A new digital irrigation water calculator will help farmers to assess more accurately the water requirements of their crops. Currently available on CD, the new tool should help boost production by enabling smallholders to work out how to use water more efficiently.

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“The amount of water available for agriculture in Tamil Nadu is expected to decrease from 85% of available resources to 73% by 2025,” said Professor Dr. P. Murugesa Boopathi, Vice-Chancellor of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, India, who officially launched the new tool. “Hence, the development of a water calculator on CD will help solve the problem of scarcity by applying the exact quantity of water to the crops.”

Developed by Dr. S. Raman, a water management expert with the IWMI-Tata Water Policy Research Program, the calculator uses information about location, soil type, stage of crop growth and the type of irrigation being used to calculate the appropriate amount of water required for a variety of different crops.

“The population of Tamil Nadu is increasing fast,” said Dr. Raman. “And groundwater is already being overexploited. Increasing industrial usage will only add to the demand. This calculator will enable farmers to better manage dwindling supplies and use water more productively. This, in turn, should help improve yields and household incomes”

Attending the launch were farmers from the local villages of Selvapuram, Periyanaickenpalayam and Karegoundenpalayam. The water calculator was demonstrated to these farmers and distributed amongst all those who attended the launch. Further copies will be given to all the farmers participating in the collaborative program of the Water Technology Centre, TNAU, and the IWMI-Tata Water Policy Research Program.

Source: http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org