With the aim of conserving and developing its existing water resources in a coordinated manner, the Madhya Pradesh government has constituted a number of departments such as the Water Resources Department (WRD), the Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) and the Rural Development Department. The schemes implemented by the WRD and the NVDA have contributed considerably to water conservation and storage in the state.
Key irrigation initiatives
Madhya Pradesh has a total culturable land of about 15.525 million hectares (ha). The state government aims to enhance irrigation coverage to 6.5 million ha during the next five years. Of this, the WRD-implemented projects will provide irrigation to 4.5 million ha. By the end of 2018-19, the WRD had developed a total irrigable command area of about 3.3 million ha. Of the irrigated area target of 2.94 million ha in 2018-19, the WRD provided irrigation to 2.71 million ha of rabi crops and 0.25 million ha of kharif crops. Besides, the WRD is also responsible for the creation of water storage potential through projects to develop its water resources. Madhya Pradesh is estimated to have total groundwater reserves of 34,160 million cubic metres (mcm). Of this, 17,950 mcm is being utilised for irrigation annually whereas 1,412 mcm is tapped for other uses. Currently, there are 494 ongoing projects of the WRD to develop a storage capacity of 12,372.06 mcm, of which there are 49 ongoing micro-irrigation projects with a joint live capacity of 4,617.91 mcm.
One of the major ongoing irrigation projects of the WRD is the Garoth Pressurised Micro-Irrigation Major Project, aimed to benefit 66 villages. It consists of two systems – the Garoth system and the Rupa system – with a culturable command area (CCA) of 21,400 ha. The systems have a total CCA of 15,000 ha and 6,400 ha respectively. The project has its own solar power plant with a generation capacity of 7 MW to meet the 5.3 MW power requirement. Besides, both the systems have four working pumps and one standby pump each. While the pump input of the Garoth system is 1,041.87 kW, that of the Rupa system stands at 188.06 kW.
NVDA’s irrigation projects
Another important water source of the state government is the NVDA, constituted by the Madhya Pradesh government with the aim of laying greater emphasis on the development of the Narmada basin through the time-bound construction of water projects such as major and medium projects. The Narmada basin water has been allocated to four states – Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Of the total catchment area of 98,796 square km, 85,859 square km (87 per cent) is allocated to Madhya Pradesh, 1,538 square km (1.56 per cent) to Maharashtra and 11,399 square km (11.53 per cent) to Gujarat.
The NVDA has planned a number of major and medium irrigation projects for enhancement of irrigation potential in the water-deficient region of the Narmada basin in Madhya Pradesh. It has planned to utilise 20,660.79 mcm through irrigation sector projects to irrigate an about 2.75 million ha area in the basin. Besides, it had planned to utilise the remaining 1,850.22 mcm for water-intensive industries and domestic water supply in the entire Narmada basin area of Madhya Pradesh.
Currently, of the 16.75 million acre foot of water earmarked for irrigation sector projects, major and medium projects with a combined storage capacity of 12.6 million acre foot have already been completed or are at the completion stage. Besides, there are 25 major ongoing projects of the NVDA with the creation of a potential of 657,172 ha. The authority has further planned projects for utilisation of the remaining water resources earmarked for irrigation. Among the various completed projects of the NVDA, the Indira Sagar project has the highest storage capacity of 9,745 mcm, followed by the Rani Avanti Bai Lodhi Sagar (RABLS) and Omkarareshwar projects with storage capacities of 3,180 and 962 mcm respectively.
The way forward
The Madhya Pradesh government is committed to ensuring better utilisation of its scarce water resources. Currently, the total capacity of completed projects of the WRD and the NVDA (all major, medium and minor schemes) stands at 44,064 mcm. It further aims to develop micro-irrigation capacity of 3.55 million ha in the next five years. It has been continuously shifting its resources towards micro-irrigation, with a number of projects being implemented by both the WRD and NVDA and has been working towards improving water use efficiency by restricting supply (in the range of 0.6 ha to 1 ha) through pressurised piped systems and use of sprinklers and drips.
Based on a presentation by A.K. Deharia, Water Resources Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh