The draft irrigation management policy prepared by the Central Water Commission aims to boost agricultural yield in places where the water potential exceeds the land potential, through self-management by farmers.
The policy envisages that the operation and maintenance of water distribution systems such as distributaries of canals and minor irrigation be handed over to farmers organisations in a phased manner. It recommends structuring farmers' organisations in tiers and involving them in the decisionmaking process of agencies like the irrigation department. The draft also suggests structural improvements in government irrigation management agencies to make them more interactive and efficient and recommends rationalisation of water rates for financial sustainability.
The National Water Board has already approved these measures, which are aimed at improving operational management and the draft will soon be reviewed by the National Water Resources Council.
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