Socio-Economic Implications: Conversion of Farm Ponds into Surface Storage Tanks in Semi-Arid Maharashtra

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Farm ponds have been promoted through the central and state government programmes in India as a drought mitigation measure to secure agrarian livelihoods. While farm ponds were initially developed to harvest rainwater, these ponds are now used as groundwater storage structures for which farmers extract large quantities of groundwater from borewells and deep wells. Furthermore these ponds are lined with plastic which prevents percolation, while it exposes the stored water to high evaporation loss. In this policy brief, we recommend that farmers follow the specified norms and the dimensions for farm ponds and implement regulating measures to control the practice of groundwater extraction to fill the farm ponds.

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