chapter  Chapter 5
Alternatives for Improving Small-Scale Irrigation Systems in Alfisol Watersheds in India
WithM. von Oppen, K.V. Subba Rao, T. Engelhardt
Pages 17

India derives its irrigation water essentially from three sources: tanks, canals, and wells. This chapter explores two different possibilities for improving tank and well irrigation on alfisol watersheds. First, most tanks, even if they are in good condition and receive runoff quite regularly, are not being managed properly since there is no systematic release of water for irrigation. Second, wherever an irrigation tank has a record of poor performance because of factors such as siltation, lack of runoff or unresolvable disputes over water rights and encroachments, it might be preferable to abandon the tank, and to use the fertile tank bottom for cultivation. The majority of irrigation tanks are performing poorly and this is reflected in the overall decline of tank irrigated area and growing instability. Water management holds one of the most important keys to improved productivity of agricultural land use in the semi-arid tropics. Tanks and wells are traditional sources for small scale irrigation in Indian agriculture.