Restoring tank irrigation can strengthen rural climate resilience

Less than 10 percent of defunct tanks have been restored over the past two decades according to researchers.

As Indian farmers have grappled with weakening and erratic monsoons in recent years, combined with the menace of groundwater depletion, conserving and sustainably managing water resources has become all the more important.

Researchers from three Hyderabad-based institutions (including one formerly with the International Water Management Institute, IWMI) have extensively reviewed past studies and experiences on community-based traditional water harvesting systems, known as tanks, and conclude that the benefits of rehabilitating tank water irrigation outweigh the costs in most cases, particularly by increasing groundwater recharge. Other benefits include providing a source drinking water and fish.

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