Water Resources Assessment to add value to DSI4MTF

The DSI4MTF project will receive valuable information from another project “Assessment of water resources and sustainable irrigation potential in nine districts within the Eastern Gangetic Plains” which is being undertaken by IWMI. The project is at its mid-point and is focussed on nine districts including those of interest to DSI4MTF.

Dr Romulus Okwany indicates that a biophysical assessment of surface and groundwater resources from historical data indicate substantial potential for increased irrigation development using both surface waters from ponds and groundwater from shallow aquifers.

Provisional results of areal study of surface ponds indicate that the districts under study contain over 18500ha and 9000 ha of permanent and temporary ponds with average dry season depths of 4m for the permanent ponds. These results suggest a potential of at least 740MCM of available surface water storages.

Groundwater potential shows pre- to post monsoonal variations in shallow aquifer storages of 0.3 to 0.6% at the current withdrawal rates. With dry season groundwater tables generally in the range of 3 – 6m, the underutilized groundwater aquifer storage of 5 – 2m exists that can be tapped with installation of shallow tube wells.

Detailed information on groundwater and surface water resources, crop irrigation requirements and irrigation infrastructure will be collected as part of the DSI4MTF project starting February 2015 and will be informed by the district scale data being collected by Dr Okwany and the IWMI team.


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Site Selection Update

Fraser Sugden provides an update on site selection at Madhubani and Saptari and development of survey questionnaires.

Site selection:

Some initial site selection questionnaire data has been collected for three villages in Madhubani by the Sakhi team and Anoj Kumar, while a scoping visit to 7 villages of Saptari took place this week by Fraser Sugden, and Narayan Prasad Sah, who will be the full time representative for the local partner NGO working under iDE – Krishak Samuha Sangh. The field team was struck by the diversity of exciting opportunities to pilot a different combination of interventions in each of the proposed villages and the enthusiasm of the community members, and it will be a challenging task to shortlist the final two communities in each district.

Survey development:

A survey development day was held on the 20th November at National University of Singapore, Institute of Water Policy. Prof Wu Xun, Namrata Chindarkar, Joost Buurman, Yyvonne Jie Chen, Stuti Rawat and Fraser Sugden were present. The primary aim of the meeting was to finalize the household questionnaire used for activity 2.1, identifying the socio-economic context in the communities. The meeting prove to be a valuable opportunity for members of the socio-economic team to utilize their diverse expertise and develop a focused questionnaire. The final draft has now been completed, and will be circulated to the larger research team for comments shortly.