"Tank Irrigation in South India- What is Next?"

K.Palanisami, Director
(Water Technology Centre, Tamilnadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore & Invited Research Fellow Research Institute for Humanity and Nature , Kyoto)
10:00-12:00, July 14 (Thu), 2005
C307 3rd floor of Common building at CSEAS
Tanks, as a traditional source of irrigation, are found in India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. In India, tanks are concentrated in the Southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu where they provided the largest source of irrigation until the mid-sixties. There are more than 39,000 tanks in Tamil Nadu state alone, with varying sizes and types. Currently, area irrigated by tanks has been continuously declining and the share of the tanks in total cropped area in the state has declined from 37 per cent during 1960s to 22 percent during 1990s. Several factors such as variation in rainfall, level of tank filling, tank siltation, encroachment, and weakening of the local institutions have contributed for the rapid decline in tank performance. Now there is a growing demand for reviving the tank irrigation potential due to increased cost of major reservoir projects as well as declining groundwater potential in several regions of the country. Also most of the small and marginal farmers are concentrated in the tank systems and hence poverty alleviation can be directly addressed if tank irrigation is improved. International agencies such as World Bank, Asian Development Bank and JICA are now showing interest in tank modernization programs in India. This seminar will focus on how tank irrigation potential could be revived.
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