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Approaches to Improving Irrigation
Performance and Water Use
Ian W Makin
Vice President (ICID)
Lead Specialist - Irrigatio...
OVERVIEW
• Context of irrigated agriculture
• Key messages
• Innovations
• Conclusions
Context of Irrigated Agriculture
Why performance of irrigation and agriculture
is important.
• Growing population – changing diets
• Rural:Urban transition...
SECTOR CONTRIBUTION TO GDP (%) & EMPLOYMENT
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
1950-51
1954-55
1958-59
1962-63
1966-67
1970-71
1974-75
19...
ARUN JAITLEY - 2016 INDIAN BUDGET SPEECH
“We need to think beyond ‘food security’ and
give back to our farmers a sense of ...
Different farmers have
different needs
7
• Improving I&D services will impact the
rural community – not just farmers –
sup...
Definitions
Definitions: Irrigation Efficiency:
• Defined: estimated water requirement (m3) relative to water applied or
withdrawn (m3...
Definitions: Irrigation Efficiency:
• Defined: estimated water requirement (m3) relative to water applied or
withdrawn (m3...
• Defined: Output (in kg, $, or kcal) in relation to water use (in terms of water
withdrawn, applied or consumed).
• Appli...
• Defined: Output (in kg, $, or kcal) in relation to water use (in terms of water
withdrawn, applied or consumed).
• Appli...
OBJECTIVES OF IRRIGATION:
Simply:
i. provide essential moisture and transport of essential
nutrients for plant growth, and...
MODERNIZATION IS THE:
“Process of upgrading infrastructure,
operations and management of irrigation
and drainage systems t...
MODERNIZATION
• Understand the real constraints – before investing
– MASCOTTE – FAO guidelines on modernization of irrigat...
Innovations
17
Key message
Improving agricultural performance in
irrigation requires:
• Capacity at farms and fields;
• Technologies t...
INNOVATIONS – FARM AND FIELD
• Surface irrigation often performs poorly, but:
– Improved farmer knowledge and simple tools...
INNOVATIONS – FARM AND FIELD
• Surface irrigation often performs poorly, but:
– Improved farmer knowledge and simple tools...
Laser levelling
Zero tillage
BUT IMPACTS OF TECHNOLOGY ARE NOT HOMOGENOUS
Different farms – different benefits
Ahmad et al...
INNOVATIONS – SYSTEM OPERATIONS
Technology can:
• Provide real-time data
• Remote operations
• Improved access to
informat...
INNOVATIONS – SYSTEM OPERATIONS
Technology can:
• Provide real-time data
• Remote operations
• Improved access to
informat...
MODERNIZING IRRIGATION SERVICES
Time
Managementeffort
Simple flood irrigation:
• Construct channels
• Flood land
Supply or...
IMPROVING IRRIGATION PERFORMANCE
• Requires:
– strengthening links between main system and
farmers' fields.
– problems ide...
IMPROVING IRRIGATION PERFORMANCE
• But the solutions are not isolated in system
O&M, but require:
– Leadership to:
• Set a...
Conclusions
Improving irrigation performance:
– will not automatically and/or substantially reduce (&
may increase) agricultural water...
Thank You
Ian W Makin
i.makin@cgiar.org
28
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Innovative Approaches for Irrigation in India

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Presented by IWMI's Ian Makin at the India Irrigation Forum held on April 7, 2016 in New Delhi, India.

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Innovative Approaches for Irrigation in India

  1. 1. Approaches to Improving Irrigation Performance and Water Use Ian W Makin Vice President (ICID) Lead Specialist - Irrigation (IWMI) 1 Indian Irrigation Forum (7 April 2016) – New Delhi
  2. 2. OVERVIEW • Context of irrigated agriculture • Key messages • Innovations • Conclusions
  3. 3. Context of Irrigated Agriculture
  4. 4. Why performance of irrigation and agriculture is important. • Growing population – changing diets • Rural:Urban transition – increasing food and energy demands, rural labour shortages • Falling contribution of agriculture to employment and GDP • Changing role of agriculture in many HH livelihoods (ageing farmers, changing roles of women) • Agriculture is largest user and consumer of H2O; climate change • Multiple and Competing uses of water • Growing water constraints (quantity and quality) 4
  5. 5. SECTOR CONTRIBUTION TO GDP (%) & EMPLOYMENT 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 1950-51 1954-55 1958-59 1962-63 1966-67 1970-71 1974-75 1978-79 1982-83 1986-87 1990-91 1994-95 1998-99 2002-03 2006-07 2010-11 Agriculture Industry Services http://planningcommission.gov.in/data/datatable/data_2312/DatabookDec2014%202.pdf GDP contribution (%)Agricultural employment (%)
  6. 6. ARUN JAITLEY - 2016 INDIAN BUDGET SPEECH “We need to think beyond ‘food security’ and give back to our farmers a sense of ‘income security’. Government will, therefore, reorient its interventions in the farm and non-farm sectors to double the income of the farmers by 2022. Our total allocation (FY 2016/17) for Agriculture and Farmers’ welfare is INR 35,984 crore (USD 5.42 bln).” Arun Jaitley Minister of Finance February 29, 2016
  7. 7. Different farmers have different needs 7 • Improving I&D services will impact the rural community – not just farmers – support for transformation must include increasing off-farm employment. Farm Size Farmer orientation Subsistence Semi-commercial Commercial Small XXX X X Medium XXX XX Large XX XXX
  8. 8. Definitions
  9. 9. Definitions: Irrigation Efficiency: • Defined: estimated water requirement (m3) relative to water applied or withdrawn (m3) from a source. • Application: to assess “losses” in the distribution, conveyance, and application of irrigation water. • Appropriate for: o Farm-scale irrigation investment and management decisions o Design of irrigation conveyance and application systems o “real-time” M&E of irrigation system operational performance • Limitations: o Does not account for the capture and reuse of water within broader hydrologic systems (e.g., basins) o Can lead to incorrect water allocation and investment decisions, faulty public policy at the basin scale
  10. 10. Definitions: Irrigation Efficiency: • Defined: estimated water requirement (m3) relative to water applied or withdrawn (m3) from a source. • Application: to assess “losses” in the distribution, conveyance, and application of irrigation water. • Appropriate for: o Farm-scale irrigation investment and management decisions o Design of irrigation conveyance and application systems o “real-time” M&E of irrigation system operational performance • Limitations: o Does not account for the capture and reuse of water within broader hydrologic systems (e.g., basins) o Can lead to incorrect water allocation and investment decisions, faulty public policy at the basin scale
  11. 11. • Defined: Output (in kg, $, or kcal) in relation to water use (in terms of water withdrawn, applied or consumed). • Application: To assess water allocation including accounting for: o Multiple sources of water o Multiple scales o Multiple, sequential (re)use within a basin. • Appropriate for: o Water allocation decisions between uses (basin and farm scale) o Post-season performance assessment of irrigated agriculture • Limitations: o Not applicable for operational management decisions o More complex to evaluate Definitions: Water productivity: Molden 1997
  12. 12. • Defined: Output (in kg, $, or kcal) in relation to water use (in terms of water withdrawn, applied or consumed). • Application: To assess water allocation including accounting for: o Multiple sources of water o Multiple scales o Multiple, sequential (re)use within a basin. • Appropriate for: o Water allocation decisions between uses (basin and farm scale) o Post-season performance assessment of irrigated agriculture • Limitations: o Not applicable for operational management decisions o More complex to evaluate Definitions: Water productivity: Molden 1997
  13. 13. OBJECTIVES OF IRRIGATION: Simply: i. provide essential moisture and transport of essential nutrients for plant growth, and ii. leach and/or dilute salts in the soil
  14. 14. MODERNIZATION IS THE: “Process of upgrading infrastructure, operations and management of irrigation and drainage systems to sustain the water delivery service requirements of farmers and optimize production and water productivity.” Source: - Lance Gore, Arnaud Cauchois (ADB), Beau Freeman, Mike Chegwin (Lahmeyer), Ian Makin (IWMI), September 2015
  15. 15. MODERNIZATION • Understand the real constraints – before investing – MASCOTTE – FAO guidelines on modernization of irrigation service: • What level of water delivery service does the system currently provide? • What hardware (infrastructure) and software (operational procedures, institutional setup, etc.) features affect this level of service? • What improvements in the various components could make a significant difference in service delivery to users? • Manage Irrigation Assets for long-term performance – Current practice tends towards deferred maintenance (build-ignore- rehabilitate-ignore) • Expand use of ICT to improve information and decision making
  16. 16. Innovations
  17. 17. 17 Key message Improving agricultural performance in irrigation requires: • Capacity at farms and fields; • Technologies to improve operation of canals and drains; • Enhanced management of irrigation services • Leadership and integrated actions
  18. 18. INNOVATIONS – FARM AND FIELD • Surface irrigation often performs poorly, but: – Improved farmer knowledge and simple tools work; – Laser grading and levelling can transform performance and reduce energy costs; – Sprinkler, drip and trickle systems can reduce labour, fertilizer and water requirements. • On-farm storage and/or access to groundwater enables farmers to get better performance from irrigation services
  19. 19. INNOVATIONS – FARM AND FIELD • Surface irrigation often performs poorly, but: – Improved farmer knowledge and simple tools work; – Laser grading and levelling can transform performance and reduce energy costs; – Sprinkler, drip and trickle systems can reduce labour, fertilizer and water requirements. • On-farm storage and/or access to groundwater enables farmers to get better performance from irrigation services
  20. 20. Laser levelling Zero tillage BUT IMPACTS OF TECHNOLOGY ARE NOT HOMOGENOUS Different farms – different benefits Ahmad et al., 2007 Different technologies – different benefits Water Labor Fertilizer SMALL MEDIUM LARGE ALL FARMS Cropping intensity (%) before and after adoption of conservation agriculture CroppingIntensity Lesson: When examining water productivity’s contributions to broader development objectives, we must look not only at the overall benefits but also their distribution and trade-offs. 176 % 198 %
  21. 21. INNOVATIONS – SYSTEM OPERATIONS Technology can: • Provide real-time data • Remote operations • Improved access to information • Offer new tools for manual system operations
  22. 22. INNOVATIONS – SYSTEM OPERATIONS Technology can: • Provide real-time data • Remote operations • Improved access to information • Offer new tools for manual system operations
  23. 23. MODERNIZING IRRIGATION SERVICES Time Managementeffort Simple flood irrigation: • Construct channels • Flood land Supply orientated management: • Fix cropping at design stage • Enforce designed cropping pattern • Control by level, maintain FSL in main canals Modern management: • Agree cropping pattern with water users at start of season based on available water supply • Schedule to match demands • Measure and monitor allocations • Assess performance Additional effort required to move from one level to the next Burton, Martin. 2011. Water Management in India: Options for Change. Presentation at the 2011 FAO Investment Days Meeting, December 15-17.
  24. 24. IMPROVING IRRIGATION PERFORMANCE • Requires: – strengthening links between main system and farmers' fields. – problems identified by Chambers, Cernea in 1980s -Still is an issue – Results • Expansion of groundwater use and local storage • Poor cost recovery, etc, etc
  25. 25. IMPROVING IRRIGATION PERFORMANCE • But the solutions are not isolated in system O&M, but require: – Leadership to: • Set and support clear objectives for system managers and operators • Provide timely resources for operations, maintenance and repairs • Rewards for performance
  26. 26. Conclusions
  27. 27. Improving irrigation performance: – will not automatically and/or substantially reduce (& may increase) agricultural water consumption! – should enable reduced diversions from water bodies – reducing impacts on flow-regimes – will reduce return flows and agricultural pollution (lost agrichemicals) – must increase farmers livelihoods and food security 27
  28. 28. Thank You Ian W Makin i.makin@cgiar.org 28

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