Proceedings of the second national workshop on strategic issues in Indian irrigation

The second national workshop of the NRLP research project, held at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, on April 8-9, 2009, mainly focused on strategic issues of Indian irrigation that require immediate attention. The issues highlighted at the workshop contribute to a cluster of short- to long-term strategies for a perspective plan for the Indian water sector. This paper provides an overview of the proceedings of the second workshop. It includes a description of the deliberations on: International and local perspectives on strategic issues facing the water sector, especially the irrigation sector; Planning new surface irrigation schemes for increasing benefits under changing dynamics of the Indian agriculture; The state of the irrigation of Tamil Nadu, one state that will benefit from the proposed NRLP water transfers. It shows trends and turning points of irrigation in the state, returns to past irrigation investments, and proposes investment options in the short and medium term for meeting increasing water demand; Lessons from past water resources development projects that are useful for planning new such projects; Prospects and constraints of demand management strategies in Indian irrigation; Potential and constraints of water productivity improvements in Indian agriculture; and Supply augmentation through groundwater recharge and virtual water trade.