About 25% of the groundwater resources used for irrigation in India are either saline or brackish or both. In states like Rajasthan and Haryana, 84% and 62%, respectively of the groundwater are of poor quality. Irrigation water standards used in the past have been too conservative for the monsoonal climate of the country. The institute has developed new techniques for sustainable use of poor quality waters for agriculture. ICAR-CSSRI has prepared and published water quality map of the country. The poor quality water management technology provides sustainability and high yields compared to rainfed agriculture, helps to control water logging and soil salinization. Number of amendments and by-products such as gypsum, pyrites, distillery spent wash and press mud identified. Gypsum bed technology for location specific situations has been developed. The adoption of new crop and water management strategies will go a long way in augmenting dwindling usable water supplies for agriculture. Thereby, the challenge to the irrigation sector to produce more food by converting more of diverted water into food would possibly be met.
Acharya Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology 1