Paddy farmers managed to raise and save crop with the help of groundwater in 15 delta mandals in Krishna district this year.

Showing Krishna district as a conjunctive use of groundwater, Deputy Director, Department of Ground Water, A Varaprasada Rao said that farmers in these 15 delta mandals used more groundwater than surface water to raise paddy they has transplanted in 2,26,446 acres.

Making a presentation on the second day of the national seminar on ‘Conjunctive use of surface water and groundwater in major and medium irrigation projects’, Mr. Varaprasad said that due to poor rains in the Krishna river basin, farmers of Krishna district could only get 12.19 tmcft surface water this season.

But with the 24 hours power supply extended to them by the Andhra Pradesh Government, farmers could pump 13.22 tmcft of groundwater to save their crops.

The amount of groundwater used by the farmers was calculated with the difference in the groundwater table at the beginning of the season after its completion. This could be measured with the real time groundwater level metres that have been installed by the State Government for close monitoring and management of groundwater resources.

While the average amount surface water available to farmers in the district in a year is 124.2 tmcft on an average, the amount available to farmers is 22.27 tmcft in 2014-15, Mr Varaprasad said. Though this could be cited as an example of conjunctive use of groundwater, the farmers were resorting to it inadvertently rather than in a planned manner.

Mr Varaprasad said that the normal rainfall in Krishna district was 1,034 mm an annum. From 1901 to 2015, that is 115 year, there were as many as 75 years of either excess or normal rainfall. The remaining 40 years the rainfall was less than normal (35 years), very less than normal was four years and during one year, rainfall was highly deficit. Since there were nearly 40 per cent chance of the rains failing, farmers should plan the use of groundwater, he said.

BY Hindu