An optimal crop production plan considering area under different land quality classes, crop response to salinity levels, irrigation water availability, costs and returns from the different crops grown in the Biwan watershed, Mewat in Haryana was developed. For (EC= <2 ds/m) soil, maize, pigeon pea, green gram, cluster bean (guar) and vegetables in kharif and tomato, brinjal and other vegetables in rabi were found to be the most remunerative crops. Optimization results indicated shifting of wheat (534.5 ha) and mustard (346.3 ha) to soil type 2 (EC 2-4 ds/m) and soil type 3 (EC 6-8 ds/m) in rabi season, respectively. Availability of good quality soil (soil type I) was the major constraint.
Integrated water related interventions were up-scaled through deepening of open wells, renovation of water harvesting structures, laser leveling, underground pipeline system, sprinkler, drip and rain-gun irrigation systems in Mewat region, Haryana. These interventions enhanced wheat and mustard crop yields by 25-35 per cent and saved 40-60 per cent of irrigation water. Deepening of open wells in the Dhar region of Madhya Pradesh, not only increased the irrigation water availability during dry spells but also supported life saving irrigation to crops and enhanced yield by 22 per cent.
Cultivation of Kharif onion (August to October) - wheat (November to April) - mungbean (April to June) using drip fertigation system enhanced water productivity. Sowing was carried on raised beds of 90 cm wide having furrows on both sides of each bed. Crop geometry (number of rows per lateral) for onion 6, wheat 5 and mungbean 3 rows per drip lateral was found optimum. Total irrigation water requirement for all three crops was 1015 mm with irrigation water use efficiency and B-C ratio of 40.4 kg per ha-mm and 1.85, respectively.
The practice of resource conserving technologies and scheduling of irrigation were tested in maize-wheat cropping system to increase productivity and water use efficiency. Sowing on raised bed resulted in higher grain yield of wheat than zero tillage but comparable to conventional tillage. Crop residue of kharif left on the surface had favourable effect on succeeding wheat. Irrigation either based on 40 or 60% depletion of available soil moisture (DASM) or 6 irrigations as per critical crop stages resulted in similar wheat grain yield but the WUE was higher with 60% DASM. Maize planted on raised beds also gave higher yield than flat bed and zero tillage. However, different irrigation schedules had no significant effect on grain yield of maize due to sufficient and uniform rainfall during the crop season.
The SRI method of rice cultivation resulted in significantly higher average grain yield (6.15 t/ha) followed by puddle transplanted and (5.75 t/ha) and least under drip (4.43 t/ha) irrespective of the varieties. SRI resulted in better root proliferation and number of tillers and there by higher grain yield. Amongst cultivars, the Pusa44 (6.04 t/ha) and PRH-10 (6.02 t/ha) yielded significantly higher than Pusa 834, Pusa 1401, pusa 1509 cultivars. Total water use was higher under puddle transplanted followed by SRI and drip system. However, there was 29% of saving in irrigation water in case of drip.
Modeling of groundwater recharge for baseline and climate change scenarios was carried using HYDRUS-1D and MODFLOW to simulate the impact of climate change on the groundwater recharge in Karnal district. Analysis of scenarios based on INCCA and IPCC predictions indicated a decrease in groundwater recharge 0.06 to 0.07 m and 0.16 to 0.22 m, respectively.
To suggest appropriate mitigation strategies, emission of CO2 due to groundwater irrigation in Karnal, Haryana was also assessed. The CO2 emission was the highest for sugarcane (93.2 kgCO2/ha/m) followed by rice (40.4 kgCO2/ha/m), wheat (27.7kgCO2/ha/m), mustard (26.2 kgCO2/ha/m), pigeon pea (13.5 kgCO2/ha/m) and pearl millet (4.0 kgCO2/ha/m). Total CO2 emission was the highest for rice (140655 MT) followed by wheat (98153 MT) and sugarcane (18415 MT). Study revealed that it is possible to reduce CO2 emission by 32% by improving pump efficiency from 35 to 51%. It was further observed that by improving irrigation efficiency by 15%, CO2 emissions can be further reduced by 23.1%, in rice or by 25.0 %, in other crops. Thus by improving the pump set and irrigation efficiencies together up to the achievable levels, CO2 emissions can be reduced up to 48.4%.
Eco-friendly wastewater treatment facility involving emergent wetland plants (such as Typhalatifolia) and native media and microorganisms was engineered and operationalized. The system has the capacity to treat 2.2 million liters of Krishi Kunj colony sewage waters with a potential of irrigating 132-ha. As compared to the conventional wastewater treatment plants, it requires just 1% energy and zero-chemical application. Long term monitoring revealed its exceptional pollutant reduction efficiencies in terms of the major pollutants such as turbidity (99%), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) (87%), nitrate (95%), phosphate (90%), lead (81%) and iron (99%). The treated waters were fit for land application. Besides this, the harvested biomass from three waste water treatment cells (12 Tons per annum per cell) was assessed to be successfully transformed to the particle board (9000 sq. meters), thus having a potential of generating cash of Rs. 18 lakh from trash and making the facility completely self-sustained.
SWAP (Soil Water Atmosphere Plant) model was used to simulate the salt dynamics and yield of three salt tolerant and one salt non-tolerant wheat variety under varying saline water irrigation regimes up to 12 dSm-1. The model was calibrated and validated using the experiment generated data of rabi 2009-10 and 2010-11, respectively. The model performance indicators i.e. model efficiency (ME) and degree of agreement (d) was 0.76 and 0.93 for root zone soil salinity and 0.96 and 0.99 for relative wheat yield of calibrated model, respectively. The validated model performed well for salt dynamics in root zone and relative yields that were corroborated by prediction error statistics R2 of 0.96 and 0.95, ME of 0.95 and 0.75 besides degree of agreement (d) of 0.98 and 0.93, respectively. It was observed that the model performed better for prediction of relative yield of salt tolerant varieties as compared to the salt non- tolerant variety under different saline irrigation water regimes.
As an initiative to disseminate IARI technologies at watershed scale detailed land use, cropping pattern, soil, ground water table and quality of Biwan watershed – located on the rainfed side of the Mewat district – were investigated and mapped. Water harvesting capacity and siting of the existing WHSs was also undertaken. The so generated information is now being used for assessing soil/water losses under exiting resource management strategies and to propose optimal land resource management and conservation practice plans enabling sustained/improved crop production.
Efficacy of different in-situ moisture conserving bio-engineering measures (viz. basin tillage, ridge and furrow, trench-cum-bund, bund) were attempted for enhancing crop productivity through pearl millet-mustard based cropping system in rainfed areas. As compared to the control, basin tillage (45 cm x 45 cm x 15 cm), with highest soil moisture availability, was observed to be associated with highest water use efficiency and grain/ biomass yield.
Effect of different irrigation regimes on yield and water use efficiency of different rice varieties under aerobic conditions showed that Pusa44 and Pusa834 were associated with significantly higher yield and WUE than Pusa1121 and Pusa1401 cultivars when irrigations were scheduled at 30kpa. Irrigation scheduled at 45kpa resulted in significant reduction in yield in all the varieties but the worst sufferer was Pusa1121 followed by Pusa1401.
An effort was made to study the effect of seedling age on yield and water use efficiency under the system of rice intensification (SRI) method. Four varieties i.e. Pusa44, Pusa834, Pusa1121 and Pusa1401 and two age of seedling i.e. 14 and 18 days were tried under SRI. Findings of the experiment indicated that the yields under SRI were comparable to traditional transplanting but there was a saving of about 30-40% of irrigation water in SRI method. Amongst varieties, Pusa44 yielded the maximum and the lowest yield was under Pusa1121. Similarly, there was decline in yield when older seedlings were transplanted irrespective of the varieties.
Water use efficiency of bottle gourd was estimated under basin, and ridge and furrow irrigation methods with different crop geometry. The crop geometry (3m x 0.5m) resulted in highest yield (31.8 t/ha) and water use efficiency (394.5 kg/ha.cm) compared to geometry (1m x 1.5m), which recorded significantly minimum yield (20.5 t/ha) and WUE (290 kg/ha.cm) compared to others. Ridge and furrow method of irrigation resulted in higher (26.9 t/ha) yield and WUE (411 kg/ha.cm) as compared to basin method of irrigation (24.6 t/ha) and (313 kg/ha.cm), respectively.
Feasibility of kharif Onion as an optional crop to rice/paddy in the water scarce regions was also investigated. For this an experiment to assess WUE under varying crop geometries and drip irrigation system was conducted. Highest onion yield (38 t/ha) was observed in crop geometry of 7.5 cm (row-to-row) x 10 cm (plant-to-plant) i.e. S4 which was 26.7, 22.6 and 18.8 % higher than the crop geometry of 15 cm x 10 cm (S1), 12 cm x 10 cm(S2) and 10 cm x 10 cm (S3), respectively under drip system. Drip irrigation in general lead to about 45% of saving irrigation water with 60 % increase in yield as compared to the conventional surface irrigation method (i.e. control).
Field experiments were conducted to study the impact of drip irrigation over furrow irrigation on yields of round the year grown baby corn (hybrid maize, HM-4). Weekly fertigation schedule at 1kg/ cm2 was found to be associated with significantly higher yields of cob, baby corn and fodder (87.0 q/ha, 17.6 q/ha, 62.2 q/ha), highest WUE (6.3 kg ha-1 mm-1) and benefit: cost ratio.
Long term pollutant mass reduction efficiency of a pilot scale sewage water treatment plant of IARI was determined to show that Typha/ Phragmites based systems were associated with significantly higher pollutant removal efficiencies w.r.t. tubidity (73-76%); nitrate (68%); phosphate (48%); potassium (47%); sulphate (50%); nickel (62%), iron (45%); lead (58%); Co (62%) and Cd (50%). Environmental impacts of the treated sewage water irrigations on the historically sewage water irrigated soils of SPU site revealed a gradual reduction in the soil metal pollution load. Food grain metal contamination hazard, during both Kharif (Paddy) and Rabi (Wheat) seasons, could also be significantly reduced. Sustainability of the developed wastewater treatment system and a hypothetic Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) were also compared through emergy analysis to show that pilot batch flow wetland systems were associated with lower costs and higher use of local resources; thereby make it a promising wastewater treatment technology for the developing nations.
Groundwater recharge and hydraulic head variability under different climate change scenarios were estimated using integrated Hydrus 1D and Modflow models for the Najafgarh agricultural block of NCT, Delhi to show that the approach is feasible for evaluating regional impact of climatic parameters on groundwater recharge and availability.
An effort was made in this study to predict the future irrigation water requirement and yield of kharif Maize under both rainfed and irrigated situations. To accomplish this, an integrated model linking protocol of climate generator (ClimGen), CROPWAT and water driven AquaCrop model was developed to predict the irrigation schedules, crop yields and estimate water productivity of irrigated kharif Maize under changing climate scenarios. The integrated modeling approach was successfully validated for the experimental farm of WTC, IARI and was observed to be having potential for estimating futuristic yields and water productivities of other regions/ crops under changing climatic conditions subjected to data availability and subsequent calibration and validation of AquaCrop model.
Micro-irrigation and fertigation design and management guidelines for various crops were developed and modelling procedures for water and nitrogen distribution under drip fertigation were suggested. Drip tapes and sub-surface drip systems for select crops were evaluated. Impact of drip irrigation on yields of round the year grown baby corn (hybrid maize, HM-4) was evaluated and fertigation strategies for baby corn were suggested.
A low pressure family drip irrigation system (drum and bucket-kit system) was developed and demonstrated at farmers’ field in dryland areas with no or discontinuous electricity supply. Cost of one unit of Drum Kit System for 50 m2 area is 1000.00 rupees. Bucket Kit System for an area of 20 m2 can be fabricated in 600.00 Rupees.
Phenotyping of mapping population of wheat cross WL711 x C 306 and their evaluation for drought resistant traits, yield and yield components was done in Delhi and Indore. A drought resistant wheat cultivar C306 was crossed with high yielding cultivars like WL711, Kalyansona, J24, HD2329, HD2285, Sonalika and Lok1. All the crosses produced necrotic hybrids with varying intensity and died at different stages of growth. Among these, hybrid of WL711 x C306 survived up to flag leaf stage, but died before ear emergence. This material is being shared with breeders at IARI and Indore. Six cultures of wheat RS634, RS635, RS637, RS638, RS640, RS642 were selected for delayed leaf senescence after anthesis, even before the start of NARP. These along with C306 (drought tolerant), HD2329 (high yielding) and Kundan (high yielding) were studied for traits important for drought tolerance, using line-source method of creating a gradient of water regimes. Two genotypes RS635 and RS640 have proved better than C306, in water limited environments and are equally good in grain characteristics. Kundan exhibited high stability for biomass accumulation in stress environments.
Surface drainage systems were designed and developed for the salt-affected fields of marginal farmers. Sub-surface drainage system were successfully demonstrated in the drainage affected agricultural lands. Plan for optimal conjunctive use of surface and groundwater resources in the command of Dadupur distributary in Bulandshahar was developed.
Impact assessment of a range of geo-climatic/ hydrologic conditions on saline-sodic land agricultural productivity was done and appropriate resource management planning through indigenous EIA tools such as IMPASSE© and Usar© was suggested.
Assessment of regional actual water use, water productivity and soil, water and vegetation health was done through an indigenously developed spatial decision support system named ResourCeS©.
Direct run-off and sediment yield from un-gauged basins were estimated through Kinematic Wave - Geomorphic Instantaneous Unit Hydrograph technique based indigenous decision support systems and soft computing techniques.
Centre, along with the other divisions of the IARI, has developed several indigenous software for integrated water resource management and design of irrigation system. Softwares for design and evaluation of drip and sprinkler irrigation system, fertigation system, equitable canal water distribution, surface irrigation design and operation, irrigation scheduling and estimation of geomorphological parameters were developed.
A technique for aqua-sowing under dry farming situation was also developed at the centre. Its bullock drawn version was widely demonstrated at the IARI farms and to the nearby farmers of the NCT, Delhi and at IARI research farm in Haryana. This has been recently up-scaled to a tractor driven version. The improved version has been demonstrated widely in the villages of NCT, Delhi and in other parts of the central India (s.a. IARI regional station at Indore and Rajasthan).
Accomplishments beyond 10 years (Archives)
Water Technology Centre was the first in the country to develop designs for lined waterways (i.e. prefabricated channels). These were laid down on several farmer’s fields in villages of the Union Territory of Delhi through farming co-operatives and later on Sone Command in Bihar, Sharda Sahayak Canal Command area in UP and Rajasthan canal command through world bank assistance.
Minimal spanning tree technique for optimal alignment of water courses that lead to saving of irrigation channel length by 25%; portable flow measuring devices, drop structures, etc. developed for efficient on-farm water distribution and control have been widely adopted by many state agencies including the National Research Development Council.
A strategy for surveying sick tube wells using 3-Dimensional borehole camera system for suggesting appropriate remedial measures in Punjab, Haryana, UP, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh was also evolved.
Surface drainage systems were designed and developed for the salt-affected fields of marginal farmers. Several types of drainage system including multiple well point system and control structures were designed and successfully demonstrated in the drainage affected agricultural lands and tea gardens. Design criteria for surface and sub-surface drainage were also developed.
Rotational water distribution scheme was developed for and adopted in the command area of Paladugu major and Nagarjuna-Sagar Project. This scheme was replicated in over 200 distributaries by the CADA authorities. Rescheduling of canal Mahi Right Bank Canal Command area in Gujarat led to the arrest of rise in ground water table and increase of irrigation intensity by 25%.
Irrigation requirements and irrigation scheduling criteria of important cereal, pulses and oilseed crops have been worked out for conditions of adequate, limited and excess water supply and under high water table conditions.
Centre collaborated with the Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad to develop remote sensing signatures of stressed and normal crops. The radio frequencies identified in these studies were used for TRS-I radiometers
Selection criteria for stress tolerance were developed at the Centre using water potential, turgour, canopy temperature and growth parameters. Line-source method of irrigation was developed for screening genetic material for stress tolerance. New selections with delayed senescence have been made.
In Nineties, Water Technology Centre contributed to establishment of the fact that values of methane emission from rice- paddies were much lower than the International level. After inception of Divisional of Environmental Science, study on this aspect is continuing there.
Quality of samples of groundwater in the Union Territory of Delhi was tested and a water quality map was developed for advising the farmers. Delhi Administration is using the report as a guide.
Solar photo voltaic pumps for irrigation were tested and evaluated at Water Technology Centre. Recommendations are being used by the Government agencies.
Simulation and optimization procedures for operational management of irrigation systems under multi-crop situation and limited water supply conditions were developed. This included real-time irrigation scheduling and management of the system