Participatory Land and Water Management

ACIWRM during KISWRMIP Tranche-1 had prepared the river sub-basin profile and plan of Tungabhadra (K8) & Vedavati (K9) sub-basins on pilot basis for sustainable management of water resources through implementation of IWRM principles. Land and Water Management (LWM) Plans preparation as part of river basin planning through participatory approaches assumes importance as more than 80 per cent of the water is used for irrigation.

There are isolated efforts in the past made by the State Agricultural Universities, Agriculture Department by implementing demonstration of water saving technologies in small areas (less than one ha. to 50 ha. area) on farmers’ fields. Recently, large scale (about 25,000 ha at contiguous block) Micro Irrigation schemes are implemented in the State. However, implementation of integrated projects duly including water, land, crop and other uses of water and environmental aspects is not being implemented anywhere in the state.

ACIWRM has identified three Hydrological Units (HU) in the Tungabhadra river system to study and prepare plan for better management of land, water, agriculture, ecological services and human resources development. These plans were developed through community participation and stakeholders’ consultations. The plan of HU at Catchment area of Tungabhadra reservoir was prepared by the University of Horticultural Sciences, Bagalkot and for Distributary Number 17 (D-17) and Distributary Number 95 (D-95) of Tungabhadra Left Bank Canal (TLBC) prepared by the University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur.

The two distributaries of the Tungabhadra Left Bank Canal (TLBC), Distributary no. 17 is at head reach situated in Gangavati Taluk of Koppal District and Distributary no. 95 at tail end situated in Manvi Taluk of Raichur District. These locations are selected to implement the Land & Water Management Pilots after the detailed study and interactions with the KNNL, CADA & Agriculture department team in field to compliment the modernization of TLBC.

The pilots will develop options for sustainable use of land and water resources management including soils, water, vegetation and livestock, for the production of goods and services to meet changing human needs, while ensuring long-term productive potential of these resources and maintenance of environmental functions. The pilot program will implement the interventions potential to address identified issues in an integrated and participatory manner.

Distributary No.95 (Dy-95) always suffers with lack of sufficient water. Dy 95 is located towards tail end of TLBC and the water supply is uncertain in terms of time and quantity as the water has to pass through all the 94 Distributaries to reach to Distributary 95. Deep black cotton soils are predominant in the command area. Distributary has around 3,020 ha as culturable command area with 25 Pipe Outlets (POs) along the Distributary. Only the first 14 POs of initial reaches get water and subsequent POs from 15 to 25 doesn’t’ get water for irrigation. It is observed that, no regular pattern of discharge is maintained. There are more than 50 Farm Ponds created towards tail end areas of distributary by the farmers to harvest rain fall runoff and canal water in times of supplies reaching those DPOs. About 60 per cent of area is cultivated with rainfed crops such as cotton, pigeon pea and receives a rainfall of about 620 mm per annum.


The Distributary number 17 (D-17) takes off from main canal at 47 kms from reservoir, is adjacent to Gangavati town of Koppal District, falls in the head reach area of main canal with abundant water supply for kharif season and experiences shortfall of water for rabi season. First half of the head reach area of the of distributary command is with sandy loam soils and rest is black soil. The Distributary has three branches runs into 14.9 kms length with 36 POs with culturable command area of 3,954 ha. The command area has about 1468 borewells and experiencing lowering water level over the years. Paddy is the dominating crop in both kharif and rabi seasons.

The pilot preparation indicated that, scope exists to save the water in the distributary through implementation of proposed interventions.  It is observed that, excess water is drawn in Dy 17 to cultivate paddy crop in kharif and rabi seasons as the Distributary is close to the reservoir. Common challenges experienced includes water logging, salinization of lands, extensive cultivation of water intensive rice crop, use of water outside command area, yield gaps compared to potential yields, high use of chemical fertilizers, water quality issues in drinking water, poor groundwater quality, inadequate capacity of WUCS and existing of land lease system, inaccurate water measurement, insufficient data base, etc.

The Dy 95, generally, first half of the command area gets canal water and the farmers grow paddy in kharif season and about 20% area grow paddy again in rabi season also. Farmers in the rest of area grow rainfed crops such as cotton, jowar, redgram and irrigate once if at all canal water is available. Low crop yields towards tail end area is a common phenomenon.

The Bedavatti sub- watershed is selected, as third pilot area, for the proposed land and water management study as a representative location for catchment area of Tungabhadra sub-basin. Watershed has area of 4434.86 hectares (ha) consists of six micro-watersheds namely Bedavatti, Revanki-I, Revanki-II, Chickamageri, Lakmanagule, and Balapur. Watershed falls under north dry agro-climatic zone. The normal rainfall of the district is 598 mm with 40 rainy days. The annual average rainfall was 746 mm more by 25 % compared to the normal of 598 mm during 2017. The average landholding size of the sample farmers is 5.38 acres.


Of the total operational holdings of 1552.77 acres, 180 acres ie., 12% is irrigated. 53% of the sample households were categorized as small, 16% in the medium category while only 10% were in large farmer category. Large farmer who form 10% of the sample own 23% of the land while 53% of the small farmers hold only 7% of the land. Of the total income of the sample households, about 55-67% of household’s income is from agriculture while farm labour income is in the range of 13-23% with income from livestock being insignificant.

On soil fertility status, 195 sample households (65%) of 300 reported problems with soil and water erosion problems with similar proportions across the study villages. 98% of the sample households shown interest to adopt soil and water conservation practices. About 2193 acres are cultivated during the rainy season. Maize and bajra occupy the largest dryland area with 51% and 32% respectively in the rainy season. Across crops grown by the sample households, net revenue realized from sunflower is the highest at Rs. 6677/acre followed by maize, groundnut and bajra at Rs. 5265, Rs. 4042, Rs. 3014/acre respectively.

Farmers most preferred choice to access agriculture information pertaining to pest & disease and seeds is neighbor farmers and input suppliers.  Farmer service centers and friends and relatives are the next preferred choice to access information pertaining to pest & disease. To enquire about the price of output to market/sell their produce, farmers most preferred choice is commission agents. On allied activities, dairying, sheep and goat farming are the important activities.


The LWM interventions in plans prepared through people participation is different for each of the three pilot locations. The proposed LWM Plans implementation includes interventions aimed to conserve and develop water, land, agriculture production, ecological services, sustainability and livelihoods of people. LWMM Pilots also include innovations in institutional arrangements, technologies and methodologies, and building the capacity of water users for participatory management of resources and production systems. The learnings from the implementation of these pilots will systematically feed into the river basin sub-plans preparation and implementation.

Ground water use to supplement
Ground water use to supplement
ID Crop at Tail end area
ID Crop at Tail end area
Flood irrigation in chilli crop
Flood irrigation in chilli crop
Drinking water shortage in G 95 Atnur village
Drinking water shortage in G 95 Atnur village

The key interventions arrived from the plans are as following:

  • Agriculture intensification and crop diversification to increase water productivity.
  • Reclamation of degraded soils in the identified fields
  • Introduction and support for on-farm water saving practices such as adoption of alternate wetting and drying, plot to plot irrigation, Direct Sowing of Rice, growing short duration verities.
  • Support for water use efficient practices such as drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation.
  • Promotion of conjunctive use of canal and ground water
  • Capacity building of WUCS’s
  • Training farmers on Integrated water Management, Integrated crop management.
  • Organize Farmer Water Schools to improve skills of farmers in land, water and crop management.
  • Networking with Departments and relevant stakeholders for convergence of services. on integrated way for synergetic effect.
  • Developing scientific data on land, water and crop resource inventory for estimating water requirement, assess water productivity, providing advisory services on water use and crop production.
  • Form Project Stakeholders Committee duly involving line departments.
  • Developing Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material to create awareness on crop water requirement, efficient irrigation practices, soil health-based nutrition management, benefits of optimum use of water.
  • On-Farm Experimentation about water saving irrigation methods, crops and verities
  • Removing weeds in drains, harvest regenerated water, rain water and reuse for supplemental irrigation, etc.
  • Measure the water supply from canal, ponds and tanks
  • Estimate and forecast water demand in the command area
  • Optimize the water distribution plans to maximize the overall crop yield.
  • Develop a Decision Support System (DSS) for canal management operations.