Farm level rainwater harvesting across different agro climatic regions of India: Assessing performance and its determinants

Shalander, K and Ramilan, T and Ramarao, C A and Srinivasa Rao, C H and Whitbread, A M (2016) Farm level rainwater harvesting across different agro climatic regions of India: Assessing performance and its determinants. Agricultural Water Management, 176. pp. 55-66. ISSN 03783774

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Rainwater harvesting and its utilization have a very important role to play in harnessing the production potential within dryland systems. This study assesses the performance of small rainwater harvesting structures (farm-ponds) in 5 major rainfed states of India over the period 2009–2011 using data from multiple sources and stakeholders. Rainwater which is harvested using structures of varying types and sizes was used for either supplemental irrigation or recharging open-wells. In many cases, the farm level rainwater harvesting structures were highly effective for rainfed farming and had a multiplier effect on farm income. In some situations however, it was viewed by farmers as a waste of productive land. The use of farm ponds in Maharashtra, for example, resulted in a significant increase in farm productivity (12–72%), cropping intensity and consequently farm income. In the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, farm pond water was profitably used for supplemental irrigation to mango plantations, vegetables or other crops and animal enterprises with net returns estimated to be between US$ 120 and 320 structure−1 annum−1. Despite such examples, the adoption of the farm ponds was low, except in Maharashtra. A functional analysis of the reasons for high adoption of water harvesting structures indicated that factors such as technical support, customized design, level of farmer participation, age, existing ownership of open wells, annual rainfall and household assets were the major determinants of performance of farm-level rainwater harvesting structures. Based on this countrywide analysis, different policy and institutional options are proposed for promoting farm-level rainwater-harvesting for dryland agriculture.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Innovation Systems for the Drylands (ISD)
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems
CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rainwater harvesting, Farm pond, Impact, Performance, Determinants supplemental irrigation, Agro climatic regions
Subjects: Others > Agriculture
Others > Water Harvesting
Others > Climate Change
Others > Water Resources
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2016 05:58
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2017 04:19
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: The financial support from NAIP, Indian Council of Agricultural Research and CRP Dryland Systems is acknowledged thankfully.Authors thank all the case study farmers for their cooperation, K.Kareemulla and B. Venkateswarlu for their contribution in study implementation and KL Sahrawat, Z. Birhanu and two unanimous referees for very useful comments on earlier draft of the paper.
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