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Archive: Published Articles


Interdisciplinary International Science Journal

Volume 41 (2023)
Issue 3D
Page No. 2055



Nirmal Kumar P., Venkataraman R., Ravichandran  S.,
Dhanasekaran K.


Environment and Ecology 41 (3D) : 2055—2061, July—September 2023
Article DOI:
ISSN 0970-0420

Scaling up the Performance of Irrigation Systems
by Capitalising the Symbiotic Buffering Role of
Tank and Groundwater Sources - An Economic
Analysis in Kancheepuram District of Tamil Nadu

Nirmal Kumar P., Venkataraman R., Ravichandran  S.,
Dhanasekaran K.

Received 8 May 2023, Accepted 27 June 2023, Published on 20 September 2023



Irrigation is necessary for sustaining production in agriculture and plays a key role in food security. A multitude of water sources, including surface (reservoirs, canals, tanks and check dams) and underground (groundwater by open wells and tubewells,); provide the water needed to irrigate the cropped area. Both groundwater sources and tank sources can act as buffers by their complementary and supplemental roles in water supply, and thus can serve as investments in yielding profitable returns for the farmers. Although being widespread in India and mainly concentrated in the southern states, tank irrigation has been declining in area and number over the years as their maintenance were neglected due to a shift of pattern in socio-economic and environmental factors. As a result, the increasing dependence on groundwater sources has consequently strained due to overexploitation. In changing climate scenarios, this poses significant challenges to the conservation of these valuable public goods. This work therefore seeks to study the efficiency of groundwater (tubewell source) while complementing surface source (tank irrigation) by evaluating the costs and enumerating the factors determining the income of the sample farmers. The Uthiramerur Tank Command area located in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu was selected as the study area and a sample size of 120 respondents were interviewed for this research study. It was found that the cost of irrigating groundwater had decreased for the farmers who were closer to the tank command area whereas the HP capacity of the tubewells had increased with a consequent hike in the cost with increasing distance from the tank command area. This implied that farmers who were away from the tank command area deprived from the tank’s buffering complementary role and had to depend only on groundwater sources. The results also showed that owning groundwater source along with utilization of the water in the tank increased the farmer’s income by Rs 2, 000 per acre in paddy crop which was the predominant crop in this tank command area. The study suggested investing in conjunctive water utilization of both sources so as to minimize the cost incurred and increase the efficiency of water use.

Keywords    Conjunctive water use, Groundwater, Tank, Buffer, Efficiency.

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