TIDE has been working in Tiptur taluk in Tumkur district, near Bangalore on a micro watershed program. Water use efficiency (WUE) for agriculture or rather lack of it, is an important finding in this program leading to TIDE undertaking research and dissemination of WUE methods in the region.
Agricultural water use is facing increasing pressure due to competing needs for domestic and Industrial use, ecosystem protections, associated costs of water, as well as its scarcity. Improving water-use efficiency in agriculture thus becomes a priority area and this can be achieved through various ways including on-farm water retention, reducing on-farm demand, increasing soil moisture, etc.
All these installations were done between 2010 and 12 and are functional now, being maintained by the school.
TIDE undertook a study with coconut plantation and estimated the water demand and the water supplied. The results indicate a 77% EXCESS IRRIGATION.
This information has been shared with the farmers through a dissemination program and pamphlets. Further reduction in irrigation frequency has been established and suggested by the use of mulch irrigation.
After quantitatively establishing the water-saving with mulch compared to plain drip and flood irrigation, TIDE undertook a real-time pilot with small farmers growing tomato and chilly. Data showed not only low water uptake and high soil moisture but also higher yield with coco pith-based mulch irrigation. TIDE is now in the process of large scale dissemination of coco pith-based mulch irrigation in the region with about 50 farmers growing various crops like tomato, chillies, brinjal, beans, and coconut.
To help farmers in planning irrigation, TIDE offers its services like bore well water measurement and soil moisture measurement. Data on rainfall is also shared with farmers in our dissemination centre at Aralaguppe village in Tiptur taluk.