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Workshop to discuss the feasibility of evolving a mechanism for sustained approach towards Continuous and Integrated Drought Management . Organized by Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, New Delhi Dated: 21 st September 2007 . V.S.Prakash Director

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Workshop to discuss the feasibility of evolving a mechanism for sustained approach towards Continuous and Integrated Drought Management

Organized by Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, New Delhi

Dated: 21st September 2007



Drought Monitoring Cell

An autonomous body affiliated to Dept., of S&T, Govt., of Karnataka


Karnataka State stands second only to Rajasthan in terms of total area under arid / semi-arid conditions.


No. of Drought Prone Taluks as identified by the Irrigation Commission,1972, GoI : 88 taluks

Drought is a creeping hazard

famine code 1950
Famine code 1950

The Famine code 1950 contemplated that

apart from the failure of rain the following symptoms demand attention as being warnings of possible distress:

  • Contraction of credits
  • Restlessness indicated by an increase of crime
  • Unusual movements of flocks and herds of cattle in search of pasturage
  • Unusual migration of people
  • Rapid rise in prices of common foodstuffs
  • Great decrease in traveling by rail and attendance at festivals
  • Abnormal unemployment
  • Abnormal variations in the consumption of alcoholic liquor and
  • Abnormal sale by ryots of gold, silver and jewels at inadequate prices
  • Falling prices of meat
  • Cattle deaths and diseases
  • Starvation deaths

Guidelines for identifying drought affected areas:

The same guidelines were followed in Karnataka up to 2003:

Agricultural drought : Based on dry spell (Agriculture Commission, 1974)Crops require soil moisture of different levels during different growth stages: -initial stage,-crop development stage, -mid-season stage and -late season stage



  • Inadequacy of Rainfall
  • Variability of rainfall coefficient of variation
  • Frequency of occurrence of different ranges of rainfall
  • Deficiency of rainfall
  • Erratic distribution of rainfall (over time & space) (Dryspell and Interspell duration)
  • Soil moisture stress
  • Aridity Index/Moisture Adequacy Index
  • Decreased Society activity
  • Crop losses
  • Irrigation facilities
  • Levels of Dams, Tanks, Rivers, Nalas
  • Groundwater levels
  • Migration – Human and Animals

Guidelines for Agricultural drought :

  • Based on sowing pattern.
  • Based on Dryspell (National Agricultural Commission 1976)
  • Based on Soil moisture stress (Aridity anomaly)
  • Based on Crop water budgeting.
  • Based on Adequacy of rainfall for agricultural requirement.
  • Satellite based assessment of Crop condition
  • Based on results of Crop cutting experiments.
  • Ground truth data through weekly field reports from the taluks on the agriculture activities and crop condition.

Satellite based drought monitoring as a collaborative study with National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), GOI, Hyderabad.

standard precipitation index a case study kolar

Near Normal (-0.99 to 0.99)

Severely Dry (-1.99 to -1.50)

Very wet (1.50 to 2.00)

Moderately Wet (1.00 to 1.49)

Moderately Dry (-1.49 to -1.00)

Standard Precipitation Index – A case study Kolar
  • Precipitation data from 1901-2004
  • Time scale- June, July, Aug, Sept, Kharif, Oct, Nov, Dec, Rabi, Annual
meteorological drought based on spi in the year 2002 for the chosen time scales
Meteorological Drought based on SPI in the year 2002 for the chosen time scales

June 2002

July 2002

Aug 2002

Sept 2002

Kharif 2002

Annual 2002

Rabi 2002

Nov 2002

Oct 2002

Dec 2002

meteorological drought based on spi over the years 1998 2004 time scale july month
Meteorological Drought based on SPI over the years (1998-2004) Time Scale : July month

July 1998

July 1999

July 2001

July 2000

July 2004

July 2002

July 2003

meteorological drought based on spi over the years 1998 2004 time scale kharif june september
Meteorological Drought based on SPI over the years (1998-2004)Time Scale : KHARIF ( June-September)

Kharif 1998

Kharif 1999

Kharif 2001

Kharif 2000

Kharif 2003

Kharif 2004

Kharif 2002


DroughtPresent Monitoring System:Taluk as a unit - 176 taluks,Non-Recording/SRRG’s, manual data recording, transmission through fax/ telegram/phone/e-mail/by postVariability with in the taluk is not being capturedProposed Monitoring System :Phase I : Hobli as a unitPhase II :1. Gram Panchayath as a unit – 5200 GP’s, Telemetric, real time data acquisition and transmission2. Color Doppler Weather Radars


Working principle

SMS is received by remote server

It is decoded and stored in database

Stored rainfall data is sent via SMS

Every tip is measured

The server or any other computer can analyse the data and produce maps and reports


Typical large setup – Drought Monitoring

Each unit is programmed to send messages sequentially

GSM Network

GSM Tower

Central remote server gets messages through the GSM network

Central Server archives data, analyses it and produces reports, graphs, maps etc.

drought guidelines being followed since 2004
Drought guidelines being followed since 2004

The successive drought situations during 2001- 04 brought issues before the Government which were discussed in the Cabinet Sub Committee.

The short comings in the existing guidelines were realized

New guidelines were formulated, during 2004, for identifying drought affected areas which are being followed by Government of Karnataka since 2004.


The Taluks facing different types of drought are being identified and periodically ted by DMC. In the Taluks experiencing only Hydrological drought, the villages falling under semi-critical, critical and over exploited category preparedness measures required to mitigate drinking water problem.

The assessment of the situation for the Metrological and Agricultural Drought are to be done by considering prevailing situation as on mid of July and reviewed with the progress of the season. In case the Hydrological and Agricultural situation improves by the end of the season, the areas declared as drought affected are to be de-notified.

The Hydrological Drought is assessed at the end of the November month.

CRF/NCCF funds not to be released to the villages falling under semi critical/critical/over exploited categories, wherein growing water intensive crops like paddy and sugarcane are grown using groundwater.

Ground water to be used for irrigating semi dry crops and less water intensive horticulture crops in over exploited areas (area specific crops to be listed).

In the taluks facing hydrological drought, only works related to ground water recharge activities are to be taken up such as nalla bunding, gully plugging, de-silting of ponds/minor irrigation tanks/medium and major reservoirs, construction of percolation ponds, sub-surface dykes, recharge pits, inversion wells, percolation trenches etc.

Cultivation of crops like paddy and sugarcane to be completely banned in groundwater overexploited areas


Sanction of fresh borewells to be taken up strictly under the orders of Deputy Commissioners.

However, permission could be accorded to incur expenditure on pipes, energization, improving well efficiency, pumping efficiency, conveyance efficiency and distribution efficiency.

Small bhandaras to be constructed in the rivers around townships.

During 2nd consecutive year of drought and beyond, storage in surface water bodies falling in ground water over developed areas to be used for ground water recharge and drinking water purposes only. The sluice gate of surface water bodies to be closed during such years.

Efficiency of drinking water schemes to be assessed (well yield characteristics, aquifer capability, water lifting efficiency, distribution efficiency, delivery efficiency etc.) and measures taken to rectify technical and management lacunae.


Total CRF allocation for 2000-2005 to Karnataka

as per 11th Finance Commission…………………… 41,204 Lakhs

Central Share of CRF during 2000-05………………. 30,903 Lakhs

NCCF Releases during 2002-05……………………… 57,697 Lakhs

Total money spent by State Govt.

during 2000-05 ………………………….. 1,02,896 Lakhs

Following measures are to be taken up for over coming constraints prevailing in drought monitoring and management
    • Establishing telemetric rain gauges at Gram Panchayath level
    • Establishing weather stations at taluk level
    • Working out areas specific threshold rainfall value for various crops and threshold yield values for various agricultural and horticultural crops
    • Monitoring of Minor Irrigation tank levels and other reservoir levels on weekly basis
    • Monitoring ground water levels at Gram Panchayath level in Groundwater over developed areas, i.e semi critical /critical / overexploited villages

Drought is a creeping natural hazard.Effective monitoring of Drought Indicators provides tools for decision support system for managing and mitigation of droughtThere is needto bring in more science in to drought monitoring / management / mitigation

feasibility for continuous and integrated drought management
Feasibility for Continuous and Integrated Drought Management
  • ARC recommendations is supported
  • The end products, clientele, resolution of products requires small platforms linked to regional networks to regional centre for excellences to the NRAA

Thank You