Mitigating climate change impacts on Indian agriculture through improved irrigation water management (MICCI)

Lead PIs

Prof Adebayo Adeloye, Heroot-Watt University

Prof C S P Ojha, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee

Indo-UK Partners

National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur, India

Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, India

Cranfield University, UK

British Antarctic Survey, UK

Funders

UKRI-Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), UK

Ministry of Earth Sciences, GoI

Start and End Date

 April 2012 - March 2016

Summary of the Project

A changing climate raises the stakes even higher in coming years and decades, potentially pushing many vulnerable communities closer towards the brink of disaster. Understanding and mitigating climate impacts and improving irrigation water security are priority issues for India, with a pressing need to identify and evaluate better strategies for managing irrigation water so that the productivity of this precious resource can be fully maximised.   

The focus of MICCI’s activities was on the Himalayan, snow-dominated Beas River Basin and its Pong reservoir that serves irrigation, water supply, hydropower generation, and inter-basin water transfers.

The main scientific findings include:

  • Most combinations of climate change situations will lead to significantly reduced flows and water availability in the long term, resulting in loss of performance for the Pong reservoir.
  • Improved reservoir operation through managed water hedging proved highly successful in redressing the problem of the loss of reservoir performance.
  • Simulated hydrological situations caused significant reductions in summer crop (e.g. corn), a major concern for future food security in India.
  • Current irrigation practices are resulting in excessive deep percolation losses and low water use efficiency and productivity.
  • On-farm reservoirs that harvest rainfall and runoff empower local farmers to control how they use water, and can result in significant reduction in groundwater abstractions for irrigation.

This project was the precursor to SusHi-Wat

Contact information:

Prof Adebayo Adeloye: a.j.adeloye@hw.ac.uk

Prof C S Ojha: c.ojha@ce.iitr.ac.in