COMPENDIUM, IEEC-2023   ( ISBN : 978-81-967860-4-5 )
Theme 1: Emerging experiences on CBOs’ intervention and Sustainable Agri-food Systems

Institutional Arrangement and Impact of Community Based Water Storage Structures in Tamil Nadu

P.Sundarambal, D.C.Sahoo, Pradeep Dogra, S.M.Vanitha and A.Murugesan

1) ICAR –IISWC, RC, Ooty 2) ICAR-IIWM, Bhubaneswar 3) ICAR- IISWC, RC, Chandigarh


Common Property Water Resources (CPWRs) form an important component of the ecological systems in rural India. A significant section of the rural poor, particularly the landless laborers and marginal farmers continue to depend on these CPWRs for their domestic uses and traditional livelihood activities . Over time these resources suffered decline in quality and inadequate replenishment efforts by government. Community management of water resources, which prevailed before independence has almost vanished. In addition demand for water has increased tremendously leading to its over exploitation. For this small and marginal farmers are the victims as they largely depend on CPWRs which usually suffer from long neglect and may have serious livelihood consequences for the village poor. With this background the present study was taken up in Pudukottai district of Tamil Nadu by selecting mainly three village tanks viz, Pasumarathankulam, Periyakulam and Thamaraikulam as the major CPWRs . The study analyzed the extent of availability of CPWRs, their usage, decline, their links with quality of rural livelihood and methods to restore CPWRs for betterment of rural poor. Primary data for the selected structures were collected from the 84 sample beneficiaries representing small, medium & large farmers from head, middle & tail ends of the selected structures and secondary data from development departments. It was found that Water Users Association (WUA) is the institution for management of these tanks which were used for multipurpose. Extent of utilization of these tanks for irrigation ranged from 80 to 95 per cent for the major crop of paddy. More than 85 per cent of the crops output and employment were obtained from these tanks. About 30 to 50 per cent of the livestock output and 30 to 47 per cent average employment were from these CPWRs. Net returns due to these tanks ranged from Rs.44665/- to Rs.93834/year/household, Rs.15120/- to Rs.17816/year/household and Rs.13318 to Rs.29339/year/household for agriculture, live stock and wage occupation respectively. To meet out various domestic purposes these structures were used to an extent of 17 to 30 per cent. Only for irrigation they were paying a nominal amount in the case of Periyakulam tank wherein the beneficiaries paid 20 Kg of paddy to the person who is irrigating. Only in Periyakulam tank as perceived by 75% of the respondents there is an increase in employment / income, water availability during scarcity months and in other tanks it is only decrease for all the indicators. The people had unrestricted access as opined by all the respondents for all these tanks. The major problems in using these structures were siltation, encroachment of tank and inlet channel, vegetation growth and reduction in storage capacity. The suggestions offered for effective utilization and maintenance were eviction of encroachments, clearing of vegetation, desilting and deepening of the tanks under the government schemes

IEEC-2023 at RARI (SKNAU, Jobner), Jaipur, Rajasthan organised by Society of Extension Education, Agra, India