SUBJECT : Odisha to Focus on Groundwater Recharge and Solar Irrigation 

For combating climate change effects and adapting with them, the State Water Resources Department has submitted a funding proposal to the UNFCC Green Climate Fund.

The aim of the proposal is to ensure food and climate security in the vulnerable tribal -prone areas of the State by means of groundwater recharge and solar micro-irrigation.

For inviting opinions on the proposal from various stakeholders and spread awareness, a workshop was held here on Wednesday by the State Water Resources Department in association with Climate Change Innovation Programme (CCIP) of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the DFID. 

Inaugurating the workshop, Water Resources Principal Secretary Pradeep Jena said Odisha is affected by climate change in a big way. In the last few years, there have been droughts and cyclones regularly in the State which have hit the weaker sections of society. However, considering the present socio-political situation, it is not feasible to start big and medium dams for irrigation. Hence, the last hope to solve the livelihood problems is to conserve the ground water, he said.

The main objective of the project is to augment groundwater recharge to improve water table and water quality conditions in rural areas of the State through saving traditional village ponds / tanks and using environment-friendly solar pumps for irrigation.

Under the project 1.20 crore natural disaster-hit people of from 15 districts in Odisha could be helped by way of providing environment-friendly irrigation to boost agriculture. 10,000 water tanks will be constructed for recharge of ground water and enhancing the income of the farmers. 1,000 solar pumps will be used to save electricity and reduce carbon emission. The finance to meet the project implementation would be sourced from the Odisha Community Tank Management Programme and Green Climate Fund.

Among others, CTRAN MD Ashok Singha and project State team leader Soumik Bisws spoke about the project in details. About 60 participants, including farmers’ representatives, PRI members, Pani Panchayat members and officials from Energy, Water Resources and Agriculture departments, besides experts from the OUAT were present.

Source: The Pioneer, 30 June 2016