Irrigation and water supply
Irrigation development in Kerala is mainly centered on the development of surface water resources mainly on the development of major and medium irrigation projects. In each Plan, priority in allocation was given for the development of major and medium irrigation projects. Out of a cumulative expenditure of ` 6713.72 crores as on 31.10.2011, ` 4725.15 crores (70.38%) is invested for major & medium irrigation. About 60 to 70 percent of the investment in each plan was made for this purpose.
Rice is the major crop benefited through irrigation infrastructure. Even in the case of this crop, the incremental yield, which the irrigation support could bring, is not significant. With the fast changes taking place in the farm front of Kerala with notable reduction in the area under rice cultivation, even the distribution systems already developed for gravity irrigation to service rice cultivation now require realignment.
Investments in irrigation are changing globally in response to changes in environment and experience with previous projects. In the 1970s and 1980s, investment typically involved large irrigation and drainage projects with considerable infrastructure development. In the 1990s investment often supported system rehabilitation and management and more recently to small irrigation schemes. Increased water scarcity has shifted the focus from exploitation of water resources and building infrastructure to improvement of water use efficiency.
For more information: spb.kerala.gov.in