Diversion Based Irrigation (DBI)
Diversion Based Irrigation (DB) is a system of diverting a portion of water from a natural source like spring, mountainous river or any other source without intermediate storage for the purpose of irrigation. Assam has yet to harness such natural resources for result-based agriculture management. Though there was the tradition of utilization of surface water for irrigation and drinking purposes in the Assamese society especially amongst the different ethnic groups; but it loses the assessment with the introduction of power-operated system like Deep Tube Well (DTW), Shallow Tube Well (STW) in the name of farm mechanization and irrigation. In fact, this artificial system demands more cost of operation, intricacy in maintenance and limited period of sustenance in comparison to the traditional method of channelizing water from different sources like a stream, river, beels etc.
Having analyzed these two different perspectives of traditional and modern irrigation infrastructure, Grameen Sahara has taken this step to revitalize this age-old practice with some innovative inputs on water management and Institutional development practices at farmers level.
The project is to divert a part of water from a river with the canal of appropriate measurement and irrigating the field with an equitable share of water in a specific command area. Water Users Groups (WUGs) are also promoted amongst the farmers. Especially small and marginal farmers are targeted through this project. This project was kicked off at four different locations in Kamrup and Goalpara District in the year 2009-2010 with the support of Jamshetji Tata Trust, Mumbai. The farmers also contributed a part of the establishment cost by means of labour for different activities like digging trenches,leveling etc.Apart from the judicious utilization of water, farmers are facilitated with a range of services like improved production practices for seasonal vegetables, financial linkage etc. Water Users Groups (WUGs) are assisted to hold regular meeting and discussion to resolve any issues arouse at field level operation and exercise future plan of action. In order to foster the very purpose of the project, visioning exercise is facilitated amongst the WUGs for enhancing solidarity and sustainable agriculture practices. In the year 2011, Grameen Sahara introduced another new approach using PVC pipes for diverting water from springs on hills to agriculture field nearby; without any mechanized power but for gravitational flow of water. Grameen Sahara is optimistic that this innovative project would be the torch-bearer in the participatory irrigation management scenario of assam.