Devising Optimal Crop Plans (OCPs) to Optimize Water Management under Groundwater Exploitation Scenario: An Empirical Investigation
9 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2013
Date Written: February 16, 2013
Groundwater is the cherished source of irrigation in India as it plays vital role in increasing food productivity and ensuring food security in India. But adding fly to the ointment, advances in groundwater extraction technology have only resulted in over exploitation of it. Falling ground water tables and depletion of economically accessible ground water resources would have severe socio-economic consequences. Estimates show that 45 per cent of the total irrigation area in Tamil Nadu is plagued by severe exploitation. This may be alluded to changes in the cropping pattern favouring water intensive crops, increase in number of wells and rise in their energization level. The present study was conducted in Thiruvallur district which witnesses burgeoning pressure upon ground water resources by exploding population and industrialization. It was found that area under irrigation intensive crops in the district has increased from 11.21 to 32.52 per cent between the triennium ending 1998-99 and 2010-11. The number of wells also exhibited positive growth coupled with electrification of wells (95 %). Farmers were found to be unaware of falling water table. Thus it becomes pertinent to devise optimal crop plans to sustain the use of underground water sources. The results of the devised optimal crop plans show that the irrigation water use could be reduced by 43.87 to 59.16 hours of pumping in the over exploited ground water regime sample farms. It is also suggested that area under high water consuming crops should give way for low water consuming crops without compromising on livelihood and income support of the farmers.
Keywords: Groundwater exploitation, optimal crop plans, water management
JEL Classification: O13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation