259-6 Advancing Agronomy in Canal Irrigated Areas through Participatory Water Resources Development and Management.
Participatory water resources development and management has been successful in a canal irrigation project viz. Kuanria irrigation in eastern India. Auxiliary water storage reservoirs i.e., tank-cum-well systems developed in multiple numbers at head-, mid-reach and tail-ends of the canal irrigated areas facilitated development of integrated farming systems (IFS) with active participation of individual or group of farmers, water-user associations (WUA) and Government departments.
An additional water resource of 14,320 cubic meter in 8 IFS units could be created through water storage tanks and dug-wells. Different WUA play key roles for operation & maintenance, and overall governance. Rainfall, runoff water and excess canal water delivered during rainy season could be stored in storage tanks enabling fish culture with a potential yield of 1.32-2.96 t/ha and lucrative business opportunity to farmers. An increase in farm income by 20-34% from IFS is achieved through on-dyke horticultural crops. Conjunctive irrigation using water from auxiliary reservoirs and dug-wells facilitated double cropping under 8 IFS units in about 36 ha, accrued economic benefit of US$ 2286-2900 from one unit of IFS, and water productivity of US$ 0.34-0.89 per cubic meter of water. Hence, participatory water management holds promise for advancing farming systems in canal irrigated areas.