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Storage Tanks&Irrigation: Mango, Fruit crops.

Thanks for the opportunity to learn from you.

I would like to know procedure for the  following work:

My village (Jameelapet) Mdl: Bibinagar, Dt: Nalgonda, Andhra Pradesh is having very low yield of ground water. Most of the farming is done by bore well irrigation. Since power supply is staggered, it has become difficult to divert the water properly to the needy fields. Hence we propose to build water storage tanks at the highest points of our field on the ground level and fill it with the bore well source (water available in my bore well).  We may use the stored water very judicially according to the need.

What I need to Know is....

------We would like to know the kind of storage tanks we should build. They should be constructed economically and should store maximum capacity of water.

------ Is it advisable to use drip irrigation or open canal system from the tanks.

------- My basic crop is mango and other fruit bearing trees of 5 yrs old.

thanking you and look forward for an advise in this regard,

K V Reddy

040-23743630

98490 53747

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Comments

1.

The costs of construction of various tanks can be reckoned roughly here : http://www.rainwaterharvesting.org/Urban/Costs.htm

Also the principles regarding the construction, design, and material of ferrocement tanks can be accessed here : http://megphed.gov.in/knowledge/RainwaterHarvest/Appendix-2.pdf

2.

The size of the tank would depend on the area of your farm, discharge from borewell and how many days you want to store the water, etc.,

Farmers excavate small ponds at elevated places of their farm with clay lining to store water before irrigating their field in many places of South India where they use compressor pumps for drawing water from borewells. The stored water is collected and used for irrigation through open channels or by using pumps.

This is a simple solution which can be tried. Additionally, lining of the pond using polythene sheets, cement mortar, etc,., can be used to prevent seepage of water based on the requirement. Conveyance of water through a grind of PVC pipeline in the farm also would increase irrigation efficiency.

If finance is not a problem, then large water tanks using brick/stone masonry can be constructed. This is also a common practice used by farmers who can afford the cost in water stressed areas.

Drip irrigation can be used to increase water efficiency. Consult a local vendor to work on the pressure required and filters needed, etc., in case you are not going to use a pump for pumping water from this storage tank.

3. The answer I gave to a query

The answer I gave to a query similar to that posed by K.V. Reddy can be read at

Click here

The purpose of constructing a storage reservoir at the highest point in the field is to convey irrigation water by gravity flow. This method is not good in water scarce areas, as there would be substantial water loss through evaporation and infiltration. The ideal course would be to convert the bore well into a dug-cum-bore well.

This is exactly what a farmer in Anantapur district did with his low-yielding bore well. A picture of the dug-cum-bore well constructed is shown at

click here

He pumps water from the bore-well portion of the well into the dug-well portion of the same well with a compressor pump. He pumps the water so collected in 24 hours in a couple of hours when there is power to irrigate his mango garden with a centrifugal pump. He uses drip irrigation to get maximum benefit from the limited water available.

R. Jagadiswara Rao Former Professor of Geology Sri Venkateswara University Tirupati, AP 517502 rjagadiswara@gmail.com

He pumps water from the bore-well portion of the well into the dug-well portion of the same well with a compressor pump. He pumps the water so collected in 24 hours in a couple of hours when there is power to irrigate his mango garden with a centrifugal pump. He uses drip irrigation to get maximum benefit from the limited water available.

R. Jagadiswara Rao Former Professor of Geology Sri Venkateswara University Tirupati, AP 517502 rjagadiswara@gmail.com

Dr. R. Jagadiswara Rao, Professor of Geology Retired, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, AP 517502, India rjagadiswara@gmail.com

4.

The issue here is not only the cost of tank but also the indirect cost of agricultural land lost to making a tank.

In the year 2000 we were investigating the possibility of drip irrigation using canal water. Canal runs only intermittently – similar problem as yours, electricity supply is intermittent. Canal water can be stored in a tank/pond but there is a cost and loss of land. We demonstrated the economic viability of making a tank for storing canal water (in your case it will be well water) by growing fish in the tank for additional income/ protein. This was done in ICAR Bhibaneswar under a MoWR funded R&D project.

Chetan Pandit

5.

"Sunk 'Matkas' might solve evaporation loss"
I am not an expert on this. Kindly ignore if my answer appears highly kiddish. I am just speaking with the limited experience I have had travelling in arid Thar.
A very simple yet effective method is used in western Rajasthan for reducing evaporation loss of water while irrigating young tree saplings. The climate is very harsh in the summer as well as winter and is exceptionally dry. Moreover the underground water is unusable as the salt content is phenomenal. They have very limited water, all of which is Rain harvested.
A small claypot or 'matka' is sunk just near the sapling so that the earth level is just at level with the mouth of the matka. A small hole (or in case of non-porous soils, several holes) is drilled beneath the matka. The water is filled and the mouth is finally covered by a small earthen lid. The water directly reaches the subsoil in very small quantities and moistens the soil around the roots (where it is most needed).
This definitely amounts to a lot of manual labour but in toto it evens out as a claypot of dia 9" filled totally with water only requires to be refilled after 3-4days.
Regards and thanks
Gaurav Bhatnagar
Architect / Naturalist
design.gaurav@gmail.com

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