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    Tungabhadra Project: Gravity Based Micro Irrigation

    Several agencies and researchers have thoroughly studied theproblems facing the TBP command area over the years. Tail-end

    deprivation is well known and well documented as huge tracts of commandarea in tail-end is deprived of irrigation water and have low productivity.About 40% of the tail-end areas suffer from either full or partial waterdeprivation leading to low agricultural productivity. In addition, an estimated96,215 hectares is affected by water logging, salinity, alkalinity as per theAnnual Report: 2009-2010 of the Command Area Development Authority,Tungabhadra Project, Munirabad, thereby causing reduced cropproduction.

    A number of approaches were adopted over the decades to solvethese problems, for example, lining the canals with precast slabs,participatory irrigation management (PIM), formation of Water UsersCooperative Societies (WUCS), cement concrete lining with a estimatedcost of Rs 1,844 Crores (as per the Detailed Project Report ofModernization of Canal System of Tungabhadra Project, 2011-12) from2008-9 onwards. However despite all these intervention there is marginalimpact on deprivation and large parts remain without irrigation water. Asthe irrigation duty is only 0.42 lps/ha in the entire TLBC command andmuch worse for most of the command area, there is just not enough water

    with the conventional methods for farmers to grow financially attractivecrops. There is clear need to adopt effective solutions and new technology.

    Gravity Based Micro Irrigation Concept: Gravity based Micro-irrigationtreats the potential head available because of unique topographicalfeatures as a useful natural resource in addition to the quantity of water.Both of these natural resources- water quantity and potential head, arepreserved and supplied through pipelines to agricultural fields in the form ofpressurized pipe flow, suitable for micro-irrigation, to fulfill the irrigation

    water needs of the command area. There is possibility of covering about80% of command area through this method. In view of the prevalentsituation adoption of gravity based micro-irrigation at large scale remains apotential solution that can fulfill the water needs of the existing culturablecommand area and can also expand it, by covering non-irrigated areaswithin the Gross Command Area.

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    Major Pipeline Projects:The Goldfields Water Supply Scheme: The scheme was designed andbuilt under the supervision of CY O'Connor between 1898 and 1903 topump fresh water from the Darling Range near Perth 560 km east to the

    arid Goldfields. The scheme was designed with eight separate sections toovercome the difficulty of pumping water uphill over such a great distance.A dam, the pipeline and eight pump stations were the main components ofthe scheme. Cost of scheme was 2,655,220, ($5,310,440) in 1903,Number of pipes used 60,000, Amount of water 5.6 million gallons daily,(25.5 million kilolitres).Pipeline:The pipes were made of steel plates imported flat from Germanyand America. Two steel plates were bent to form semi-circles and joinedusing the innovative locking bar system invented by Mephan Ferguson.The locking bar replaced the practice of riveting the plates together. This

    new system minimized the risk of leakage as no holes were drilled into thepipes and it also reduced internal friction as there were no rivet heads toslow the flow of water inside the pipes. Where possible the pipeline wasbuilt alongside the route of the existing railway line to enable the pipes tobe easily transported. The length of the train carriages determined thelength of the pipes (28 feet or 8.5 metres). The pipes were laid in trenchesto reduce contraction and expansion caused by temperature extremes.Lengths of pipe were joined as they were laid using a process that packedthe joint with lead, known as caulking. Over 60,000 joints were required

    and this process was done by hand until a caulking machine that producedconsistent joints and saved time and labour was invented.Mundaring Weir: A dam, known as Mundaring Weir, was built on theHelena River to store water to be pumped to the Goldfields. O'Connor'sassistant, TC Hodgson considered 17 sites before choosing this one. In1898, during the excavation of the weir foundations, a huge boulder wasunexpectedly revealed. When it was removed a deep fault in the bedrockwas found. Overcoming these problems delayed construction for one year.The concrete wall was completed in June 1902. A construction camp onthe site was home to around 300 workers and their families during the

    building of the weir.

    The Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Project: The Wimmera Mallee PipelineProject (WMPP) is the largest water infrastructure project in Australia,replacing 18,000 kilometres of inefficient earthen channel with 9,159kilometres of pressurized pipeline and associated structures. Constructionof this great engineering feat commenced in November 2006 with the last

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    pipe being laid in April 2010 - well ahead of the ten year timeframeoriginally proposed and within the $688 million project budget. Officialopening of the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline took place on 15 April 2010. Thepipeline project is supplying water to 36 towns and over 7,000 ruralcommunities with high quality and reliable water supply.

    Virginia Pipeline Scheme: This scheme in Northern Adelaide Plains,South Australia was Completed in 1999. This waste-water reuse schemeincludes 150 km of pipeline distribution network to supply recycled water to200 square kilometres of horticultural land. The Virginia Pipeline projectwas one of the first of its type in South Australia, and consequently, asimilar scheme has been completed, south of Adelaide. This schemePlays a significant role in reducing pollution into marine environment by70%. Provides opportunity to secure access to water, a particularly limited

    resource in the context of a semi-arid climate where existing groundwaterresources were facing overuse. Provides about 250 vegetable growerswith reliable supply of water, to a quality suitable for irrigation use.Estimated volume of recycled water is 22,500 ML per year whichrepresents over 50% of annual plant flow. (Source: Kracman, Martin, &Sztjanbok, 2001)

    Northern Mallee Pipeline: This project in Northern Mallee, Victoria wasCompleted in 2002. The project makes provision of an alternative water

    distribution system: Conversion of earthen channels to 2500 km pipelinesfor stock and domestic water supply system in agricultural region. Projectcommenced in 1991 and completed 2002. It has several benefits such as:Security of water supply on farms for stock, and increased, effectiveness ofpesticides & spray units, Increased flexibility of water systems on farms,Increase productivity of land through channel decommissioning, Improvedquality of farm life and increased financial security. Estimated volume ofwater recovered is 50, 000 ML per year. The project also helps in increasedenvironmental flows with an allocation of 34,000ML per year. (Source:WIDCORP, 2006)

    The Tungamah Pipeline- Lake Mokoan project: The project situated nearBenalla, Victoria was completed in 2006-07. A water recovery schemeinvolving decommissioning of Lake Mokoan and installation of 360km ofpipelines to replace 520km highly inefficient earthen channels. TheTungamah pipeline links the Tungamah domestic and stock system

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    between Shepparton and Yarrawonga. The project envisages to providereliable water supply to irrigators. Estimated volume of water recovered is18,000 ML per year for environmental flows to the Snowy River. Also helpto restore flows to Broken and Goulburn Rivers.

    Performance of Micro-Irrigation Schemes

    Several pilot projects have been taken up in Karnataka and other parts of

    India during last two decades. Performance of these projects demonstrates

    efficacy, efficiency and effectiveness of micro irrigation systems. However review

    and study of the existing pilot projects on micro irrigation indicates that not only

    the technology has been fully demonstrated but also reasonably large pilot

    projects have been successfully completed. Some of these schemes are reviewed


    Shiggaon Lift Irrigation Scheme: Shiggaon Lift Irrigation Scheme isproposed to irrigate 9900 ha dry lands in 30 villages of Shiggaon, Savanurand Hanagal Taluks in Haveri district. The villages coming under thisscheme are poverty offended drought area. Agriculture is the economicactivity of the Haveri district. Low annual rainfall of the order of 532 mmcoupled with large variance in annual rainfall and uncertainty within a yearcauses the agriculture a risky venture. Hence the proposed schemeenvisages diversion of 42.45 M. Cum (1.5 TMC) of water by constructing a

    diversion weir across Varada River near Halasur village of Savanur taluk,Haveri district, lifting of water to higher lands and providing SprinklerIrrigation facility. Thus providing irrigation and stabilizing the agriculturalproduction and improving per capita income and standard of living of thepeople.

    Shiggaon LIS is proposed to irrigate dry lands in villages of Shiggaon,Savanur and Hanagal taluks of Haveri district. The Jackwell is located atLongitude 75017'00?E and Latitude 140 51'00?N near Halasur village ofSavanur Taluka. The project site (Head works) is approachable by Roadand is at a distance of 21km along NH-4 from Shiggaon, the Taluk headquarters. The total water allocated for the proposed project is 42.45 M.Cum(1.5 TMC) but the current uti

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