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Water and Climate

Scoping study to assess constraints and opportunities for sustaining the tank irrigation ecosystems and smallholder livelihoods in East India and Nepal

Project Code: LWR/2011/074
Research Program Manager: Dr. Robyn Johnston
Project Leader: K Palanisami - International Water Management Institute
MAY 2012
FEB 2013
Project Status: Concluded
Key partners
Indian Council of Agricultural Research
International Water Management Institute
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
Vidyasagar University


In eastern India and Nepal tanks (small reservoirs) are still used for irrigation, livestock and domestic purposes, but fisheries are emerging as their primary usage. Competition between irrigation and fisheries often creates a rift within communities, resulting in management issues that directly contribute to poor tank maintenance.

The primary objective of this 10-month scoping study was to investigate the characteristics of tanks and tank irrigation in East Indian states (West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa) and the terai (plains) of Nepal. The constraints identified and opportunities envisaged assisted in the development of a 3-year ACIAR research proposal.


This scoping study resulted in the larger project "Improving dry season agriculture for marginal and tenant farmers in the Eastern Gangetic Plains through conjunctive use of pond and groundwater resources". 

No final report has been published.