The long-term objectives of the Project were:
(i) increase agricultural production in salt-affected and waterlogged areas by applying proper soil management and drainage technologies;
(ii) prevent deterioration of productive land by appropriate soil and water management practices;
(iii) improve the socio-economic situation of small and marginal farmers on these lands;
(iv) develop expertise for managing reclamation projects in India.
Practical survey methods to diagnose problems of water-logging and salinity were developed. Local irrigation practices were surveyed, shortcomings identified, research conducted and irrigation water management techniques to improve crop productivity and minimize the cost of drainage were demonstrated. Counterpart staff members attended national and international training courses, participated in collaborative research programmes, and consulted with visiting experts.
Location within country: Andhra Pradesh Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka and Rajasthan.
Services provided by Alterra
- Seven drainage pilot areas varying in size between 15 and 100 ha, in farmers’ fields in four Indian States have been constructed. Performance evaluation yielded suitable guidelines for the design of subsurface drainage to reclaim waterlogged and salt-affected soils in the various command areas;
- The project furthermore analysed on-farm water management using the SWAP model. GIS-based up-scaling techniques were used to estimate effects of improved water management for Haryana state;
- In parallel also a regional hydrological model (SIWARE/) was developed and applied to study the response of aquifers on alternative water management scenarios;
- Sub-surface drainage design and implementation;
- Conjunctive use experiments of saline and fresh water;
- Training and capacity building.