Topic– Different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage
5) Examine whether the increase in irrigation efficiency leads to greater groundwater sustainability? Discuss how increasing irrigation efficiency can lead to more sustainable water usage?(250 words)
Why this question
This article explains the finding of a recent study which highlights that new study has pointed out that increased irrigation efficiency does not translate into more water availability for other uses at the watershed level. One of the main pushing factors for usage of techniques like drip irrigation etc has been to conserve water. The study forces us to re-examine that view.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to explain the key driving factors behind focussing on irrigation efficiency. Next, we need to evaluate the claim that increased irrigation efficiency does not translate into more water availability for other uses at the watershed level. To answer the second part of the question, we need to discuss ways apart from subsidies for increasing irrigation efficiently to ensure that water use becomes more sustainable.
Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.
Discuss – Your discussion should highlight ways in which increasing irrigation efficiency can translate into more sustainable water usage
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Discuss the findings of the journal in Science. Highlight the programs of the government focusing on enhancing irrigation efficiency such as PMKSY.
- Highlight the key driving factor behind the government focussing on increasing irrigation efficiency – increase in crop yields, more sustainable water use, improvement in condition of farmers etc
- Examine whether the focus on increasing irrigation efficiency translates into more efficient water usage and sustainability. Bring out points like farmers adopting drip irrigation are generally commercial scale farmers who can afford the high costs and are also aware of increasing water demand from drip irrigation, water availability at watershed levels decreases because subsidies for irrigation efficiency lead to increases in irrigated areas and water withdrawals as well as driving a choice of more water-intensive crops etc
- Discuss the overall strategy required to ensure that increasing irrigation efficiency translates into more effective and sustainable water use such as explicit caps on extraction as well irrigated areas, more prudent crop selection etc
Conclusion – Discuss why focussing on this issue is important and highlight the way forward.