Potential Drought Research or Management Needs

Water Use Estimation and Improving Storage

With increasing demand for water, the Indian arid region is likely to experience a deficit of about 2500 million m3 by the year 2010 (Venkateswarlu et al., 1990). However, an accurate estimate of water usage (both surface and groundwater) is required to plan long-term measures to mitigate droughts, and current water-storing methods practiced in the region need to be improved. Old water-harvesting systems, such as rooftop water harvesting, Nadis (village pond), Tankas (underground cistern), anicuts, and khadins

Figure 23.6 Renovation of a village pond (Nadi) in Barmer district during 1999-2000 drought. As men migrate to far away places for employment, mostly the village women were seen working under Food for Work program.

need to be modernized to improve their efficiency and tackle drought situations more effectively.

Weather Network, Farmers' Participation, and Fodder Bank

There is a need to strengthen the communication network among the vast number of weather stations in India and establish a weather-data bank. Weather stations should be linked to drought advisory units to help monitor droughts on a real-time basis. Satellite remote sensing and geographic information system-based approaches for agricultural drought monitoring need standardization for precise assessment of conditions of various crops in various regions.

Early participation of local community in the implementation of a drought management scheme will make the scientific community more familiar with ground realties and make the measures more effective.

Construction of fodder-storing devices (or fodder banks) in drought-prone areas will help reduce the cost of fodder transport from surplus areas, which may be hundreds of kilometers away.

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