Indian agriculture is chiefly dependent on Monsoon; as only 1/3rd of cultivable land across the country is irrigated. Thus very huge chunk of farmers has to bear severe loss whenever there is low rainfall; which directly affects India’s economy.
Government plans huge water conservation projects such as building dams, canals, reservoirs, etc to bring cultivable land under irrigation. But at the same time farmers should take initiative so that they can carry out farming throughout the year.
Important aspects of water conservation
- Harvest rain water as much as you can
- Adopt new techniques of farming to reduce water usage
- Prevent soil erosion
Below are few techniques discussed; which farmers can implement at minimal investment.
1. Constructing farm pond
- This is easiest way of conserving water. Farm Ponds can be built individually or in group.
- Government give subsidies to construct farm pond. Also, there are plenty NGOs exist; which help farmers to build farm pond.
2. Storing of rain water in dried wells
- This is can be done by collecting runoff water in the dried wells during rainy season.
- This can help farmer to continue agriculture practices in draught conditions.
3. Building bunds on small water streams
- Monsoon gives birth to several small water streams.
- The water flowing through these streams can go wasted if is not stopped with the help of bunds.
- Bunds are structures built across water channel.
- These bunds reduce velocity of flow water; which led to percolation of water within soil.
- This helps in improving ground water table & also increases water level in wells nearby the water channel.
4. Constructing Bench Terrace
- In bench terracing; sloppy land is converted into steps like structure.
- When runoff water flows down the slope; its velocity get reduced & maximum amount of the water seeps within the soil.
- This helps to improve ground water table & also reduces soil erosion.
5. Tree plantation on barren land
- Barren land can be used to harvest rain water.
- Planting trees on such land hinder rain water from flowing off; which increases ground water table and reduces soil corrosion.
6. Use of drip irrigation
- Drip irrigation can save huge quantity of water.
- It provides water only to the root zone of the crop and controls growth of weeds.
- Drip irrigation also reduces time & cost of fertigation.
7. Use of Mulch
- Mulching- whether organic or plastic; reduces loss of water through spoil because of evaporation and maintains optimum moisture.
- It also controls the growth of weed. Mulching can be used for almost every type of crop.
8. Change in cropping pattern
- While selecting crop it is very important to verify the availability of water and water requirement of that crop.
- In draught prone areas it is always beneficial to replace crops like sugar cane which demands excessive water; with Soybean.
9. Integrated Fertilizer Management
- Optimum use of organic and chemical fertilizers can reduce use of water in farming.
- It also reduces soil pollution causing due to chemical fertilizers.