The growth of trees was better with moisture conservation and pitcher irrigation as compared to control during Summer. Among the trees, the E. officinalis recorded greater increment in height as compared to C. pentandra and A. excelsa in all the seasons. With coir pith mulching and pitcher irrigation, the increment in height as well as basal diameter was greater with E. officinalis than other tree species during Summer(Table 2). This indicated the better response of E. officinalis for the mulching and pitcher irrigation. Results are in accordance with the findings of Solanki et al. (1999) who reported better growth of E. officinalis with various in situ moisture conservation techniques. Increased height and basal diameter with pitcher irrigation might be due to higher moisture availability at the root zone which in turn helped in efficient utilization of the applied water by reduced water loss through evaporation. Similar views were also reported by Chauhan et al. (1999). Narvane and Desai (1989) also reported that the plant height, stem girth and leaf area of mango saplings were highest with sub soil irrigation though pitcher. The highest tree seedling height and basal diameter with application of coir pith mulching might be due to higher soil moisture content and lower soil temperature which would have created favorable environment in the root zone, in turn increasing the growth of the tree seedlings. From the above study it could be inferred that coirpith mulching with pitcher irrigation produced better growth of tree seedlings and among the trees E. officinalis had better response to mulching and pitcher irrigation than C. pentandra and A. excelsa under dryland situation.

Results and Discussion

Soil Moisture The soil moisture content was varying among the tree species. E. officinalis recorded higher soil moisture content than A. excelsa and C. pentandra . Mulching with coir pith recorded higher soil moisture content than without mulching in both the seasons. With regard to watering, soil moisture content was higher in pitcher as compared to without pitcher irrigation. Among the different depths, the soil moisture content was higher in 15-30 cm depth than 0-15 cm depth in both the seasons(Table 1). According to Subramanian and George (1998) soil moisture in the coir pith mulched plot remained higher than control and the fall in moisture per cent was also gradual in mulched plots. Soil Temperature There was noticeable difference in the soil temperature between coirpith mulched and unmulched treatments. Coirpith mulching recorded lesser soil temperature than without mulching. The soil temperature was less in 30cm depth as compared to 15cm depth.



1.Chauhan, V., R.A.Singhania, S.K.Singh and Ashok Kumar. 1999. Impact of saline water by pitcher method on chillies production A study. Indian J. Agric. Res., 33(1): 62-66. 2.Narvane, S.M. and U.T.Desai. 1989. Influence of irrigation methods and mulching on the establishment of mango saplings. J. Maharashtra Agric. Univ., 14(3) : 381-383. 3.Shukla, S.K. 1998. Tips to grow aonla in red soil. The Hindu, 10-12-98. 4.Singh, S.B. and K.G.Prasad.1993. Use of mulches in dryland afforestation programme. In: Afforestation of arid lands. (Eds.) A.P.Dwivedi and G.N. Gupta. Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur,P.181-190. 5.Solanki, K.R., R. Newaj, S.K.Shukla, A.K.Bisaria, A.K.Handa, Ajit and Anil Kumar. 1999. Performance of Aonla in agroforestry with application of root management and moisture conservation technique. Annual Report, NRCA, p.47-48. 6.Subramanian, V. and M.George. 1998. Retain soil moisture with coir pith. The Hindu, 11-06-1998.


Table 1. Effect of treatments on soil moisture content (per cent) (Summer 1999 and 2000)
Treatment 0-15cm T1M1P1 P2 M2P1 P2 T2M1P1 P2 M2P1 P2 T3M1P1 P2 M2P1 P2 March 13.32 11.94 12.15 10.43 13.80 10.73 11.61 10.62 14.95 11.50 12.09 10.91 April 16.91 12.39 16.70 10.50 15.00 11.00 12.43 10.91 16.34 10.81 13.72 10.63 May 14.32 11.42 13.14 10.33 14.70 11.35 12.11 10.83 16.02 10.90 12.81 10.83 March 18.80 16.90 18.08 16.89 19.52 15.91 17.90 15.92 18.80 16.01 17.14 15.92 Summer 1999 15-30 cm April 17.25 16.51 17.32 16.40 18.94 15.75 17.03 15.81 19.23 16.16 18.42 15.85 May 18.61 16.32 18.44 16.41 20.01 16.14 19.72 15.90 20.00 16.03 19.60 15.90 March 15.63 13.10 14.81 11.52 15.13 12.82 14.54 11.30 15.83 13.22 14.71 11.44 0-15cm April 11.08 10.86 11.05 10.53 11.02 10.88 10.96 10.67 13.90 12.59 13.71 10.70 May 11.38 10.96 11.18 10.38 11.85 10.73 11.60 10.52 11.96 10.40 11.58 10.01 March 15.80 13.52 14.91 12.31 15.33 12.90 14.91 11.42 16.11 14.02 14.15 11.52 Summer 2000 15-30 cm April 11.27 10.94 11.17 10.61 11.69 11.37 11.65 10.91 18.99 13.83 13.92 11.50 May 11.45 10.99 11.24 10.43 12.32 12.14 12.31 10.74 12.58 11.89 12.29 10.80

Table 2. Effect of treatments on height (cm) and basal diameter (cm) of tree seedlings (Summer 1999 and 2000) 43
Summer 1999 Treatment 7 months 9 months Increase 19 months after after in height after planting planting (cm) planting 33.2 46.3 72.2 0.29 0.61 51.1 50.0 0.22 0.43 49.6 51.5 0.22 0.43 40.7 54.2 88.8 0.34 0.72 61.9 60.5 0.26 0.52 62.9 59.5 0.26 0.52 12.5 8.8 11.3 10.0 7.5 7.9 16.6 78.5 129.3 211.8 0.32 0.68 148.8 130.9 0.32 0.64 158.9 120.8 0.32 0.64 T1 T2 T3 SEd CD (P=0.05) M1 M2 SEd CD (P=0.05) P1 P2 SEd CD (P=0.05) Height (cm) Summer 2000 21 months after planting 85.3 137.8 227.0 0.51 1.09 163.6 136.4 0.25 0.49 172.8 127.3 0.25 0.49 13.9 6.5 14.8 5.5 Increase in height (cm) 6.8 8.5 15.2 Summer 1999 7 months 9 months after after planting planting 1.60 1.57 1.10 0.02 0.04 1.47 1.37 0.01 0.02 1.43 1.41 0.01 0.02 1.83 1.72 1.62 0.02 0.03 1.80 1.65 0.01 0.03 1.72 1.73 0.01 NS 0.31 0.30 0.37 0.24 Basal diameter (cm) Summer 2000 Increase in dia (cm) 0.29 0.23 0.40 Increase 19 months 21 months in dia after after (cm) planting planting 0.23 0.15 0.52 3.58 4.83 3.56 0.02 0.05 4.38 3.60 0.02 0.04 4.56 3.42 0.02 0.04 3.87 5.06 3.96 0.02 0.04 4.75 3.85 0.02 0.04 4.95 3.65 0.02 0.04 0.39 0.23 0.37 0.25

Land Management Practices for In-Situ Water Harvesting in Drylands
Rajeswari. M*, I Seegan Paul** and V. Subramanian***

Vertisols constitute 23.1 per cent of rainfed lands in the country and possess great production potential. These soils are poor in organic matter and structure and suffer from higher expansion and shrinkage. These soils disperse easily resulting in low infiltration rate and high runoff which eventually leads to poor soil moisture storage and low yield. These constraints can be alleviated by adopting in-situ moisture conservation practices which help to slow down the runoff and increase infiltration ultimately resulting in improved soil moisture storage.

m dimension. Since the sequential cropping system followed in these area is a cash crop followed by cereal crop, Cotton intercropped with blackgram followed by sorghum crop was chosen as the crop rotation. The runoff was recorded using H-Flumes and stage level recorders. The soil moisture was estimated by gravimetric method.

Results and Discussion

Effect of Land Treatments on Runoff The runoff as percentage of rainfall recorded from different land treatments is presented in Table 1. The mean values of runoff for 4 years revealed that compartmental bunding was superior to other treatments since only 11.82 per cent of the seasonal rainfall was lost as runoff when compared to the farmers practice which registered 30 per cent of runoff. The percentage reduction in runoff due to the land treatments was 60, 48.3 and 27.0 per cent in compartmental bunding, vettiver and broad bed and furrows respectively.

Materials and Methods

Field experiments were conducted in vertisols at Agricultural Research Station, Kovilpatti. Four land treatments viz., Broad bed (1.5 m width) and furrow (30 cm width), compartmental bunding of size 8x5 m, planting of vettiver across the slope at 25 m interval and farmers practice of ploughing across the slope were evaluated in non-replicated plots of 100 x 30

Table 1. Runoff as percentage of rainfall for different land treatments

Tr. No. T1 T2 T3 T4 Treatment 2000-01 Farmers practice (Control) Compartmental bunding Broadbed and furrows Vettiver 13.37 2.50 11.14 6.77 Runoff as percentage of rainfall 2001-02 32.56 9.50 20.78 13.90 2002-03 36.09 20.66 31.29 22.83 2004-05 36.62 14.60 23.41 17.82 Mean 29.66 11.82 21.66 15.33

Effect of Land Treatments on Soil Moisture Storage

The mean soil moisture content in (0-45 cm) depth of the soil during the months of October, November and December were estimated by gravimetric method and compared to assess the effectiveness of the land treatments (Table 2). Table 2. Mean soil moisture content (% dry basis)
S. No. 1. 2. 3. 4. Treatment Farmers Practice Compartmental bunding Broad bed and furrow Vettiver Rainfall (mm)

The effect of the land treatments on yield over years was compared by converting the cotton and blackgram yield into sorghum equivalent yield and statistical analysis was done treating the yield of different years as replications (Table 4). Among the land treatments, compartmental bunding has recorded the highest sorghum equivalent yield (1982 kg/ha) which was 25.4 per cent higher than control with a mean B: C ratio of 1.40. The results
Mean soil moisture content (%db) 23.38 25.33 24.14 24.30 289.4 24.95 24.50 24.65 24.87 306.2 21.43 23.24 22.11 23.30 289.2 25.24 30.93 29.45 31.00 317.5

The soil moisture stored in the land treatments was found to be non significant. However compartmental bunding has recorded numerically higher values of moisture content. Channappa (1974) has reported that compartmental bunding is the best in-situ moisture conservation practice.

confirm with the findings of Robinson (1986). Radder,(1991) reported that yield increase of 24 and 56 per cent could be obtained with compartmental bunds of 4.5 4.5 m and 3 m 3 m respectively in deep black soils.

Influence of Land Treatments on Yield of Crops

The yield data of cotton + black gram and sorghum crops raised in rotation is furnished in Table 3. Table. 3 Yield of crops due to different land treatments
Tr. No. Treatment 2000-01 Sorghum T1 T2 T3 T4 Farmers practice (Control) Compartmental bunding Broadbed and furrows Vettiver 1115 1577 1305 1017 476 608 512 551 2001-02 Cotton Blackgram 178 231 189 207 Grain (kg/ha) 2002-03 Sorghum 1166 1332 1232 1265 2004-05 Sorghum 2078 2501 2313 2306


Table 4. Yield of crops in sorghum equivalent for different land treatments

Tr. No. Treatment 2000-01 Grain (kg ha-1) 2001-02 2002-03 2004-05 Mean Mean Benefit/ cost ratio of all products 1.18 1.40 1.24 1.22

T1 T2 T3 T4 CD 0.05

Farmers practice (Control) Compartmental bunding Broadbed and furrows Vettiver

1115 1577 1305 1017

1962 2517 2103 2274

1166 1332 1232 1265

2078 2501 2313 2306

1580 1982 1738 1716 187

Conclusion For semi - arid vertisols, having a land slope of one per cent and an annual rainfall of 600-700 mm, the land treatment, compartmental bunding (8m x 5m) formed across the slope helps in reducing runoff to the tune of 60 percent resulting in 25 per cent yield increase in sorghum with a B:C ratio of 1.40.


Channappa, T.C. (1974). In-situ moisture conservation in arid and semi-arid tropics. Indian J. Soil conservation, 22 : 1-2. Radder, G.D., C.J. Itnal, B.M. Birdar and V.S. Surkod (1991). Compartmental bunding an effective in-situ moisture conservation practice on medium deep black soils. Indian J. Soil conservation, 51 : 1-2.


Theme 2 Water Harvesting at Micro-Watershed Level

Harvesting Of Surface Runoff for Ground Water Recharge - A Case Study of Koilmalai Watershed
M. Sivakumar , Scientist-C, Central Ground Water Board, SECR, Chennai

About Koilmalai Watershed

The watersheds/ river basins referred as hydrologic units (HUs) are independent of territorial boundaries. Parts of blocks namely Anaicut, Madhanur and Alangayam of Vellore district and Jawadhu hills and Pudupalayam of Thiruvannamalai district forms the total area of koilmalai watershed. The details of location and administrative set up of Koilmalai watershed are shown in fig- 1. The koilmalai water shed is having an area of 200.83 Sq. km and lie between north latitudes 12.56 and 12.75 and east longitudes 78.79 and 78.95. About 60% of water shed area is falling within administrative boundary of Vellore district and remaining area falling within administrative boundary of Thiruvannamalai district. Topographically, about 58.6 area of watershed is having plain to undulating topography and 142.23 areas are covered with hills and dense forest. In general, most part of watershed is having steep slope due to many hills ranges, which is responsible for generation of sudden overland flow even for small shower. Plain to undulating topography exists mostly in the downstream side of watershed and valley and plateaus of hilly regions.

Drainage Pattern
The Koilmalai watershed area drained by a stream called Koilmalai Ar. The two major tributaries of Koilmalai Ar are Mamarattur Ar and Periya Ar. The stream Mamarattur Ar originates near Nayakkanur village in Alangayam block of Vellore district at an elevation of 710 m amsl and flow northwards across Alangayam Reserve forest. The stream Periya Ar originate near Melmarattur village in Jawadhu hills block of Thiruvannamalai district at an elevation of 900 m amsl and flow towards SW direction across virappanur reserved forest. These two streams join together at an elevation of 510 m amsl in the dense Jawadhu hills of virappanur reserve forest and flow towards NE direction with the name Koilmalai Ar. The total length of stream is of 28.33 km. The stream traverse 20.6 km within hilly terrain from the elevation of 710 m amsl at Nayakkanur village to 410 m amsl at Melarasmpattu village and rest in plain further down to 330 m amsl at china cheripadi village, which is the mouth of the watershed. The stream is 5th order stream and the total no of stream segments of all order within the watershed is 865 nos., which include 669 first order, 148 second

order, 38 third order and 9 forth order streams. The drainage pattern of Koilmalai watershed is shown in fig-2. Morphometrically, the shape of the watershed is strongly elongated in nature and having very high relief and steep slopes. Moderately high drainage density and less value of length of overland flow are indicative that the regions of weak or impermeable sub surface materials sparse vegetation and mountainous relief facilitate poor groundwater recharge.

or black in colours and or mixture of both at some places. The loamy structure of soil or the intermixture of fine and thick particles make it suitable for cultivation of large variety of crops than black soils. The areal distribution of soils in Koilmalai watershed is depicted in fig-3. Infiltration capacity of soils is one of the important factors controlling the recharge of water into the aquifer systems. In the field, soil infiltration test were conducted at 8 sites. The tests were conducted for durations ranging from 280 to 420 minutes. The locations of soil infiltration tests conducted in the field are shown in fig-3. The infiltration test conducted on sandy soil / gravelly soil have shown higher rate of infiltration, which are classified under Rapid Infiltration. The infiltration rate of loamy clay and silty clay are in the range of 1.2 3.1 mm/hr. In general, the infiltration rate in the majority of cases is moderate to rapid.

The rainfall data collected from the gudiyatham rain gauge station over the period of 100 years is considered for analysis. Based on the statistical analysis of 100-years annual rainfall data, the annual normal rainfall of watershed is worked out as 900.97 mm, of which 768.87 mm received during monsoon periods. Based on the probability analysis of annual normal rainfall data, the average annual rainfall at 50% and 75% dependability work out as 861 mm, 733 mm respectively and average monsoon rainfall at 50% and 75% dependability work out as 621.5 mm and 739 mm respectively. The rainfall occurring during nonmonsoon seasons do not produce significant quantity of surface run off and even some time negligible. Hence, monsoon rainfall at 75% dependability i.e. 621.5 mm is considered for the computation of surface runoff of Koilmalai watershed.

Soils & Infiltration Study

The soils of Koilmalai watershed can be classified broadly into types namely clayey and loamy. The distribution of important soil types in the watershed, based on the map prepared by the National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning (ICAR) in cooperation with Department of Agriculture, Tamil Nadu (1996). Moderately deep, somewhat excessively drained, gravely clay soils occur on moderately sloping high hills and hill ranges. Shallow, somewhat excessively drained, gravely loamy soils are found on moderately sloping foot slopes. Moderately deep, somewhat excessively drained, gravely loam soils occur on high hills. The soils are either red

Estimation of Surface Runoff

Koilmalai watershed is an un-gauged one and runoff of the basin can be computed using empirical / rational methods. A number of formulae and tables are available for different types of catchments in India (Dhir et al., 1955). The most commonly used ones being those developed by Strange, Inglis, Lacey and Khosla (Dhir, 1955). All these methods have been used in the present study to assess the monsoon runoff generated in the watershed. The computation of surface runoff of koilmalai watershed using Ingles and Khoslas formula is much

higher i.e. the runoff co-efficient which is defined as the ratio of runoff to precipitation, is about 36% and 78% respectively. But in case of strange curves, Laceys formulae and Barlows methods, the computed runoff values are more less equal and within agreeable limit. In these methods, the runoff coefficient is in the range of 14% to 20%, which is considered to near realistic value. Hence, in order to eliminate the over estimation of runoff of watershed, the lowest value of 18.07 MCM obtained using Strange table is taken as the total surface water available in the watershed.

Assessment of Ground Water Resources

The assessment of ground water is needed to meet the water requirements of domestic, irrigation and industrial sectors. The Central Ground Water Board, SECR, Chennai in co-ordination with state has done block wise assessment of ground water resources for Tamil Nadu using GEC-97 methodology and published during 2004. The parts of Anaicut, Madhanur and Alangayam blocks of Vellore district and parts of Jawadh hills and pudhupalayam blocks of Thiruvannamalai district form the total area of Koilmalai Watershed. The net ground water resource of these blocks, stage of ground water development and draft were extracted from the above said report. Out of these, four blocks namely Anaicut, Madhanur, Alangayam and Pudhupalayam are categorised as over-exploited blocks, where the stage of ground water development is more than 100%. In case of Jawadhu hills block, the stage of groundwater development is 99% and is categorised as critical. In case of Koilmalai watershed, about 70% of watershed area covered by hills and forest ranges having slope more than 20% are identified and deleted, as these areas are not likely to contribute groundwater recharge. However, the areas of valley and plateau and plain to undulating topography having slope less than 20% is considered for recharge computation. Hence, the ground water resources of kolimalai watershed is computed on prorate basis. Accordingly, the net ground water available within the watershed for all uses is computed as 6.411 MCM.

Committed Storage
Dams/ Reservoirs and tanks/ponds are the important surface water bodies constructed across river/ stream to store surface flow for various purposes. Theses structures were built traditionally for domestic and irrigational uses. As on today, there are no major/ medium level dams/ reservoirs constructed in the watershed except some traditional water bodies like tanks and ponds. There are about 16 tanks and ponds in the watershed. The total water spread area of all tanks is about 0.556 It is assumed that the height of tank bunds are of 1 m above the bed level and these tanks were get filled twice in a year. Hence the total surface runoff harvested in tanks is the committed storage of watershed, which is 1.112 MCM per year. The water impounded in the check dams and percolation ponds constructed across a few minor streams in the watershed has not been included in the computations as it is considered negligible.

Computation of Non-Committed Surface Water Resources

The quantum of non-committed surface water resources available in the watershed is the difference between the annual runoff in the entire watershed and the committed water supply required for filling up the surface water bodies. Based on the computations shown above, the non-committed surface water resource available in Koilmalai watershed is of the order of 16.958 MCM. This could be effectively utilized for creating additional irrigation potential in the plains of the watershed as well as for augmentation of ground water resources through scientifically designed artificial recharge structures constructed at suitable locations.

Results and Discussions

The Koilmalai water shed is having an area of 200.83 Sq. km and lie between north latitudes 12.56 and 12.75 and east longitudes 78.79 and 78.95 . About 70% of the watershed area is covered by hills & reserved forests and remaining area has a plain to undulating topography. A stream called Koilmalai Ar drains the entire watershed. The stream is a 5th order one and ephemeral in nature and traverse for a distance of 28.33 km within the watershed. The total no of stream segments of all order within the watershed is about 865 nos, of which 669 first order streams, 148 second order streams, 38 third order streams and 9 forth order streams. The soils of Koilmalai watershed can be broadly


classified as clayey and loamy types. Sandy soil / gravely soil have shown higher rate of infiltration, which are classified under Rapid Infiltration. The infiltration rate of loamy clay and silty clay are in the range of 1.2 3.1 mm/hr and are classified under moderate type. Morphometrically, the shape of the watershed is strongly elongated in nature and having very high relief and steep slopes. Moderately high drainage density and less value of length of overland flow are indicative that the regions of weak or impermeable sub surface materials sparse vegetation and mountainous relief and poor groundwater recharge. Based on the statistical analysis of 100-years annual rainfall data, the annual normal rainfall of watershed is worked out as 900.97 mm, of which 768.87 mm received during monsoon periods. The estimated surface runoff of Koilmalai watershed is about 18.07 MCM, of which the committed storage of watershed for the existing 16 nos. of tanks and ponds were worked out as 1.112 MCM. The net ground water available within the watershed for all uses is 6.411 MCM. The non-committed surface water resource available in the Koilmalai watershed is of the order of 16.958 MCM. Since the high relief of morphology present in the watershed favours good generation surface runoff but the presence of clayey and loamy soils not conducive for good ground water recharge. In spite of

the sufficient surface flow available in the watershed, so far no irrigation project was done to meet the domestic/ irrigation demands. Hence almost the entire demands are meet through ground water only. The block wise computation of resources have already been shown that all the blocks falling in watershed are classified under overexploited blocks, which means the annual ground water extraction is more than the annual recharge. However, the non-committed surface water resource of 16.958 MCM can be utilized scientifically and integrated manner. All the tanks in the watershed must be revitalized and their bunds and allied structure are strengthened to augment the surface storage and the remaining flow can be utilized for ground water recharge. The detailed study on integrated surface and groundwater management could be done to effectively utilized surplus runoff for creating additional irrigation potential in the plains of the watershed as well as for augmentation of ground water resources through scientifically designed artificial recharge structures constructed at suitable locations.

The author is very much thankful to Sh. B.M.Jha, Chairman, Central ground Water Board, Faridabad and Dr.N.Varadaraj, Regional Director, Central Ground Water Board, SECR, Chennai for their encouragement and permission to participate in the International Seminar.


Theme 3 Enhancing Water Productivity in Rainfed Areas

Irrigation Scheduling in Long Pepper (Piper Longum) under Partial Shade
Anilkumar, A. S., Suharban, M, Hajilal, M. S., Sherief, A. K. and Harikrishnan Nair, K

Piper longum is popularly known as thippali or long pepper. It is a slender aromatic climber with perennial woody roots. Dried spike is the economic part commonly used in ayurvedic and unani medicines. It is a major constituent of the ayurvedic drugs prescribed for increasing immunity against AIDS virus and it acts as immunostimulant. It is an integral component of Trikadu an ayurvedic formulation, prescribed against several respiratory complaints. Regulation of soil moisture is beneficial for improving the growth, productivity and quality of long pepper. It also helps for optimum utilization of irrigation water besides extending the area under irrigation. Organic matter content of the soil is intimately related to its productivity because it acts as a store house for nutrients, increases exchange capacity, provides energy for microbial activity, increases water holding capacity, improves soil structure, reduces crusting and increases infiltration and buffers the soil against changes in acidity, alkalinity and salinity (Tisdale,

et al., 1993). With this background an experiment was conducted to find out the effect of irrigation interval and organic manure on the productivity and quality of long pepper intercropped in coconut gardens.

Materials and Methods

The field experiment was conducted during 2004- 06 at the College of Agriculture, Vellayani in the interspaces of a thirty to forty year old coconut garden. The treatments consisted of combinations of nine levels of irrigation intervals, viz, irrigation at canopy air o o o temperature difference of 0 C, 1 C, 2 C and irrigation at 5 mm, 10 mm, 15 mm, 20 mm, 25 mm and 30 mm of CPE (cumulative pan evaporation) and two levels of organic manure, viz, FYM @ 20 t ha-1 and control. The experiment was laid out in split plot design. Viswam variety of long pepper was planted in the interspaces of a coconut garden at a spacing of 60 cm x 60 cm. Uniform dozes of FYM @ 20 t ha-1 year-1 and NPK @ 60: 60: 120 kg ha-1 year-1 were given. The crop attained stability in yield after one year of establishment and the

treatments were imposed during the second year of crop growth. Infra red thermometer and vapour pressure osmometer were used for the measurement of canopy temperature and osmotic potential respectively.

faster rate. Hence, application of FYM @ 20 t ha-1 might have benefited the growth. Quality parameters, viz, osmotic potential, crude extract and alkaloid content were estimated and the results indicated the superior performance of irrigation scheduling at canopy air temperature difference of 10C and irrigation scheduling at CPE 15 mm. Application of organic manure @ 20 t ha-1 was beneficial for significant improvement in osmotic potential, crude extract per cent and alkaloid content. Irrigation scheduling at 15 mm CPE resulted in maximum benefit cost ratio of 1.76 followed by irrigation scheduling at canopy air temperature difference of 10C. Although the effect of organic manure was not significant, incorporation of FYM @ 20 t ha-1 increased benefit cost ratio compared to control. Management practices adopted for increasing the productivity of the intercrop, ie, long pepper also influenced the productivity of the main crop. The indirect influence of irrigation interval and FYM on the productivity of the main crop, ie coconut was remarkable. The highest nut yield of 153 nos palm-1 year-1 was observed when irrigation was scheduled at 15 mm CPE followed by scheduling irrigation at 10 mm CPE. Similarly, manuring the intercrop, ie, long pepper with FYM @ 20 t ha-1 resulted in enhancing the productivity of the main crop from 131 to 142 nos palm-1 year-1. Coconut is a crop which produces nuts round the year. Therefore, year round availability of soil moisture is essential for its unhindered growth Moisture stress leads to stunted growth, drooping of leaves, immature nut fall and decreased yield (Peter, 2002). Soil fertility management is also equally important in boosting coconut yields. Inter row zone management of intercrops favourably influenced the growth and productivity of the predominant crop,ie, coconut.

Results and Discussion

Data on biometric characters, spike number and spike yield of long pepper are presented in Table 1. Biometric characters, yield attributes and yield were significantly influenced by treatment effects. Irrigation scheduling at CPE 15 mm combined with FYM application @ 20 t ha-1 year-1 improved vine length, leaf number and number of spikes. Irrigation scheduling at canopy-air temperature difference of 10C and irrigation scheduling at CPE of 15 mm were found beneficial for increasing both fresh and dry spike production, spike number and crude extract. FYM enhanced spike production and crude extract per cent compared to the control. Interaction effects of irrigation interval and levels of organic manure on biometric characters, spike number and spike yield are furnished in Table 3. Interaction effects showed significant variation with respect to on biometric characters, spike number and spike yield. Integration of irrigation scheduling at canopy-air temperature difference of 10C and irrigation scheduling at CPE of 15 mm along with incorporation of FYM @ 20 t ha-1 is beneficial for improving both quantity and quality of the officinal part. This might be due to better growth of plants associated with favourable soil moisture regimes. Long pepper responds very well to nutrient application. Nutritional disorders are common in long pepper because being a perennial it occupies the same impoverished soil year after year (Krishnan, 2003). Frequent harvest of long pepper spikes results in depletion of soil fertility at a


1.Krishnan, B. 2003. Rhizosphere modulation for higher productivity in long pepper (Piper longum Linn.). M.Sc (Ag) thesis submitted to Kerala Agricultural University, Vellanikkara 2.Peter, K.V. 2002. Plantation crops. National Book Trust, India, p. 332 3.Tisdale, S.L., Nelson, W.C., Beatson,J.D. and Havlin,J.L. 1993. Soil fertility and fertilizers. Prentice Hall of India. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, p.613


Table 1. Performance of long pepper as influenced by irrigation intervals and levels of organic manure.
Treatments Vine length (cm) 69 81 72 60 53 83 52 43 62 13.5 66 55 5.1 Leaf number Spike number Spike yield (t ha-1) Fresh 9 10 10 8 7 12 7 7 9 1.8 10 7 0.8 6.75 8.0 6.75 5.5 5.25 8.75 5.25 4.75 7.5 1.38 7.06 5.94 0.64 2.70 3.05 2.53 2.78 2.61 3.08 1.49 1.32 0.85 0.25 2.55 1.99 0.13 Dry 0.54 0.61 1.51 1.56 1.52 1.62 1.30 1.26 1.17 4.91 0.51 0.40 2.65 1.54 1.74 1.44 1.60 1.48 1.76 0.84 0.75 0.48 0.41 1.39 1.19 NS Benefit cost ratio

Irrigation intervals CT-AT = 0 CT-AT=10C CT-AT=20C CPE 5 mm CPE 10 mm CPE 15 mm CPE 20 mm CPE 25 mm CPE 30 mm CD (0.05) Levels of organic manure FYM Control CD (0.05)

Table 2. Quality parameters of long pepper and productivity of coconut as influenced by irrigation intervals and levels of organic manure
Treatments Osmotic potential (m mole kg-1) 718 840 650 720 625 810 630 568 565 77.3 734 627 51.3 Crude extract (%) 8.69 9.76 8.56 9.44 8.37 9.69 8.31 7.75 8.31 9.21 8.32 NS Alkaloid (%) Productivity of coconuts (nut palm-1 year-1) 135 144 128 145 150 153 142 119 112 15.4 142 131 9.2

Irrigation intervals CT-AT = 0 CT-AT=10C CT-AT=20C CPE 5 mm CPE 10 mm CPE 15 mm CPE 20 mm CPE 25 mm CPE 30 mm CD (0.05) Levels of organic manure FYM Control CD (0.05)

5.5 5.8 5.2 5.6 5.4 5.8 5.2 4.9 4.8 0.62 5.6 5.2 0.36


Table 3. Performance of long pepper as influenced by the interaction effects of irrigation intervals and levels of organic manure
Treatments Vine length (cm) 78 61 84 78 77 68 67 54 56 50 89 77 57 47 55 31 36 28 4.8 15.4 Leaf number 10.0 8.0 11.5 8.5 11.5 9.0 10.5 6.5 8.0 6.0 12.5 11.5 7.0 7.5 8.5 6.5 11.5 8.0 0.77 2.47 Spike number 7.0 6.5 8.5 7.5 7.0 6.5 6.5 4.5 6.0 4.5 9.0 8.5 5.5 5.0 5.5 4.0 8.5 6.5 0.6 1.92 Spike yield (t ha-1) Fresh 3.08 2.31 3.36 2.75 2.70 2.37 3.03 2.53 2.97 2.26 3.25 2.92 1.82 1.16 1.71 0.94 1.05 0.66 0.12 0.40 Dry 0.62 0.46 0.67 0.55 0.54 0.47 0.61 0.51 0.59 0.45 0.65 0.58 0.36 0.23 0.34 0.19 0.21 0.13 2.49 7.96 Crude extract (%) 9.38 8.0 10.13 9.38 8.88 8.25 9.88 9.0 9.13 7.63 10.25 9.13 9.13 7.5 8.13 7.38 8.0 8.63 -

W1 F1 W1 F2 W2 F1 W2 F2 W3 F1 W3 F2 W4 F1 W4 F2 W5 F1 W5 F2 W6 F1 W6 F2 W7 F1 W7 F2 W8 F1 W8 F2 W9 F1 W9 F2 SE m CD (0.05)


Changes in Irrigation Management System among Cauvery Old Delta Farmers
T. Damodharan*, M. Asokhan**, G. Ranganathan*** & I. Md. Iqbal****

Water is one of the most important essential inputs for agriculture. Plants require it continuously during their life and in large quantities. water is the basic component. In rice cultivation whether rainfed, lowland, upland, deep-water, flood-prone or irrigated, water is intimately linked to it. Intensive or extensive cultivation of land depends mainly on the availability of water. Water can create, preserve and destroy the life on the earth and therefore, water must be used in a precise way with due care and caution as lack of it may create dryness, deluge; both may cause lives and properties on earth. Cauvery is one of the major rivers of the Indian Peninsula and it is the most important river of Tamil Nadu. This is held in high esteem by the people of Tamil Nadu as the natures precious boon. The study has been designed to assess the irrigation management changes among Cauvery old delta farmers.In Tamil Nadu, Cauvery is the most important river basin system providing irrigation to the delta districts and accounting for maximum area under rice. Changes in irrigation management system before 2001 and there after in the

succeeding years was studied The Cauvery and Vennar rivers systems together contributed 77.12 percentage of the total area under the old ayacut. A sample size of 180 farmers and 75 Extension personnel were interviewed with structured schedule. The flooding type of irrigation method , alternate wetting and drying , field to field irrigation , individual field channel irrigation , providing drainage structures , adjusting period of raising nursery , practicing summer ploughing and application of organic manures (100.00 to 33.89%) were majorchanges in irrigation management system among Cauvery old delta farmers

In Tamil Nadu, Cauvery is the most important river basin system providing irrigation to the delta districts and accounting for maximum area under rice. The year 2001-02 was taken into consideration as base year since the date of release of water for irrigation has coincided the date contemplated normally for the release of water for irrigation purposes in the old delta system. The irrigation management changes before this year and there after in the succeeding years was studied .Old

delta districts was purposively selected. . The Cauvery and Vennar rivers systems together contributed 77.12 percentage of the total area under the old ayacut.. There were 114 numbers of A class channels in the Cauvery river basin and 97 numbers of A class channels in Vennar river basin . These Aclass channels were taken into consideration and classified under head, mid and tail end regions Six A class channels were selected in each river basin using random sampling, A sample size of 180 farmers was fixed for the study which was equally chosen from Cauvery and Vennar river basin systems. 75 Extension personnel from Thanjavur, Thiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts. Interview schedule was used for the collection of data from the respondents.

Irrigation water conveyance

Field to Field Irrigation It could be observed from Table 38 that the conveyance of the irrigation water through field to field had decreased from 78.89 to 50.56 per cent in Cauvery old delta. Among the three categories, in head reach (20.00 to 11.67 %), mid reach (30.56 to 20.00 %) and tail end also (28.33 to 18.89 %) there was a decrease on field to field irrigation which was a very good sign. This referred to the sprouted seeds used for for sowing followed by ash application Planting under water logged conditionsThis referred to the use of aged seedlings for planting Flood damaged crop maintenanceThis referred to the practices like gap filling or replanting to maintain the plant population. Drainage management. This referred to the providing drainage structures to drain the stagnated water. The highest percentage of decrease in field to field irrigation was noticed in Vennar river basin (28.89%) followed by Cauvery river basin (27.78 %). Among the reaches the mid had ranked first (10.56 %) followed by tail end (9.44 %) and head (8.33 %). Considerable quantities of water which could be used for irrigation are lost during irrigation water conveyance by field to field irrigation. Provision of separate channels for irrigation and drainage will go a long way for increased water use efficiency. Awareness on the advantages of individual field channel irrigation might be the reason for the decreased change Individual Field Channel Irrigation It could be observed form Table 39 that the percentage of respondents irrigationg their field through

individual channel had increased from 21.11 to 49.44 per cent in the study area. River wise analysis revealed 25.55 to 53.33 per cent and 16.67 to 45.55 per cent of increased changes in Cauvery and Vennar river basins respectively. Among the three categories, in head reach (9.44 to 17.78%), mid reach (6.67 to 17.22%) and tail end (5.00 to 14.44%) also it had increased in individual field channel irrigation. It implied that there were increased changes in irrigation water conveyance through individual field channel. Under limited water availability, awareness on importance of individual field channel irrigation had changed the farmers for taking the water through separate field channels (Kannivaikkal). Use of either pipelines or hose for conveying the bore well water to nursery and main field was also observed in the study area. This finding is in line with Kavitha (2001) and Balasubramaniam. (2005). Excess wThis referred to the practices reommndated to cultivate crop during late release of mettur water ater management Providing Drainage Structures This referred to the sprouted seeds used for for sowing followed by ash application Planting under water logged conditions This referred to the use of aged seedlings for planting Flood damaged crop maintenance This referred to the practices like gap filling or replanting to maintain the plant population. Drainage management This referred to the providing drainage structures to drain the stagnated water. It could be observed from the Table 40 the percentages of respondents providing drainage structures had increased from 52.78 to 75.01 per cent in Cauvery old delta. River wise analysis revealed 52.23 to 75.56 per cent and 53.33 to 74.44 per cent of changes in Cauvery and Vennar river basins respectively. Among the three categories, in head reach (17.78 to 21.67%), mid reach (22.22 to 30.56%) and also in tail end (12.78 to 22.78%) it had increased. Under prevailed water logged situation, the farmers were providing drainage structures (Thondukal) on temporary basis. For proper irrigation and drainage the farmers were providing a slope in the head portion of the field for facilitating quick drainage in their field portion.

Adjusting The Period of Raising Nursery It could be observed from Table 41 that the percentage of changes in adjusting period of raising nursery had decreased from 47.23 to 25.01 per cent in Cauvery old delta. River wise analysis revealed 47.78 to 24.45 per cent and 46.67 to 25.56 per cent in Cauvery and Vennar river basins respectively. Among the three categories, in head (11.67 to 7.78%), mid reach (15.00 to 6.67%) and also in tail end (20.56 to 10.56%) it had decreased. In areas prone for water logging in the North East Monsoon period, farmers earlier had the practice of growing either early planting or delayed planting to tide over the ill effects of the heavy down pour resulting in total loss of crop. But now farmers could not adopt this practice fully since the canal water supply was not definite due to poor storage position in the Mettur reservoir. As such the farmers during these uncertain periods got flood and crop losses by taking the cultivation without advance planning. Farmers with supplemental irrigation could have raised nursery as planned. But majority of farmers, who were solely dependent on canal water, were forced to take up nursery at the time of canal water released. This had resulted in uncertain floods and crop loses. This was observed mostly in single crop wetland areas.

ploughing in Cauvery old delta. The highest percentage of practicing summer ploughing was noticed in Vennar river basin (20.01 %) followed by Cauvery river basin (18.89 %). Among the reaches the tail end had ranked first (8.33 %) followed by head (6.11 %) and mid (5.00 %). In the study area, due to the delayed receipt of water, the farmers were practicing summer ploughing for availing the benefits of summer rains as well as to start the cultivation operations without any delay and getting the canal water. This might be the reason for increased change. However, there is a felt need to motivate all the farmers for summer ploughing which is very essential in order to conserve moisture. This finding is in line with Kavitha (2001) and Balasubramaniam (2005). Organic Manures Application It could be observed from Table 43 that the application of organic manures had decreased from 100.00 to 33.89 per cent in Cauvery old delta. River wise analysis revealed 100.00 to 30.01 per cent and 100.00 to 37.78 per cent in Cauvery and Vennar river basins respectively. Among the three categories, in head reach (29.44 to 7.22%), mid reach (37.22 to 12.78 %) and also in tail end (33.33 to 13.89 %) the application of organic manures application was on the declining trend. This referred to the sprouted seeds used for for sowing followed by ash application Planting under water logged conditionsThis referred to the use of aged seedlings for planting Flood damaged crop maintenanceThis referred to the practices like gap filling or replanting to maintain the plant population. Drainage management This referred to the providing drainage structures to drain the stagnated water. The highest percentage of decrease in organic manures application was noticed in Cauvery river basin (70.00 %) followed by Vennar river basin (62.23 %). Among the reaches the mid had ranked first (24.44 %) followed by head (22.22 %) and tail end (19.44 %). Since the farmers could not accumulate sufficient quantity of farm yard manure for want of cattle population, the results are justified. Analysis of variance on irrigation management changes among Cauvery old delta farmers. Analysis of variance was worked out to find out significant differences among the farmers from each of the two river basins on irrigation management. The results are presented in Table 44. It could be observed from the Table 44 that

Soil moisture conservation

Summer Ploughing It could be observed from Table 42 that the percentage of respondents practicing summer ploughing had increased from 34.45 to 53.89 per cent in Cauvery old delta. River wise analysis revealed 28.90 to 47.78 per cent and 40.00 to 60.00 per cent in Cauvery and Vennar river basins respectively practiced summer ploughing. Among the three categories, in head reach (7.78 to 13.89 %), mid reach (10.56 to 15.56 %) and also in tail end (16.11 to 24.44 %) there had been an increase in summer ploughing. This referred to the sprouted seeds used for for sowing followed by ash application Planting under water logged conditionsThis referred to the use of aged seedlings for planting Flood damaged crop maintenanceThis referred to the practices like gap filling or replanting to maintain the plant population. Drainage management This referred to the providing drainage structures to drain the stagnated water. The analysis further revealed that overall 19.44 per cent of the respondents practiced summer

there existed a significant difference among the farmers in Cauvery and Vennar river basins with regard to irrigation management. This was confirmed by a significant F value at one per cent level. The farmers in Cauvery and Vennar river basins were differed in the following aspects. Compare to Vennar river basin (14.45%), Cauvery river basin (33.33%) farmers had higher percentage of supplemental irrigation source. Vennar river basin farmers were Table 44. Analysis of variance on irrigation management changes among Cauvery old delta farmers blessed with good irrigation structures (62.23%).

The decreased changes on trimming of field bunds (35.56%) and field to field irrigation (28.89%) were higher in Vennar river basin. There was a declined in raising nursery nearer to water source (18.89%), preference of long duration rice varieties (34.44%), flooding method of irrigation (20.01%), adjusting the period of raising nursery during prevailed rainy season (23.34%) and organic manures application (70..00%) among Cauvery river basin farmers. There was no difference between Cauvery (22.22%) and Vennar (22.23%) river basin farmers on preference of short duration rice varieties. Based on the findings it may be concluded that the changes had been taken in the irrigation management among Cauvery old delta farmers.
Mean square 22.821 2.263 F 10.083

Groups Between groups Within groups Total

Degrees of freedom 14 165 179

Sum of squares 319.500 373.450 692.950

** : Significant at 0.01% level Compare to Vennar river basin (36.67%), Cauvery river basin farmers had higher percentage of favourable response towards continued rice cultivation (58.89%). The data in Figure 19. shows that there was higher percentages of increased changes on use of cage wheel (18.89%), use of land leveller (84.45%) semi dry sowing (13.33%), individual field channel irrigation (28.89%) and summer ploughing (20.01%) were observed among Vennar river basin farmers. The higher percentage of increased changes among Cauvery river basin farmers were strengthening of field bunds (46.67%), contingent cropping (37.77%), alternate wetting and drying method of irrigation (32.22%) and providing drainage structures (23.34%).

The flooding type of irrigation method had decreased from100.00 to 82.22 per cent , alternate wetting and drying had increased to 27.22 per cent, field to field irrigation had decreased from 78.89 to 50.56 per cent, individual field channel irrigation had increased from 21.11 to 49.44 per cent. percentage of respondents providing drainage structures had increased from 52.78 to 75.00 per cent, adjusting period of raising nursery had decreased from 47.21 to 25.00 per cent, percentages of respondents practicing summer ploughing (34.45 to 53.89%) and application of organic manures (100.00 to 33.89%) had decreased were major changes in irrigation management system among Cauvery old delta farmers.


Kavitha, S. 2001. Integrated Water Management - An Ex-post Facto Study on Differential Knowledge And Adoption Behaviour of Rice Growers. Unpub. M.Sc. (Ag.) Thesis, TNAU, Coimbatore. Balasubramaniam, P. 2005. Developing TOT Strategy for Water Management in Canal Command Area of Lower Bhavani Project, Unpub. Ph.D. Thesis, TNAU, Coimbatore.


Characterization of Sorghum Germplasm for Drought Tolerance
K. Ganesamurthy*, D. Punitha , A. R. Muthiah and T. S. Raveendran

Sorghum is one of the most important crops grown for food and feed. In Tamil Nadu it is cultivated over an area of 3.5 lakh hectares with an annual production of 3.46 lakh tonnes with a productivity of 984 kg/ha of grain. It is a dual purpose crop and is valued both for its grain as well as for its excellent fodder. It forms the major source of staple food among the rural population in the state. It is the crop suited to hot and dry ecologies where it is difficult to grow other food grains. Owing to its drought tolerance capacity, its cultivation in drought prone areas is effectively providing food and fodder through on sustainable basis. (kong et al., 2000). The potential of this low input demanding crop for diverse uses such as feed and biofuel crop besides as a supplier of raw materials for other industrial uses is anticipated to bring significant benefits to the farmers in the years to come. Hence, to meet out the need of sorghum based industries and to cater the basic requirement of the farming community, identification of genotypes with high, stable yields with drought tolerance capacity

is essential .Based on the importance, a total of 100 sorghum accessions was screened for drought tolerance using drought tolerance indices. Genetic improvement mainly depends upon the amount of genetic variability present in the population. In the present investigation, an attempt was made to study the genetic variability in germplasm accessions for biometrical traits in order to gather knowledge of yield and yield component characters towards drought tolerance in sorghum crop

Materials and Methods

In the present investigation comprised of 100 accessions of sorghum, which include local land races, adapted to different agroclimatic zones of Tamil Nadu. The trial was laid out in a randomized block design (RBD) with two replications under two different situations at Department of millets, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore during 2006-2007. The first set was under irrigation and another set was treated as drought imposed. Water stress was imposed by with

holding irrigation at anthesis stage and continued till maturity. One set of treatments with normal irrigations from planting to maturity served as control. The drought indices like drought susceptibility index, relative yield, yield stability ratio were recorded for characterizing the drought tolerant genotypes. Observations on metric traits like plant height, days to 50% flowering, earhead length, leaf area index, relative water content, SPAD chlorophyll reading, root length, root volume, root dry weight, earhead weight, 1000 grain weight, biological weight, stay green score, harvest index and grain yield were recorded on single plant basis for five randomly selected competitive plants in each genotype from replication of each set separately. The genetic information has been sought through analysis of genetic variability, heritability in broad sense and genetic advance as per cent of mean was estimated according to Allard (1960). Phenotypic and genotypic co-efficient variation was estimated as per Burton (1991). Genetic advance as % of mean was estimated according to Johnson et al., (1955).

Results and Discussion

The mean, phenotypic (2p) and genotypic variances, the co-efficient of phenotypic and genotypic
CHARACTERS Plant height (cm) S I S I S I S I S S I S I S I S I S I S I S I S I S I S I Grand mean 231.31 238.41 66.35 63.2 23.43 27.03 2.46 3.04 65.3 31.02 45.06 24.91 29.61 21.61 25.85 24 25.82 25.47 32.36 26 29.06 131.72 141.97 3.4 2.32 0.24 0.29 31.02 40.43 Range 109.20 347.70 114.5-358 58-74 54-72 8.70-35 13.5-37 1-4.60 1.3-5.3 46.20-79 11-48.30 30-58 9-39.0 16.4-42.6 8.40-37 11.3-38 10.00-36 12.4 -38 9.60-42.80 17.3-45.0 9.20-41 16.1-42.6 80-205.40 91.3-218.6 1.60-5 1.3-4.3 0.09-0.43 0.2-0.5 16-46 26.6-56.1

variation, heritability and expected genetic advance are given in table 1 and 2. The results furnished hereunder only for the stress condition. The analysis of variance for the various component traits of drought tolerance revealed significant differences among genotypes under study. Based the mean performance, the genotypes such as CO 21, CO 22, Tenkasi 1, AS 2059, AS 2752, AS 5078, AS 5057, AS 8021, AS 4289, AS 8038, AS6616, K 3, MS 7819, MS 7837, Murungapatti local, Uppam cholam, VS 1564, VS 1560, CO 24 and CO 1 recorded good performance and had high mean values for relative water content, SPAD chlorophyll reading, root length, root volume, root dry weight, ear head weight, 1000 grain weight, harvest index, grain yielding and had low score for stay green when compared to other genotypes under stress and they have been reported on par with the drought resistant check B 35. Earlier findings of Nour and Weible (1978), Yadav et al., 2002, Blum et al.,(1989) Jordan and Miller (1890), Xu et al., (2000), Dale et al (1980) on phenotypic and physiological traits for drought resistance were in agreement with the present investigation.
Table 1. Grand Mean, Range ,Genetic parameters for the drought tolerant component traits. ( I- Irrigated, S-Stress )
VP 2718.94 2794.09 9.53 10.09 17.51 14.27 0.62 0.69 61.60 105.37 43.38 31.39 23.72 47.63 39.09 30.61 18.69 36.05 24.62 43.40 27.48 538.83 563.35 0.90 0.54 0.004 0.003 54.00 38.13 Vg 2714.58 2789.74 8.68 9.16 16.17 12.75 0.61 0.68 59.42 103.15 41.68 28.76 21.58 45.28 37.11 28.63 16.72 34.07 22.50 41.29 25.38 534.44 556.94 0.88 0.52 0.004 0.003 51.89 34.90 PCV% 22.54 22.17 4.65 5.04 17.86 13.98 32.05 27.46 12.02 33.09 14.61 22.49 16.45 31.93 24.18 23.05 16.74 23.57 15.33 25.33 18.03 17.62 16.72 28.00 31.84 28.06 21.35 23.69 15.27 GCV% 22.52 22.15 4.44 4.80 17.16 13.21 31.71 27.19 11.80 32.74 14.32 21.52 15.68 31.13 23.56 22.29 15.83 22.91 14.65 24.71 17.33 17.55 16.62 27.54 30.96 27.67 20.74 23.22 14.61 Genetic advance 107.24 108.72 5.79 5.94 7.96 6.95 1.59 1.69 15.60 20.70 13.03 10.57 9.13 13.51 12.22 10.66 7.97 11.69 9.33 12.91 9.97 47.42 48.33 1.90 1.44 0.14 0.12 14.54 11.64

Days to 50% flowering Ear head length (cm) Leaf area index Relative water content% SPAD Chlorophyll reading Root length (cm) Root volume (cc) Root dry weight (g) Ear head weight (g) 1000 grain weight (g) Biological yield (g) Stay green Harvest index Grain yield (g)


Selection for drought tolerance involves evaluating genotypes for either high yield potential or stable performance under varying degrees of water stress. Drought susceptibility index (DSI) and relative yield (RY) values were used to describe the yield stability and yield potential. Promising drought Tolerant Genotypes identified through drought tolerance indices are given in Table 2.
Table 2. Promising Drought Tolerant Genotypes
S.No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Genotypes B35 CO21 CO22 AS5078 K3 Murungapatti local VS1564 VS1560 AS6616 DSI 0.48 0.44 0.40 0.40 0.94 0.81 0.42 0.92 0.66 RY 0.91 0.95 0.92 0.97 0.96 0.93 0.96 0.94 0.91

was depicted in graph 1. Swarup and chaugle (1982)) reported that heritability estimates along with genetic gain are usually more efficient than heritability values alone in predicting the final out come of selection. In this study, the characters such as stay green, leaf area index, root volume, plant height and harvest index sowed high heritability estimates associated with high genetic advance indicating the presence of additive gene effect. High heritability accompanied by high genetic gain is
S.No. 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Genotypes AS8038 Tenkasi1 MS7819 AS2059 AS8021 AS4289 CO24 AS2752 CO1 DSI 0.58 0.64 0.62 0.87 0.55 0.21 0.78 0.49 0.72 RY 0.94 1.00 0.96 0.93 0.94 0.93 1.00 0.95 0.82

These genotypes had the low drought susceptibility index (<1) and high relative yield (> mean RY). These results are similar to the findings of Ahmed et al. (2003) where they selected the drought tolerant genotypes based on the low drought susceptibility index and high relative yield and showed that the genotypes with high relative yield performed relatively well under drought. In general, the estimate of phenotypic coefficient of variation was higher than those of genotypic co-efficient of variation for all the traits indicating the influence of environment on the expression of these character (Table 1). The data further indicated that characters like stay green, root volume, leaf area index, plant height and harvest index showed high value for phenotypic and genotypic co-efficient of variation. High values of GCV for these characters suggest better scope of improvement by selection. Days to 50% flowering showed the lowest co-efficient of variation at phenotypic and genotypic levels. Similar results were reported for theses traits with respect to PCV and GCV Geleta and Daba (2005). However it is not possible to determine the amount of heritable variation with the help of genotypic co-efficient variation alone. Burton (1952) suggested that the study of genotypic co-efficient of variation along with heritability estimates is needed to obtain the best results on the extent of heritable variation. Heritability estimate for all the traits for stress condition

an indication of the additive genetic effects (Panse and Suthatme, 1987). Thus selection of these traits is likely to accumulate more additive genes leading to further improvement in their performance and these traits can be used as selection criteria in sorghum drought tolerance improvement programme.All the characters under study exhibited high heritability and expected genetic advance. Among the characters studied, high estimates of heritability (>80%) and genetic advance expected (>40%) were obtained for stay green, leaf area index, plant height, root volume and harvest index. These characters exhibited high heritability along with high genotypic coefficient of variation indicating importance of additive genetic variance for these characters. The character days to 50% flowering recorded the lowest heritability estimate indicating larger influence of environmental conditions on these characters. Based on above discussion, it is suggested that due weightage should be given to stay green, leaf area index, root volume, plant height and harvest index for selection of drought tolerance in sorghum. The genotypes such as B35, CO21, CO22, AS5078 ,K3 ,Murungapatti local ,VS1564, VS1560 , AS6616 , AS8038 , Tenkasi1, MS7819 ,AS2059 AS8021 AS4289, CO24 ,AS2752 ,CO1 were found to be promising for drought and can be used as the parents for future breeding programmes, where the sorghum varietal improvement for drought conditions could be achieved.


1.Allard , R.W.(1960).Principles of plant breeding, pp. 89 98 ,John Wiley and Sons, Inc.New York 2.Blum, A., J. Mayer and G. Golan. 1989. Agronomic and physiological assessments of genotypic variation for drought resistance in sorghum. Aust. J. Agric. Res., 40: 49-61. 3.Burton, G. W. 1952. Quantitative inheritance in grasses. Proc. 6th int. Grassland Cong., 1: 24 - 84. 4.Dale, R. F., D. T. Coelho and K. P. Gallo.1980. Prediction of daily green leaf area index for corn. Agron. J., 72: 999-1005. 5.Geleta, N. and C. Daba. 2005. Inter relationships among quantitative traits in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) landraces from Northern Ethiopia. Crop Res., 30(3): 432-438. 6.Johnson, H.W., H.F. Robinson and R.E. Comstock. 1955. Estimates of genetic and environmental variability in soybean. Agron. J., 47: 314-318. 7.Jordan, W.R. and F.R. Miller. 1980. Genetic variability in sorghum root systems: implications for drought tolerance. In Adaptation of plants to water and high temperature stress.N.C. Turner and P.J. Kramer (Eds.). John wiley, Newyork, pp. 383-399. 8.Nour, A.E.M. and D.L. Weibel. 1978. Evaluation of root characteristics in grain sorghum. Agron. J., 70: 217218. 9.Panse, U. G. and P. V. Sukhatme. 1961. Statistical method for Agricultural workers. ICAR, New Delhi. pp.381. 10.Swarup , V. and Chaugle,D.S.(1982). Studies on genetic variability in sorghum 1. Phenotypic variation and its heritable componet in some important quantitative characters contributing towards yield. Indian J. Gene. 22 : 31 36. 11.Xu, W., D.T. Rosenow and H.T. Nguyen. 2000a. Stay green trait in grain sorghum: Relation ship between visual rating and leaf chlorophyll concentration. Plant Breed., 119: 365-367.


Effect of Mulching, Irrigation and Growth Regulants on Growth and Yield of Curry Leaf In Winter
P. Jansirani*, R. Subha**, D. Durgadevi*** and K. Rajamani*

Carry leaf (Murraya Koeingii) is an important herbal spice crop grown for its aromatic leaves. An essential volatile oil extracted from its fresh leaves is commercially exploited. Both of its fresh leaves and essential oil has got export value curry leaf has greater use as antioxidant and anticarcinogenic potential properties. Though Tarai region (Uttar Pradesh) is considered as the probable origin curry leaf is cultivated commercially in few southern states of India. The annual growth pattern of curry leaf showed that it has peaks in monsoon and summer and its growth is limited during winter season. However, the demand for fresh curry leaf is ever growing throughout the year. The market price analysis indicated a high returns with poor crop during winter i.e. during the months of November, December and January. Proper cultivation and management practices of this commercially important crop is to be analyzed to fetch continuous and the maximum returns throughout the year.

Earlier reports are available on manipulation of crop growth through some agronomic practices and application of chemicals etc. in many horticultural crops viz., annual moringa (Vijayakumar, 2001), Okra (Maheskumar and Sen, 2005). With this back ground in view, an investigation was carried out to study the effect of mulching application of nutrients, growth regulants on growth, yield and quality of curry leaf during winter.

Materials and Methods

The investigation was carried out to study of different mulches and efficacy of growth regulants on growth and yield of curry leaf during winter season. The field experiment was conducted from October 2006 to January 2007 in a farmers field at Karamadai in Mettupalayam block of Coimbatore district of South India. A local collection of curry leaf viz., Senkaampu of 5 years old plants is utilized for the study. The crop is grown under organic manures mainly. However, little amount of inorganic fertilizers are applied at the rate of 100 g of NPK per plant after pruning of every crop.

Regular cultural operations were followed as per the standardized package of practices to curry leaf. The experiment was laid out in randomized block design with eleven treatments and replicated thrice. The treatments were, mulching with block polythene sheet (200 microns) (T1), mulching with coir pith (T2), irrigation (T3), water spray (T4), foliar spray of Panchagavya (three percent) (T5), foliar spray of GA at 50 ppm (T6) urea at 0.5, percent (T7), Humic acid 0.2 percent, (T8), Salicylic acid 100 ppm (T9), Salicylic acid 200 ppm (T10) and control (T11). Water spray and surface irrigation in the early morning hours were given once in 15 days. The plant biometrical traits, viz., plant height number of secondary branches per plant, number of leaves per rachis, fresh leaf weight per rachis (without petiole) fresh leaf yield per plant, shelf life and essential oil content were recorded and analyzed statisfically (Panse and Sukhatme, 1985).

The fresh leaf weight without petiole and fresh leaf yield per plant was observed to be the highest in plants sprayed with panchagavya three percent and similar results were observed by Sivakumar (2004) in Solanum. Among the treatments of the present study to increase the fresh curry leaf yield per plant, application of three percent panchagavya (T5) was found to record the highest fresh leaf yield of 450.65 g per plant. It was also noticed that the treatments T8 humic acid 0.2 percent spray (438.74 g) and T2-mulchingwith coir pith (435.65g), were also found to record a considerable yield increase next to the best treatment (T5). The quality traits viz., shelf life of fresh leaves under ambient temperature (4.0 days) in poly bags with five percent vent and essential oil content (0.187 per cent) were also observed to be the highest in plants sprayed with panchagavya three percent. Similar influence of panchagavya on quality improvement as enhancement in essential oil content was reported in advance by Krishnamoorthy (1985), Arularasu (1995) in ocimum sanctum. At farmers point of view cost economics plays a vital rate in adopting any new crop production practice. The ultimate goal is to help the grower to get more profit with lesser input cost. The best treatment identified as foliar spray of three percent panchagavya is recorded the highest cost : Benefit ratio of 1:5.77 during winter season of curry leaf production. It was also observed that curry leaf plants supplied with simple irrigation in the early morning (T3) hours once in 15 days during winter months was also observed to improve the fresh curry leaf yield considerably which is expressed in terms of higher best benefit ratio of 1:5.00 (except with 0.2 percent humic acid spray.(T8)). Hence, it could be concluded that the simple irrigation in early morning hours in winter months to curry leaf is a cost effective technology to increase the fresh curry leaf yield next to foliar spray of panchgavya three percent.

Results and Discussion

Fresh curry leaf was harvested during January 2007 after four months of treatments application. The results of the study revealed (Table 1) that the mean performance of plant height in all the treatments ranged from 81-91 cm in control (T11) to 99-91 cm in T5 (Foliar spray of panchagavya three percent) followed by T8 (foliar spray of (Humic acid 0.2 percent) as 98.62 cm. The number of secondary branches per plant and number of leaves per rachis were also found to he the highest inT5 (the plants sprayed with panchagavya three percent) as 22.23and 18.25 respectively. The possible reason for the acceleration of growth by the application of panchagavya might be due to presence of more of nitrogen, the chief constituent of protein essential for the formation of protoplasm which led to cell division and cell enlargement (Balkey, 1974). During winter season, increase in number of laterals by the application of panchagavya might be due to increase in osmotic effects and uptake of nutrients as confirmed by Sridhar (2003) in Solanum nigrum. The increased number of leaves per rachis was due to the increased meristammatic activity in the plant and enhanced supply of photosynthates (Khandif, 1998).


Table : Effect of mulching, irrigation and growth regulants on growth and yield of Curry leaf during winter season
Treatments Plant height (cm) No. of Secondary branches Leaf number per rachis Fresh leaf weight without petiole (g) 1.099 1.265 1.024 1.012 1.275 1.124 1.157 1.196 1.024 1.101 0.960 1.107 0.128 Fresh leaf yield per plant (g) 395.87 435.65 405.27 380.34 450.65 350.56 340.71 438.74 310.73 330.54 305.63 376.79 42.566 Shelf life (day) Essential oil content (percent) C:B ratio

T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T11 Mean CD at 5%

93.69 91.53 92.44 92.72 99.91 91.62 85.21 98.62 90.52 85.27 81.91 91.22 93.03

20.12 19.02 19.01 17.08 22.23 20.18 18.34 21.28 17.45 18.42 14.25 18.85 2.168

17.18 16.43 15.56 15.23 18.25 14.49 15.89 17.34 16.49 15.68 13.83 16.03 1.866

2.92 2.85 2.50 2.00 4.00 3.50 3.00 3.96 2.56 3.00 2.00 2.935 0.281

0.134 0.136 0.121 0.137 0.187 0.126 0.165 0.171 0.119 0.117 0.122 0.139 0.014

1:3.69 1:4.80 1:5.00 1:4.69 1:5.77 1:4.64 1:4.50 1:5.73 1:4.09 1:4.33 1:4.10


1.Arularsu,P. (1995). Effect of graded doses of nitrogen and spacing on growth and yield of herbage and oil in Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum L.) M.Sc. (Hort.), Thesis, TNAU,Coimbatore. 2.Balkly, S.A. (1974). Effect of fertilization treatments on the yield of Chrysler Imperial rose plants. Agri Res. Rev. 52 (9) : 95-99. 3.Khandait, H.M. 1991.Standardizationof nitrogen, phosphorus and potato levels for flower production of annual chrysanthemum cv. Yellow. M.Sc. Thesis Dr. Punjab Deshmukh Krishi, Vidyapeeth (PDKV), Akola, Maharashtra, India. 4.Krishnamoorthy, R., 1985. Studies on the effect of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium on growth, her bage yield and essential oil production in Davana (Artemosia pallens wall.) M.Sc.(Hort.). Thesis, U.A.S. Bangalore, India. 5.Mahesh Kumar and N.L.Sen, 2005. Effect of zinc, Boton and gibberellie acid on growth and yield of okra. The Orissa Journal of Horticulture, Vol. 33(2) : 46-48. 6.Panse, V.G. and P.V. Sukhatme (1985). Statistical methods for agricultural wowrks. IVth Edn., ICAR, New Delhi. 7.Sivakumar, V. 2004. Studies on standardization of protocol for maximization of growth, yield and alkaloid content in Black nightshade (Solanum nigrum L.) M.Sc. (Hort.). Thesis. Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India. 8.Sridhar, T. 2003. Effect of bioregulators on Black nightshade (Solanum nigrum L.),M.Sc. (Ag.), Thesis, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University,Coimbatore-3,India. 9.Vijayakumar,R.M. (2001, Studies on influence of months of sowing and growth regulation on Annual Moringa, Ph.D. Thesis, HC&RI, TNAU,Coimbatore-3.



Horticultural Technologies for Watershed Development

P. Paramaguru1 P. S. Kavitha2 and M. Velmurugan3

Asia emerges as the hot spot for poverty, malnutrition and also for severe land degradation in the world. In India, the situation is similar as out of 8.52 million poor, 2.21 million are in India and 108.6 Mha are degraded. There is an urgent need to break the unholy nexus between drought, land degradation and poverty using community watersheds to manage the natural resources such as water and land sustainably for improving livelihoods. Watershed approach is adopted by Government of India as a growth engine for development of rainfed areas.

The main principles management are :



Utilizing land according to its capacity and putting adequate vegetal cover on the soil. Conserving as much rainwater as possible at the place where it falls both at farmlands and common property resources. Draining out excess water with a safe velocity and diverting it to storage ponds and storing it for future use. Avoiding gully formation and putting checks at suitable intervals to control soil erosion and recharge ground water. Maximizing productivity per unit of area, per unit of time, and per unit of water. Increasing cropping intensity and land equivalent ratio through intercropping and sequence cropping.

The watershed is a continuous area whose runoff water drains to a common point, so that it facilitates water harvesting and moisture concentration.

Safe productive utilization of marginal lands through alternate land use system. Ensuring sustainability of the eco-systems benefiting the man-animal-plant-land-water-complex in the watershed. Maximizing the combined income from the interrelated and dynamic crop-livestock-tree-labourcomplex over the years. Stabilizing the total income and cut down risks during aberrant weather situation. Improving infrastructural facilities like storage, transportation and marketing.

arid regions. The climatic conditions are conducive for production of quality fruits and vegetables. The marked fluctuations in night and day temperature and low RH helps in development of sweetness and attractive colour in fruits and disease-insect incidences are comparatively low in such climatic situations. Abiotic stresses owing to scanty rainfall, high summer temperature, high solar radiation, high wind velocity, high salinity in irrigation water is also associated with crop failures. In arid environment, monoculture system is risk prone as well as less productive. An integrated approach to develop the farming systems, and promote horticulture-based land use systems which have already found to be viable and suitable for different terrains is to be followed. Following strategy is proposed: (a) Identification of potential areas for expansion under rainfed, full and partially irrigated horticulture enterprises, using satellite data, Digital Image Processing Technique and GIS, followed by delineating potential areas for specific crops on cluster basis in a given location. (b) Emphasis should be on commercially important crops such as follows: a. Fruits : Ao n l a , C a s he w, Ber, Bael, custard apple, Tamar i nd, pomegranate, date palm, fig, Karonda etc., Brinjal, Muskmelon, watermelon, Round melon, Chilli, tomato, moringa, curry leaf, chekurmanis, Vegetable cowpea, cluster bean, Cumin, fenugreek, anardana, garlic and chillies Rose (Rosa damascena) for essence Senna, Coleus, periwinkle. Gloriosa, Aloe vera etc.,

Arid & Semi Arid Zones

Arid and semi-arid regions occupy large part of geographical area of India. The arid region receives less than 450 mm annual rainfall against 450-850 mm rainfall in semi-arid region. The evapotranspiration is 4-5 fold higher than that of rainfall in the arid region, while it is only two times higher in the semi-arid region. Natural resource base is quite fragile in the arid zone. The hot arid zone is characterized by extremes of temperature (-2 to 480 C), high solar radiation incidence (450 to 500 cal per sq. cm/day) and high wind velocity. The scare low rainfall (100-400 m) is also spread over in 9-21 spells. The soil is generally light textured with 60-90per cent sand and therefore water holding capacity of the soil is very poor. The importance of weather assumes a greater significance in rain fed regions. The elements of weather that characterize the agro climatic environment act as a natural resource influencing the cropping are rainfall, temperature, sunshine, wind regime, humidity, and radiation. The choice of cropping system is mostly governed by the length of the growing period. The weather during cropping season strongly influences the crop growth and it accounts for 2/3rd (67%) of the variation in productivity, while other factors including soil and nutrient management accounts for 1/3rd (33%) of the productivity. Considering the above points it is advisable to plan the crops in the watersheds viz fruit crops, Vegetables, Medicinal plants, Multipurpose trees.

b. Vegetables

c. Spices

d. Ornamentals

Selection of Crops
Horticulture based land use is being increasingly considered in developmental plans both in arid and semi71

e. Medicinal plants :

Table 1: Crops suitable for dry lands

S.No 1. Category Fruit crops Red soil with minimum irrigation Common name Mango Guava Sapota Pomegranate Ber Cashew Tamarind Anona Aonla Albizia Leucaena Acacia Karuvel Acacia Acha Sesbania Neem Acacia Dalbergia Pongam Albizia Scientific name Mangifera indica Psidium guijava Achras sapota punica granatum Ziziphus mauritiana Anacardium occidentale Tamarinds indica Annona squamosa phyllanthus emblica Albizia lebbeck Leucaena leucocephala Acacia auriculiformis Acacia nilotica Acacia procera Hardwichia binata Sesbania spp. Azadirachta indica Acacia nilotica Dalbergia sisoo Pongamia pinnata Albizia procera

Rain fed regions


Multi purpose tree Semi arid red soils

Semi arid black cotton soils

Saline & alkaline soils

Multipurpose Tree Crops

The multi purpose Tree Species (MPTS) can also be grown in these areas. The trees grown in dry lands take 5-8 years to cover the inter space and suitable intercrops with rain fed annual crops can be grown. Selection of suitable Varieties Aonla : NA7, Krishna, Kanchan and BSR 1 Bael : NB 5, NB 9 Ber : Umran & Kaithali Custard apple : Balanagar, mammoth Mango : Neelam, Banganapalli, Alphonso, Kalepad Pomegranate : Jothi, Ganesh Sapota : PKM 1, PKM 4 & PKM 5 Tamarind : PKM 1 & Urigam

apple started from the third year. A few encouraging mixed planting systems are given below: (i) (ii) (iii) Ber/guava + Tamarind/mango in 4: I ratio Pomegranate + Sapota/aonla in 4: I ratio Drumstick + Tamarind/wood apple in 4: I ratio

(iv) Custard apple + jamun in alternate pits/rows (v) Pomegranate/phalsa + Sapota/aonla in alternate pits/rows (vi) Mango/sapota + papaya in alternate pits/rows Hortipastoral System A combination of fruit trees and pasture species commonly known as hortipastoral system is one of the several ways to satisfy human needs and alleviate cattle hunger. A hortipastoral system comprising of hardy fruit trees is advocated for land capability class (LCC) III and IV. Two fruit species, viz., guava and custard apple with 6 m 6 m spacing and interspaces utilized for raising stylo or Cellchrus by dividing each fruit block into three. Silvipastoral System Marginal dry lands are usually shallow and poor in nutrients. Yield of arable crops from these lands are low, uncertain and often not remunerative. The returns from these lands may improve if they are put to an

Land use systems

Mixed Planting of Fruit Trees An approach to optimize resource use by systematic arrangement of diverse plant canopies with varying growth habits. Alignment of plants of slow and fast growing types and those with early or late fruit bearing habits in different formations is the mainstay of the proposed land use. The key principle is to combine plants of slow and fast growing types, early and late bearing fruit plants. Fruiting of drumstick and custard

alternate land use like silvipasture. Silvipasture system apart from yielding fuel wood and fodder, improves the soil fertility. After one rotation with silvipasture system say, 6-8 years arable crops can be grown on the built up soil fertility, without fertilizer application. Cropping System Guava+ no pasture Guava + stylo Guava+ Cenchrus Custard apple+ no pasture Custard apple+ stylo Custard apple+ Cenchrus No. of fruit trees 90 63 38 73 73 73

Selection of Planting Materials

The planting materials are of prime importance in the fruit orchards. They should be originated from quality scion materials and proper grafting should be done in the growth phase and union of graft should be proper and uniform. Pre sowing hardening / pelleting of seeds is one of the methods which results in modifying the physiological and biochemical nature of seeds so as to get the features that are favourable for drought tolerance. Some of the chemicals used are CCC, NaCl, CaCl2, ZnSO4 and MnSO4.

Establishment in Field
Planting time and planting spot (microsite) is a pre-requisite for success of any perennial plants on dry lands. This should be coupled with timely planting (with onset of monsoon), so that the saplings establish well before cessation of rains and become hardy enough to pass through the first summer. Establishment in the field can be achieved by timely planting. In Tamil Nadu June July is the time suitable for planting in western districts where the rains from South West monsoon are received. The planting time for other districts are September October, where the rains are received due to North East monsoon during this months. Staking and tieing the grafted plant with 8 type of knot will make the plant to have more anchorage and withstand the heavy winds. Protecting the young plant (saplings) from the sunlight has also to be done. The leaves of coconut or Palmyrah may be staked both in Eastern and Western side to protect the plants from sunlight. Hardening of planting materials viz, layers, grafts and budlings are necessary to get increase in success rate. Partial and slow exposure to sunlight will allow the plants to suit to the filed conditions and there by the success rate is increased.

Horticulture techniques Mulching

Mulching minimizes water losses from soil surface as a result of solar radiation and wind action and by suppressing weed growth. Mulch also prevents erosion and adds organic matter to the soil and keeps it cool. Materials such as hay, straw, cutgrass, dry leaves, weed materials and polythene can been used for mulching. Crop 1. Banana 2. Ber 3. Citrus 4. Mango 5. Pomegranate Suitable mulching materials black polythene black polythene dry leaves / grasses black polythene Sugarcane trash / paddy husk

Vegetative Barriers
Vegetative barriers with Vettiver/cenchrus can be planted in zigzag manner to conserved soil moisture and it will bind the soil particles thereby preventing soil erosion.

Use of Anti-transpirants
Anti- transpirants are the substances which reduces water loss in the dry region crop plants. 1. Film forming type eg., wax/plastic emulsion spray. 2. Reflectant type eg., White wash @ 2% or Kaolinite clay @ 3%.

Water Harvesting Techniques

In arid and wasteland water is a major constraint. The ground water potential is low and the available water may also be saline or alkaline. Hence, the available rainfall should be harvested in an effective way. Following are some of the successful rain water harvesting techniques that can be adopted in arid and waste lands.


Farm Ponds
Farm ponds are small tanks constructed to collect surface run off. Some ponds get water from surface run off and some from ground water seeping into the pit. The water stored can be used directly for irrigation, for the cattle, fish production etc. Percolation Ponds Percolation ponds are small water harvesting structures constructed across small natural streams and water courses to collect and impound the surface run off, during monsoons.

of the land on a contour is contour bunding. The long slope is cut into a series of small ones and each contour bund acts as a barrier to the flow of water. Contour bunds are constructed in relatively low rainfall areas, having an annual rainfall less than 600mm, particularly in areas having high textured soils.

Graded Bunds
Graded bunds are constructed in medium high rainfall areas having an annual rainfall of 600 mm and above and in the lands having slopes between 2% and 6%. These bunds are provided with a channel if necessary.

Drainage Line Treatments

The soil gets eroded through rain splash in the form of sheet, rill and gully erosion. Unattended development of rills leads to formation of gullies. The best way to control the gullies is to vegetate the surface of the gully to protect it from further development. Temporary gully control structures like brush wood dam, loose rock dam, wire woven dam etc, made of cheap and locally available materials can be established.

Contour Trenches
Contour trenching is excavated trenches along a uniform level across the slope of the land in the top portion of catchments. Bunds are formed down stream along the trenches. The main idea is to create more favorable moisture conditions and thus accelerate the growth of planted trees.

Staggered Trenches
Staggered trenching is excavating trenching of shorter lengths in a row along the contour with interspace between them. In Tamil Nadu, contour and staggered trenches are adopted in high rainfall hilly areas of lands with slopes steeper than 3%.

Effective Water Utilization

The fruit crops in arid and wasteland can be grown under drip system of irrigation for the effective utilization of available water. Drip / micro irrigation has emerged as an ideal technology, through which the required amount of water is applied to the root zone of the crop by means of a network of pipes in the form of drippers. The efficacy under micro irrigation is as high as 80 90 percent. The system permits the use of fertilizers, pesticides and other water soluble chemicals along with the irrigation water at optimum levels.

Bench Terrace
Bench terracing is one of the most popular structural soil conservation practices adopted by the farmers of India and other countries for ages on sloping and undulating lands. Intensive farming can be adopted in these bench terraces.

Soil Conservation
Nature takes about 110 years to form 1 cm thick top soil and it could be brought down to 11 years by intensive cultivation practices. In arid and wastelands, the soils are not productive. They are less in nutrients and are affected by wind erosion. Saline and alkaline conditions are more prevalent. This necessitates soil conservation in these areas. The following soil conservation approaches have to be followed (Shanmugasundaram, 2005).

Contour Stone Wall

In this cut stones of size around 20 30 cm are dry packed across the hill slope to form a regular shape of random rubble masonry without mortar.

Canopy Management
Management of canopy of fruit trees by training & pruning is an important horticultural practice where in the trees will be able to overcome the drought situations and sturdy ness to with stand the wind and to increase flowering.

Contour Bunding
The construction of small bunds across the slope


Table 1. Canopy management in fruit crops

Fruit crops Mango Canopy management Overlapping, intercrossing, diseased, dried and weak branches have to be pruned during august-September, once in three years. Root stock sprouts have to be removed Pruning of past season terminal growth to a length of 10 to 15 cm is to be done during Sep-Oct and Feb-March Erect growing branches are to be bent by tying on to pegs. Root stock sprouts, water shoots, criss cross and lower branches has to be removed The past season shoot has to be pruned by removing 1/3rd of the length Root stock sprout has to be removed and a straight stem up to 75 cm from the ground level has to be trained Pruning in Feb-March to remove crowded branches Main branches should be allowed to appear at a height of 0.75 to 1.0m above the ground level Plants are trained to modified central leader system During March-April pruning and thinning of crowded branches may be done Trunk is developed to a height of 1m by removing low lying branches Root stock sprouts are to be removed Dry and diseased parts are to be removed

Guava Sapota Pomegranate Ber Aonla

Cashew Tamarind

Integrated Nutrient Management

The arid and wastelands are poor in nutrition. The nutrient status is aggravated due to frequent drought as well as run off. The critical soil fertility related issues in drylands are runoff, poor organic matter, poor physical properties and management practices. To grow fruit crops in this region it is essential to manure organically. The constraints of nutrient management can be overcome by integrated nutrient management with application of FYM, Green manures, biofertilizers, Neem cake, vermicompost and application of fertilizers when moisture is available can be practiced in water sheds.

4. In the crop improvement programmes too, development of varieties suitable to rainfed agriculture or assumes greater importance. The important crops are sorghum, maize, pearl millet, millets, groundnut, sunflower, pigeonpea, greengram and blackgram. 5. Indigenous technical know how of farmers and technologies are being documented and evaluated. These technologies need be popularized through the farmer to farmer, innovative research and adoption programmes. 6. For dryland zone, dry land horticultural corps like mango, sapota, guava, ber, jack, lime, pomegranate, grapes, coconut, banana, cocoa, coffee, areca etc., in place of irrigated crops may be considered with a backstop on marketing. 7. Efficient management of marginal and shallow lands through alternate land use systems. Multipurpose trees like Subabul, Pongamia, Gliricidia, Sesbania etc. may be promoted. 8. Improve in livestock through improved availability of fodder and better nutritional status and strengthen livestock support services.

Strategies for Development of Watersheds

1. Diversified and sustainable production systems through practices such as crop diversification, integrated nutrient management, integrated pest management efficient in of harvested rainwater, tree bound farming like agro-forestry, crop rotation, intercropping and contingent crop planning to meet weather aberration can be promoted. 2. Suitable farming system models involving Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry, Dairy, Poultry, Sericulture, Bee keeping, Fisheries etc., suitable for a given location to achieve more income and more yields per ha of land per unit time can be adopted. 3. Water saving agronomic practices, pressurized systems viz., sprinkler, drip, trickle irrigation which have already have been accepted needs further support and funding.

Shifting of low value crops to high value commodities like fruits, vegetables and medicinal crops under watershed programme will generate more income in drylands and also will provide more employment

opportunities for the rural poor. Further, watersheds have to be linked with markets and proper infrastructure facilities have to be created for storage, transportation and processing, since all fresh horticultural produces are highly perishable. In the context of changing global policy environment due to WTO, it is necessary to adhere

to the international quality standards by following the hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) guidelines, Codex standards. India should not loose site of advantages of dry climatic conditions of arid/semiarid regions for enhancing export promotion of selected horticultural crops.


Production Potential and Water Use Efficiency of Various Cropping Systems
S. Porpavai, P. Devasenapthy, T. Jayaraj and K. Sathiyabama

Rice followed by rice is the cropping system prevailing in Thanjavur district. Recent past the farmers are unable to cultivate rice crop in time due to delayed release of water from Mettur Dam. Considering water availability, labour demand and economics of cultivation, it is felt that rice based alternate cropping system with inclusion of pulses, vegetables and oil seeds to suit our existing situation is necessary to save water, to improve the soil health and economic status of the farmers. Hence the present experiment was conducted to find out the possibility of raising crops other than rice in Kuruvai and Summer seasons and to find out the production potential and WUE.

to identify the appropriate alternative, need based and profitable cropping systems for Cauvery new delta zone of Tamilnadu. Treatments comprised of ten rice based cropping systems, viz., rice rice black gram , rice rice sesame, rice rice bhendi, Lab-Lab rice maize, onion rice blackgram, rice rice onion, bhendi rice radish, maize rice sesame , groundnut rice blackgram and rice ricegreengram were evaluated for their production potential and economics in randomized block design with four replications. The crops were raised under irrigated condition with recommended package of practices. Production efficiency values in terms of kg / ha / day was calculated by total productivity and net monetary returns of the rotation divided by total duration of the crop in that rotation (Tomer and Tiwari, 1990).

Materials and Methods

Field experiments were undertaken during 2000 2005 at Soil and Water Management Research Institute, Kattuthottam, Thanjavur under All India Co ordinated Research Project on cropping systems,

Results and Discussion

Production efficiency The production efficiency was the maximum in onion rice blackgram (79.5 kg / ha / day) followed by

bhendi rice radish (71.3 kg / ha / day) sequence due to higher yield and net returns. The lowest production efficiency (38.9 kg / ha / day) was noted in the Lab-Lab rice maize system. This was obviously due to less production.

Production Efficiency and Water Use Efficiency in Different Cropping Systems

Treatments Crop sequence Production efficiency (kg/ha/day) 53.5 47.7 59.2 38.9 79.5 61.0 71.3 42.7 50.7 53.7

in bhendi followed by onion and maize. Both bhendi and onion being a vegetable crop recorded higher yield and WUE. In rabi season, no appreciable difference in WUE was observed where rice was grown in all the treatments. During summer season radish recorded the highest WUE followed by bhendi and maize. Among the ten cropping sequences, maximum WUE was obtained in the bhendi rice radish cropping sequence followed by rice rice bhendi and onion
WUE kg/ha/cm

T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10

Rice - rice - blackgram Rice - rice - sesame Rice - rice - bhendi Lab lab - rice - maize Onion - rice - blackgram Rice - rice - onion Bhendi - rice - radish Maize - rice - sesame Groundnut - rice - blackgram Rice - rice - greengram CD (P = 0.05)

Kharif 65.03 65.82 65.72 41.45 128.56 65.16 150.75 102.56 57.00 64.10 3.12

Rabi 60.93 60.80 61.11 61.20 63.44 60.63 59.14 58.50 61.20 59.63 NS

Summer 50.56 30.72 134.00 100.14 51.60 78.80 162.70 31.00 53.00 53.56 2.35

Total 176.52 157.34 260.83 202.79 243.60 204.60 372.60 192.06 171.20 177.30 8.05

Water Use Efficiency (WUE)

In kharif season the highest WUE was obtained

rice blackgram. This may be due to higher system productivity.


1.Tomar, S. S and Tiwari A. S 1990. Production potential and economics of different crop sequences. Indian Journal of Agronomy 35 (1 and 2): 30 35.


Inter Row and Inter Plant Water Harvesting Systems on The Productivity of Rain Fed Pearl Millet Under Vertisol of SemiArid Region
T. Ragavan, N. S. Venkataraman, T. Saravanan and S. Somasundaram

Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) is one of the most important cereal crop grown in India, especially under dry land conditions, Because of its potential for high grain and dry matter production under water deficit and high temperature conditions it has made a mark in drought prone areas. Rainfed pearl millet occupies 1.52 lakh hectare in Tamil Nadu with average productivity of 1121 kg ha-1. More over, in the event of delayed on set of North East Monsoon rainfall considerable sorghum and cotton area under rainfed will be occupied by pearl millet. In this context, enhancement of individual farm productivity will be useful to increase over all production of pearl millet in southern zone of Tamil Nadu during Rabi season with average rainfall of 415 mm, distribute in 23-28 days. Because of low and erratic distribution of rainfall the total production and productivity per unit area from these areas are very low. One way of improving the productivity in rainfed lands is to adopt moisture conserving techniques to make available and best use of rain water. Moisture conservation has long been recognized as a kind of managemental insurance

against risks under aberrant rainfall behaviour of dry land environment. In addition, equalizing nutrient harvest and its addition is a pre requisite in sustaining productivity goals. Further an abated up rise in the use of fertilizers can inflict irreparable damage to land and environment. An integrated nutrient management aims at sustainable productivity with minimum deleterious effect of chemical fertilizers (Abrol and Katyal, 1990). Hence an attempt has been made to evolve suitable moisture conservation techniques with integrated nutrient management for increasing the productivity of pearl millet under rainfed vertisol condition.

Materials and Methods

A field experiment was conducted at Agricultural Research Station, Kovilpatti during North East Monsoon season of 2002 and 2003. The experiment was conducted in split plot design and replicated thrice. The soil at experimental site was black soil classified under the family of Typic chromusterts with low in available N, P and medium in available K and soil PH was 8.1. The soil texture is clayey with the bulk density of 1.27 kg/ m3 with a field capacity of 35 per cent and permanent

wilting point of 14 per cent. The pearl millet cultivar ICMV 221 was used as a test crop. The water harvesting and conserving practices constituted the main plot treatments viz., sowing across the slope (M1), ridges and furrows with tide ridging (M2), paired row sowing 30/60 cm and opening wider row at 35 DAS(M3), intercropping with short duration cowpea (C.152) in 2:1 ratio (M4) and farmers practice (M5). The sub plot constituted with 100% RDF (N1), 50% RDF + FYM 2.5 t ha-1 (N2), 50% RDF + Bio-fertilizer (N3), 50% RDF + FYM+ Bio- fertilizer (N4). The soil of the experimental site was vertisol (Typic Chromusterts) with PH of 8.1. The rain fed region of this tract experiences with annual rainfall of 721 mm and seasonal rainfall during North East Monsoon of 385 mm received in 27 rainy days. Further, this region is having intermittent dry spells during the growth season with unpredictable frequency. The crop was sown with a spacing of 45x15 cm during 41st standard week by dibbling. The recommended dose of fertilizers 40kg N +20 kg P2O5 ha-1 was applied as per the treatments. The bio-fertilizer (Azospirillum) as soil application @ 2 kg ha-1 was applied immediately after sowing.

for better plant growth and development. This is in conformity with the findings of Thumbare and Bhoite (2003). Sowing of Pearl millet in paired row 30/60x15 cm with opening of furrow in wide space at 35 DAS (M3) was found to be best next to the M2 in terms of higher grain yield and B: C ratio. (Table.1)

Effect of Nutrient Management System

In the nutrient management system, application of 50 per cent recommended dose of fertilizers along with 2.5 t ha-1 of farm yard manure and bio fertilizer ( Azospirillum @ 2 kg ha-1)as seed and soil application registered significant increase in the grain yield (1954 kg ha-1) with net return and B:C ratio (1.98). Adequate availability of nutrients with conserved moisture through various measures helps in improving the crop growth and productivity. The integrated nutrient management system not only helps for the better growth and development under rain fed lands but also improves the soil health, especially water holding capacity and organic carbon content and ultimately resulted with higher productivity of crops. These results are in agreement with the finding of Wani et al (1997) and CRIDA (2002).

Results and Discussion Effect of Water Harvesting Systems

Among the inter row and inter plant water harvesting systems, the ridges and furrows with tied ridging(M2) recorded significantly higher grain yield of pearl millet (1982 kg ha-1) as well as gross monetary returns (Rs.11892) over rest of the insitu moisture harvesting and conserving techniques. The net returns (Rs. 6523) and B: C ratio (2.21) was also higher with this treatment. The ridges and furrows with tied ridging method of moisture conservation prevent runoff of water and enhance entry of rain water in to the soil profile. Thus ensuring higher soil profile moisture content favourable

Soil Moisture Content

The soil moisture content at different stages of the crop growth due to water harvesting systems revealed that the soil moisture content at all the stages was higher where moisture conservation practices were followed which has helped in better utilization of applied fertilizers ultimately resulted with higher yield (Fig.1). This in agreement with the findings of Reddy The higher soil moisture content was comparatively higher at ridges and furrows with tied ridging method of moisture conservation (M2) followed by (M3). The inter row and intra row water harvesting systems maintained slightly higher moisture at all the growth stages of pearl millet compared to the farmers practice.

CRIDA, 2002. Annual Progress Report. Central Research Institute for Dry land Agriculture,Hyderabad.Reddy, B.N., C.V. Raghavaiah, M. Padmaiah and P.Murali Arthanari.2005. Performance of Castor (Ricinus communis L.) cultivars under moisture and nutrient constraints in alfisols of semi- arid tropics. Thumbare,A.D and S.U.Bhoite,2003. Effect of moisture conservation techniques on growth and yield of pearl millet -chick pea cropping sequence in a water shed, Indian J.Dry land Agric. Res. And Dev., 18(2):149-151. Wani, A.G.,A.D.Tumbare. T.M.Bhale and S.H.Shinde. 1997. Response of pearl millet to N and moisture conservation practices under rain fed conditions. Indian J. Dry land Agric. Res. And Dev., 12(2):130-132.

Table 1. Effect of different inter row and interplot water harvesting and nutrient Management systems on the grain yield and economics of pearl millet.
Treatments M1 M2 M3 M4 SEd CD (0.05) N1 N2 N3 N4 SEd CD (0.05) Grain yield (kg ha-1) 1492 1982 1825 1628 43.5 92.7 1562 1730 1681 1954 43.8 87.6 Gross income 8952 11892 10950 11580 9372 10380 10086 11724 Net income 4089 6523 5587 6000 4399 4807 4468 5831 B:C ratio 1.84 2.21 2.04 1.97 1.88 1.86 1.80 1.98 -

Fig. 1. Soil moisture content (%) under different inter row and inter plant water harvesting systems.


Effect of Rainfall on Changes in Soil Organic Carbon in Continuous Manorial Fields of Rainfed Black Cotton Soils of Sourth Tamil Nadu
V. Subramanian,1 K. Baskar2, and G. Maruthi Sankar3

In general, the increasing plant biomass is the only option to increase carbon in soils. Aggarwal et al.(1997) have reported that incorporation of crop residue and fertilizer N increased soil organic carbon (SOC) content as well as crop yield. The present investigation is to know the modeling of changes in soil organic carbon through soil temperature, rainfall and evaporation under Long Term Manurial Experiment in Dry land Vertisols of Tamil Nadu.

10 kg N (urea) + 10 kg N/ha (FYM), 20 kg N (urea) + 20 kg N/ha (FYM), 10 kg N (urea) + 10 kg N/ha (FYM) + 10 kg P/ha (SSP) and 20 kg N (urea) + 20 kg N (FYM) + 20 kg P/ha (SSP).

Results and Discussion

The soil organic carbon (%) was observed in each plot of the 13 fertilizer treatments during the 11 year study under LTM experiments. The organic carbon ranged from a minimum of 0.20% under control to a maximum of 0.65% under 40 kg N/ha (FYM) over years. The control had a minimum mean organic carbon of 0.32% with a coefficient of variation of 28.2%, while 40 kg N/ha (FYM) and 20 kg N (urea) + 20 kg N (FYM) + 20 kg P/ha had a maximum mean of 0.44% with a variation of 22.9% and 19.0% variation respectively over years. However, the treatment of 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P/ha had a minimum variation of 15.8%, while 10 kg N (urea) + 10 kg N/ha (FYM) + 10 kg P/ha had a maximum variation of 30.6% over years in the study. It is observed that the soil had a maximum organic carbon of 0.55%

Materials and Methods

Long Term Manurial (LTM) experiments on cotton + black gram and sorghum + cowpea were conducted at Kovilpatti under semi-arid vertisols during 1995 to 2005. The LTM experiments were conducted with a set of 13 fertilizer treatments viz., Control, 20 kg N/ha (urea), 40 kg N/ha (urea), 20 kg N/ha (urea) + SSP at 10 kg P/ha, 40 kg N (urea) + 20 kg P/ha (SSP), 20 kg N/ha (FYM), 40 kg N/ha (FYM), 20 kg N (FYM) + 10 kg P/ha (SSP), 40 kg N (FYM) + 20 kg P/ha (SSP),

in 1995 with a variation of 12.0, while it depleted to a minimum of 0.29% in 1999 with a variation of 17.3% over 9 treatments of fertilizer examined in the study. The soil carbon improved to a mean of 0.35% with a variation of 10.5% over treatments during 2005 in the study. The changes in soil organic carbon in different treatments during 1995 to 2005 under LTM are also depicted in Fig. 1.

The Regression model of changes in organic carbon through climatic variables under LTM was worked out (table 1). The model of T9 was having a maximum and significant organic carbon predictability of 0.53, while T5 had minimum predictability of 0.42. However, T5 gave a minimum prediction error of 0.049%, while T12 had a maximum prediction error of 0.089% based on the models. The sustainable index of organic carbon was found to be maximum of 57.8% for T13, followed by T9 with 57.1%, T7 with 56.5% and T11 with 54.0%, while control had a minimum sustainability of 38.6% based on the trials conducted under LTM. Based on the regression models, the soil temperature observed under 5 7.5, 10 15 and 20 30 cm depth at 7.28 AM was having a significant influence on soil organic carbon compared to the soil temperature observed at 2.20 PM under all the 13 fertilizer treatments. The soil temperature in 5 7.5 and 20 30 cm depth was found to have a significant negative influence, while the soil temperature in 10 15 cm depth had a significant positive influence on the soil organic carbon based on the models of all the treatments examined in the study.

Fig. 1. Performance of treatments for soil organic carbon under LTM during 1995 to 2005 at Kovilpatti

Table 1. Regression models of organic carbon through soil temperature, rainfall and evaporation under LTM at Kovilpatti
Treatment T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T11 T12 T13 Regression model OC = 0.22 0.054 ** (ST1) + 0.089 ** (ST2) 0.038 ** (ST3) 0.003 (ST4) + 0.001 (ST5) + 0.008 (ST6) + 0.001 * (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.25 0.048 * (ST1) + 0.096 ** (ST2) 0.05 ** (ST3) 0.002 (ST4) + 0.001 (ST5) + 0.007 (ST6) + 0.001 (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.28 * 0.04 ** (ST1) + 0.073 ** (ST2) 0.036 ** (ST3) 0.001 (ST4) + 0.001 (ST5) + 0.006 (ST6) + 0.001 * (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.29 * 0.041 ** (ST1) + 0.072 ** (ST2) 0.035 ** (ST3) 0.002 (ST4) + 0.001 (ST5) + 0.007 (ST6) + 0.001 * (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.24 * 0.036 ** (ST1) + 0.054 ** (ST2) 0.021 ** (ST3) 0.001 (ST4) + 0.004 (ST5) + 0.007 * (ST6) + 0.001 * (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.29 0.049 ** (ST1) + 0.097 ** (ST2) 0.053 ** (ST3) 0.003 (ST4) + 0.002 (ST5) + 0.009 (ST6) + 0.001 (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.34 0.036 ** (ST1) + 0.082 ** (ST2) 0.05 ** (ST3) 0.004 (ST4) + 0.004 (ST5) + 0.008 (ST6) + 0.001 (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.25* 0.039 ** (ST1) + 0.08 ** (ST2) 0.045 ** (ST3) 0.003 (ST4) + 0.003 * (ST5) + 0.01 * (ST6) + 0.001 (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.31 * 0.035 ** (ST1) + 0.075 ** (ST2) 0.042 ** (ST3) 0.002 (ST4) + 0.002 (ST5) + 0.007 (ST6) + 0.001 (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.26 0.056 ** (ST1) + 0.099 ** (ST2) 0.047 ** (ST3) 0.002 (ST4) + 0.001 (ST5) + 0.010 * (ST6) + 0.001 * (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.30 0.036 ** (ST1) + 0.078 ** (ST2) 0.046 ** (ST3) 0.002 (ST4) + 0.002 (ST5) + 0.010 * (ST6) + 0.001 * (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.28 0.053 ** (ST1) + 0.101 ** (ST2) 0.054 ** (ST3) 0.002 (ST4) + 0.001 (ST5) + 0.011 * (ST6) + 0.001 * (RF) + 0.001 (EV) OC = 0.32 * 0.046 ** (ST1) + 0.068 ** (ST2) 0.030 ** (ST3) 0.002 (ST4) + 0.001 (ST5) + 0.013 ** (ST6) + 0.001 * (RF) + 0.001 (EV) R2 0.44** (11) 0.46** (9) 0.47** (6) 0.50** (5) 0.42** (13) 0.46** (8) 0.52** (2) 0.51** (3) 0.53** (1) 0.47** (7) 0.50** (4) 0.44** (10) 0.43** (12) 0.069 (8) 0.077 (11) 0.056 (3) 0.054 (2) 0.049 (1) 0.082 (12) 0.073 (9) 0.069 (7) 0.059 (4) 0.077 (10) 0.069 (6) 0.089 (13) 0.064 (5) 38.6 (13) 40.5 (12) 46.8 (9) 48.6 (7) 52.5 (5) 47.4 (8) 56.5 (3) 50.9 (6) 57.1 (2) 46.6 (10) 54.0 (4) 44.8 (11) 57.8 (1)

* & ** indicate significance at 5 & 1% level

Values in parentheses are ranks assigned to treatments


The soil temperature observed in 20 30 cm at 2.20 PM had a significant positive influence on soil organic carbon under T5, T8, T10, T11, T12 and T13 treatments, while it was not significant in other treatments. The soil temperature observed in 5 7.5 cm at 2.20 PM had a negative influence, while the temperature in 10 15 cm had a positive influence on soil organic carbon, but was not significant based on the model of any treatment. A positive effect of rainfall and evaporation on soil carbon were observed under all fertilizer treatments, however, rainfall had a significant effect on soil organic carbon under control, T3, T4, T5, T10, T11, T12 and T13 based on the regression models calibrated for the treatments under LTM study.

has clearly indicated T7 was superior under LTM with 30 and 16 for soil organic carbon observed in individual years (l1) during 1995 to 2005, and mean, coefficient of determination, prediction error and sustainable index (l2) over years at Kovilpatti under semi-arid vertisols (Solanki et al.1999).

Ranking and Selection of Superior Fertilizer Treatments for Sustainable Organic Carbon
Ranks were assigned to treatments for the performance based on soil organic carbon build-up or depletion in different years under LTM experiments during 1995 to 2005 (table 2) and rank sum l1 was derived. Ranks were also assigned to treatments for the mean organic carbon, coefficient of determination, prediction error and sustainable index based on regression models calibrated for the pooled data over years and rank sum (l2) was derived. Based on the pooled rank sum of l1 and l2, a superior fertilizer treatment was selected. A graphical plot of rank sums l1 and l2 derived for fertilizer treatments tested under LTM is given in Fig.2. The study
Table 2. Ranking of treatments for organic carbon status in individual years, mean, coefficient of determination, prediction error and sustainable index over years at Kovilpatti
Treatment l1 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T11 T12 T13 136 125 105 95 70 85 30 65 37 81 49 88 35

Fig. 2. Rank sum of treatments for soil organic carbon in individual years (Rank sum 1) and mean, coefficient of determination, prediction error and sustainable index over years (Rank sum 2) under LTM during 1995 to 2005 at Kovilpatti.

Based on field experiments conducted under LTM during 1995 to 2005 at Kovilpatti under semi-arid vetisols, the soil temperature observed under different soil depths at 7.28 AM was found to have a significant influence on the changes in soil organic carbon, apart from rainfall under LTM experiment. Based on a regression and rank analysis of fertilizer treatments, the study has clearly indicated that T7 was superior under LTM with 30 and 16 for soil organic carbon observed in individual years (rank sum 1) during 1995 to 2005, and mean, coefficient of determination, prediction error and sustainable index (rank sum 2) over years in the study.
LTM l2 45 44 28 24 25 35 16 21 10 35 18 43 19 Rank sum 181 169 133 119 95 120 46 86 47 116 67 131 54 Rank 13 12 11 8 6 9 1 5 2 7 4 10 3



Aggarwal,R.K., Praveen-Kumar & Power, J.F. (1997). Soil Tillage Res.41, 43. Solanki,K.R., Bisaria, A.K. & Handa, A.K. (1999). In Sustainable Rehabilitation of Degraded Lands through Agroforestry. National Research Centre for Agroforestry, Jhansi.


Theme 4 Policies, Institutions, and Socio-economic Aspects

Choice of Genotypes in Fingermillet to Enhance Water Productivity in Rainfed Areas
Dr. A. Nirmala Kumari,

Ragi or fingermillet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn) occupies a primer position in area and productivity among various small millets. Ragi is estimated to comprise 8 per cent of the area and 11 per cent of the production of all millets in the world. Perhaps 4.5 million tonnes of grain are produced annually on as much as 5.0 million hectares throughout the world; almost the entire production is confined to Africa and Asia. India alone produces 45 per cent of the total world production.. Fingermillet ranks third in importance among millets in India after sorghum and pearlmillet. The area under this crop is around 2 million hectares which 7.5 per cent of the total millets area, but its contribution (2.5 million tonnes) to total millet production is around 13 per cent. In India, Karnataka ranks first with more than 40 per cent area, accounting a little over 50 per cent production in the country. The other important Ragi-growing states are Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. The productivity is the highest in Tamil Nadu (1900 Kg/ha) followed by

Karnataka (1436 Kg/ha). Productivity of this crop has been gradually increasing inspite of its cultivation under diverse agro-climatic and ecological conditions. This has been mainly possible through development of improved cultivars through breeding (Seetharam, 1989).

Effective Soil and Moisture Conservation for Sustained Production

Fingermillet is predominantly a rainfed crop. The minimal moisture for successful growing of the crop is around 35-40 cm per season, up to about 75 or 80 cm. One of the striking features of fingermillet is its resilience and ability to adjust to different agro- climates in terms of soil, rainfall and weather parameters. Conservation of moisture is critical for realising predicted higher harvests. Soil and moisture conservation measures including bunding across the slope, land smoothening, early tillage, sowing and intercultivation on contour and opening furrows at suitable interval help in mitigating drought effects. It is noteworthy that fingermillet has vast untapped yield potential in areas where other crops have less chance of adaptation.

Physiological Basis of Productivity Under Dryland Farming

In any crop, increase in the productivity under dryland condition requires understanding of the physiological constraints and also the ways and means of overcoming them have to be designed. Fingermillet, a C4 plant, has a production potential of 4000-5000 Kg/ha under optimum conditions. However, the yield levels achieved are far below its actual potential because fingermillet is predominately grown under rainfed conditions (Udaya Kumar et al., 1989). Drought stress severely limits the yield of fingermillet although it is reputedly one of the most resistant crops to drought. However, recently significant progress has been made in understanding the nature of stress injury and the adaptive mechanisms associated with growth and survival. Field evaluation programmes have been refined and several quick screening techniques developed for rapid screening of a large number of germplasm materials to identify specific characters associated with higher productivity under moisture stress. At first, it is necessary to assess (i) the time, magnitude and duration of stress effect in a particular season, (ii) the effect of drought stress on growth of the plant as a constraint for productivity, (iii) identifying the adaptive strategies of the plant for higher productivity under drought conditions and (iv) the optimum growth period of the crop for maximum utilization of precipitation. Analysis of the constraints in growth and productivity suggests that the following are the major factors. (i) Stress after sowing Effect on seedling emergence and crop establishment. (ii) growth rate. Early season stress Effect on early crop Effect on sink

with the process of atmospheric drying, for the rapidly diminishing moisture of the surface layers. Often, these layers dry out too rapidly for the seed to germinate or for the germinated seedling to extend its roots down into the deeper layers where available moisture can be found. As a result, the seedling may fail to survive even though the overall ecological conditions may be favourable for a mature plant. This problem is further compounded by the formation of crust, the extent and severity of which predominantly depends on soil characteristics. Significant species variation and also variation amongst genotypes within a species do exist in relative germination rates under these situations (Udaya Kumar et al., 1989). Apart from the pre-sowing moisture conservation measures generally adopted and the intrinsic water holding capacities of soils, seed characteristics associated with seedling vigour may determine the final crop stand. One of them is the intrinsic ability of the seedling itself to maintain higher growth rates which is a good reflection of its vigour. This would directly encourage survival by faster emergence before severe defection of soil moisture occurred or indirectly by better osmotic adjustment by accumulation of osmotically active solutes. High seedling growth rates under stress are also favoured by higher rate of imbibition and the metabolic activity of the seeds. The latter facilitates uptake of water especially under low soil water potentials. The survival of the germinated seed during the stress period and its regrowth on stress alleviation is another important factor which determines seedling establishment. Hydration and dehydration tolerance of the germinated seeds by osmotic adjustment, better endogenous hormonal regulation and utilization of seed reserves is important. Differences in solute potential of the seeds had been observed depending on the prevailing conditions during earhead development. Seeds developed from a dryland crop which had experienced stress, showed higher germinability and seedling vigour when osmotic stress was imposed during germination. This may possibly related to the higher solute content in the seeds particularly sucrose. Such induced variability could be exploited. Though significant genotypic variations had been reported (Udaya Kumar et al., 1989) in several of these characteristics associated with seedling establishment, a breeding programme to incorporate these parameters is difficult and time consuming. It is worth while to develop agronomical techniques which can induce tolerance or facilitate stress avoidance thereby enhancing seedling vigour.

(iii) Mid season stress number and sink development.

Germination and Seedling Survival

Stress during germination and seedling establishment drastically affects crop stand and is often a major constraint especially in small seeded fingermillet with limited seed reserves. Germination and establishment are often affected under semi-arid conditions, where the soil moisture is inadequate and the rate of evaporation is high. In such circumstances, the seedling must compete

Moisture Stress as The Limiting Factor for Growth and Productivity

Based on stress situation, the mechanisms adapted by plants to drought stress are different. There are specific escape, avoidance and tolerance mechanisms (Levitt, 1980). These mechanisms either favour survival under stress situation or help in maintaining good productivity under stress situations.

(ii) (iii) (iv)

Chloroplast integrity Hormonal factors Membrane integrity

Strategies Resulting in Possible Reduction in Productivity with Drought Avoidance Characters (i) resistance (ii) (iii) Increase in stomatal and cuticular Reduction in radiation load Reduction in evaporative surface

Adaptive Mechanisms and Their Relationship with Productivity Under Drought Stress
Strategies for Higher Productivity with Drought Avoidance Mechanism (a) (b) Maintenance of water uptake (i) Root characters Water utilization efficiency

It is more important for a drought resistant crop to have the following adaptive characteristics associated with maximizing productivity under stress conditions rather than to ensure mere survival.

(i) Characters associated with low transpiration quotient (c) Higher partitioning efficiency (i) Higher harvest index (ii) Remobilization of reserve carbohydrates Strategies for Less Reduction in Productivity with Drought Escape Mechanism (a) Developmental plasticity (i) Postponement of flowering (ii) Plasticity of tillering Strategies for Less Reduction in Productivity with Drought Tolerance Mechanism (a) High crop growth rates under stress and on alleviation of stress Characters at the organ level: (i) Higher growth rate with low tissue water potential (ii) stress (iii) Higher partitioning on stress alleviation Higher leaf expansion on alleviation of

Higher Water Harvesting and Utilization Efficiency

(a) (b) (c) Water conservation mechanism (Agronomical) Water harvesting by roots. Efficient water utilization (TQ)

Developmental Plasticity Under Stress

Survival and growth under stress Higher crop growth rate after alleviation from stress. Partitioning and effective remobilization of reserves. The best strategy for drought management is increasing the water harvesting and its utilization efficiency. The total productivity of any crop depends on the evapotranspiration, water use efficiency and the harvest index. Agronomical approaches to enhance moisture conservation and a few strategies to minimize water loss like mulching and practising optimum date of sowing will definitely give nice dividends for enhancing productivity of dryland fingermillet. Apart from these practices two other physiological processes associated with water harvesting and conservation are (1) root factors and (2) transpiration quotient. Root factors: An important feature of a drought resistant plant could be its deep root system. The relevance of root volume, spread and depth, relative energy allocation to roots and the vertical conductances of the root system had been reviewed by Passioura (1981). As soil water potential in the surface layers

Characters at the cellular level: (i) Osmoregulation

decreases, water retained in the deeper layers makes a larger contribution to ET.Often in many shallow rooted crops like finger millet, when most of the moisture from the upper layers is exhausted, the plant is unable to extract water to satisfy the ET demand even though the soil water available in the deeper layer is still high. Under these conditions a deeper root system will definitely have an advantage. Genotypic differences in root density especially in deeper soil layers are well documented in rice (Yoshigwa and Hasegawa, 1982). To develop a suitable programme to identify fingermillet genotypes with high water extraction capabilities will investigate the following aspects further. (i) Rapid and accurate measurement of root depth, spread, volume and activity. (ii) Duration of the functional root system during the crop growth period. (iii) The characteristics associated hydraulic conductivity of root system. with

grown under dryland conditions, genotypes with low canopy transpiration rates are desirable (Jones, 1977). This can be achieved by identifying genotypes with low conductances or alternatively with genetically low leaf area and low number of stomata per plant but without sacrificing the ability to produce higher drymatter, since drymatter production is highly correlated with grain yield in fingermillet (Sastry et al., 1982). Field experiments were conducted with seventy medium duration genotypes during monsoon and summer seasons to investigate the possibility of identifying genotypes with genetically low leaf area, leaf area index, leaf area duration, stomatal number per plant, yet harvesting good grain yield and biomass. In these genotypes the canopy water loss is likely to be relatively lower than in genotypes with larger leaf area (Fig 1, 2). The biological yield was used as the primary selection criteria to screen genotypes. Among these genotypes there were some distinct genotypes with high leaf area, high dry matter and high harvest index and some others with low leaf area, high dry matter and high harvest index (Table1). Successive field experiments conducted in selected high and low leaf area types with high biomass and high harvest index had shown the possibility of identifying genotypes with low and high stomatal number (Table 2, 3). It is logical to assume that total canopy water loss would be low in genotypes with low leaf area or low stomatal number. Since fingermillet is predominantly a dryland crop, low canopy water loss assumes greater importance. If the total biological yield is still high in these genotypes despite a reduction in assimilation leaf area, then the carbon exchange ratio (CER) should be high leading to high grain productivity. High CER could be mainly due to high mesophyll conductances and also the significance of these factors in maintaining low TQ had been emphasized earlier (Bierhuzien, 1976). The genotypes identified with low stomatal number and high drymatter were tested for the relative drought tolerance by subjecting them to different moisture stress conditions. Genotypes with low stomatal number and biomass (Table 4) showed less reduction of biomass and yield when subjected to intermittent moisture stress compared to genotypes with high stomatal number and high biomass. Similar results were obtained for land races of pearlmillet adapted to different ecological conditions showing smaller leaf area associated with high carbon exchange rates (Blum and Sullivan, 1986). Precise gravimetric techniques were used to assess the

(iv) The relative allocation of carbohydrates to root systems and its significance. Plant processes associated with high water use efficiency: The physiological and biochemical factors associated with a low transpiration quotient and high water use efficiency are other important adaptive strategies of the plants for higher productivity under stress conditions. Though the total evapotranspiration always shows a relationship with biomass production and productivity, Yield =Total ET x WUE x HI, the differences in productivity amongst the genotypes at a given level of evapotranspiration are mainly attributed to variations in TQ or WUE. The high WUE achieved by some genotypes is often attributed to increased assimilation rate per unit water transpired (Bierhuzien, 1976). Stomatal and mesophyll characteristics are basically responsible for the variation in TQ. However, under field conditions canopy characteristic have to be considered in terms of the relative rates of water loss and assimilation. The canopy conductance, a product of the stomatal conductance and Leaf Area Index, is an important determinant of productivity under field conditions. In this context, the total number of stomata is a more useful parameter as it takes into account the variability in both stomatal frequency and leaf area. A higher number of stomata per plant would increase the total transpirational water loss concurrently. For crops

differences in TQ amongst the genotypes (Malathi et al., 1986; Udaya kumar et al., 1989). By determining the cumulative water transpired and the dry matter accumulated during the crop growth period, genotypes differing distinctly in TQ were identified. The major factors contributing for low TQ were high NAR and low transpiration rate per unit leaf area. Genotypes belonging to high CWU and low TQ and low CWU and low TQ are better for dryland conditions. Genotypes with high CWU and low TQ types have an advantage when moisture available in the deeper layers can be harvested. In this type high CWU is possibly associated with greater stomatal conductances resulting in high water demand. However, if moisture is severely limited it is imperative to select types with a low CWU associated with a low TQ. Again in these types the low CWU may presumably be a consequence of lower canopy conductances. In general, the small leaf area types showed low TQ associated with low CWU and genotypes with moderate or larger leaf area associated with high NAR and high transpiration showed high CWU with low TQ. The following are the desirable morphological and physiological characters associated with low TQ with moderate or high CWU and high dry matter production. (i) Low leaf area (small leaf size or less number of leaves) (ii) High dry matter production

The genotypic differences in photosynthetic efficiency (PE) are often arrived at by measuring PE in a single leaf. The mean photosynthetic rate over crop growth period can be calculated by leaf area duration / dry matter ratio. Higher the value, lesser the photosynthetic rate and vice versa. This concept of LAD / DM can be extended and widely adopted as a preliminary screening technique for determining the canopy photosynthetic rate in different genotypes. Differences in PE of different leaves of canopy, diurnal fluctuations in PE and problems associated with plant architecture like mutual shading are taken care of by determining LAD / DM ratios. The genotypes selected for high biomass and low leaf area were shown to have high PE in fingermillet (Sashidhar et al., 1984). Significant genotypic variation exists in the photosynthetic rate in fingermillet genotypes. Several plant characteristics were shown to be associated with high PE and high in translocation efficiency of photosynthates.The leaf vein frequency, the ratio of veinal width to leaf width, the mean veinal width and mean inter veinal width showed significant relationship with PE and also translocation of photosynthates. Some of these characteristics had been shown to have high heritability value and genetic advance (Perumal, 1982) and could be used in the breeding programme to improve photosynthetic traits.

Developmental Plasticity
In spite of inbuilt mechanism for low transpiration quotient in finger millet, the crop experiences severe moisture stress during early stages of growth even with a good degree of soil moisture conservation practices. Stress induced plasticity in postponing the flowering and development of new tillers on stress alleviation are often suggested as adaptive mechanisms under dryland conditions. Medium duration cultivars have better plasticity both in terms of postponement of flowering during stress and production of new tillers on stress alleviation as compared to early cultivars.

(iii) High NAR/ Photosynthetic rate (High mesophyll conductances) (iv) (v) Low canopy transpiration and High partitioning efficiency.

Biomass production is predominantly dependent on canopy photosynthesis. Though, both leaf area and photosynthesis contribute to biomass production, increasing the photosynthetic efficiency is advantageous especially for dry land crops. Genotypes with high photosynthetic rate may still produce high biomass with small leaf area. Such type will have a low transpiration leaf area, and could be expected to have a low transpiration quotient and high water use efficiency. The concept of low leaf area, high photosynthetic efficiency and high biomass types of fingermillet having an advantage under dry land farming had been already established (Gurumurthy, 1982; Sastry et al., 1982).

Plasticity in Tillering
Mid-season drought stress effect on overall productivity is less in tillering genotypes with ability for tiller development on alleviation of stress (Alagarswamy, 1981). In many genotypes of fingermillet, the productivity of successive tillers reduces drastically and the late formed tillers and nodal tillers formed after stress alleviation contribute very little to grain weight. In fingermillet, a relationship exists between productivity and mean ear weight, but not ear number per plant.

Thus, in recently developed genotypes, the higher yield potential is the result of enhanced mean ear weight. High crop growth rate on alleviation of stress: The differences in productivity under dryland situations are often attributed to differences in crop growth rates on alleviation of stress. The functional leaf at the end of stress period and resumption of leaf growth and its activity on alleviation of stress determines the CGR. The leaf expansion even at low tissue water potential under stress is generally marginal and very little genetic variation exists in this character. In fingermillet as leaf water potential decreased, there was a rapid cessation of leaf elongation indicating that it is a very sensitive character to moisture stress. However, in fingermille