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Andhra Pradesh Irrigation Projects

Ultimate Irrigation Potential

Andhra Pradesh has a total geographical area of 275 lakh hectares of which about 110 lakh hectares is net area sown. Andhra Pradesh is largely dependent on rainfall with more than 50 percent of the cultivated area being rain fed. Consequently, to achieve any further growth in SGDP from agriculture the State will need to free it from its dependency on rainfall through development of irrigation facility and higher irrigation coverage by the existing ones. The Central Water Commission, Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India has estimated that the ultimate irrigation potential of Andhra Pradesh is 112.60 Lakh Ha.

Ultimate Irrigation Potential in Andhra Pradesh

Sl.No

Source

Estimated Area (Lakh Ha)

1

Surface Water

 

1 a

Major and Medium Irrigation

50.00

1 b

Minor Irrigation

23.00

2

Ground Water

39.60

Total

112.60

Irrigation Projects Classification

Andhra Pradesh has a very old heritage of irrigated agriculture going back to the Kakatiya and Vijayanagaram periods when tanks and diversion schemes were constructed to aid agricultural production. Even under the British rule the state saw the construction of the Godavary Delta, Krishna Delta, Kurnool-Kadapa, Khanapur, Mehaboob Nehar, Pocharam and Nizam Sagar irrigation systems. Irrigation development received high priority after independence as new barrages replaced the old anicuts on Godavari, Krishna, Tungabhadra and the Penna.

The Irrigation &Command Area Development Department is responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of all irrigation works (surface flow systems), at the cost of the Government, from the head works to the outlet (pipe outlets). Each outlet is about 100acres on an average with the irrigation projects categorized as:

  • Major Irrigation Projects-Command area > 25,000acres
  • Medium Irrigation Projects-Command area between 5,000 and 25,000acres
  • Minor Irrigation Projects-Command area less than 5,000 acres but more than 100acres
  • Small tanks with Panchayats-Command area <100acres

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Irrigation Management at Project level

Each major irrigation project is headed by a Chief Engineer who is over all in-charge of the project management. He is assisted by Superintendent Engineer at the circle level. Depending upon the size of the command area the numbers of circles vary. Each S.E at circle level is assisted by an Executive Engineer at divisional level. The number of divisions within a circle varies. An Executive Engineer at Divisional level is assisted by a Deputy Executive Engineer at Sub-divisional level with complementary staff. The number of Sub divisions within each division also varies. The Deputy Executive Engineer is assisted by an Assistant Engineer at Section level with complementary staff. The number of sections with-in a sub­division varies. At section level Assistance Engineers assisted by Work Inspectors & Laskars, for Water regulation management, repairs and maintenance works. The section level Engineer after carefully assessing the requirements of water at section level forwards it to the Executive Engineer at Division level through the Deputy Executive Engineer. Depending on the availability of water release schedules are prepared.

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Irrigation Potential Created

Irrigation has been the key force behind the agricultural revolution in the state. It has been the preferred vehicle for charting development in the state. The Prakasham barrage at Vijayawada was the first project taken up after the Andhra State came into being in 1953. This replaced the hundred year old anicut and serves 12.26 lakh acres in Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and West Godavari districts. On the Godavari, the original anicut built between 1844 and 1851 in four sections were replaced by barrages at the same places, Dowlaiswaram, Ralli, Maddur and Vijjeswaram providing an irrigation potential of 12.40 lakh acres in East Godavari, West Godavari and Krishna Districts. The other projects taken up after independence include: improvement and strengthening of the K C Canal that carries Tungabhadra water from the anicut at Sunkesula and provides water to 2.99 lakh acres; the Kadam project built between 1949-65 irrigates 0.64 lakh acres in Adilabad; the Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme, consisting of an anicut across Tungabhadra (1953-58); Modernization of the Nizam Sagar project built in 1924; The starting of the Sriram Sagar Stage I (1963)to create a potential of 9.69 lakh acres  in the districts of Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam. The largest work that was nearly completed includes Nagarjuna Sagar,with a potential of 22.12 lakh acres. The Tungabhadra High Level Canal Stage and Pulivendula Branch canal initiated in 1967 and 1973 respectively have generated a capacity of 1.58 lakh acres and have been irrigating 1.36 acres. Somasila reservoir across Penna River started to create fresh potential of 9.39 lakh acres is to cover an additional ayacut of 14.83 lakh acres in the Nellore delta.

The total irrigation potential created in the state is about 61.66 lakh ha.  There are 17 major irrigation projects and 83 medium irrigation projects that account for potential of 38.97 lakh  ha while the minor irrigation including the minor lift scheme account for  22.69 lakh ha. The district wise potential created is provided in the table below.

Sl.No

District

 Major & Medium

Minor & APSIDC

Total

1

2

3

4

5

1

SRIKAKULAM

137120

145616

282736

2

VIZIANAGARAM

45840

123083

168923

3

VISAKAPATNAM

31006

104581

135587

4

EAST GODAVARI

289048

79208

368256

5

WEST GODAVARI

299430

64410

363840

6

KRISHNA

420426

77524

497951

7

GUNTUR

480367

83775

564142

8

PRAKASHAM

246651

118348

364998

9

NELLORE

249424

125095

374519

10

ANANTAPUR

75074

73200

148274

11

CHITTOOR

24659

130494

155153

12

KADAPA

172395

62798

235193

13

KURNOOL

266128

43102

309230

14

MAHABOOBNAGAR

83355

132294

215649

15

RANGAREDDY

5639

56774

62413

16

NALGONDA

306764

153393

460157

17

WARANGAL

187865

116573

304438

18

KHAMMAM

137609

118139

255748

19

NIZAMABAD

117248

83758

201006

20

MEDAK

11193

110054

121247

21

KARIMNAGAR

229244

116739

345983

22

ADILABAD

80894

150574

231468

 

ANDHRA PRADESH

3897377

2269534

6166912

Related Downloads

  • Project wise details of irrigation potential created-Major
  • Project wise details of irrigation potential created-Medium

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Jalayagnam:

The Government of Andhra Pradesh has started a massive program for creation of irrigation infrastructure for irrigating about 4 million ha , particularly in backward and drought prone areas since 2004 under the program titled Jalyagnam. This project constitutes a major component of the Central Government program of Bharat Nirman which targets of bringing 10 million ha of land in the country under irrigation.

This program is accorded highest priority of development and allocated the highest share of state plan budget since its launch. It includes a number of irrigation projects through construction of reservoirs and lift irrigation systems for lifting water from major rivers, particularly from Godavari to provide immediate irrigation benefits. Most of these projects are scheduled for completion during the period 2004-14. The government has already grounded all projects under the Jalyagnam program to create new ayacut to the order of 4 million ha with an expected cost of about Rs.1,798,550 million. Jalayagnam projects also provide drinking water to a population of 2.11 crores covering 6310 villages in 425 mandals utilizing 65.141 TMC of water. It is estimated that the additional irrigated area being created will convert to about Rs.7000 million income to the farmers every year at the present rate of water use efficiency. Details of the projects planned for completion by 2014 are provided in the link provided below.

Related Downloads

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Minor Irrigation

Tanks are an essential feature of Andhra Pradesh, especially in the rural areas. There are irrigation tanks, percolation tanks or general-purpose village ponds. They could be perennial, long-seasonal or short-seasonal, based on the water retention period. Historically, tank irrigation in Andhra Pradesh has played a vital role in the development of its agricultural economy. Andhra Pradesh has the distinction of having large number of tanks and the largest area irrigated under tanks in the country. These structures are very common in the Deccan plateau and have survived over centuries providing water for irrigation and domestic uses. The native rulers and the communities have ingeniously designed and constructed these structures over the past several centuries. As a local ecosystems, the tank systems consists of the water body, the tank structure, the feeder and supply channel and canal, the well, the catchments area and the command area it irrigates. Other than this it also includes the bio-mass produce and the local flora and fauna supported within the tank system area.

According to the 2nd Minor Irrigation Census, there are 79,953 irrigation tanks in Andhra Pradesh. Of the data available for 73,604 tanks, the area covered under the tanks is about 22.69 lakh ha.

Distribution of Tanks by Command Area

Type of Tank

No. of Tanks

Command (ha)

Tanks < 40 ha

66,195

594,968

Tanks > 40 ha

11,277

1,155,119

Total Tanks

77,472

1,750,087

The irrigation provided by the tanks in the kharif and rabi season during the year 2000-01 is illustrated in the maps below.

 

Agric_Irrig_Tank_K2000_Col

 

Agric_Irrig_Tank_R2000_Col

Tank, as an important source of irrigation, has lost its significance during the last two to three decades. The proportion of area irrigated under tanks showed a significant decline from 39 % in 1955 to 14 % in 2005. Most of the tanks in the state perform below their capacity level and the gap between the irrigation potential created and actual irrigated area under tanks has been reported at about 40 to 60 % depending upon the rainfall during a year. The 2nd Minor Irrigation Census reported that at the time of the census, 29,187 tanks were not in use in the State, which is 36.4 % of the total number of tanks. The decline in tank irrigation is taking a serious turn and possesses threat to the agricultural economy of the State. It is estimated that there is an economic return of about Rs 37,500 per ha of area cultivated under minor irrigation per year. This amounts to a loss of about Rs 2,250 crores per year for the 6 lakh ha of arable land lost under tank irrigation. This loss is further aggravated as these tanks also provide other vital uses like domestic and drinking water to the poor people.

Status of Tanks Not in Use

Status

No. of Tanks

Temporarily not in use

24,170

Abandoned

448

Dried up

2,384

Silted

982

Other reasons

1,203

Total

29,187

Source: 2nd MI Census

To mitigate the problems the GoAP has initiated a comprehensive program for restoration of tanks and revitalization of irrigation potential under them in a decentralized manner through farmer involvement. This program will bring about 4 lakh ha of land under irrigation by restoring tanks of more than 40 ha ayacut, while converting the smaller ones into percolation tanks to recharge ground water in ground water distressed area.

At the same time to provide policy and statutory support for the promotion of participatory irrigation management in the tanks GoAP has also enacted the APFMIS Act, 1997 to facilitate farmers participation in O&M and water management of the tanks. It is the first of its kind in the country and seeks to bring about a paradigm shift in irrigation management. The Act contains broad provisions relating to all types of irrigation schemes (major/medium/minor) specifying the tiers of farmers organizations to be formed, procedure for their constitution and election of Managing Committees, functions of the various farmers’ organizations, resources, etc.

Related Downloads

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Ground Water

Groundwater in Andhra Pradesh is being exploited heavily in recent years and unheralded the area irrigated under groundwater has almost equaled the area irrigated under all other surface water sources together. This situation now causes concern in terms of its sustainability and the electric-power required to get the groundwater to the surface. In the early days both were not worrisome as the wells were shallow dug-wells hardly deeper than 8 or 10 metres and animal power was used to draw the water. During most of the year, small streams had water and tanks were rarely dry. But now it is likely that groundwater exploitation is twice that of annual recharge.

Wells and area irrigated under groundwater

Growth of wells and area irrigated under groundwater

Year

Dug Wells (lakh)

Bore Wells (lakh)

Area Irrigated under
Wells (lakh ha)

1971-72

6.90

1.13

8.03

1980-81

9.33

1.90

11.24

1990-91

13.67

3.94

17.61

2000-01

11.55

15.33

26.92

2004-05

8.78

16.01

24.79

2005-06

 

 

 

2006-07

 

 

 

2007-08

 

 

 

2008-09

 

 

 

2009-10

 

 

 

 

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